What’s Google Trends?
Google Trends (GT) was introduced in 2006 and is completely free to use. It provides data and infographics on the popularity of specific search terms used on Google and within YouTube.
You can use Google Trends for the following:
- To find out what’s recently trending, both generally and at a more local level.
- To identify trending topics (or sub topics) within an industry, or about a specific subject.
- To aid your keyword research efforts.
The keyword research feature helps to identify keywords which are growing in popularity, and to avoid keywords which are becoming less popular. You can do your keyword research in Google Trends by entering a specific search term in the search box on the homepage:
Google Trends will then give you an infographic of the search term’s popularity rating across the last year, in the first instance.
You can flex the time frame by playing around with dates, and GT also allows you to view trending patterns up to the last five years, if this is of interest.
The app can also support you in identifying any related, and possibly more relevant, keywords which are growing in popularity based on your core search term.
Sometimes, GT will replace the % search volume with the word “Breakout”. This means the popularity of the keyword has increased by over 5,000%.
Being up to date with these trends is incredibly valuable because these are the ones which haven’t become competitive yet – meaning you stand a pretty strong chance of landing the number one spot on Google’s search page before the keyword becomes mainstream (and known to others). A word of caution though, you need to be careful when creating content and building your strategy around ‘breakout’ keywords because sometimes they can prove to be a passing fad, therefore not a trend, and their popularity (and yours) could fade quickly.
Want to search for related search terms? No problem. These can be viewed within a table to the left of ‘Related queries’ and will give you insight into the broader topics users are searching for. These recommendations can help you find new and trending ideas for future content.
This is a biggie! GT gives you the power to benchmark your SEO performance against that of your competitors, allowing you to compare up to five search terms, or five competitors.
This is a solid gold method of staying one step ahead of your nearest rivals. If, for any reason, you find that certain competitors are growing at a faster rate than you are, this should be a green light to begin taking more notice of their marketing channels, therefore giving you a better understanding of how you can improve.
Google Trends Tips
Local SEO is critical for smaller, locally based businesses and GT will assist you in sourcing and targeting local audiences. There is a handy sort feature for topics and niches in your region and the tool can provide helpful insights into markets within other locations.Why is this helpful to local businesses? Well because consumer preferences can vary, area to area, and with the GT knowledge and data available, you can assess the potential for expansion into new markets, whilst having a handle on what customers within that new location might be interested in.
Marketing strategies based on seasonal trends
Assessing search data in graphical format enables you to easily spot highs, lows, changing trends and make a set of assumptions which can underpin your marketing strategy. Capitalising on seasonal popularity is an obvious example of this and offers an added opportunity to leverage and attract more customers, during a period which is typically the busiest for Ecommerce sites. If you are in the business of Ecommerce, you will know only too well how crucial it is to have a full grip on the seasonal trends within your target market. Guess what, Google Trends can offer support with this, too.
Understanding trending patterns
You can also use Google Trends to identify patterns in search volumes.There might be particular terms which spike in search volume at a particular time of the year, or even during certain times of the month or week. Knowing when these spikes in traffic occur is pretty key because this makes the difference in terms of the visibility of your website content, and will maximises your potential to reach a larger audience. You can additionally schedule content so that it is published before and during peak times, to increase exposure.
Google Trends and the data it provides is becoming more and more strategically valuable in your SEO efforts, particularly as awareness of this incredibly useful tool is more widely recognised. If you are ready to go above and beyond with boosting your basic search ratings, the unique insights on offer from this free and handy tool could really make the difference in getting your business noticed locally and beyond.
Psst….the SEO geeks at The Digital Studios would also love to offer help and support with all of the above and can walk you through Google Trends and beyond, if a better understanding of how this all works is needed. You can contact us here for assistance and more information.