In several past articles, we hinted at the fact that you can use Google Trends for keyword research. In response to some queries from our readers, we decided to prepare a standalone article on this topic. As you know, our aim is to offer you useful information and tools that will help you manage your SEO and Google ranking without hiring a big and expensive agency.
What Is Google Trends?
First of all, let’s tackle the basics. Google Trends is a free service offered by the Alphabet company that collects and centralises data about keywords used by people in Google Search.
The difference between this service and Google Keyword Planner Tool is that you have a lot of filters available to discover popular keywords by:
- Period of time.
The lists are accompanied by graphs that help users understand the variations in popularity and identify growing trends ahead of time.
Why Use Google Trends for Keyword Research?
As its name says, Google Trends is showing you what actual internet users are typing in Google Search when looking for specific items or topics. These are not keywords ranked by how many other businesses use them and how much they pay to rank for them.
They are raw, real time data from the billions of inputs Google gets from users from across the world. And, as you will see as you keep reading, using Google Trends for keyword research is one of the smartest decisions you may make for SEO, digital marketing and the content strategy of your business.
Ways to Use Google Trends in Your Keyword Planning Efforts
Without other further introductions, here are some effective ways in which Google Trends helps with your keyword strategy:
1. Identify Upcoming Trends
As you set Google Trends to monitor a specific topic in your local area, you can note growing trends from day to day. This allows you to start promoting your content containing those keywords before everyone else jumps the bandwagon.
As you know, consumers are interested in getting the news while they’re hot. The same happens with topics of interest, for example the recent NASA Perseverance Mars Rover. The first publishers who wrote on the topic got lots of traffic on their website. Days later, people were interested in further developments, not the initial landing news topic.
2. Find Seasonal Terms and Use Them on Time
Some search terms become very popular for a few days or weeks every year. Halloween party dress, Christmas gifts for mom, Easter egg hunt chocolates are examples of such terms. Unless you work in B2B or a highly specialised niche, your field of activity has seasonal sales.
Thus, finding out what people search for during these special events will help you plan your content and marketing strategy in a way that will maximise your potential sales. That’s a clever way of using Google Trends for keyword research, isn’t it?
3. Stay Away from Short Lived Trends
Some years ago, everyone and their brother was looking for fidget spinners. These simple toys became hugely popular overnight. And soon, consumers lost interest in them. Now, if you were to look at the total search volume for “fidget spinners” it’s huge. But try getting a chart for the rise and fall in search popularity. You will see a flat line, followed by a sharp peak and followed by a massive decrease and another flat line.
This tells you that you’ve missed the fidget spinner train and it is never coming back on schedule. Thus, starting a series of content pieces around this topic will not bring you website visitors and potential clients.
4. Plan Your Content Calendar Ahead of Time
You can use Google Trends for keyword research not just for seasonal sales, but for your annual content calendar. Go through each month and note the topics of interest that peak from year to year.
These are things people are most likely to want to read about every year. For example, “how to winterise your house” will stay a popular topic in late autumn from year to year. Likewise, “spring cleaning tips” is a popular topic for the first month of spring.
5. Plan Your Keyword Strategy with Google Trends Predictions
One of the latest tools available in Google Trends is the forecasting tool for keywords. Using complex algorithms, this tool predicts (quite accurately) which keywords are likely to become popular in your niche soon.