Google Trends: An Invaluable Tool for Keyword Research

As a marketer I am constantly trying to understand my clients’ consumers – what they are searching for and how to target them effectively. I’ve discovered that Google Trends is an invaluable tool for understanding my clients’ customers. Its features include the ability to compare up to five key terms; and view interest over time, regional interest, and other related searches. Today I will go over the three most useful graphs, “Interest Over Time,” “Regional Interest,” and “Related Searches” which help to understand the search landscape.

Interest Over Time

For this example I used the search term “cashmere sweaters.” The graph above shows you the interest over time for 2013. As expected the influx in people searching for “cashmere sweaters” starts in October, peaks in December, and begins to drop after the holidays. Arbitrarily speaking most advertisers begin putting budget toward cashmere sweaters in October, but with this data you now know you can begin optimizing as early as September to get those early converters. Interest over time can help you understand seasonal trends for key terms, giving you a better understanding of when to ramp up or pull back on specific campaigns.

Regional Interest

We also have the ability to see at a regional or city level where the most search interest is for the key term “cashmere sweaters.” This can help you understand where you should focus your marketing efforts or where you should create geo-modified campaigns and keywords.

Related Searches

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, Google Trends will show you top related searches, and queries with a rising interest. This is a great place to get new ideas on key terms that could drive traffic to your site. It can also give you, alternative suggestions if your original key term shows a decline in interest over time. The rising section gives you search terms with a percentage beside them that tells you how much they have grown. Also look out for terms with “breakout” next to them because that indicates a growth of over 5000%, which is a good indicator that you should be bidding on them.

Whether you are trying to get a better understanding of your current marketing efforts or trying to come up with new strategies Google Trends is a great free tool to help you get started. It gives you real insight on how business-related keywords perform and based on this data you can plan and execute effective paid campaigns.

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