View Full Version : 2012 Attendance and Google Trends

11-26-2012, 10:32 AM
I was reflecting on this past season. I live in a college town, and my staff and I talked to a lot of college students during October. We were surprised by how many guys we talked to that had never been to a haunted anything (house or trail) and seemed very tentative (scared?) about going. However many of these guys were taking their girlfriends to a corn maze for a date night. I ran just a haunted trail on a farm and wasn't able to get a corn maze up this year. It definately got me thinking that I might can lure more sheltered types in by offering a relatively safe corn maze but then try and get them to try the haunted stuff out too while they are already there.

So I ran a google trends search on "corn maze" to see what kind of pattern of searches it was getting over the past few years:


So this year was significantly down from the past two. I have no idea if it's related but the low years seem to be around presidental election years. However the term "fall festival" was steadily increasing each year:


Anyone interested in discussing this? I guess I'm wondering if the peaks and valleys of "corn maze" traffic relate to anyone's traffic patterns over the past few years. I'm a nerd for graphs so maybe it's just a pointless line of thinking.

11-26-2012, 11:24 AM
I don't think its pointless at all; just the opposite in any business. Google search keywords will soon be the biggest draw factor for new business (actually it probably is already)

I know the haunts in my area, but I still searched google to see if there were any new ones anyway.

12-09-2012, 07:03 PM
roughly 6 months ago, google got faced a huge lawsuit that meant they wernt allowed to report traffic in analytics or google trends of any person who is logged into there google account. which is a ton of people. Haunts who had traffic that was up huge this year showed lower traffic in google analytics and it showed that google trends for their keywords were down.

Just a heads up

12-10-2012, 12:50 PM
These are the smart debates and more people should add input because this is how you get money to buy new props or build new scenes or pay your bills...

Technology is changing so fast and its so hard to keep up with it and I'm talking about technology from the marketing standpoint.

Yes I want to see this discussed. Good points.


12-20-2012, 01:18 PM
Technology is moving faster than you think. There are some aspects of what I am going to deluge that are already out there working, and there is some of this stuff in the works (this is my day job). When you use your cell phone, and you have selected the little option about using your location to support an application (like Google Maps), you are by law now telling Google (or any other company, including your cell phone company) that you are giving them permission to share your location with applications.

These applications can come from another company, such as an ad company. We are working on something right now that will look at the web sites you visit, and the areas you travel, and send this information to an ad server that in turn sends you a customized ad. Not just customized to your location, but also in your interests. If you visit a lot of haunted house websites for example, the ad server would send you ads about haunted houses, and because it knows where you are (that little GPS thingy in your phone) it can tell you about haunted houses in your area.

Its real stuff, being implemented next year in major wireless networks all over the world. And there is a lot more to come.

Greg Chrise
12-20-2012, 02:13 PM
Not sure how effective that is going to be when everyone is 10% haunt sites or 1/1000ths percent looked up a haunted house site and 98% Porn sites.

12-21-2012, 09:49 AM
This is going to be an interesting project. Ad servers are working today by the way. Apple introduced Passbook, which allows you to have your tickets and coupons sent toy our iPhone. For example, you signup with Starbucks as a loyal customer. Everytime you are near a Starbucks, your location is sent to the Ad server, which then looks up your profile (yep, they have that too). They see you are signed up with Starbucks, and you receive a special offer for the day from Starbucks. When you go to the register, you show them your phone and they scan the barcode on your phone (or QoR code) and your account is debited.

By the way, I saw where TicketLeap is now tied in with PassBook on the iPhone. I am going to try this and see how well it works, but it will require a different payment collection method for us (I'll have to leave an iPhone in the ticket booth to accept payments). Anyone else taking payments this way?

Jim Warfield
12-22-2012, 06:57 PM
23 times over the last year at least 23 carloads of my customers were misguided and they ended up four blocks South of my house, right down the same street, Carroll Street. they were instructed to turn left instead of right at the corner Charlie's Tavern is on, we are right behind Charlies. just a block away to the right.
Coincidentally among those murdered in 1940 at the wrong GPS location was the 31 yr. old Daughter of the people who then owned my house and lived here in it too.
Two locations connected by relation and grief in 1940, re-connected by GPS showing strangers where so much random deaths all happened.
All fact. No fiction.

12-22-2012, 10:09 PM
23 times over the last year at least 23 carloads of my customers were misguided and they ended up four blocks South of my house, right down the same street, Carroll Street. they were instructed to turn left instead of right at the corner Charlie's Tavern is on, we are right behind Charlies. just a block away to the right.
Coincidentally among those murdered in 1940 at the wrong GPS location was the 31 yr. old Daughter of the people who then owned my house and lived here in it too.
Two locations connected by relation and grief in 1940, re-connected by GPS showing strangers where so much random deaths all happened.
All fact. No fiction.

I never have anything cool like that happen in my neighborhood.

12-24-2012, 06:00 PM
Gee us neither MrFoos! All we had was a woman hang herself. Oh and the kid they found in the bottom of the pool four hours later (pool was full that day - couldn't see through all the kids to the bottom). I'll have to think about a technology link though ...........

Greg Chrise
12-24-2012, 10:47 PM
If you watch this video, pause a few times because the pacing back and forth camera work will make you sea sick. Still it is recent media advice.



Jim Warfield
12-26-2012, 05:20 AM
Entertaining it was, and good information. But then I already knew most of the finer points and have always used them, because I grew up and still live in a small town where people are still people .
I talk to people who come here to see my house often before,during and after their tour. (I don't send them free NFL game jerseys)
Some of his talking points reminded me of the world's most successful car salesman who sends a ton of mail out everyday to his former customers, cards celebrating their anniversarys,sympathy cards, graduation cards . because people like being thought of, remembered.

