You know when you’re in high school, there is the pressure to be one of the cool kids?
It’s not necessarily because you want to blend in, but because you want to move with the crowd and go to the same direction as them.
And if you don’t follow the trend, you risk falling behind.
It’s kind of the same when it comes to understanding the search trend before creating your content.
When it comes to connecting your content with what your audience is searching for at this moment in time, well being trendy can help.
And by using the power of Google Trends, you will have a simple way of understanding what keywords and topics you need to be focusing your content on.
And this applies to the past, present and, if you’re lucky, the future search trends.
What is Google Trends?
One of the most popular, but not necessarily the most used tool in many content creator’s arsenals, is Google Trends.
This is a tool which allows you to see what search behaviour is currently trending on Google by time, geographical area and category.
And it’s free!
Originally designed for journalists back in 2004, marketers have taken it upon themselves to dig into valuable information about products, events and services that matter to their audience.
But now, it has become such a useful tool for the marketers and content creators when you want to plan ahead or even decide on the spot on what you want to write about.
Let’s have a look at how it can seriously take your content creation and planning to the next level.
1. Use ‘Top Charts’ to Understand Past Search Trends
Have you wondered which person was the most searched for in 2014 across the globe? (It was Jennifer Lawrence).
Have you wondered which athlete was searched for the most in the UK during 2012, the year of London Olympics? (Andy Murray would be the answer to that).
Have you ever wondered what was the most popular food recipe in the US during 2016? (Surprisingly, it was Green Bean Casserole…hmm!)
‘Top Charts’ can help provide data on the most popular search terms by categories over the past years and in different locations across the world.
It is a really useful feature if you want to have an overall insight into the past search trends.
But it is also useful to help you find and create new and evergreen content, as explained below.
2. Find Evergreen Yet Trendy Questions to Answer
You can even dig deeper and understand what the most popular questions asked on topics such as beauty and food are.
Even though these are in the past, they tend to be evergreen questions and it is an opportunity for you to dig deeper into what are the top searches every year.
If you go back to the ‘Top Charts’ and look at the Beauty topics in 2016 in the UK, you will have access to a list of really useful question-based content.
Or look at the travel topics back in 2015 within the US, you can find the following questions:
You might need to be clever with your investigation in Top Charts.
But if you dig deep enough, you can hit the gold.
3. Compare Multiple Keywords Trends
Searching about the trend of a particular topic is very useful when you want to jump on a bandwagon.
For example, at the time of writing, the search for “solar eclipse” has peaked worldwide.
It is obvious that this the main news right now and there is a demand for information about the solar eclipse.
Particularly if you compare the previous months, where search volume on the same topic was non-existent until the news about viewing the eclipse hits the news.
But you can move it up the level by searching and comparing up to 5 search terms at the same time.
How can this be useful?
Well, maybe you want to compare different topics to find out which one is more popular.
For example, which superheroes are more popular right now:
Wonder Woman and Spiderman has been fighting (no pun intended) each other over the past few months.
Poor Superman and Ironman are not getting a look-in.
Or maybe you want to find out which fashion item is trending more at the moment:
Even though black trainers were more trendy in the UK over the past year, the gap between ‘black trainers’ and ‘white trainers’ has recently widened.
In terms of content, there are various ways you can use this data.
You can use it to create a comparison-based content on the search terms you have used e.g. “Black Trainers vs White Trainers: Which is Trendy to Wear in 2017 & Why”
Or you can use the data to focus on the most popular search trends e.g. “101 Ways You Can Wear Your Black Trainers Throughout the Year”
Or perhaps you want to write a detailed guide about a topic to be in with the crowd e.g. “How Wonder Woman Can Empower Young Girls Everywhere”
There are literally endless opportunities to create content.
4. Use Google Trends to Find Trending Keywords
Keywords research is something that you cannot ignore when it comes to creating content.
And even though there are various keywords research tools to use, you don’t just have to depend on them.
Google Trends can offer a unique twist by:
- helping you find the right keywords
- identify new or related keywords you have not considered before
- identify keywords which are currently trending and rising fast
The last point is the one that not many keyword tools can offer.
Let’s use ‘running shoes’ as an example. As you can see, the trend has been pretty consistent over the past year in the UK:
If you scroll to the bottom, you can see the ‘Related queries’ section of more keywords to consider, though they can be quite generic at times.
But if you click on the drop-down box from ‘Top’ to ‘Rising’, you can see the more specific keywords that are currently in demand and even on “Breakout”.
By Google’s definition, the search terms which are on “Breakout” instead of percentages mean that the term has grown by more than 5000%.
And it looks like people want to know what the “best running shoes 2017” are, possibly because of the IAAF World Championships in London that took in August 2017.
A little tip; if you search for ‘topic’ as well as ‘search term’, that can also help you to find more specific keywords.
