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How to use Google Trends for SEO

Google trends can help you identify not only what keywords to go with, but when to use them, and how to get better traction for them. Using Google Trends for SEO can help you to get discovered by new audience members.

Google trends is sort of like those big ticket beauty pageants that people all over the world got really excited about about a decade or so ago. Any good-looker can be popular, the pageants seemed to suggest, but what about how the said model fares in comparison to other models – what is the model’s relative popularity? 

Alternatively, you can compare Google trends data to the kind of weather article that tells you not just the highs and lows of the weather today, but also gives you information about how the weather today fares as compared to prior years – you know the kind: ‘This has been New Delhi’s coldest day since 1995’ and the like. 

Google trends – very similarly – gives you data on a given keyword relative to its geography and time range for the search data and in comparison to other searches going on at a particular time. 

Ever had an argument with a mother or grandmother insisting that you can get them perfectly good fresh fruits and vegetables online, while they argue that they want to get the best fruit at the best price and would therefore prefer to visit the market and shop around? They want to have the chance to make comparisons. Similarly, you can compare various keywords before reaching a conclusion on which one to target in your next blog/landing page. Here’s how it looks like:

google trends for seo

Google trends gives you these much needed comparisons so that you can develop content around the right keyword at the right time and for the right audience. 

There are several features of Google trends that contribute to its role as a must-have amidst your SEO marketing artillery. 

First and foremost, it helps you avoid missing the bus on keywords that are trending. You also get other benefits, such as correcting any incorrect judgements that a marketer might have about the popularity of a given keyword. One feature of google trends even lets you sort of ride on the popularity of brands that might be related to the keywords you intend to roll with. Legally!  

Like any good analytical tool, one of the great features of google trends is that it lets you geo-target

In this post, we’re going to tell you exactly how to use google trends to bag all the benefits linked to the features that we just discussed. Yes, that’s correct – even the one that lets you ride on the popularity of big brands. But don’t go scrolling down to that subhead right away, because first, you need to understand what data exactly is being thrown at you when you use Google trends. 

Google trends will basically provide you with a whole lot of graphs – all free of cost – on the popularity of search terms, which as we described above, will also offer you very specific historical information as well, such as

  • When the keyword search picked up
  • When it peaked
  • When it dropped 

Additionally, you can

  • Identify new keywords using related queries 
  • Find and use keywords related to brands that might help boost the popularity of your content 

Google trends is no new kid on the block either. It has been around for about fifteen years, ever since 2006. 

Check out: Nike Marketing Strategy

Here’s how to use google trends to put the most relevant content out there

1 – as easy as a google search 

As soon as you open up google trends you will have a search box in front of you. All you need to do is key in your search term here. The default setting is for the search to boomerang back to you results based on google searches, but if you make YouTube videos, you could change your settings and have the search work on YouTube keywords instead. If you are a photographer or you post images then you might want to tailor the search to give you data on images. 

google trends for seo

In my search above, the search numbers for the search term ‘indian budget’ in a given year seem to peak annually around February because that is when the finance minister presents the budget. 

Don’t forget to fidget around with your time period and your geography depending on who you typically target for your content. This is one of the most important consideration when it comes to using Google trends for SEO.

Now while you’re toggling with those little search bars above the graph, you’re sure to look at the drop-down menu in categories or all categories and wonder what that’s about. You’re not alone; that in itself is a fairly popular search on google! Get the irony? Anyway, right to it marketers – the all categories tab is for keywords that have multiple meanings. For example, maybe you run a parenting blog and you want to create awareness among parents and caution them about new drugs out on the street that might find and ruin their children. So you run a search on the keyword bath salts that you heard on a tv show. Now without being able to filter by category, you would get a very misleading picture that is linked to the little crystals one puts into their bath-tub. Choose ‘all categories’ unless your search term is likely to be similarly confusing to the algorithm doing all the work. 

2 – analyse the peaks and troughs with care and logical reasoning 

Spend some time going through the data that materialises. A useful tip for marketers trying to figure out how to use Google Trends for SEO is to effectively analyze the data with the same mindset that you might have had, if you had paid big bucks to get hold of it. Here are some useful moves to make. Ensure you go step by step

Step 1 – Get ideas based on trending searches. Scroll down and click on trending searches. You will arrive at searches that have been popular over the last 24 hours. 

Step 2 – Verify whether searches for your keyword have already peaked and are on the decline.  Look carefully at the graphs. Are searches higher today than they were yesterday, or lower?

Step 3 – Compare the keyword you have chosen to similar keywords using the compare tool. 

Step 4 – Don’t forget to tailor your search according to geography 

As you can see, not only do you need ideas but you need to jump aboard a train – or a keyword –  that has some way to go before interest in the topic comes to a standstill.  That brings us to our next point. Being a gold-tiered Hubspot Partner Agency, we use these procedures for our clients at a regular basis and definitely vouch for their reliability.

3 – play the wise stock trader’s game 

Wise stock traders will usually tell novice traders that it makes no sense to go with the herd. One has to be ahead of the curve they say – buy a stock when the price is picking up… when it is on the up-trend. Once the price starts falling, sell your stock and look elsewhere. 

This is also very sound advice for SEO marketers. You need to get in when the popularity for the keyword is on the rise. Maybe ‘indian budget’ was the most popular term for the last one week, but now the numbers for that – while they are still high – are falling and instead today ‘80 c investment’  or ‘growth option investment’ are on the rise. When you add logic from point 2 to this picture, you realise that ‘yes, perhaps now and until the end of the financial year people are going to be focussed on their investments. 

4 – plan ahead for the next peak 

The best thing about Google trends is the ability to track historical data. Are you a marketer for a travel agent that sells beach holidays? You might – for example – find it useful to note that the search for beach holidays picks up in early February annually. Perhaps this is when people are already exhausted from working ever since the new year break and are trying to stay above water by at least envisioning their new holiday. You might not be able to reason out why the search occurs at that given time, but you’ll certainly be able to put relevant content out there in time. Now you’ve got it. That’s how to use google trends like a pro!

Google trends are kind of like percentile which gives you a rank versus percentage which is an absolute numerical value. Sharmaji-ka-beta got 90 percent on his test, wow! But almost everyone else who took the same test got 90 percent except for a handful of true intellects who scored above 98 percent – now that’s a far more revealing picture, isn’t it. Have more questions on how you can use Google Trends for SEO? Feel free to reach out and our pool of SEO experts will be happy to help you with it.

Author avatar
Shriya Garg