One of the most underestimated tools from Google toolbox are Google Trends. The main purpose of Google Trends is to show how often given queries were searched for over time in different languages and across various regions of world, but it shows it’s true potential when combined with Google Keyword Tool.
How to use Google Trends?
Usage is simple – you put queries you want to check into search box (comma separated), press Explore button and that’s it – you get graph showing interest over time for each of your keywords. Please notice that Google Trends gives you relative(!) results meaning the peak of the biggest search volume is 100% and everything else is relative to it.
Once we have the results we can add or remove keywords on the left, set filters for our search (Limit toWeb/Image/News/Product, Worldwide or per country, based on dates or select categories), check Regional Interest per query (as a map or list) and find Related terms (top and rising).
If you are interested what is on top now, you can use Hot searches page to find out most popular keywords per country.
Finding cyclical patterns – let’s enter Golf Equipment query into Google Trends and watch the pattern – as you can see biggest search volumes were on June and July – I suspect there are some golf championships going on then (sorry, not a big fan of golf myself). This kind of research can give you good clues when is the best time to write articles on some topic.
Compare products and their popularity – if you enter WordPress, Drupal and Joomla as search query you can easily see which one of them is most popular and what you should invest your time and resources in. Please notice main events are marked on the graph – you can check what happened on certain news, which gives some insights into crowd behaviour.
Regional and Local interest – let’s search for Blogging and check the results on the Regional interest map. As you can easily see the biggest search volumes are in North America, India, Australia and UK. Seems like you should write you blog about blogging in english. You can also tailor your ads and services based on this knowledge. If some region shows big interest in your search term, you can go even deeper – into Local Interest map (just by clicking the region on Regional Interest map).
Looking at USA search volumes you can notice that for some reason Utah has the biggest number of blogging related queries (don’t ask me why). Sometimes it can be very useful.
Finding new article topics – if you cannot find out topic for your next post Hot searches option can give you some fantastic tips. Unfortunately it works only for bloggers that write about very popular topics (fashion, music etc), but still worth checking.
Validating your Google Keyword Research – if you think you found the right set of keywords using Google Keyword Tool you want to position your blog with, it is always worth checking their historical popularity in Google Trends. The same goes with main topics of your blog – if you would like to start blogging about Adele, it seems that peak of her fame was on February 2012 and since then number of queries dropped to 25%, so in next two years she can be totally forgotten.
Use trends data to directly boost your traffic – this is idea I need to try one day. You set up a new blog about let’s say famous people and then you start monitoring Google Trends to find out what internet is searched for each day. Most of the time most searched queries are related to actors, musician etc. So you write related articles and try to get into the SERPs. I wrote article about using Google Reader just before Google announced it’s death and for two or three days it was getting tons of traffic, so I think this idea could actually work. If you have implemented it successfully, please let me know!
I hope I encouraged you a bit to give Google Trends a go. I hope you find it a very useful tool.