Date: 23 September 2016
How to use Google Trends to optimise your site
If you’ve never heard of
Google Trends and you like your graphs, you’re in for a treat! Google Trends is a tool that allows you to look at the popularity of keywords and keyword phrases that people search for on Google. You can compare different keywords, or compare results per area to find out how popularity has developed over time.
Apart from using it for a bit of fun, you can actually use it to optimise your business website. Find out how you can use Google Trends to better target your potential customers and let it guide you to create popular content for your website!
The main thing you can use Google Trends for, is exactly what it says on the tin: researching trends on Google. By doing a few smart keyword searches, you can find related searches and know exactly what has peaked people’s interest.
For example, if have an online fashion store, you could use the tool to find out which types of clothes people are actually searching for. In the chart below, we can see that this spring, people wanted to buy a bomber jacket. Later this summer, we see interest in rucksacks gaining.
When you scroll further down on a results page in Google Trends, you can see related keyword phrases people have been looking for. When you spot the word ‘breakout’ next to it, that means searches for this trend have increased 5000% or more! So pay close attention!
Another way to use it for market research is to add the names of large competitors to a Google Trends search query. When you own a coffee shop, you might search for ‘Starbucks’ and find that over the past three months, people were searching for ‘cold brew’, ‘nutritional information’ and ‘pumpkin spice latte’. You can use this information to amend your coffee menu to fit the latest trends and introduce new concepts.
As above, you can use the related queries function to find related keywords that you could also be targeting.
Another way to use Google Trends is to search for all the keywords you’re already targeting, and find out if there are any dud keywords. Do you spot any downward trends? If you own a corner shop or supermarket and sell magazines, you’ll get confirmation from Google Trends that magazines have gone down in popularity!
It is important to target your keywords to your location as well. If you’re based in Manchester, you’re not interested in the whole of the UK, you’ll want to know if Mancunians are looking for your services!
You can do this by finding the United Kingdom in the dropdown list of locations. Then click on the little right arrow and narrow it down to Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, or England. Then you can search normally, and you’ll see the interest for your country as well as a division by city.
If you’re thinking of opening another takeaway in Wales, but aren’t quite sure where the largest demand is, you could use it to find out that Pontypridd has the most people looking for takeaways (100%). The other numbers are percentages relative to this 100%.
Create a content calendar
Creating a content calendar might soon like a daunting task, but it's an invaluable tool to be ahead of your competition when it comes to trends. By using Google Trends to find out cyclical patterns for search queries, you can plan ahead and have relevant content live on your website before anyone.
Now it’s no big surprise that when you own a restaurant, you should have something about Christmas bookings on your website a few months before Christmas. However, there are more complicated cyclical patterns that can help you plan content.
As with most big purchases people usually don’t buy in December and wait until January to buy them. You can see this trend clearly in the graph below, where there is a big spike for the search term ‘buy car’ every year in January. It then peters out again, with another smaller spike in July and August. The reason for this could be that dealers give you a good deal, as they are ready to clear out used cars in readiness for new models and registration plate change on the 1
st of September.
Use this information to write about your car sale and post it in June and December. You’ll want to give Google a few weeks to index your new pages and content, to make sure it can be found in time.
Get social media & blog ideas
As you’re probably aware, it can be tough sometimes to find inspirational topics for your blog. One of the goals you might have for a blog article is for it go viral! Google Trends can help you find hot topics to blog about.
Firstly, check the
hot trends section to see if there are any trends that relate to your business which you could write, tweet or post about.
Another way to use Google Trends is to think of a broad topic you could blog about, a service you provide, a product you sell, or a problem your customers might have. Search for this on Google Trends, and set the time range for the past 30 days or past 90 days to make sure your query is focused on the latest trends. Take a look at the related topics and related queries section to find more trendy topics to write about.
For example, if you sell beauty products or if you provide beauty treatments, you might search for the word ‘scrub’.
In related topics, we see that ‘microbeads’ are one of the bigger topics as microbeads in scrub products are bad for the environment. Apparently Himalaya walnut scrub has gained popularity in searches, so it might be an interesting product to review or write about.
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