Google Trends is a great tool for a whole host of things. Aside from the fact it’s completely free, you can use it for generating content ideas, looking at trends across certain topics, choosing products to sell and exploring precisely where the interest comes from across the world or in different regions.
To get a good understanding of Google Trends you don’t have to spend hours learning all its different intricacies, luckily for us, it’s nice and simple to use, but the opportunity for new and interesting ideas is pretty massive.
This blog post will go through some of the main uses for Google Trends and how you can utilise its features to gather some good info for your brand.
If you’d prefer a super-quick overview on Google Trends, we have a handy, two-minute video which talks you through how to get the basics out of the platform.
Getting into Google Trends
As previously mentioned, it’s a free tool which is available to everyone. Just Google it and you’ll find the link, or click here if you’d rather, it’s as easy as that. There’s no sign up required either, you just jump straight in (which we love!).
What can you use Google Trends for exactly?
So, this handy tool has a selection of ways you can use it:
- To get to know and understand your audience
- To explore the trends around products and product keywords
- To identify seasonal trends and compare topics against one another
- To dig into specific countries, regions and cities for targeting purposes
- To keep a handy eye on your brand
Using Google Trends to understand your audience and what they want
What are your audience most interested in based on what you offer? Say you’re a home DIY store and you want to see what your audience are looking for. You can add a selection of up to four keywords to the search bar, perhaps bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms, and Google Trends will show you what the search trends look like over a period of time (which you can play around with). You’ll be able to clearly see from the data what searchers are most interested in. In this case, over the last 12 months, kitchens are the firm favourite, followed by bathrooms then bedrooms. You can do this with a whole host of topics, just think what’s most important to your industry. Once you have this information, you can craft your social posting around the most popular topic, or perhaps inject some new content into the site that supports these findings.
Exploring trends around products and product keywords
You can also use Google Trends to help you decide what products to sell on your site. How might you do this? Well, by looking at the trends for specific products to see if they’re more sought-after now than they were before. You may have a specific new product in mind that you’d like to start selling, but you’re not sure when the best time to launch might be – using Google Trends will help you to decide.
Identifying seasonal trends
Looking to see if there are any obvious seasonal trends may help you decide when to promote certain products too. For example, we’ve looked at the term sunloungers to determine if there are any seasonal peaks and when these occur. From the graph below you can see that over the past five years, popularity for sunloungers peaks in the spring and summer and then dies right down again in the winter. This is something you may expect, but even for more obscure products, this is still a handy way to determine if there are any peaks and troughs in interest.
You can also make great use of the seasonal trends to mark out your content calendar. You’ll be able to make sure you’re talking about the right topics at the right time across your site and social channels.
Tip: Remember that these peaks are based on when people are actively interested in a topic, so don’t leave it too late to get on board with new content creation. Try and get your content ready to go just as the trend starts or even just before, so you’re in the best position to catch as many fish as possible.
Dig a bit deeper for targeting purposes
Once you’ve got a decent topic – you can dip deeper to get even more useful findings out of Google Trends.
You might want to start by looking at the interest by sub region section. Here you can identify which parts of the country are most interested in your topic, and then go even further to explore metro and city data too. By finding out the precise locations where your product or keyword is having the biggest impact, you can target areas on social or create content which is directed at particular places or regions.
Looking at kitchens again as an example, we can see that Northern Ireland and Wales are leading the way from a sub region point of view, so is there anything we can do with this information from a targeting perspective? If we drill down further into the cities, our top three are listed as Bolton, Bristol and Leicester – so perhaps it’s time for a social campaign targeting people in those areas? This can also help with hotspot PR stories too – as you can see where the interest is highest, you can target specific publications within those areas with your press release.
Check out how your brand is doing
If you’re working for, or own a relatively established brand, you can use Google Trends to keep an eye on how things are going. You can see how awareness of the brand has fluctuated over time which, if positive, is great for justifying brand-building activities. As an example, we’ve popped H&M, New Look and Asos into the search bar to see how they compare. This may not be so useful for smaller brands as there might not be enough data to work with, but we think it’s a handy tip to know all the same.
Tip: Adding a couple of competitors into the mix can be good to help you see where you stand as a brand overall.