You may have heard, and probably used Google Trends before. It’s a powerful tool for journalists and trend-finders out there to track and know what people are actually talking about. However, Google Trends is more than that. It’s value to companies extend to a multitude of ways as it provides data that could help in marketing, creation, and analysis of content. And most content creators are just at the tip of the iceberg at what this tool really do.
I was one of these content creators a year ago. To be honest, I only used Google Trends to see what’s trending in my area or my niche but as I used it in my full-time job, I realized what it can really do.
Here are a few things I learned after a year of use:
At first glance, you can observe that Google Trends is centered around the most popular stories, as it aggregates search data, and popularity based on Google Search, YouTube, and Google News. Trends then ranks them by search popularity.
The image above is an extended view of the Google Trends homepage. It is set in the default configuration meaning the location, and niche are set to Worldwide and All Categories. From here, you can get a basic understanding at how Google Trends work. The search queries are ranked by popularity and are displayed on the topmost part of the section. Below it is a stream of the most popular/best-ranked articles including their sources. You can also see how the trend performs over the past 24 hours and the best image along with its source.
This will give you a basic understanding of what is trending, and what websites have written stories about it. This is useful as you would be able to verify the topics and understand their context at first glance.
The use of images can be pretty helpful here too as you have a visual idea of what is happening.
But I think the best part of this page is the trend performance. It’s set to the past 24 hours. So what does this mean?
This means that looking at the data, you will quickly understand how your trends work. If a story is still peaking, you would see its progression and at least predict if it is still something you should write. If the topic is at its rise, then it’s probably a good idea to write about it. However, if it displays otherwise, then it’s a good idea to take a different route.
Detailed Analysis of Trends
Of course, clicking on the topic would give you more details.
The image above is a detailed analysis of the top trend. From here you could see an extended view of the relevant articles. You could use these to pattern your articles and maybe provide more information for a richer reading experience.
Next, you could see interest over time. Now this will expand at a much larger time profile so you can see how much the traffic will drop or increase over time. Just by looking at the graph will tell you which stories are worth pursuing or pivoting.
You can also see how many articles are written about it. Having this data on hand will tell you how many other outlets are you competing with, which might give you some information at the popularity and demand of a certain keyword over time.
Trends by Location and Related Searches
In the next section of the detailed page, you can see the interest by subregion. Here you can see where the topic is more popular. Seeing this will help you target your content even better as you can localize it if needed.
You can also see other trending queries and their value. This will help you in adding more keywords into your content queue as you can identify what other topics readers consume.
Google Trends can help you :
- find the most popular stories
- understand how the progress over time
- see where are they trending
- find out what people search along with the topic
Better Keyword Analysis
Now that we understand how to use Google Trends to look out what is happening around you, it’s time to learn how to fine-tune your Trend Search and effectively create content that will be absorbed by your audience.
First, we start by defining (a) keyword/s.
Let’s say that your niche is content marketing, and you want to learn how your keyword works (I used a pretty generic keyword as an example). So you plug your keyword in from the Google Trends homepage and you will be greeted by this result.
From here you can see that you can see:
- The keyword you searched for
- Parameters for:
- Location – specifies what geolocation Trends will fetch data. This is extremly helpful for localizing content as you could see if your keyword performs well in the location you are operating.
- Time Span – if you want a wider perspective how your keyword progressed over time, you can choose to extend the time span, or make it smaller. From here, you can understand how much your content fluctuates, peaks or dies as time goes by.
- Category – this is underrated in my opinion as it helps you fine-tune your keywords to the niche who actually search for related keywords you feed. So for example, if you know your audience are tech-related people, you can filter the search for trends that are actually used by your audience and not by everyone else.
- Search Source – you can use this for the channel you want to reach your audience with. This includes Image, basic search, YouTube, Google News, and Google Shopping
- Interest over time
Scrolling down will lead you to the section above. Here you can see the your topic’s Interest by Region. From here you can see where your content will most likely be popular. Understanding this will help you localize your content so it can be understood by your best readers.
Next, you can see two columns. Related topics and Related queries.
Related topics are trends that aren’t really related to your topic but people who are reading your content will probably interested in these topics too.
Related queries are searches readers use to specify what they are looking for. Which appears to them like this:
These related queries and topics can be further arranged by:
Rising – which displays result that are slowly becoming popular.
Top – which displays the most popular queries and topics of the specified time.
Lastly, you can compare multiple keywords as displayed below:
This displays the comparison of the popularity of each keyword over time. In here you can see what keywords are more popular than others.
Doing this also displays the same data like related queries and topics of each keyword respectively.
Monitor Your Website Performance(ish)
Using the trends of today, you can predict your site’s performance tomorrow.
The image above shows you the search interest for used cars in the state of New York over the past 12 months. So what can we learn from this data?
We can learn that the search interest for used cars in New York is pretty steady with the exception of the period between March and May where the traffic pretty much declines. This is also the same for September to November. From here we can predict that if we use the keyword Used Cars in New York as our main keyword (or as the niche of our business), we can expect the same traffic trend from the specified location. Of course, this is still subject to change but it’s pretty constant. And if you are still unsure, you can extend the time period to the past two years.
Looking at this at first glance will tell you the same trend. So in conclusion, your traffic will dip and peak at almost the same time every year.
Google Trends is powerful. Not only that it can be used to identify what people are talking about, it can also help you with producing keywords and content that your user actually search for. You can also predict the trend of your traffic for you to make sound decisions in your content creation, marketing and your business goals.
But this is not the final form of Google Trends. Again, we’re just scratching the tip of the iceberg. Who knows what we can find if we continue to delve on it.
How about you? How do you use Google Trends for your content creation process?