- Trending Halloween movies 2021
- Most popular Halloween costumes in 2021
- Why is seasonal SEO important?
- How marketers can prepare for seasonality
Google revealed trending Halloween searches for 2021 in the lead-up to the infamous spooky night, offering insight into the most popular costumes, haunted house spots, movies – even pumpkin patches!
Google shares data about trending Halloween-related searches every year, and this year is no different. Although the top Halloween movies have remained relatively consistent over the years, the most popular costumes have changed – a reflection of what is capturing the interests of the mainstream.
Digital marketers need to stay abreast of seasonal trends to develop more effective marketing strategies and create additional opportunities to connect with audiences and make your brand more relatable.
Here’s a summary of Google’s key insights on:
- Trending Halloween movies
- Most popular Halloween costumes
- Most-searched Halloween activities
- Top searches for Halloween treats
Trending Halloween Movies
Spooky season has come and gone, and according to Google, the most-searched Halloween movies were:
- Halloween (1978)
- Friday the 13th
- Hocus Pocus
- A Nightmare on Elm Street
Have you already seen all of these? Take a trip to town as several new spooky films are still showing in cinemas, including the latest installment of the Halloween series, Halloween Kills, cult classic Scream and the animated comedy sequel, The Addams Family 2.
Now, moving on to costumes! Here’s what Halloween costumes were trending in the US in October 2021.
Most Popular Halloween Costumes
According to Google’s Freightgeist tool, the top ten most searched for Halloween costumes were:
- Cruella Devil
- Harley Quinn
Demand for red worker jumpsuits has also increased exponentially due to the popular Netflix series Squid Game. In addition, Marvel characters, Venom and Carnage have also made it into the top 50 most searched for Halloween costumes in 2021.
Trending movies and TV shows seem to influence popular culture heavily, perhaps due to a phenomenon known as the “mere exposure effect”. The mere exposure effect is when the more recognisable and prevalent something is, the more people think they like it.
Google also revealed that the most-searched-for couples costumes were:
- Trixie and Timmy Turner
- Bonnie and Clyde
- Skid and Pump
- Mr and Mrs Smith
- Cosmo and Wanda
Meanwhile, top searched dog costumes were:
- Squid Game
Spook-tacular Halloween Activities
According to recent Google Maps statistics, pumpkin-related searches increased by 375% between September and October this year, with the most popular keyword, “pumpkin patch”, surging by nearly 470% month-on-month.
Pumpkin patches weren’t the only spooky activities being searched for, with other Halloween activities such as corn mazes and haunted houses also seeing increases of 270% and 500%, respectively.
According to Google Maps, the top-searched destinations in the United States for Halloween activities were:
- Buford Corn Maze in Buford, Georgia
- Cornbelly’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Fest in Lehi, Utah
- Field of Screams in Mountville, Pennsylvania
- Greenspot Farms in Mentone, California
- Howl-O-Scream in Tampa Bay, Florida
- Netherworld Haunted House in Stone Mountain, Georgia
- Pennhurst Asylum in Spring City, Pennsylvania
- Piedmont Avenue Pumpkin Patch in Oakland, California
- Rutledge Corn Maze in Olympia, Washington
- Texas Pumpkin Fest in Leander, Texas
Trick or Treat? Top Searches for Halloween Candy
It’s not Halloween without candy – or sweets as we call it in the UK – these were the top hits in 2021:
- Candy corn
- Blood bag drinks
- Halloween Jungle Juice
- Bloody Mary
- Witches Brew
Seasonal SEO: Is Optimising Websites for Holiday Seasons Important?
Seasonality can make or break an online business, and marketers should be devising strategies that leverage the full potential of the holiday season.
Irrespective of what your business does, at least one seasonal event will matter to your target audience, whether that be Halloween, Easter, Christmas, Back to School or Valentine’s Day.
Failure to prepare a solid seasonal SEO strategy could result in a loss of customers, a bad reputation and a reduction in online visibility in search results.
Importance of Creating a Solid Seasonal Marketing Strategy
What is seasonality? Seasonality refers to periodic fluctuations in trends that recur every year. For example, Halloween trends increase exponentially in October, influencing how some businesses engage with customers to remain relevant and visible online.
Although holiday seasons impact industries in different ways, it would be hard to find a business that isn’t affected by Christmas, resulting in a significant spike in footfall or website traffic and online sales.
Whether you experience inactivity or an increase in traffic, ignoring the season could cost your business. We’ve outlined actions you could take to prepare your website for seasonal changes and leverage the interest peak to create more opportunities for traffic and conversions.
How Marketers Can Prepare for Seasonality
So, you might be wondering: When is the best time to prepare for seasonality?
Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to that question. However, you could use Google Trends to help inform your decisions, a free tool that monitors searches based on popularity across various regions and languages.
Getting Google to love your seasonal content can be a challenge, but our five tips should help you get started on building a solid seasonal SEO strategy.
Targeting Seasonal Keywords
Although Google is moving away from keyword targeting, keywords are still crucial for drawing in seasonal traffic from an SEO perspective.
Analyse the opportunities with keywords based on search volume and consider any associated or contextually-related keywords to help search engines understand the content on the page, whether it be a blog, product page or ad campaign.
Even something as obvious as Christmas will have massive variations in keywords. While we’re still a little early for this holiday season, did you know that “Christmas gifts” has an average monthly search volume of 74K? Although “Xmas gifts” has a much smaller search volume at 5.4K, it shows that a significant number of people are using this alternative term, which marketers can leverage when putting together seasonal SEO strategies.
Develop A Strategy in Advance
At the very least, you want your seasonal landing pages to be indexed with Google a few weeks before peak time for searches gets underway.
If you’re wondering how to gain data on seasonal trends, the Google Trends tool would be a great place to start. Although the data is based on searches from previous years, it will provide you with valuable insights into traffic spikes and popular search phrases.
Find Link Building Opportunities
No SEO campaign would be complete without link building. If you can get even one backlink pointing towards your seasonal landing page or promotional product, your page could receive a meaningful boost in search engine result pages (SERPs).
A great way to earn backlinks is by writing a guest blog or seeking opportunities in link building communities. Just make sure you’re targeting high profile websites; otherwise, you could end up doing more harm than good for your website.
Alternatively, you could do some local PR or send out a product to a company in exchange for a review on their website.
If you’re struggling to gain external links, then make sure your seasonal pages contain internal links and can be easily accessed from the main navigation menu – perhaps via a banner or promotional tab?
Plan for the Year Ahead
Let’s say Halloween has come and gone, meaning people are less likely to be searching for Halloween-related queries for the next 12 months. So, what are you supposed to do as a marketer?
Remove the page from the main navigation but keep the page live so that you don’t have to start from scratch next year. However, for the user experience (UX), it will be worth including an off-season message or information about when customers can take advantage of early offers.
Alternatively, you could set up a 302 redirect, which is a temporary redirect that does not pass on any page authority to the targeted URL.
Leverage Seasonality All Year Round
Instead of just focusing on major holiday seasons such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Black Friday, which are all highly competitive events, find out what seasons are important to your customers and create seasonal strategies accordingly.
What about Mother’s Day? Mardi Gras? National Mental Health Awareness week?
While the search volume for these holidays may be smaller, it also means less competition. So if you’re targeting keywords effectively and optimising your content, you could see high conversion rates. After all, it’s not just about getting traffic but attracting traffic that converts.