Greg Chrise
12-26-2012, 10:35 AM
I'll bet so many cases of $60 a bottle wine is like a $1200 sale, plus they stalked the guy and sent him something precious to him that might have been attainable for $60 to $100. I can see that. I have seen other videos where just to talk to some person that was tremendously successful, they would buy them $80 running shoes if they could just talk to them to half an hour, they had to buy the shoes and didn't get a deal. Then sent the guy a monthly subscription to a running magazine and 6 months later got service that was worth $12,000 in work.

Now converting this to the $13 ticket level, I think the Ravens Grin Inn Show is already one whole big thankyou where most shows are $20 and you go through like cattle and please leave, we need the parking spaces. The little conversation on the end and the conversation on the beginning is already a thankyou. To step it up, maybe a group of 10 is rewarded with mailing a Ravens Grin Inn shirt to the leader or A Ravens Grin Inn Multi took that looks like $30 but really costs $3. With this you are harvesting addresses, email info and or phone numbers. Which you already sort of do as customers become personal freinds and fans, then they head out and become facebook followers, call the phone number just to hear the phone recorded message, tell others about it for the next 7 years and over a period of time, the mention of new things that can't be divulged pile up over time and they have to come to see all the new things! Then it is so detailed they see things that are new and all the things they sort of missed in previous visits.

The customers were included in the shows as scare providers and scare props and serious unexpected fun is had by all for an hour, hour and a half or sometimes 3 hours. Super value for $13 compared to 20 minutes for $20 or to be fair 2 or 3 haunts in 45 minutes for $20 in comparing other haunt set ups. Value.

Good price, Good value and great customer caring. It isn't buying peoples approval so much as it is gifting them for above and beyond equal caring and purchases. I mean I get a birthday email from my dentist and I'm still not going there. However I still remember doing $2500 jobs and the people come out and hand all the workers a $100 tip. Or on a $5,000 job every worker got one of these multi tools with the places name embossed. I had to look them up to discover they really cost $3 but it has been on my desk for more than a year. It looks precious and I still haven't found anything that needs to be multi tooled. Still a very unique point of caring when so many do not or have their walls set up to not be so interactive with customers.

In general though bombarding people with post cards, emails and phone calls with out really caring is called soliciting and would turn every would be return customer off to ever coming back. It is subtle. You might go buy a car from that guy in 3 years because he has worked so hard and you want a new car. YOu have to want to see what is happening at the haunted house first and formost. Have fond memories of the interaction and a reason to be engaged.

The guy in the video also mentioned it might take 5 or 6 years for this customer base to really kick in. Just sending thousands of dollars to Google isn't going to make magic happen. Unless you are Google.

12-27-2012, 11:25 AM
I think you hit the nail on the head when you start talking about "caring" for the customer. Small to large haunts can achieve great results with little to no cost, for simply caring. Last year we had a family come in with a young man in a wheelchair. They had made a family outing for this young man because he loved haunted houses. But our tram is not setup with ramps (it will be next year). When I got the call on the radio that we had a wheelchair in the queue for the tram, I jumped on the golf cart and put the "caring" part into motion.

I had some one of the actors and the Queue supervisors help lift the boy from his chair and place him on the tram. Then we made room for the wheelchair. It took a little extra time, but the family was elated that we went the extra mile to help them have a great experience. They cam e back and rode three more times!

Another family brought their terrified little girl to the haunt. She was crying and obviously did not want to go in but like older siblings do, they managed to drag her through the whole terrifying experience. She came out crying and sobbing, so I grabbed one of the little LED necklaces we were selling and gave her one as a prize for being such a brave little kid. While she didn't come back, her family did!

Its really the little things that get you the most mileage. It shows you genuinely do care, and customers are not just another ticket sale.

BTW, I am a Sales and Marketing professional selling multi-million dollar systems to fortune 500s. I know all about the gifting and schmoozing your customers. $1000 dinners, $500 bottles of wine. Nights out at the local "dance club" (funny, there are nothing but girls dancing in this place - and wow, no clothes?).

01-27-2013, 10:23 PM
It was mentioned earlier in this discussion about how Google made some changes that affected traffic. Last year alone they released two major changes to the way their search works that dramatically affected millions of websites causing them to loose tons of ranking and traffic. Google is constantly releasing updates and tweaks to their search engine. Also mentioned was the fact that sometimes certain gps can send you to the wrong location. Part of that has to do with how your haunt is listed across the internet. Google pulls from all the address listings for a business location and if you have listings that some customer of your haunt setup and they mistyped your address then Google can potentially pull that address or some nav system could and feed it to your visitor trying to find your haunted house. The key to all this is local seo where you make sure all your listings which in the search industry are referred to as citations are listed correct and the same. A citation is your business name, address and phone number. Making sure this is right everywhere will bring you lots of visitors. Over 40% of mobile device searches are for local and result in a visit to the location. If your haunted house is not optimized for local search especially for Google then your missing out on a ton of potential traffic to your site.

A couple things you can do to increase this are to make sure you setup and claim your Google Places listing, Bing Local listing and Yahoo local listing. Yelp is the runner up. All these are free to setup and claim and can be done in about an hour. To claim them though requires postcards sent to your physical address so haunters with permanent locations have a great advantage to those that move around each year because it will require constant updating and tracking of all these listings. Yelp is a phone call to the business address.

Local seo is a great tool for haunts since we target locally in a city or county and for some larger haunts it goes much wider but making sure your optimized will make sure you attract that search traffic to your locations.