Knowing what to post on your website and which keywords to target can be challenging. If you’ve ever wished you could see exactly what real people are searching for, Google has actually already granted that wish. It’s called Google Trends, and it aggregates all search queries made by users around the world. This has a ton of potential for your marketing and SEO efforts. Read on to learn how to leverage this powerful tool for your business.

What is Google Trends?

The tool is located at trends.google.com. To get started, all you have to do is enter a keyword. Google Trends will then show you two key metrics:

Interest Over Time: See how searches for that term have changed over time. The line graph ranges from 0 (meaning not enough data for that time period) to 100 (meaning the maximum number of searches that term has experienced.) You can select from the past week, month, quarter, or year, all-time, or set a custom range. You can also view Interest Over Time only for specific geographic regions or search types (web, images, news, shopping, or YouTube.)

Interest By Subregion: See which parts of the world or of a given country had the greatest interest in the search term. As with Interest Over Time, you can drill down by timeframe and type of search.

Google Trends will also show you related topics and queries, which you can break out to see their respective Interest metrics.

Plus, you can add another search term to compare. As we’ll discuss, this is an excellent tool for comparing different market segments’ interests and behaviors.

Optimize Your SEO Strategy with Google Trends

Want to attract more organic traffic to your website? Google Trends provides valuable insights into what people are actually searching for, so you can make informed decisions about which keywords and topics to prioritize in your on-page SEO strategy.

1. Keyword Research

One of the top reasons brands don’t rank for their target keywords is because they’re relying on high-competition words and phrases. That’s why keyword research is crucial to SEO success. Google Trends’ Related Queries feature is ideal for this. While you can glean some ideas from basic Google search results pages, your Google Trends results will show you which related search phrases are trending in certain geographic areas. For national or international brands, that’s a game-changer.

Plus, you can compare related queries depending on the search type. It stands to reason that users with high purchase intent may enter different keywords or use a Google Shopping search, compared to someone who’s merely browsing. Google Trends allows you to drill down into the best keywords for each type of search.

2. Topic Generation

Struggling to think of content that will rank highly in Google search results? Once again, Google Trends can help. The Related Topics section goes beyond related keywords, unlike many topic generation tools. You can glean complementary ideas that interest people who searched for your main term. For example, someone who searches for “eye cream” may also search for “eye shadow.” That’s easily guessed. However, Google Trends reveals that they’re also increasingly likely to search for “hyaluronic acid.” Now, you have a new blog idea!

Boost Your Marketing with Google Trends

While Google Trends can certainly shed some light on keywords you can target, it’s not just an SEO tool. Google Trends is ultimately about, well, trends. If you’re expanding your product line or targeting a new market segment, Google Trends will allow you to catch a glimpse of their preferred keywords and topics.

3. Develop Your Seasonal Campaigns

Knowing when to market your products is critical. When are they most likely to search for your target keywords and related topics? You probably know that certain topics are more popular in warm weather vs. cool weather, for example. Otherwise, though, you’ll need to research when your target keywords peak. This can give you insights into your seasonal campaigns.

For example, the search term “home gym” generally peaks the first week of January, when people are setting their New Year’s Resolutions. That’s a great time for your online fitness store to push your at-home weighting set or treadmill. Sometimes, the trends may not have an apparent cause, but you can still tap into them. If you see a lot of interest in the topic “dermaplaning” around March and April, go ahead and plan a campaign for that time. You can tie it into other events (e.g. “freshen up your face for spring”).

4. Expand and Refine Your Niche

In addition to when you should focus on marketing certain products, you must also account for geographic variations. Is there a significant difference between your customers in Canada vs. the U.S., for instance? Which search terms do they tend to use? Where and when are they most interested in your products? For example, searches for “swimsuit” peak in the U.S. in May–June, but in Canada, they peak in February.

Also, pay attention to emerging topics and keywords, as they may signify a new market opportunity — or simply a better way to refer to your product. For example, Google Trends shows that “bikini” is a much more popular search term than “swimsuit” in both the U.S. and Canada. However, the difference is more pronounced in Canada, so the keyword “swimsuit” may not resonate with your Canadian audience much at all.

5. Tap into Trending Topics

Depending on your product and brand identity, you may benefit from releasing content that relates to popular searches. Google Trends is the place to go to find these details. Let’s say you run an online fitness store. You hop on Google Trends and see some buzz about a celebrity pushing a controversial weight-loss plan. This could be an opportunity for you to

publish a blog or Q&A on the topic, which may attract new users to your website.

Wrapping Up

Google Trends is simply a wealth of data that can be used to form your overall digital marketing strategy. It may take some digging as you compare different search terms and topics among their geographic and time-range variations. However, as this tool is 100% free and allows you to gain insights into actual user behavior, it’s well worth your time. There’s no longer a need to guess which topics are most appealing to your target audience or which search keywords are more popular. It’s all right there in Google Trends!