There are literally billions and billions of searches performed in Google every year. Wouldn’t it be great to harness that information and use it at will? Want to use it to help drive your SEO and content creation efforts? How about to better understand your target audience’s behaviors and interests? Well, there is a way and a great tool to guide you. Google Trends is available, and once you start using it, you’ll find it hard to stop. Therefore, stick around, because in this blog I’ll be telling you about how to use Google Trends for keyword research.
Why Google Trends?
Google explains that, “Google Trends gives you a glimpse into the topics the world is searching for.” The trends begin in the year 2004 and go forward. These trends can be sorted by types of searches (web, image, news, products, or YouTube), geographical areas, time span, and categories, and the tool allows you to compare up to five search terms at a time.
Other useful Google Trends features include Hot Searches and Top Charts. Hot Searches lists the top searches by day — Google says it updates this data in real time. (You can view this data for different countries.) Top Charts are lists of the most popular searches in Google by categories that are updated monthly. (Currently this data is available for the United States only.) Google listens to feedback and takes requests into consideration as to which charts it creates and curates. Here are the current offerings, and their most popular topics: –
Business and Politics: Business People, Colleges and Universities, Energy Companies, Financial Companies, Government Bodies, Politicians, U.S. Governors
Entertainment: Actors, DJs, Kid’s TV, Movies, Musical Artists, People, Reality Shows, Songs, TV Shows, Teen Top Artists
Nature and Science: Animals, Chemical Elements, Dog Breeds, Medications, Scientists, Software Technologies, Space Objects
Shopping: Car Companies, Cars, Fashion Brands, Retail Companies, Sports Cars
Sports: Athletes, Baseball Players, Baseball Teams, Basketball Players, Basketball Teams, Soccer Players, Soccer Teams, Sports Teams (What! No football?)
Travel and Leisure: Authors, Books, Cities, Cocktails, Countries and Regions, Drinks, Food, Games, Quick Service Restaurants, Whiskeys
Using Google Trends to Better Research for Keywords
Keyword research, and its results, drives everything you do online. So, it’s very important to get it right. Once you’ve created your list of keywords using Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, and have refined it in Google AdWords, you can use Google Trends to help confirm your choices — and maybe find a few new ones.
As mentioned, you can compare up to five terms at a time. For example, let’s look at some keywords about weightlifting (below):
Enter and compare the terms “weight lifting,” “strength training,” and “lifting weights” — for our purposes, we’ll choose to look at data from the United States only. “Weight lifting” is the clear winner here.
Below the resulting graph, Google Trends will also list related keywords — this provides suggestions of additional keywords you might want to add to your comparisons. Then click “Rising” — this creates a list of related keywords that are rising in popularity during a given time period and are trending on Google.
On a side note, notice the spike in searches for “weight lifting” (marked with an “L” in the chart). The “news headlines” is checked and produces these letters over the graph. Hover over the letter on top of the spike and you see a headline about China winning a gold medal for weightlifting in the Olympics — the event that caused the temporary rise in searches.
How to Do Keyword Research with Google Trends?
If you’re planning your SEO strategy, keyword research is VERY important. This is where Google Trends comes into play. Google Trends has the ability to: –
Show you trends for your keywords.
Help you finding content ideas.
Show you seasonal spikes and local differences for your keyword at a glance.
Follow these steps to do your keyword research with the help of Google Trends: –
1) How to start?
You don’t need a Google account in order to access Google Trends. As soon as you are on the website, you can enter your keywords. If you want to add multiple keywords or search terms, you can separate them by commas.
2) Refining your query.
When you run a business selling chocolate it may be interesting to know what kind of chocolate is most popular. The graph shows you straight away that Swiss chocolate is more popular than both British and Belgian chocolate. This is a worldwide trend. In order to see if the trend is the same in a certain country, you can specify this in the menu under “Worldwide”. The query can also be refined by selecting time range, category and the type of search.
You can refine your Google Trends search query by category, time range, and type of search.
3) Gathering ideas for your marketing.
If you are targeting the British market and came to Google Trends to find what content you should write in order to improve your rankings for the keyword „swiss chocolate“, you can collect ideas by having a look at related search queries. For example, it could be a great idea to write a recipe for Swiss roll, using Swiss chocolate.
4) Choosing your moments correctly.
If you came to Google Trends to find out which chocolate is most popular in the days before Christmas, you can set your date range to December 2016 and find out that Swiss chocolate is very popular in these days. Interestingly enough you see that demand goes down right after the Holidays and that Belgian and British chocolate are picking up for New Year’s. This data can help you choose the right moment to share your content.