As we wave goodbye to the last sunny days of Summer, it's time to turn our attention to the 4th largest holiday for ecommerce businesses - Halloween.
You may think I’m delusional, what with Halloween being a whole 8 weeks away. However, McVities have already revealed their spooky cake range for 2016 and Mars have added ‘boo-terscotch’ M&M’s to their lineup (unfortunately the latter is only available in the US, sad face).
Just visit Google Trends and you can see that interest in the search term Halloween is starting to increase and this will only grow as we draw nearer to the holiday.
Although the majority of people won’t begin shopping until the early weeks of October, enthusiasts (and the super organised folk in this world) will start shopping much earlier.
Forward planning will be the key to your success as the holiday season approaches. If you’re an online retailer, read on to see how you can turn the upcoming holidays in to holi-yays!
Optimise your landing pages
The first step for any seasonal ecommerce strategy is to optimise your campaign landing page using event specific target keywords. If you have an active AdWords account, you can use the AdWords Keyword Planner to research which terms and phrases will drive the most traffic to your website.
Remember to include your target keyword in your URL, title tag, meta description, page title and within the copy. Follow these tips to ensure you are writing great landing pages.
When the season is over do not delete these pages, especially if you have built some good links to them. Leave the page running over the course of the year and you won’t need to start from scratch to build the authority of the page in future years. Simply remove the page from your main navigation if you don’t want it to be visible.
You can see how Asda have kept their halloween landing page live all year round. If someone were to search for ‘asda halloween costumes’ they will land on this page and receive the following message:
This is great for the keen beans who want to get their costumes and decorations sorted early. Asda may not have their Halloween items in stock yet, but at least the customer knows that these are items that will be in stock in the coming weeks.
Give your website a spooky makeover
There is no point having a Halloween section on your website if nobody can find it. You can direct website visitors to these pages in a number of ways, including:
- Adding links to your main navigation.
- Using banners on the homepage to direct website visitors to your Halloween shop.
You can see how Smiffys.com have already incorporated Halloween in to their main navigation.
As you get closer to Halloween, you will want to make this more prominent across your whole website.
Create Product Pages that Convert
You will have a host of new seasonal products on your new website and the content on each of these pages is really important. A well written product page is not only beneficial for SEO, but also offers you a more relevant landing page for your paid advertising and overall enhances the user experience.
Ensure each page includes the following:
- Great product photography.
- Easy add to basket/checkout process.
- Clear pricing.
- Visible delivery details (including costs).
- Detailed and helpful product description.
For more help on writing content for your product pages, my colleague Kym has put together some great tips.
Generate Content Ideas with Google Trends Data
Google Trends has some great features which act as a great source for content ideation.
Start by filtering interest by country and city, then use the data in the related queries widget.
The related queries widget provides you with a list of search terms that people who searched for your term also searched for. You can sort this by top queries and rising queries:
- Top – the most popular search queries.
- Rising – the queries that have seen the biggest increase in search frequency since the previous time period.
Once you have this data, you can use it to help you create additional landing pages, make video tutorials and shape the content of your email marketing and social media posts.
Halloween makeup and pumpkin designs are just some of the rising search queries at the time of writing this post.
Use email marketing to drive traffic to your website
No traffic to your website means no sales. If you sell halloween costumes, decor or sweet treats, you need to start thinking about your email campaigns now.
Your email marketing can be used to promote a number of things, including:
- Signal the opening of your Halloween shop.
- Raise awareness of new products in stock.
- Share costume, party and decorating ideas.
- Highlight seasonal offers and promotions.
You could also look at previous purchase history on your website and send exclusive first looks at new products to those who have previously purchased Halloween products from you.
Last week, I received the email below from Starbucks, offering me an exclusive first taster of their Pumpkin Spice Latte (just for being a loyalty card holder):
Share offers and content on social media
Supplement your email marketing efforts and expand your reach using social media.
Make sure that you also include social sharing buttons on your website to make it super easy for your customers to share your products with their friends, family and acquaintances.
If you have a company Facebook page, this could be in the form of sharing offers to existing fans of your page. Alternatively, you could use Facebook Advertising to target people who aren’t aware of your brand and find new customers. Again, see what is trending and popular on Google Trends, and use this to help shape your social strategy.
Pinterest is a great network for sharing ideas of how to use your products by creating themed boards.
Supermarket giant Tesco have created a board that shares recipe ideas from their Real Food microsite:
Meanwhile, Party Delights have created a range of boards offering followers on Pinterest inspiration for specific costumes, parties, food, pumpkin carving and much more:
Forward planning is key to the success of any seasonal digital marketing strategy, whether it’s for Halloween, Black Friday, Christmas or New Year. The 6 tips identified just touch on the things you can work on to increase conversions and engagement on your website over the coming months. You will also want to invest in quality hosting to ensure your website can handle the influx of visitors.