How to Use Google Trends for SEO
Using Google Trends to See When Your Clients are Looking to Spend Money
In a perfect world, our clients are always rearing and ready to shell out that cold, hard cash in exchange for the goods or services we’re offering. Also in a perfect world, they’re willing to pay double what we charge and want work started yesterday.
But since a perfect world we do not live in, we must better understand this elusive entity we call “our clientele.” From who they are to what they like to do at 3:00PM on a Saturday afternoon, all goes into making the ideal target demographic. That person that just needs to be introduced to your company for the sale to happen. And what a glorious moment that is.
But to get Joe Shmoe to whip out the wallet, we have to understand a lot about Joe. What aspects of the internet does he frequent. Is he an email guy? Is he a social media addict? Is he actually a she? Whatever he or she or they may be, there’s one thing they have to be – and that’s understood by you.
While there’s no less than 2 dozen demographics your target may or may not fall in, the one we want to talk about today is intent to buy. A person in Northern Virginia is probably looking for lawn mowing services in spring and a gym membership around the New Year. Right? Maybe – but there’s a really awesome (and easy) way to find out what exactly Joe Shmoe is thinking when he’s thinking it.
What is Google Trends
Before we tell all about your client’s need, wants, and desires, let’s explain what Google Trends is. TechTarget says it best when it states that “Google Trends is an online search tool that allows the user to see how often specific keywords, subjects and phrases have been queried over a specific period of time.”
“You mean you’re telling me I can see exactly how many people searched for my service in a specific location at any given time?!” Whoa there, tiger. Not exactly. Google Trends is a tool best paired with Keyword Planner and a glass of Pino Grigio. The charts Google’s trend application produces is relative meaning that it’s a number based off of the total number of searches in a given set of parameters.
“Google Trends works by analyzing a portion of Google searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms entered, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over the same time.” You can use the tool to compare up to 5 search terms or phrases and see relative data based off of those keyphrases. You can also research data from yesterday all the way back to 2004 (when was the interwebs invented?!).
So now that we know what Google Trends is, let’s talk about how to use it to find out when you’re customers are looking for your services.
Google Trends Show You When Your Clients are Looking for Your Services
Using the comparison data from a Google Trend chart shows us two things: which keyphrase is preferred by our audience and when they’re most search for that word or phrase.
For instance, if we’re looking up “Northern Virginia SEO” and “Virginia SEO companies,” we’ll see a relative chart based off the search results for those two keyphrases. Pro-tip: narrowing down by location will really limit your results, so keep your keywords broad – we’re looking for trends here, not scientific evidence. For example, the two phrases above (“Northern Virginia SEO” and “Virginia SEO Companies”) are too narrow and don’t provide results, but comparing “SEO Company” and “SEO Companies” shows me that the prior is more researched than the latter and that November is typically the slowest time for those two search phrases.
Let’s try another more predictable search comparison: “Lawn Mowers” and “Snow Removal.” The results? Predictable if you know that most humans suffer from “wait ‘til the last minute-ness.” The chart dating back to 2004 is almost completely indirectly related with the search for lawn mowers peaking every April and the search for snow removal capping out from December through January. No signs of global warming affecting the snow plow business (yet).
Scale it down – use the filters to narrow location to the US. See if people are searching for products or Youtube videos. See exactly where people are searching and what related search terms they’re looking for (and if you’ve got a good SEO Company, send them the search terms and get some content up on your site).
The use for Google Trends and better understanding your target audience are endless. From letting you know which is a preferred keyphrase to telling you when and where people are looking, it’s a really powerful tool when applied to SEO.