Search data can reveal a lot about people and society as a whole. By analyzing trending searches, a person can gain insight into where influenza is spreading fastest and which Halloween costumes are hottest on a given year. In a famous series of articles, New York Times writer Seth Stephens-Davidowitz even demonstrated that using keyword analysis focusing on search phrases could be used to estimate the size of the homosexual population and measure racism in certain parts of the country.

If search data can do all that, just imagine what it could do for your business. In recent years, Google has delivered a game-changing search tool that provides invaluable insight into what consumers in specific regions are searching for during a given time period. Dubbed Google Trends, this innovative public web facility has been called the marketing equivalent of a Leatherman multi-tool or Swiss Army knife. From what we’ve been able to achieve with this tool, we would have to agree with that statement. Read on if you’re interested in learning how to use Google Trends to find keywords.

Getting to Know Google Trends for Keyword Analysis

To effectively utilize Google Trends to create a higher-performing marketing campaign, you must first understand the tool. At Galileo Tech Media, we recommend that you spend at least ten minutes exploring Google Trends to get a clear sense of what sort of data it yields. As you work with the tool, you will begin to see how you can use it to get to know your target audience, understand your competitors and develop ideas for content.

On the home page, you will quickly notice a number of trending searches relating to sports and books to fashion brands, politics and everything in between. You could spend endless hours exploring this information alone. For our purposes, however, we will enter a term into the search field and watch the data unfold.

Let’s start by entering “marathon running” into the search field. Right away, we are presented with a graph that shows search activity for the phrase over time. Search volumes appear pretty consistent, except for a few peaks that were sparked by news stories that drummed up greater interest in the subject.

In addition to topic popularity, we can also evaluate interest by region. In this case, it should come as no surprise that “marathon running” is a popular search term in Boston; however, for other terms, you may discover surprising results that can be used to develop more effective marketing campaigns that take advantage of regional trends.

Planning a Strategy

Google Trends is a great way to find keywords; however, there are a few things to consider when cultivating an effective campaign. For instance, if I you were planning to develop content around the phrase “marathon running,” you would want to leverage Google Trends in the following way:

  • Identify and recreate peak catalysts. In this case, you might summarize and repost one of the news stories that inspired previous peaks. You don’t have to craft brand new content. It could be a brief commentary, along with a link to the original article.
  • Tweak your keywords. If you notice declining interest in “marathon running,” it would be wise to regard this as a measure of market demand. In turn, you might consider using variations of the phrase, such as “running training” or “running half marathon.
  • Watch for rising queries. If you click “rising,” you can see increasing trajectories for certain keyword phrases and create content based on that particular measure of market demand.
  • Focus on seasonality. If you can identify predictable patterns, you can chart out an editorial calendar based on these indicators. So when fewer people are searching for “marathon running,” you can spend your time writing about more popular keyword phrases.

A Powerful Tool

Google Trends presents marketers with opportunities to use “newsjacking,” which involves drawing attention to their own content by piggybacking on the biggest current news stories. When done in a tasteful, measured way, this can be a powerful tactic for leveraging popular, related topics to attract more interest. By creating a Google Trends subscription, you can get timely notifications by email whenever a topic of interest starts trending. In this way, you can use Google Trends as your own personal focus group to serve in place of some overpriced customized study.

[and hopefully relevant] topic. You can create a Google Trends subscription to be notified by email when a subject of interest to you starts trending.

Consider Google Trends as your own personal focus group. No need to break the bank or wait around for a customized study. You’re welcome!