5. Geo-Location Search Trends
One powerful part of the Google Trends is the ability to locate where the particular searches are trending.
This can help you in a couple of ways.
1) If you are focusing on your local market or a specific location, you can use the tool to find out what is the latest search trend within that area.
2) If you are planning to do some advertising, be it Google AdWords, Facebook Ads or other platforms, you can use Google Trends to help provide further insights into the area that you are targeting. Perhaps you should use one search term in that particular area, and a different search term in another area.
For example, if you distribute new bicycles across the UK and you want to find out where you should target for a particular campaign, head to Google Trends and you can find interesting data:
For some reason, there seems to be a huge interest in bicycles in Bristol; much more than the rest of the England and even beating bigger cities like London and Birmingham by a significant margin.
It is up to you to dig deeper and to find out why, but knowing that the current search trend for bicycles is peaking in Bristol is an opportunity for any distributors, bloggers, manufacturers, enthusiasts, etc to jump on board.
Perhaps you want to create adverts specifically in the Bristol area.
Or provide a guide on the best places to cycle around Bristol.
Or even give information on the cycle-friendly areas that are available within the city.
As you might expect, the amount of data would be more limited.
But what you gain out of it, particularly if you are focused more on local-based interactions, can be invaluable.
6. Find Out What Search Term is Currently Trending Right Now
Google Trends is not just useful for looking at past data and understanding search patterns, but you can also find up-to-the-minute trends too.
If you got to the ‘Trending Searches’, you can find the most up-to-date information about what everyone is searching for right now.
It’s so easy to fall into the rabbit hole from there, particularly as it updates hourly.
But you can also find some incredible inspiration for your next content too.
Again, you can hone in on the ‘Trending Searches’ to a specific country and explore what are the people living there are interested in.
If you want a more specific keyword, you can filter the timeline by the past hour
7. Create a Content Calendar & Plan Ahead Accurately
Seeing as Google Trends data can go way back to 2004, you may able to spot particular patterns around a particular search term.
The most obvious example would be seasonal occasions, products or events.
For example, it is quite obvious when searches for Glastonbury will peak.
Valentine’s Day is easier, but when should you push out your content next time?:
It is slightly more tricky to work out when should you plan and publish a content around it.
You don’t want to do it too early because your content might get lost in the noise.
On the other hand, you don’t want to miss the boat and miss the peak time either.
Google Trends can help give you a rough idea of where you should consider publishing and promoting your content for the future based on previous search trends.
8. Find YouTube Specific Search Trends for Your Video Content
It’s not just the general web search where you can obtain data, but on YouTube too.
(Actually, you can also look at Image Search, News Search and Google Shopping too, but we’ll focus on video content for this section).
Over the past couple of years, we can see an upward trend for YouTube searches for ‘travel’:
The same concepts we have talked about above could also apply to YouTube: what is the search pattern, what are certain locations searching for, what is rising in search terms?
But if we scroll down to look at more specific related keywords to ‘travel’, this might help to finesse your content even more and capture the top and rising trends.
This is another powerful feature which can help you to capitalise on your YouTube game.
9. If You’re Lucky, Find Future Search Trends
It was by luck that I spotted the chart below, where it shows that Google predicts a spike in searches for ‘trainers’.
But it’s up to you to find out why that is and understand the reason behind this before deciding to open a trainers store.
It’s important to not just assume that the spike will definitely happen.
In fact, there is a good chance that the spike for trainers has flat-lined again, as shown in the live-update below:
But you never know when future search trends might turn out to be accurate…and you just might be the first one to know.
10. Provide Live Embed of Google Trends to Your Content
You can embed a Google Trends chart on your pages like most of the embeds shown in this post.
You can do this just by clicking on the embed button below the chart and copying & pasting the embed code onto your site.
But you also have the option of making it either real-time update or static, depending on your preference.
By doing so, it can help supplement the content you are have created by providing further insights to your topic.
Much like this very post 🙂
Important Point to Consider
Google Trends will not provide enough context as to why people are searching for a particular search term.
Because of that, a spike in a trend does not necessarily mean there is something good for you to capitalise on.
Check the news and make sure the keywords you have chosen do not have any negative press. Even if there is no negative press, you still need to understand the context.
It’s so easy to get trapped into Google Trends and become fascinated about what people are searching for now, last year, in London, on YouTube…you can really go forever.
And that’s what makes it such a powerful tool.
However, it is only a useful tool if you know how to use it, understand the context and know how to interpret data, pretty much like any other tools
It might take you a while to get used to it.
But once you do, you may have something extremely powerful which can help you to stay ahead of the trend and be the leader of the cool kids…
…or just be ahead of the curve with your content.
Either option can work.
Make sure you share this article so that everyone can understand how powerful Google Trends can be for your content creation and planning.