Smart search engine optimization (SEO) is the anchor of any working internet marketing campaign, grounding your online presence in tactics that will get your content noticed. In the ongoing struggle to win the attention of search engine users, Google Trends has an important role to play. Google Trends is a search tool that, basically, allows you to find out how many times a certain word or phrase has been searched for in a certain period, compared to the total number of searches being done on Google during that same time. You can search for up to five different terms at the same time, and you can view the results according to the language the queries were written in and the countries, regions, and cities where they came from. As a bonus, Google Trends can be used by anybody, free of charge.

Google Trends was launched more than a decade ago, but that doesn’t mean that its possibilities have been exhausted. To the contrary, many companies have failed to take advantage of the potential the tool offers. With a little ingenuity, you can use Google Trends to help you sharpen your SEO approach and make your content more valuable. Here are some tips for using Google Trends:

Start with your biggest keywords.

If you’re just getting started with Google Trends, it might be tempting to go right for the keywords and key phrases that are most specific to your region and your business. It’s smart, however, to start out with the broadest and most popular topics. Check out how these topics are doing not just in your area, but in the rest of the world as well. Don’t forget to specify a time—you’ll want to see what time of day your chosen term gets the most queries.

Keep context in mind.

When you’re using Google Trends, it’s important to remember that you can choose your own time frames to search within. That means that you can easily compare trends across very long periods of time. Don’t ignore that opportunity—take advantage of it. If you notice that a particular topic appears to be following a certain trend in popularity across a single year, try tracking it across an entire decade and see what you can come up with.

Use all of your options.

Google Trends is a much more useful tool than many of its users ever get the chance to discover. In addition to doing a Web Search for your chosen terms, you can also do an Image Search, a News Search, a Google Shopping search, and a YouTube Search. You can use these options to conduct much deeper research into your keywords and key phrases, allowing you to get a better picture of your target audience and craft your content accordingly.

Don’t forget about location.

You shouldn’t confine your research to keywords and key phrases; it’s also important to think about where these search queries are coming from. Google Trends allows you to search by location, even providing you with a convenient map so you can more easily visualize where your audience is. Even better, you can focus in on particular regions of a country, state, and even city to get the most precise view of your target audience possible.

Check out Top Charts.

It’s crucial that you set aside some time to explore all the various features you’ll find on Google Trends. One of the most useful is Top Charts, which you can find by clicking on the upper left-hand corner of the Google Trends page. This page tells you what today’s hottest topics are in a wide array of categories, including TV shows, car brands, “how to” stories, recipes, and even selfies. If you want to know which memes are currently sweeping the internet, this is where you’ll find that information. This is a great resource for doing research for your social media accounts, and you can even use it to generate ideas for your blog.

Think about future trends.

On the face of it, Google Trends can only tell you about past and current trends. You can use that data, however, to try to figure out where the tide is headed in the future. Compare the relative popularity of different terms for specific time periods, and note how their popularity rises and declines over time. Don’t forget to look to see where these changes are happening. With a little patience and creativity, you may be able to figure out what this year’s most likely trends are going to be.

If you want to make sure that you stay on top of your online marketing strategy this year, it’s time to get in touch with Pennington Creative. From blog posts to infographics, our team has the skills, experience, and dedication necessary to help you build a smart, current, and successful online presence. You can reach us today by sending us a message through our website.

About the Author

Justyn - Digital Marketing Manager, Special Projects
Justyn Dillingham

Digital Marketing Manager, Special Projects