Google Trends is one of the best and most versatile tools available for SEO and an essential part of research within your branding strategy. With this you can determine where your market is and if there are seasonal or geographical advantages you can optimise on.
Now you might wonder why it is a great use of time invested to use such a tool. When it comes to brand strategy and communication strategy knowing where the pulse is in your market is essential to saving time and money further down the line as well as transforming your conversion overall. Let me give you a great example of where watching the trends, whether over the last month for more immediate analytical information to determine what is topical right now, or over the past year or more to get a broader knowledge of how interest in a certain product or service, a pain or a solution has changed seasonally or over time.
When we started our business in branding we learned a very valuable lesson using the Google Trends tool and Google Analytics as we tried our best to determine the most popular keywords being used for branding. Now, when I say "branding" it might, at first, seem obvious that "branding" is the keyword that most people would use. When we looked at the combination of results regarding the terms people ACTUALLY used we were amazed at the difference it made when we changed our own language to suit that used by them. You see, we though "branding" would be the term they would use. Oh... we were so wrong... there were three times as many searches using the term "brand design".
Now of course I know, as I am sure you do, that when people think about branding their business, in many cases they do consider the design of the logo before the direction and target audience of the business. But we did not think like that. Our focus was on the strategy of the business, the owners, their vision and goals for themselves and the business. From that and, only then, could we possibly be in a position to design a brand that would attract the kind of customers that they really wanted, would pay what they were worth and be more likely to repeat buy an additional service or product or upsell to something at a higher price point, of great value to the customer and of great return to them. Maybe this is the same for you too. Perhaps you are in a position where you are not attracting those kinds of clients. In fact when it comes to becoming the market leader in your niche, we have a fantastic 6 Step Guide on How to Become THE Market LEADER in YOUR Niche which will help to start thinking in this way and align your thinking with that of your prospects who are suffering from the lack of what you have to offer. Then we realised that our focus of weekly branding tips sent out by email needed to follow suit with the newly acquired language. Check this out too for your business:
For more great tips and advice from specialists in all areas of internet marketing techniques, click here: www.brandbrainmagazine.com
Well this is where trends of interests and number of searches for what you offer, using the terms that qualify them as HIGH quality prospects that you are looking for.
We were there too. And we discovered that people were searching for and had a great interest in "brand design". So we starting writing content and advice on this very subject using those new terms and gained great visibility doing so. Then we showed them the results and transformation possible when the brand communication strategy was their FIRST consideration. As a result we helped more people to reach their goals and dreams than we could have done by just following the industry like sheep. We innovated, excelled and transformed our position.... because we cared enough to do so.
So what is my point... well, it all started by thinking we knew best by using a keyword term that was an industry standard term hat experts used. Our prospects used a different variation of that term and once we knew this we dramatically changed our positioning. You can do that too.
Why is Google Trends there and how can YOU use it?
If you are offering a product or service and you want to know whether there is a demand for it then the Google Trends tool is priceless for you. It is the best “in the moment” trend analyser tool on offer…. And it is FREE. Here you can type in keywords that you think people are searching with in the Google search engine and it will present you with a graph representation of the last 12 months showing how the use of that keyword demonstrates the demand. You can then start to base you branding strategy based on these findings.
It is the marketing equivalent of the tracking the cost of stocks & shares in the “right now”… right at your fingertips. If you could only use one SEO tool to develop an Internet marketing campaign, this product would be a serious consideration.
Working with Google Trends
When analysing the keyword search terms on Google Trends, you can set four variables or parameters to help you define further the results you are looking for.
- Web Search – The options here are:
- Image search
- News Search
- Product Search
- YouTube Search
- Worldwide – You then have an option menu to choose a specific Country
- 2004-Present – With options for:
- Past 7 Days
- 30 Days
- 90 Days
- 12 Months
- Choose a Year
- All Categories – Arts & Entertainment – Autos & Vehicles – Beauty & fitness – Books & literature – Business & industrial – Computers & electronics – Finance – Food & drink – Games
To help you narrow down the keyword terms being used you can insert up to five search terms or groupings at one time, which means you can compare up to 25 search terms in each grouping.
- brand + strategy + courses (this could be your first grouping)
- how + to + build + a + brand (this could be your second grouping)
- startup + business courses (this could be your third grouping)
By using the + sign between your search terms you are including within your results the searches for the individual terms as well as the entire term.
Google also displays Hot Searches and Top Charts in Google Trends to assist with your research. It will list the most popular searches of the day and at the same time the most searches distinguished by category.
Obviously, all this insight means you have a lot of data available to you and this is very valuable for your brand strategy. Knowing what to do with this data is even more important to you, so to help we have provided FREE guide on how to use this data for making the most of your SEO.
Part of your branding strategy is to research the keyword terms that people are using to find products or services that you offer. Google Trends provides insights as to how the trends change over time. It doesn't give actual provide the number of searches exactly. That is what the Google Keyword Tool - Keyword Planner is for. So Google Trends is best used in conjunction with the Keyword Planner. i.e. Google Trends will convey the relative level of interest over set periods of time as selected by you using the options already mentioned, for a prospective keyword or keyword phrase. It also shows you the comparison between potential target phrases you have been considering.
So in this example we are trying to find out the trend for those businesses needing services relating to brand strategy. The questions we are asking are:
- When does interest in this area tend to peak?
- Which keyword phrase drives more traffic, i.e. suggests a greater demand; the search phrase "communications strategy" or " brand strategy"?
In this example, the options set for the trend parameters are:
- United Kingdom
- 2004 - present.
