Google Trends is a free tool that adds tons of value to SEO research and strategies. It has global data coverage from 2004 right up to the past hour and a range of filtering options to help you gather the most relevant information.
This guide will teach you some essential functions of Google Trends and some of the features that you may have previously missed.
Once you have your basic target keyword set, you can use Google Trends to refine your keyword strategy.
How to use keyword type filters
There are a few different filtering options for the keywords you are researching, the main ones being search terms and topics.
Filtering by topic is my preferred SEO research method. It helps keep the results relevant to a specific topic rather than bringing up an array of broadly matched queries.
You may notice a few other filters in this section that are pretty self-explanatory, such as company or type. For example, entering ‘apple’ as your keyword will bring up filters like fruit and technology company, in addition to search terms and topics to help you further narrow down your results.
Using location, time, category and search filters
The location filter is for geographical data gathering. Similar to most keyword research tools, you can research one location at a time by choosing worldwide, country or the right-facing arrow to select a region within a country.
You can further narrow down the location by hovering over the map in the Interest by region/city section of the report to understand where your term is most popular within your selected region.
Straight-forward – select your preferred date range. Data is available from 2004 up to the past hour.
Categories is another method of filtering data within the tool. There are 25 categories to choose from, ranging from Arts and Entertainment to Travel. I recommend testing the results by toggling this filter to understand how to get the most out of it.
Using the search filter is a great way to understand the keywords that are popular and rising in interest on various vertical searches such as Web search, Image search, News search, Google Shopping and YouTube Search.
Take advantage of this feature to learn how best to keyword optimise various assets in your online marketing arsenal such as images, articles, products and videos that you may have on YouTube.
Now that you have your filters set, simply input your basic keywords into the tool and begin adding any relevant queries and keywords from the results to your keyword strategy.
Once you have your keyword strategy created, the next step in the content process is creating a content strategy.
Use your priority keywords to develop topic clusters from which you can plan the types of content you will be creating or optimising – depending on your existing content.
I always advise my clients against creating 12 month content plans. Unless you are able to produce 12 months worth of evergreen content, content planning should be agile. If you already have topics planned, use Google Trends to analyse whether those topics are still relevant and whether they are gaining traction or losing search interest.
Learn more about our SEO content services.
Evergreen content creation
Evergreen articles are those that stand the test of time and provide value to users time and time again. For evergreen content research, pay attention to the date filters. This will help you understand what topics have remained popular over time.
Seasonal content creation
The great thing about including Google Trends in your content process is that it not only helps you understand how much search interest a topic has in a specific period, but also whether there are any related topics or queries that are rising in search interest.
If your content creation team is agile enough, take note of the rising queries in order for you to develop content that’s gaining interest. This will help you stand out as thought leaders and gain a familiarity with your audience for being on top of the latest trends in your industry!
Optimising PPC campaigns with Trend data
I know this one is a little off-topic as it includes advice on the paid side of advertising but organic and paid should always keep a consolidated strategy and open lines of communication.
If you notice that certain search terms are gaining or losing interest, it’s helpful to send this data to your paid team to adjust their keyword and budgets and help your brand stay ahead of the competition.
Inspiration and keeping up with the latest trends
The Google Trends homepage is home to lots of valuable information and can be a great place to start for a little creative inspiration.
- The Stories and Insights section is where you’ll find insights based on what the world is currently searching for.
- The Recently Trending section shows you the latest popular searches along with their search volumes. Diving deeper into these will bring up related daily search trends, real-time search trends along with news articles on those topics.
- Year in Search is one of my favourite yearly digital roundups where you can access a summary of the search trends that occured in different years.
If you’d like to learn more about the tool and its features, Google has put together a free series of quick training lessons.