It can be hard to know where to start when you’re trying to come up with a new marketing strategy. How do you know what customers want? How might they react to your fledgeling campaign? Without an extensive budget and access to focus groups, finding out the answer to these questions could be pretty tricky. Until now.
Enter Google Trends – a free tool that is designed to provide small businesses with an accessible and cost-effective way to make informed digital marketing decisions. As one of the worst kept secrets in search engine optimisation (SEO), it’s surprising just how few marketers and business owners are using Google trends to its full potential, especially since it first came out way back in 2006.
Making digital marketing more accessible is one of our ultimate goals at Horizon Digital Agency. With that in mind, this article explains how you can put Google Trends to good use in your business.
What is Google Trends?
In a nutshell, Google Trends is a free tool that shows search trends. To break that down further, the tool shows the popularity of search terms – allowing you to see what’s popular and where. Google Trends even allows you to view the popularity and search volume of keywords at certain times, helping you to pinpoint whether members of the public are searching for certain things at different times of the year.
How to use Google Trends
Google Trends is incredibly easy to use, which is what makes it such an accessible digital marketing tool. All you need to do is visit the trends.google.com website and type the term or topic you want to check out into the search bar. You can then filter results by country, time period, category, and Google ‘property’ (in other words, whether users found the term via Google’s main search engine, via an image or news search, or by using Google Shopping or YouTube). You’ll then be left with data that shows interest in the search term over time and by subregion (in the UK you can see the spread of searches across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland). You’ll also be shown other topics and queries that are related to your search term and that is rising in popularity.
By default, Google Trends will show you the worldwide popularity of a keyword over the past twelve months, but it’s entirely possible to get super specific using the tool. How you should use Google Trends will depend on your business objectives, but the golden rule is always to check you’re making accurate searches. If you wanted to see search data for London, for example, you’ll need to make sure that you select the UK capital and not its Canadian namesake from the dropdown list.
What can Google Trends be used for?
Google Trends is a multipurpose tool that’s good for so much more than just basic keyword research. For one thing, it’s great for businesses that are trying to find a new niche or just to improve on their existing offering. Looking at the data will show you whether the search volume for a certain term is increasing or decreasing, along with whether there are any seasonal spikes in popularity to watch out for.
Beyond this, Google Trends makes it easy to find related product categories – making it much simpler to identify products that can be upsold alongside a customer’s purchase. Related terms can be helpful on two levels, since not only can they inform marketing decisions, but also help businesses to make a case for expanding their product lines into areas that are already popular among customers buying their primary stock.
Without getting too far into the data, another particularly useful feature of Google Trends is its ‘comparison’ functionality. This allows you to plot how certain search terms are performing against one another. The tool is naturally useful when planning a new content marketing strategy, but it also allows you to measure your performance against a competitor. Simply type both business names into the comparison search and you’ll be able to see which entity the public seems to favour – at least in terms of search engine queries.
All things considered, Google Trends is not only helpful when it comes to marketing research, but general market research too.
Google Trends tips
There are a great many ways to put Google Trends to good use, but some of our favourites come in handy time and time again. These include:
- Finding search trends by region – allowing you to see where your products or services are most popular.
- Viewing search trends from Google Shopping – making it easier to create winning Google Shopping ads that target the most popular items.
- Getting date-specific – by reviewing data for specific holidays. It could be that certain gifts enjoy a real boost around Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, or pretty much any other occasion. With Google Trends you can see this data and act on it.
Make more from your business online
All things considered, Google Trends is a great free marketing tool that makes it easy (and cheap!) to get the data you need to inform your marketing decisions. If you know how to use it properly, it could really help you to outshine your competitors by targeting the most popular search terms in your advertising and across other marketing efforts.
The only problem, of course, is that data from Google Trends can only be put to good use if you know how to interpret and act upon it. Marketing can be a real challenge for business owners, and that’s why so many turn to an accomplished yet costly digital marketing firm to help their venture to perform better online.
Fortunately, Horizon Digital Agency offers a happy middle ground. Our aim, as we said, is to make marketing more accessible – which is why we focus so heavily on providing return on investment. Whether you’ve got marketing ideas that you’re struggling to implement or just want help creating a winning strategy from scratch, our expert team could make all the difference to your efforts. To find out more, get in touch with us today.
Remember: even if the channel you’re considering is all the rage right now, it might not fit your brand. Always make informed decisions that directly relate to your company. Otherwise, your message won’t be delivered to its intended audience and you’ll have wasted time, effort and money.