What Is Google Trends?
Google Trends is an incredible tool that helps marketers identify trending topics across varying industries. While initially created for journalists, the world of journalism and marketing have a lot in common.
Both the journalist and the marketer are vying for attention. Whatever it is they’re trying to do, they want to get the attention of as many people as possible using information that is relevant and interesting to the audience.
In comes Google Trends. This resource will show you what topics are currently trending and how you can use that information to draw the attention of your chosen audience.
Google Trends isn’t your average SEO tool. For those of us in eCommerce and dropshipping, it’s pretty handy at letting you know the seasonal trends of certain products – or your niche. You can even use it to edge out competitors by monitoring their positions. In this article, we’ll share how to monitor everything from YouTube stats to the Google Trends compare feature. But most importantly, we’ll share how to use Google Trends to maximize your business. So, let’s get down to it.
How to Use Google Trends: 10 Features for Entrepreneurs
1. Using Google Trends to Find Niches
Google Trends is a great tool to find a skyrocketing niche. Whenever looking for a new niche, you’ll want to make sure you change your range from “Past 12 months” to “2004-present.” Doing this helps you see clearly whether the search volume is increasing or declining. But it also allows you to see seasonal trends in one clear-cut shot.
Here’s an example of a skyrocketing product in Google Trends: posture corrector.
You can see quite clearly that over the past several months there’s been skyrocketing growth. In January we saw a sudden peak with a slight dip in February. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still capitalize on sales. So this trending product would need to be monitored for a while longer.
Here’s an example of a stable niche in Google Trends: men’s fashion.
You can clearly see in the graph that there are slight dips. However, for the most part, the search volume for this niche is pretty stable. Over the span of several years, you’ll see some slight dips or increases, which is normal. But for the most part, Google Trends shows that men’s fashion is a pretty stable niche. You might be wondering what the dips and increases mean. Those show you the seasonal trends of the searches. October through December sees an increase in searches with a decline starting in January. That doesn’t mean you don’t want to start a men’s fashion store in January, it just means you might see a lower amount of website traffic at that time of year.
Wondering what a fad looks like on Google Trends? Well, you might want to check out this data on fidget spinners.
There were virtually zero searches for “fidget spinners” until February 2017. Three months later in May, the product hit its peak. It’s pretty clear that there was a drastic and sharp increase in attention in those first few months. However, the sharp decline following the peak shows that this is no longer a good business idea to consider starting.
2. Find Relevant Product Categories in Related Topics
Say you’ve created a niche store focusing on fake eyelashes. After owning your niche, you might be interested in expanding into other verticals. So instead of only selling fake eyelashes in your store, you want to sell other product categories that people may also be interested in.
After typing “fake eyelashes” into Google Trends, scroll down to the bottom where you’ll find “Related topics.”
What’s interesting is that two of the examples, “Nail” and “Eye shadow,” are a bit unrelated to fake eyelashes but could make sense as product categories on your store. A person who searches for or wears fake eyelashes is likely also interested in nail products or eye shadow. So if you’re looking to expand the product collections in your store, checking out the related topics might be helpful. As for the adhesive, that product could also be sold in your store, as most fake eyelashes require eyelash glue.
Keep in mind that as you scroll through some of the related topics, you might find some don’t make sense for your business. For example, Kim Kardashian is listed as a Google Trends-related topic for fake eyelashes. But hey, you could always write a blog post about Kim Kardashian’s eyelashes.
3. Using Google Trends for Keyword Research
Now say you’re selling women’s blouses in your store. Google Trends shows that searches for this are trending upward, which is a good sign. But now you want to figure out which keywords to go after, how to name your product categories, and how to optimize a blog post on the topic of women’s blouses. A little trick you can do is take a quick look at “Related queries,” which is on the right side of the “Related Topics” section we just talked about.
Throughout the 25 queries, you can consistently see a callout to color. In the graphic above you see two listings for the color black. On other pages, you’ll find white, blue, pink, and green. For these examples, you might choose to create a product category based on color such as “black blouses.” However, you can also include those keywords in your product page and in the name of the product. “Women’s shirts” or “blouses for women” could also be listed as a product category since they have search volume and make sense for this clothing type.
4. Promote Your Store Around Seasonal Trends
Seasonal trends play an important role in the success of your business. Throughout the year there’ll be peaks and dips that will impact your monthly sales. During peak season, competition and sales will increase in full force. During the dips, you might start selling seasonal products. Let’s break this down with a “summer” product: padded bikinis.
What’s interesting is that the data shows us that padded bikinis aren’t just for summer but for winter, too. The first peak of the year starts in January and it continues to climb until June. Then there’s a drastic dip in November. Now, say it’s November and you decide to start a swimwear store, you might be feeling pretty discouraged about that dip. But that’s actually a great time to get started. It gives you a couple of months to build your swimwear business so that when January rolls around you’re ready to go!
Now you might be wondering what to sell during the off-season. Think of products that naturally complement the products in your store but would be a good match for the off-season. Since swimwear is often sold by lingerie brands, selling pajamas might be an area to focus on during the winter months. Let’s take a look:
Between September to December, pajamas hit their peak, making it the ideal product to sell during the bikini off-season by filling in the seasonal gaps.
5. Using Google Trends for Content Freshness
Content marketing is helping top online retailers own more traffic to increase brand awareness and to get more customers than ever before. So creating blog content for your website can help grow your business. One way to drive sudden spikes in search traffic is to do “content freshness.” What’s that? It’s when you remove outdated content, add fresh new details, and republish the content on your blog.
