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Google Trends is a fairly underutilized tool in content marketing. However, it is actually a very useful tool with various possible implementations to enhance our marketing strategy.
Considering it’s free, if you haven’t used Google Trends as a part of your content marketing arsenal, there is absolutely no reason not to.
Here, we will discuss the various ways we can use Google Trends to amplify our content strategy, but first, let us briefly discuss the concept and definition of Google Trends itself.
What Is Google Trends
Google Trends is a fairly simple tool provided by—none other than— Google with one single purpose: showing what’s currently trending on the internet according to Google’s data.
You can also compare two or more different trends, which can be useful for various purposes. The best thing is, it’s absolutely free.
One thing to remember is that Google Trends isn’t exactly a keyword research tool since it doesn’t provide an accurate search volume data, but rather an adjusted data to better represent popularity. We will discuss how Google adjusts the Trends data further below.
How To Use Google Trends In Your Content Marketing Strategy
How Does Google Trends Work?
Using Google Trend is—as mentioned— very simple: go to Google Trends, enter a search query or a topic, and hit enter.
You can then enter another query on the ‘+ COMPARE’ field, or add filters. There are four filters to customize: country, period, category (niches and industries), and Google Property (web, image, news, Google Shopping, and YouTube).
You will be shown a simple chart to show the popularity of your query/topic (on a scale of 0-100). Further below, you can adjust subregion and see related topics and queries.
Plan a Content Strategy Using Google Trends
There are two main ways in using Google Trends to plan a content strategy: finding patterns and riding the momentum of a ‘hot’ trend.
Find Patterns and Prepare Seasonal Content
Analyzing how trends come and go can help in planning a content strategy if you can figure out the pattern. For example, at the start of the NFL or NBA season, there are certain keywords that are always trending each year. If you are a company selling sports equipment, for example, you can publish your content to match this pattern.
If you are a business selling seasonal products/services, for example, holiday decorations, Google Trends can also help you find exactly when certain keywords like “Christmas decoration”, “Christmas destination”, etc. start picking up. This is when you should publish your content targeting the keyword, and this can also help you in planning your advertising and email marketing campaigns.
Capitalize On One-Off Hot Trends
On the other hand, there are ‘one-off’ trends and events that suddenly spike, but also will drop relatively quickly. For example, during the release date of a huge movie (i.e. Avengers Endgame), various keywords surrounding the movie might be trending. Yet, if you publish the content just as soon as the trend is picking up, usually it’s going to be too late. You can, however, engage in conversations surrounding the trend on social media, where people are usually still talking about the latest trend.
Research Trends Across Different Mediums
One of the more useful features of Google Trends is how you can view popularity data between various Google Properties (the web, YouTube, Google Image, Google Shopping, and news). This is useful since what’s trending on one platform might not be trending at all in another at any given time.
If, for example, a keyword is trending on YouTube but not on the web, you might as well plan to develop video content and publish it on YouTube. Similarly, if something is trending in Google Images, you can jump the bandwagon and probably develop infographics to capitalize on the opportunity.
Keep an Eye on Local Trends
If you are a business targeting local trends, Google Trends’ feature to filter for Subregion and check local trends can be extremely useful.
You can use this data to create hyper-targeted content for a specific location. For example, in areas with particularly hot summer days and you are selling fashion items, you can publish targeted content for this area when the keyword is peaking in Trends.
Again, look for patterns and find similarities between regions to develop effective content.
How Trends data is adjusted
Since Google Trends is a tool by Google (the no.1 search engine), the common misconception is that the data shown on Google Trends is solely about the number of times a keyword—a ‘trend— is being searched on Google for a certain period of time, or search volume.
While there is some truth to that statement, Google Trends doesn’t only use search volume as the basis of its data. Instead, according to Google themselves, Google Trends data is the number of searches for a certain ‘trend’ divided by the total number of searches in a certain location at any given time. This, according to Google, is ‘relative popularity’, the trend.
Also, Google Trends won’t take account of repeated searches from the same I.P. address over a relatively short period of time, and really low search volume is rounded down to 0.
So, keep in mind that if you are planning to use Google Trends for keyword research, it won’t be as accurate. You can, however, combine Google Trends with a dedicated keyword research tool (i.e. Ahrefs or SEMRush) for even better insights.
While Google Trends is not a tool specifically designed for content marketing purposes, as we can see there are various ways we can use it to amplify our content marketing strategy.
You can combine Google Trends with various content marketing tools to get better insights. Considering Google Trends is absolutely free, it’s a must-have tool in your content marketing arsenal.