Spooky Search Keywords Create a Merchandising Monster!

October 29, 2013 Erika Stasi

breaking bad costume components

What do you get when you combine dark sunglasses, a fake moustache, and a bald cap wig? The principal ingredients for what is sure to be one of the most addictive costumes this season: Walter White from A&E’s hit show “Breaking Bad.”

Come Halloween night, you’ll be sure to see an eclectic mix of DIY and store-bought costumes of the main character. How do I know this? Because “Walter White” is one of the top search phrases for costume supplier Party Supplies Delivered!

With only a couple of days left until the scariest holiday of the year, Party Supplies Delivered gave us a sneak peek at some of its most popular costume searches this season.

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And while top keyword searches are a fun way to predict what costumes you’ll see at some Halloween parties this year, for merchandisers, top keyword phrases, such as “sailor hat,” “pirate,” and “Alice in Wonderland,” are crucial to maximizing their merchandising, promotions and SEO efforts.

Use On-Site Search Data to Improve Click-Through Rates

Ian MacDonald, VP of eCommerce and Marketing for Party Supplies Delivered, explained why his site’s top keyword searches provide valuable data for merchandising.

“With SLI’s Learning Search and Navigation, items that are moved to the front of results or are top performers generally have a strong click through rate,” MacDonald said. “If the items are performing well on our website, we want to drive more customers who are looking for that merchandise to our site. So we make sure that top searches on our site have a strong presence in our Google Ads.”

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The search for ghastly Halloween costumes starts a couple of months before visiting haunted houses, going to parties and trick or treating. MacDonald notes that keeping an eye on top searched keywords during those early search stages is a great way to keep up with Halloween demand trends. This allows companies like Party Supplies Delivered to tailor their site search and navigation appropriately.

Poor Performing Search Terms Are Also Useful

While tracking top search terms is paramount for eTailers in creating their merchandising strategy, poor-performing search keywords can also illuminate ways to improve. Party Supplies Delivered has kept an eye on search terms that don’t deliver relevant results.

“We often find the need to add new synonyms, and we occasionally reorder search results by promoting, demoting, or suppressing certain products,” said MacDonald. This allows them to always offer the most relevant product results to customer search queries.

As detailed in this case study, Party Supplies Delivered put its search function and site navigation into the full-service care of SLI Systems in 2011. As their customers began to find more relevant search results, the bounce rate dropped 40 percent, page views increased by 132 percent and conversions went up by 203 percent. Features like focused category pages, Rich Auto Complete and user-generated SEO are among the changes that are delivering remarkable results.

“Now when customers drill into a subcategory, they really browse around; pages per visit are up 111 percent. This increases their average order too,” said MacDonald.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist – or a rogue high school chemistry teacher, for that matter – to figure out that using an effective search solution and search data will help tremendously in your merchandising efforts. Don’t wait until darkness falls and the midnight hour of Halloween strikes before using these tips to improve your search merchandising!

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