Google Trends provides invaluable information on how people search for a particular topic.
Similar to Google AutoComplete, Trends is useful because it relies on data from real researchers. Unlike AutoComplete, however, Trends is not personalized or filtered. So the results for trends and autocomplete will be different.
Merchants can use Google Trends to predict seasonal fluctuations in purchases by looking at activity from previous years.
For example, searching for “gifts” in Trends indicates peak interest in the United States leading up to Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. Additionally, trends display as interest rises and falls, allowing sellers to plan seasonal promotions.
Trends allow the global or local comparison of two or more search queries, which helps prioritize keywords.
You can also compare the interest of competing brands. Hubspot, for example, could compare itself to Salesforce, a competitor.
Doing a date search on Google can provide context for competitive swings.
- Google the name of the competitor.
- Click on “Tools”.
- Select the period of peak interest using “Custom Range” behind the “Anytime” drop-down menu.
As for the increased interest in “salesforce” in late 2017 and early 2018, a search by date shows new Salesforce features during that time and the announcement of a partnership with Google.
Knowing how Google interprets each search query will help determine page content for organic rankings. Google Trends is a great help. It identifies what Google considers relevant for each of your targeted queries by displaying:
- Related Topics. Categories and entities that Google considers relevant to the query.
- Related queries. Used by people who are also searching on the target query.
Both can be filtered by “Top” (i.e. most popular) and “Rising” (i.e. highest volume increase).
“Related Topics” and “Related Queries” provide an overview of Google’s understanding of your target topic. The tools can also identify time-sensitive topics to capture increased research interest. Clicking on each topic or query in the listings produces more Google Trends results. Selecting a particular country or state displays related topics and queries in that region.
For example, here are related topics and queries for “e-commerce”.
Improved trending data
Few third-party tools use Google Trends data. Two that do are Glimpse and KeywordTool.io.
Overview is a freemium Chrome extension that adds search volume, keywords and related questions, and the most relevant social media channels (how often the query is used on each platform).
The Glimpse extension turns Google Trends into an actionable marketing dashboard, allowing the quick assessment of a target search query for additional content ideas and social media priorities.
KeywordTool.io displays on a single page all related trends and the research interest of each. KeywordTool.io offers a handy filter to limit the results of a keyword and to find uptrends containing it.
Explore Google Trends. There are many ways to use it for search engine optimization. Google’s Simon Rogers lists some useful examples of using data for storytelling, like contextualizing trends or isolating them by state or city.