Keyword strategies are a tricky business.
There are so many questions to answer to be successful:
- What are people searching for right now?
- What will people be searching for in the future?
- How can I outperform the other pages competing for these keywords?
For a long time, there wasn’t a reliable way to get answers to these questions.
But now, we have Google Trends.
Using Google Trends, you can find people’s past searches, what they’re searching for now, and what they might be searching for tomorrow.
Are you wondering what the heck is Google Trends, and how to use it?
We’ve answered those questions in this article.
We’ll show you just how to use Google Trends to improve your keywords, get more views, and land on top of the SERP.
- What is Google Trends?
- 5 Uses for Google Trends’ Data
- How to Use Google Trends to Perfect Your Keywords and Top the SERP
- How to Use Google Trends for Marketing
What is Google Trends?
Before we launch into the different uses of Google Trends, let’s address what it is and what it does — understanding its purpose will help you get the most out of it.
Google Trends’ primary purpose is to track the amount of interest for a given search term on Google’s search engine.
But what does that mean?
Google collects and stores data about user searches made on their platform and makes that data available to the public in a structured format.
This structured format is the Google Trends dashboard.
For example, we searched “Coffee” on Google Trends to see how much traffic that keyword has received in the last 12 months.
Google Trends provides business owners with insight into Google search trends to help them make informed decisions when choosing their keywords.
It also helps users observe the public’s reaction to the news, influencers, and current events.
In other words, Google Trends shows you precisely how often people are searching for specific search terms.
Of course, how you use that data is up to you.
In this article, we’ll cover the way to use Google Trends’ data to your benefit.
5 Uses for Google Trends’ Data
You might look at Google Trends and think it provides interesting data without grasping how helpful it can be to you.
For example, you might get how you can gain insight from statistics but not realize how Google Trends’ info can benefit your SEO and rank on the SERP.
If you’re not already using Google Trends, you’re missing out on valuable data that can help boost your business!
There are many different ways to utilize the data from Google Trends.
As we sift through the varying uses of Google Trends, we’re going to focus specifically on WHY you’d use Google Trends in that particular way.
After all, obtaining data doesn’t do a thing if you don’t know how to use it.
Not everyone will use Google Trends for all of these purposes, but you’ll probably find several to use regularly.
1. Gather Historical Keyword Data
One of the classic uses of Google Trends is viewing historical keyword data.
Many keyword trackers will show you an average of how many times a keyword is searched per month.
However, Google Trends can show you historical data back to 2004 — you can see specific trends over a span of years to answer questions like:
- Have searches for the keyword increased or decreased over the years?
- What has caused some of the spikes in search activity? What has caused the drops?
- Is the keyword likely to last, or is it more likely to drop out of relevance?
Looking at a historic graph can help you answer these questions.
For example, here is a 5-year graph for the search term “Coffee” (We like coffee, OK?).
Here, we can see that the term has experienced a steady increase in search traffic over the last 5 years.
There have been several peaks and valleys, but the general trend is upward.
Looking at this graph shows us there’s continued interest in coffee-related topics on Google.
While you might not want to target that particular keyword, you now know that there are probably related keywords that’ll continue to see traffic, and you can choose your keywords accordingly.
2. Understand Recent Search Trends
Trends affect people’s search activity on Google.
As a result, these searches will be reflected in Google Trends’ collected data.
For example, I looked up “Olympics” on Google Trends, and it predictably shows a spike in search activity in the years when the games are taking place.
If I’m running a sports-related page, this trend tells me 2 essential things:
- Olympics-related searches go gangbusters when the games are nearby.
- Olympics-related keywords are worthless 75% of the time but highly valuable the other 25% of the time.
That’s some critical data, right there.
It’s evident people search MORE for the Olympics every 4 years.
However, Google Trends fills in our knowledge gaps of this trend by providing us with essential data about the other 3 years.
3. Follow Seasonal Keyword Trends in Your Niche
One of the most crucial decisions for an effective content strategy is WHEN to post WHICH keyword-based content.
