Online marketing can feel like a dark art to anyone not accustomed to technology, social selling, data mining, SEO, programming and metrics. In fact, it's enough to make even the most motivated brand builder want to throw their hands up and vow to "spray and pray" their online marketing campaigns.

However, I urge you: Don't give in to that temptation. You see, your competition might be throwing their hands up as you read this. They might be frustrated with all the different facets of online marketing. They might be thinking about giving up.

What does that make you feel like doing? Giving up too? Or taking advantage of a free tool, at your disposal, that will change most assumptions you had about online marketing?

Are you ready?

Here we go.

Using Google Trends for Online Marketing

How many times have you heard marketing experts say…

  • Find out where your ideal customers are located.
  • Find out what times of day your ideal customers are consuming information.
  • Find out what times of year your ideal customers are most ready to buy.

And you've walked away from that advice wondering, how do I do that?

You've heard of Google Adwords and Google Updates. However, you may have never heard of Google Trends. In truth, it does get far less attention than Google's other apps.

What is it? It's a search analysis tool that gives you information about individual keywords and keyword phrases, including:

  • number of searches
  • percentage compared to total searches
  • peak times (of year and of day)
  • countries
  • regions
  • cities
  • languages

By plugging your keywords and keyword phrases into the application, you can gather information that will help you to:

  • Market your brand in places that are most actively looking for a product or service like yours.
  • Release communications at times when your audience is most receptive and willing to be engaged.
  • Decide where in the world your team should expand.
  • Identify those areas where language and/or cultural barriers will impede your brand's progress—and bring on a translator if necessary.
  • Use the information you gather to tailor your customers' experiences so that engagement will be more productive in building a credible, trustworthy and profitable brand.

Google Trends can do more than tell you what your ideal customers want. You can also determine what's going on in your industry, so you can more reflexively respond to shifts in the market.

online-marketingEvery time you enter a keyword or keyword phrase into the Google Trends app, the results will include data from the last five years, meaning that you can analyse market trends. You can answer questions like "Is this search term declining in popularity and not worth my effort right now?" or "Does this steady upward climb indicate that I should throw my hat in the ring before the market is too flooded?"

You may also wish to enter the keywords used by your competitors, to predict where their focus is going to take them over the next five years. If you predict that their keyword may not perform well, you can counteract that decline by using more promising keywords (and therefore being indexed) before they do.

If you find that your competition is using a keyword phrase with an upward trend—one that looks promising and that you may not be able to compete with—then look at synonyms and other words that your ideal customers are using to search for the same thing.

The idea here is to either counter that competitor's track (according to solid evidence that they're going in the wrong direction), or to find an alternate method for accomplishing the same thing they're going for. Competing in the same arena, with identical tools, is never a good way to compete. You will find yourself exhausted and feeling tempted to drop your prices, for instance, in order to stay in it. Uniquely positioning your brand is always the smarter route.

As you decide which keywords to use, choose ones with high volume and promising growth rates. Strive to get on that trend, in the best parts of the world and at the best time of day and year, before the others even notice.

This concept differs a bit from the old Google Adwords advice of choosing keywords with the lowest competition. This can still be viable, though…so why not hit the Adwords Tool after Google Trends to add yet another dimension of expected success to your online marketing campaign?

Have more questions about online marketing or your branding strategy? Then why not schedule a 1-Hour Intensive Brand Audit with me? We'll review your progress so far and come up with a plan for going forward. Click here to read a bit about the difference it's made for other brand builders.

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