How does Google Trends fit into this? Let’s examine seasonality again but for a different purpose. Say you own a cycling store, you might have an article on your blog for the keyword “how to fix a bike.” Throw in those keywords into Google Trends and it’ll look like this:
What this shows is that the peak season for this search tends to happen in June and July each year. Now, of course, you need to do content freshness whenever you start to lose your position in Google. That’s a given. But if you want to step up your game, you can also coordinate your content freshness around the search term’s peak season. So if you’re that cycling store owner, you might update your “how to fix a bike post” at the end of May. And by doing that, you’ll skyrocket to the top of search results for that keyword. Do this strategy on your top-performing SEO articles, and you’ll grow your website traffic in no time.
6. Create Content About Current Trends
On the homepage of Google Trends, you’ll find a section for trending searches. Trending searches are the hottest topics of the moment. You can browse daily trending searches, real-time search trends, and search by country.
While most of the trending searches are regarding celebrity news, you will find some buzz-worthy stories that tie into certain niches. For example, on February 27, 2019, the most searched daily trend was regarding the “Momo Challenge,” which amassed over 5 million searches. You can see keywords such as “kids” and “parents” in the “Related News” section. If you own an online store that targets parents of young children, you could’ve written a newsworthy article on the topic on your blog.
Right now, the second most popular daily trend in the UK is about Tesla. If you own an automotive accessories store (and target customers in the United Kingdom), you might choose to cover car news about top automotive manufacturers. Why? Because people who are interested in automotive news might be interested in buying your automotive accessories. And by bringing relevant audiences back to your website, you increase the effectiveness of retargeting ads.
By occasionally covering newsworthy stories on your store’s blog, you can drive high volumes of traffic back to your website. You can also jump on trending hashtags on Twitter to share your newsworthy article to get more Twitter followers and social media engagement.
7. Find Niche Topics by Region
One of the most interesting elements of Google Trends is how you can find niche topics by region. When it comes to advertising, we often target an audience based on their country. There are 325 million people in the United States alone. Surely the audience in New York isn’t the same as the audience in Louisiana. So let’s break down what these two states think about gold earrings.
In Louisiana, interest in gold earrings isn’t very high. In November 2004, there was a sharp increase in search volume, but that level of interest has yet to return.
Now, let’s take a look at New York’s search interest on Google Trends.
Right now, the search volume for “gold earrings” is on the rise in New York. So what does this mean? Well, if you create an ad for a pair of gold earrings that you’re selling, you’re better off targeting individual states like New York. Since there’s growing interest there, you’ll be able to capitalize on some sales whether you promote it on Facebook or via Google Adwords. You can cross-reference all the states to determine which states have been seeing the trend rise. That way, you increase your chances of landing sales without wasting money by targeting places where interest is lagging.
8. Monitor Competitors’ Positions with Google Trends Compare
On Google Trends, you can even monitor your competitors and see how well they’re performing against your brand. With the Captain Marvel movie out, let’s do a Marvel Comics vs. DC Comics comparison to see how the brands have been performing over the years.
What’s interesting here is that in 2004, the two brands were performing at about the same level, with Marvel having a slight advantage. However, after 2013, we see the clear rise of Marvel coming out on top.
With this feature, you can compare up to five search terms or competitors. As your brand gains a bigger search audience, you can use Google Trends compare to ensure that you’re always a step ahead of competitors. And if you find that certain competitors are growing a faster rate than you, you know to start analyzing their marketing channels to understand how you can improve.
9. Google Trends YouTube
While Google Trends is typically used to improve your website’s performance, you can also use it to improve your reach in social media as well – in particular, YouTube. After heading to YouTube and looking for “fashion” videos, we noticed that the top videos used the keyword “fashion trends 2019.” So, let’s plug that into Google Trends and see what we get.
In January, this search term skyrocketed in interest. Of course, the year added to the keyword will make it a popular search term at the beginning of the year. However, after going back to YouTube and looking up “fashion trends 2019” in the search bar, we noticed something interesting. Let’s take a look:
Each of the top videos was published in 2019. Why’s this interesting? Because oftentimes, vloggers (and bloggers, too) create content prior to the new year so they can get a head start on traffic. But we find in the top results is that 2019 content ranks quite well when it’s published in 2019.
So, if you plan to create a video centered around fashion trends in 2019, your best bet is to publish the video sometime in January to capitalize on the data you’d find in Google Trends.
But let’s rewind a second. Since we won’t know what the data is for the rest of 2019, let’s take a look at the data for “fashion trends 2018” so we can know what to expect over the next year.
So, we see that at the end of 2017, Youtube users start browsing the keyword “fashion trends 2018.” And then we see that January spike that we saw in our 2019 image. But what’s interesting is that there are more spikes in March and September – right before summer, and right before winter.
How can you capitalize on traffic during those periods? Well, if you have an email list, you might decide to send an email during March and September to boost your video’s popularity again. Google will see that you’re promoting your older video content and will likely reward you with a higher position for your video so you can get even more views to it. You can also use this strategy if you find that the views on popular evergreen videos are declining too.
10. Google Trends Google Shopping
You can also use Google Trends to help you determine the best time to create Google Shopping ads. Say you’re a fashion retailer trying to promote a brand new white dress in your store. By taking a look at Google Trends’ Google Shopping feature you can determine the best months for your ads. Let’s take a look at the data below:
Between February and June, there are high volumes of searches for white dresses in Google Shopping. Despite a small dip in August, the next two months, September and October, see a rise in Google Shopping searches. So, if you’re a retailer, you might start selling and promoting your white dresses between February and June and September and October.
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