Studying seasonal trends can help quickly answer that question.
For example, let’s say you run a fitness company and have articles about biking for health.
A quick search on Google Trends will show you that searches about bicycles are MUCH more popular in the summer.
On the other hand, you discover that searches for ellipticals are more prevalent in the winter months.
This information is invaluable when planning out your yearly content schedule — you can push biking articles in the summer and articles about ellipticals in the winter.
Nearly every industry has a seasonal shift like this, and a few quick searches on Google Trends helps you plan your content to make maximum impact on your business.
4. Discover New Keywords
Google Trends also allows you to discover new keywords by finding similar searches.
All you have to do is perform a search for one of your keywords and then scroll down to see other related searches people are conducting.
Continuing with our coffee example, if we scroll down, we’ll see similar keywords.
Google Trends shows us both “Related topics” and “Related queries.”
Related topics are similar to your search term, but they don’t always include the keyword.
Related queries are search queries that include your search term.
In human speak, “topics” help you expand your keyword strategy into new areas, whereas “queries” help you refine your strategy for a single topic.
Google Trends also shows you how the search volume for each topic and query has changed recently.
For example, “bicycle repair near me” is up 1,050% at the time of writing this article.
Utilizing Google Trends’ keyword features is a great way to expand or refine your keyword strategy.
5. Compare Keywords
Comparing keywords can help refine your keyword strategy by allowing you to compare related keywords to decide on your target words.
To compare 2 or more keywords using Google Trends, enter a new query in the “Add comparison” box at the top of the page.
Bonus — you can compare up to 5 different keywords at a time.
Each new keyword will appear on the graph, allowing you to compare its performance over time.
As you scroll down, you’ll be able to see regional data and related queries for each search term.
Comparing keywords gives you valuable insight to make critical keyword decisions.
Comparisons allow you to:
- Spot seasonal differences between keywords
- Compare the long-term success of multiple keywords to pick popular evergreen topics.
- Identify keywords that’ll perform better in your region.
Taking advantage of all 5 of these uses of Google Trends will help you better understand your viewers’ search habits.
Ultimately, you’ll be able to make a more effective keyword strategy by understanding Google Trends.
How to Use Google Trends to Perfect Your Keywords and Top the SERP
We will focus specifically on using Google Trends to write better content, get more views, and rank up on the SERP.
1. Create Content Around New Keywords
You can use new keywords from Google Trends to create unique content.
Content is the magnet that draws viewers to your website (where they can make purchases).
Creating better content around new keywords will help you inch your way up to the top of the SERP.
When writing your content, remember to:
- Keep seasonal trends in mind.
- Focus on keywords that are trending up instead of down.
- Look at Google Trends tools like regional data and related search queries.
It’s also vital to remember to look through the related keywords — take time to compare multiple keywords until you find the best fit for your content.
Repeat this process for all of your keywords and commit to regularly create and post content according to your Google Trends analysis.
Proper Google Trends analysis will help you roll out the right content at the right time and land higher on the SERP.
2. Track Your Content’s Success Using ProRankTracker
You aren’t going to get everything right on your first round of content, and that’s OK.
But how do you know how well your strategy worked?
That’s where ProRankTracker comes in.
Every time you launch new content based on your Google Trends searches, add the new URL to ProRankTracker using the Add Wizard.
- Type in the URL and the content’s target keywords.
- Add it to groups and tags if you want.
- Click “Next Step.”
- Select where you want to track (desktop, mobile, search engine, etc.)
- Toggle Snack Pack if you are targeting local searches.
- Click “Save.”
After adding your new URLs, you’ll be able to easily keep track of them in ProRankTracker’s URL view, simply navigate to the URL View tab on the left-side toolbar.
In the URL View, you can see how each piece of content is ranking for each target keyword.
Use this tool to keep track of your ranks over time because understanding how each piece of content performs is critical in refining your keywords.
3. Refine Your Keywords
After you’ve completed your first round of content and tracked your ranks for each piece, it’s time to reevaluate.
