Watching trends keeps you up-to-date with the latest news. You see what has changed, how those changes have been implemented in your industry and beyond, and can estimate what’s working and what’s not. Then you can choose the most efficient things and try them for your own case.
Actually, many of today’s “must-do’s” once emerged as trends. Thus, in the 2000’s water cooler talks slowly morphed into digital conversations using AIM and MSN, and customer service platforms started adding visitor monitoring functionality to their products one by one. In 10 years, running a website with no AI-powered live chat has become bad manners.
Now, the world is slowly moving towards extensive self-help solutions — a good knowledge base is a must for a mature company that values its employees’ and customers’ time. What started as a trend is now becoming an imperative part of a good online store.
But let’s take a look at a powerful SEO tool that will let you know the latest trends in your niche, seasonal stirs, and even give you an idea of what’s in your competitors’ minds.
What is Google Trends?
Google Trends is a feature that shows how popular a given search term is in Google. In other words, how frequently it is entered into the search field compared to the website’s total search volume over a chosen period. Additionally, it provides information about the search volume index and users’ geographical location.
In Google Trends, you can see what searches are currently trending, or check how search volume has varied for your keyword in different locations. It is a savior tool for seasonal businesses as it helps to monitor shifts in customers’ interests.
How to use Google Trends for SEO
1.Find your niche
To start, you need to outline a range of topics you target. You can use your personal sales experience or go on a hunch, listing products you’re overstocked on. Next, there goes some manual work. You should type in a search term, see how it performs, then type in the next one and so on. Gradually, you will narrow down your list of keywords to those having stable and substantial search volume.
Make sure to set your range to “2004-Present” to see how the search volume behaves long-term. Now, you want to pay attention to the graphs that show slow and steady growth — these are stable, profitable niches. Their drawback is that the competition grows at the same rate.
Another option is topics that grow steeply and suddenly. If you act fast, you can make money before there is any competition. On the other hand, no one knows if that trend will survive.
Here is an example of a soaring product in Google Trends: standing desk
As you can see, it peaked in June 2020 and then started to lull, though still remaining popular. If you have anything to do with desks, you might want to monitor this trend for a bit longer and then, if rising, use it to your advantage.
And here is an example of a stable niche: men’s fashion.
There are some dips on the graph that stand for seasonal changes in searches. Yet, for the most part, men’s fashion stays within the customers’ interest for years.
Another graph represents a hot topic: simple dimple. Despite the prediction for the decline, you might consider jumping on that bandwagon with an offer of your own.
Finally, before you pick a niche, perform a basic lead analysis to ensure there will be enough flow throughout the year. Alternatively, you may consider targeting several related niches.
2.Identify relevant keywords
Another valuable feature of Google Trends is related keywords that are currently trending. Using it, you can find more relevant keywords based on your search term. Those related keywords are listed in order of popularity along with their search volume increase percentage.
Sometimes, though, Google Trends replaces % with the word “Breakout”. This means the keyword’s search volume increase exceeded 5,000%.
Many SEO specialists consider breakout words crucial, as they haven’t become competitive yet. So, if you’re quick, you land Google’s first page with these keywords. On the downside, they may as well turn out to be fads and die soon.
3.Get ideas for product categories
Say you run a store that specializes in beach umbrellas, and you’re ready to expand into other niches. As you type “beach umbrella” in Google Trends and look at related searches, you’ll see:
Thus, people who buy beach umbrellas seem to be interested in garden and pool umbrellas. So, they could make sense as new product categories.
At the same time, “bunnings outdoor umbrella” doesn’t make much sense for your business, but you could write a post comparing your product with that of Bunnings.
As you launch your first marketing campaign on the new product category, ensure to have tools to measure the impact of your lead generation effort. Thus, cloud phone systems will help you record the conversion rate, track the number of calls and even calculate the ROI.
4.Avoid fading keywords
Google Trends lets you avoid keywords that are losing popularity. You can set a custom period within which you want to explore a topic. If you see that a term has started gaining fewer searches, it’s probably a good idea to avoid using it, as it won’t bring many visitors to your website.
A good example of a faded trend is the fidget spinner. It had zero searches before 2017, then skyrocketed for a few months only to then collapse in disgrace again, meaning it’s no longer the best business idea.
5.Find topics for blog and video content
Google Trends also has a “Related topics” table, which can serve you as a hint when creating a content plan for your blog or YouTube channel.
This feature is actually a cousin of the late Google Correlate. While it doesn’t look for associations between your searched term and things people are interested in, it still shows you broad topics which Google considers very close to your keyword.
Here are the topics that Google considers closely linked to “Gym equipment”:
Google Trends also works well for video content planning. Type in a keyword and choose “YouTube search” in the dropdown menu below.
And you’ll see whether your keyword is gaining any searches on YouTube.
6.Understand local trends
Below the graph, you can see the Google Trends map, which can give you insights into local SEO and shipping options. By looking at it, you can:
- create customized marketing campaigns for individual regions;
- offer promotions and shipping deals for individual regions;
- plan expansions into new markets.
The map will also tell you where your product or service is most searched for and what people in a chosen area are most interested in.
For instance, if your niche is related to literature, you could notice that through the last month there were twice more requests for Agatha Christie in Vermont and New Hampshire than in the rest of the USA. Then you can tune your marketing campaign and drive traffic from these specific regions.
7.Watch what competitors are doing
Google Trends has a “Compare” option, using which you can understand where you stand in the market.
For example, let’s compare Burger King and KFC.
The graph clearly shows that Americans prefer Burger King, though there was a time when they were very close to changing their preferences.
You can compare up to 5 search terms and see who’s growing faster to then analyze their doings. Along with the basic competitive SEO research, Google Trends can help you understand the underlying reasons for shifts in the industry.
You can also check what customers are looking for in your competitors. For this, look at the Topics box after you’ve entered your competitor’s name in the search line.
8.Enhance your SEO strategy by analyzing Youtube search queries
What’s trending on Google might not be popular on YouTube and vice versa. For example, let’s check Google Trends for the search query “css tutorial”. We’ll see that fewer and fewer people have been searching for it since 2008.
But on YouTube, the trend is actually rising:
We can conclude that people stopped searching for text tutorials and switched to video lessons to learn CSS. So, if you were thinking of creating content about coding, you’d better invest in making it a video.
If used right, Google Trends can be a tremendous help in developing an effective SEO strategy. From picking a niche to planning a content calendar, to creating a highly personalized marketing campaign — you can get valuable insights on all of these using Google Trends.