- Business & Industry
- Web search
From the graph (above) it is evident that businesses are most interested in "brand strategy" at the onset of the new year… where businesses start planning their future goals for the year. Then there is a dip towards the middle – summer months when there are lots of holidays which perhaps shifts business owners focus. It is also clear at certain times of the year there are vast differences when you compare the number of searches for each of the keyword terms. This is so useful within your brand strategy because you can start to plan a little more around seasons so that were you to spend money on advertising in Google or Facebook you can maximise your return by selecting the best times to do so.
You will see general upward and downward trends in searches for your keyword terms and you can compare more terms to really define where you market interest is. As you can see, it is really good to know when optimizing a campaign which terms to focus on.
Now, if you run an e-commerce website then you can use the Google Trends tool to great effect. So… how about ecommerce potential? You can use the product search option as a parameter to find out who is looking for a solution that they will pay for online.
With “Product Searches” you can see how the demand for products has risen or fallen over time. From this data you can then determine whether there is still a market, whether one country is better than another and also if there is a seasonal effect. Then you will know clearly if the interest is there in enough proportions for you to penetrate that market as part of your strategy… but you should also do a great deal of competitive analysis before jumping into the realms investing in that area.
Regional Interest - Geo-Targeting
Google Trends breaks down the search data by region as well – this is extremely useful, as mentioned, to know if there is a market share in different countries that you can exploit and deeper still, regions within those countries where there is the most demand. For localised marketing this is essential for saving you lots of time and money marketing to certain target audiences. As you can see below in the two comparison screenshots, there is major level of interest in brand strategy and communications strategy across the entire United Kingdom, with the greatest level coming from the region of London:
As mentioned, if you're doing local SEO or geo-targeted Pay-per-click, this data is invaluable in planning your strategy.
News Search Communication Strategy Research
This is now, suddenly very popular as a tactic in SEO. The idea is that you can see a trend as to the type of content that is most popular and is therefore being ranked by Google because it is obviously of interest to many people. The process to add much more topically relevant content to your website is:
- Choose a trending topic.
- Blog about it.
- Tweet it (using the established hashtag).
- Do a video on it and post it on Youtube
Top Charts which you will discover in the left menu near the top of the Google Trends page is the perfect resource for developing content ideas around topics people are actually interested in. Using car parts as a theme here, try navigating to Car Companies, click on "BMW", then click on "explore" in the right column.
From the results it looks like a blog post about the BMW i3 or the BMW electric car would match the current interest.
Links are still a primary driver of rankings. By creating content that people are looking for and want to read, you will attract links. Links are a measure of success when reviewing the outcome of your content marketing efforts.
Using Google Trends search for "YouTube" with the search parameter set to YouTube will help enormously when deciding what videos to do that will help SEO your website:
To research this for your business:
- Navigate to Google Trends.
- Enter your keywords.
- Change "Web Search" to "YouTube" search.
- Is there an idea based around the interest that you can use for your niche in your business?
- Is there a trend that you can use to maximise the visibility of your brand?
This Google Trends data will also be useful when you are trying to optimise your video so that has a chance to be ranked highlighy in the Youtube listings. Remember that even though Youtube is not officially a search engine, it is currently is used for 50% of all web searches, which is staggering and highlights how important it is to consider video as part of your overall marketing strategy and plan:
- Creating keyword relevant titles.
- Selecting the right tags that are most relevant to your video content.
- Optimizing descriptions – the text where you either transcribe or describe the video content so that both the searcher and Google qualifies this as a good result.
This one only works for "big Brands" with sufficient search volume. In the case cited below, three of four competitors are static, but one company is clearly in the zone. AutoZone.
Google has a voracious appetite for fresh topical content. Google Trends is the single best tool available to develop content ideas that will garner traffic and links. If you haven't been using this tool for SEO purposes, you should check it out now.
You can look at different periods of time, from the day to the last 30 days, the last 3 months to even back to a full year, or even right back to 2004, so you really can see historically to currently what the comparison is of the trends for what you offer as a service.
The great thing is, it’s not just necessarily using terms for a service, it could be the pains and sufferings that people are going through in their business or personally and you have the solution for it. You can start to use different terms and see where people are using those terms and how often and the Google Trends Tool will tell you just how much that’s changed over a period of time.
The other great thing about this tool is that it can actually narrow down your search to certain areas, and I don’t mean just like a country. You can actually choose a country and a region within a country and then a region within that region so that you can really nail down what are people searching for for very much localized business. If you’re a local business, this is really useful, just as it is for a global business. You can narrow down your searches to much to find exactly what you need to know to get your market research right.
The ultimate goal here, obviously, is to make sure that you’re always providing a service or a product in a way that’s going to provide the solution to the person who’s looking for it. These Google Trends are really useful in conjunction with the other tools, like the Keyword Tool, to find out just exactly what people need from you.
So get onto that Google Trends Tool, check it out. You can’t make a mistake, you can’t screw it up, you can have fun with it, you can try all sorts of different terms and just find out what it is that people are looking for.
That’s the advice today on how to build your brand by doing continual market research with Google Trends for your business.
I hope you enjoyed that advice. We have more daily branding tips going on at Facebook.com/BrandExpertTips. We’re also on YouTube at YouTube.com/HowToBuildABrand. On there you’ll find a whole host and catalog of fantastic tips in video format and on our website at HowToBuildABrand.org, you’ll also see them in article format as well, like you’re seeing today.
I hope that’s been great for you, I shall be back with some more advice for the Branding Advice Centre very soon. Bye for now.
Brand design isn’t about creating a pretty picture that “goes with” your brand. To the contrary, your brand design will be your brand until your brand takes flight. It’s that important. To learn more about brand design, join the conversation on Twitter.
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