- What worked?
- What didn’t work?
- Did some content perform well and then peter out (or vice versa)?
Asking yourself these questions helps you gain insight as you refine your keywords.
There are two ways to do your refining:
- Go back to Google Trends.
- Use ProRankTracker.
We recommend using both options simultaneously for the best results.
If you use Google Trends, repeat the same process as before.
Now that you know more about how your content performed, you can make more informed decisions in choosing new keywords.
When using ProRankTracker, navigate to the “Keyword Suggestions” tab on the left-side toolbar.
Once you’re in the Keyword Suggestions menu, find your URL in the dropdown menu, then click “View.”
A list of keyword suggestions will appear.
Finally, take the keywords you get from ProRankTracker to Google Trends to get more info about how they might best be used in your content strategy.
Rinse and repeat.
Repeat those 3 steps to continue climbing your way up the SERP.
Google Trends and ProRankTracker are a dynamic combo to use for perfecting your keyword strategy.
Each time you repeat this process, you’ll find your content getting steadily higher ranks.
However, you should only continue to refine keywords that aren’t ranking highly.
If you have a post performing well and driving traffic to your website, add it to your list of evergreen content and recycle it seasonally — no keyword refining necessary.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Google Trends is a helpful tool, but it’s only half the ranking battle — if you don’t track your ranks, you’ll never get the whole picture, and your ranks will suffer.
How To Use Google Trends for Marketing
We’ve focused a lot in this article on how to use Google Trends for your content strategy, but there are plenty of other uses for the tool as well.
One of the most popular uses for Google Trends is for marketing.
Many marketers use Google Trends tools to understand their niche better, which helps target groups more specifically.
Google Trends allows marketers to know exactly what people in their niche are searching for.
Understanding search trends in your niche helps you:
- Make more targeted ads.
- Keep up with current events and their effect on internet searches.
- Keep up with the most influential people in your niche.
This section will go into a bit more detail on how to use Google Trends for marketing.
Many of the same skills apply here, but you need to know a couple of additional things.
Focus on Seasonal Trends
Marketers know the power of seasonality in marketing.
The holiday season alone can be a massive driving force behind purchases, with around 60% of consumers completing their holiday shopping online.
But the holidays aren’t the only significant seasonal shift in marketing — Google Trends shows seasonal swings in almost every search term.
Even the keyword “Marketing” shows seasonal shifts.
For example, it experiences a sharp downturn every December, followed by a quick recovery in January.
As a marketer, you MUST be paying attention to seasonal swings in your niche so that you know to increase ad spending in weeks leading up to a seasonal upturn, and wind down when interest dwindles.
Understanding seasonal shifts is essential to making the right marketing decisions, and Google Trends can help you fully understand seasonality in your niche.
Follow Influencers’ Popularity
A second significant use for Google Trends in marketing is following influencer and celebrity popularity.
Are there any major influencers in your niche?
You can track interest in them by looking at Google search trends over time.
Businesses typically generate $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, so the influencers you choose to include in your strategy can have a massive impact on your success.
For example, I looked up Neil Patel on Google Trends.
The graph shows sporadic changes, which may influence marketing decisions in the SEO niche.
You can also use the “Compare” feature to compare multiple influencers in your niche.
This informs you of each influencer’s long-term popularity, which should be considered in your choice of influencer.
We compared three influencers in the YouTube gaming niche below.
Comparing their graphs helps marketers make better decisions when utilizing influencer marketing.
Google Trends is a powerful tool at your disposal once you know how to use it correctly.
By following this guide, you can get robust data from Google Trends and perfect your keyword strategy.
Combining Google Trends with a rank tracking tool like ProRankTracker will pave the way on your road to successful online marketing.
The most important thing to remember is to continuously refine your keyword strategy until you’ve staked your claim at the top of the SERP!
The top 3 spots on Google get over 75% of the clicks, so don’t stop until you’re there!
Let us know in the comments how you have used Google Trends to perfect your keyword strategy.