If you do keyword research, you are probably familiar with Google Trends. But few marketers also make effective use of this handy tool. That’s why I decided to dedicate an extensive article to Google Trends . This article appeared earlier in English on the Ahrefs blog . For Mediaweb we translated it into Dutch and where possible used examples from the Netherlands. In this longread you will learn some clever ways to use Google Trends for your keyword research and content marketing strategy. But before I do that, it might be a good idea to think about what Google Trends is exactly (and what does not!). This is how Google Trends works With Google Trends you can learn more about the popularity of a topic or specific search term in a certain period. But about how that works exactly, there is an important misunderstanding. Many people seem to think that the trend curve is a direct representation of search volume for a particular term (as you would see at the Keyword Planner (/ Keyword Planner) AdWords). But that is not exactly how it works! For example, see the chart below for the keyword ‘flowers’ in both Google Trends and the Keyword Planner. As you can see they are pretty similar. But not completely. The Keyword Planner measures absolute numbers, while Google Trends also looks at the relative popularity of a term. I use Google Trends for keywords: This is what Google Trends Help says about it: “Google Trends adjusts search data to make it easier to compare terms. Otherwise, places with the highest search volume would always be at the top of the ranking. To do this, each data point is divided by the total number of searches of the associated geography and period to compare relative popularity. ” In other words: relative popularity is calculated by comparing the number of search results for one term against the total search volume. “The numbers that come out here are then scaled to a range of 0 to 100.” Trends ignores repeated searches of the same person (within a short period). Also good to know is that Trends only shows data for popular terms (otherwise there is: search volume 0). Here you can see the Google Trend Chart for the term ‘Facebook’ in the past 12 months. To show you how Google Trends calculates ‘interest in the course of time’, I assume that I have the same data as Google (if it were just such a party). These figures are therefore only assumptions, purely for illustration purposes, to show how the graph structure works. Assumption 1: the total number of searches on Google in the Netherlands is 500 million per month. Assumption 2: the search volume for the term ‘Facebook’ is 24 million searches per month. Below you can see the table that I made for this simulation. To get a graph as Google Trends calculates, you need to take the following steps: Calculate the relative popularity of the number of searches for a keyword against the total number of searches. Provide a scale where 100 is the maximum. Put the dots on the graph. From this example you can draw two conclusions: The popularity of a search term changes when more is sought (but hopefully that speaks for itself). The popularity of a search term also changes when the total search volume changes , even if the search volume for the keyword remains the same. The ‘popularity’ in Google Trends therefore does not always have to match the search volume of a keyword. But usually this is true. Take for example the search term ‘Star Wars’. If you compare Google Trends and Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, you will see the same peak. This is despite the fact that the Keyword Explorer shows the trend in search volume and Google Trends calculates the ‘popularity’. OK. Time to show how you can successfully use Google Trends for your online marketing and specifically your keyword research . # 1 Discover Seasonal Trends Obviously, some search terms are extremely seasonal. Take a look, for example, when we search for ‘pepernoten’ Or in the same category ‘chocolate letter’ The fact that the peak will be somewhere in early December will not surprise anyone. But you can get even more information from this data. See, for example, how the start-up period for gingerbread nuts seems to be much longer. In the week before Sinterklaas we searched three times as much (79> 24) on ginger nuts, but mid-October that difference was much larger (17> 1). This kind of information is very useful when you supply seasonal products or services. You can use it in two ways: Publishing relevant content during the peak : as a pastry chef, you can promote your carefully composed ‘luxury chocolate letter guide’ as soon as it is searched for the most. There is little point in mid-October. To optimize relevant pages well before the peak : do you already have a lot of good content about chocolate letters? Then you can start updating your existing articles 2-3 months in advance. A link building campaign in October probably creates a small traffic boost in December. Do you sell chocolate letters and pepernoten? Then you know thanks to Google Trends that you have to start with the pepper nut optimization. Leestip : writing SEO texts: That’s how you really get it # 2 Do not be fooled by ‘keyword unicorns’ Are you looking for a good topic for your next article? Do not put a word on paper before doing research with Google Trends. I’ll tell you why. With Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer I saw last year that the search term ‘fidget spinner’ had an average monthly volume of 903,000. While there were only 47,000 searches per month for ‘yoyo’. Both terms had a similar keyword difficulty (competition in organic search results). Then it makes sense to focus on the ‘fidget spinner’, right? NOPE. Here is a comparison of both search terms in Google Trends: Fidget Spinners were extremely popular in the spring of 2017. But as soon as the trend came, he also ended again. The interest in yo-yos is more modest, but also more stable. In fact, if you zoom in enough you’ll see that the good-old yo-yo is now being searched more than his hip nephew. # 3 Find relevant topics that are TREND NOW With popular searches you will find keywords that have been searched for more in the last 24 hours. But why would you want to know that? Imagine: you run a showbizz blog On March 4, 2018, you view popular searches: The Oscars are trending! But does not this mean that you are too late to make any content about the Oscars? Not necessarily. Below you can see the trend graph for the term ‘Oscars’ in the week from 2 to 9 March. You see that March 4 – the day on which you discovered ‘oscars’ as a trending topic – was not the actual peak. That was on 5 March. And on 6 March the search volume quickly dropped again. Although you do not have the time, a look at the trending topics sometimes helps you to identify a peak in advance. You just can not assume it. Sometimes a subject is only trending on the day itself. Take for example ‘mother’s day’. Only on 14 May that became a ‘popular search’ according to Google Trends. On Mother’s Day itself is the trending topic. A day later, hardly anyone searches for it anymore. In this case, you are too late if you only discover Mother’s Day when popular searches appear in Google Trends. Unless of course you already had some content ready. But how do you know whether a search term is quickly over his peak? If it is a yearly recurring topic, you can just look at the previous peaks. Take Mother’s Day a year earlier. In 2016 it fell on 8 May. Even then you saw the peak on the day itself. By examining historical data, you get a good idea of ​​how quickly the attention for a search term increases or decreases. Outsource SEO texts? Try CopyRobin. Now place a free trial # 4 Use Google Trends for your content calendar Let’s go back to the Oscars. If you look at the past 5 years, you can see that the peak is always around March. This is because the Oscars take place every year in early March. For a site about films or celebrities, this is a good time to write down in the content calendar. So you have relevant articles about the film gala every time. (Yes duh .. I already hear you think, as if this is not already in your content calendar, what gossip blog does not know when the Oscars are?) But there are also less obvious examples: Here you see a peak every month. Any idea what search term it is? “Full moon” How can you adjust your content calendar here? It seems pretty absurd to come up with a new blog every full moon. Right. But you can also write one fantastic article and update it continuously. For example, look at how Space.com did it in the US: (And they do not accidentally rank # 1 on ‘when is the next full moon?’ In the Dutch language area this has not yet been applied cleverly.) All they have to do is occasionally update the blog with some little facts and facts. Little investment, a lot of revenue. Reading tip : Keyword research: This is how you find the ‘winners’ # 5 Use ‘related searches’ Google Trends also shows which related queries people use for a particular keyword. Someone who searches for sneakers also often types in the words ‘Nike’ or ‘Adidas’. (Note that you can select both “fast rising” related search terms as well as the “most popular.” In the example above, I use that last category.) This is not only a great opportunity to find some more interesting search terms, it also gives you better insight into the needs of your customers and the ‘search journey’ they make. But you can go a step further. What if you click on the related search terms of the related search terms? For example, see here the related keywords for “Nike sneakers” (previously derived from the keyword “sneakers”): And now that you’re busy … You can also use these Google Trends suggestions in the Keywords Explorer. That way you get even more ideas. By filtering for search volume and keyword difficulty you will find the necessary gems. BONUSTIP: Content about your competitors If you type your company name on Google, you also often look for the competition. But exactly which competitors? Google Trends is also very useful for that. Take, for example, the successful Twentine accounting program Moneybird. Apart from the Chamber of Commerce, business bank Knab and questions about the login, competitor Accumulus is also on the list of rapidly increasing related searches. Moneybird would be able to respond to that. For example with a comparison article about the differences between both packages. Several parties have already done this cleverly. For example, I searched for home delivery services Foodora & Deliveroo (who is better?). Guess who I returned to the top 5 results? Dominoes . Reading tip : Google Search Console for Marketers # 6 See exactly where they need you With Google Trends you can see in which region (country, province, city, metropolis) a search term is popular. This answers an important question: where is the most demand for my products or services? Imagine that you sell lawnmowers: They are waiting for you in Drenthe. In Utrecht there is relatively much less demand. But you can zoom in even further. (Okay Helmond, Hengelo & Heerlen, your lawn mowers are coming!) How can you use this? The most obvious is: Target these regions in AdWords – why should Martin from Amsterdam read five times behind your ad for a lawn mower? Create useful content for specific regions – for example, an article about why Drenthe has the most beautiful gardens in the Netherlands and how your own (freshly cut) lawn can also contribute to that. With Google Trends you can also compare different regions with each other (I discovered this myself only recently!). This is how you do that: Click compare. Type in the same search term. Click on the three circles next to the search term. Click on ‘change filters’. Here you can then set the region or place. Here you can see how many people in the Netherlands and Belgium searched for the World Cup. It will probably not surprise you that there is just a little more attention in Belgium than in the Netherlands. Even if there are more searches from the Netherlands in absolute terms (which also has +/- 50% more inhabitants). BONUSTIP: Use this tactic for local SEO opportunities Imagine that you want to look for new customers as an accountancy firm. How do you know where the most demand at the moment is? Look for “bookkeeper” in Google Trends. In Zeeland there is a relatively large demand for accountants. It might be interesting to focus a landing page specifically on Zeeland customers. What are the problems that they specifically struggle with? # 7 Improve your video strategy YouTube is part of Google. But that does not mean that the search trends match on both platforms. Far from that even. Take a look, for example, how much is being searched for ‘attaching a towbar’. You will find the peak for this search term just before the summer holidays of 2011, yet already 7 years ago. How would that be on Youtube? (Click on ‘Google search’ in the drop-down menu and select ‘Search on Youtube’ instead. Here is the peak of the relative number of searches in the spring of 2017, just a year ago! Apparently the Dutch want to see video content on this subject. As an entrepreneur in the automotive industry you can, of course, respond smartly by making qualitative YouTube videos. Use AHREFS Keyword Explorer for a double check It is quite logical that more and more people are searching for ‘towbar mounting’ on YouTube. But sometimes you want to double check such a trend. You can use the Keyword Explorer for that. Enter your search term and see what the results are. Does a video result also exist? Then chances are that searchers are actually looking for video content. Reading tip : The use of video in the customer journey Finally: Google Trends is secretly still quite useful Google Trends has never been specifically created as a tool for content marketers and SEO. But – as you have read – it can be very useful for your keyword research . There is no other tool available that provides such fresh information about what is TREND NOW. I’m curious if you also use Google Trends for your marketing. Let me know in the comments below. Outsource SEO texts? Try CopyRobin. Now place a free trial Let’s block ads! (Why?)

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