Google Trends isn’t just a tool you can use to waste time at work while making it look like you’re doing something productive and scientific (like seeing if cat memes or dog memes are more popular). Google Trends can provide you with very useful insights.
1. Keyword Popularity
Google AdWord’s Keyword Planner seems to be one of the go-to tools to find out the search volume of a particular term. However, using Google Trends you can break down the popularity based on time, location, category, or search channel (such as image search, web search, YouTube search, etc.)
Lets pretend I own a company that sells hair, skin, and manscaping products to men. I’ve noticed a lot of bearded men lately and want to confirm this trend–after all, the Renaissance Festival is going on this week.
Ah ha! Google Trends confirms my suspicions. Beards have been a growing trend the last few years with the number of search queries peaking in December 2013 (it’s winter, your face gets cold). When narrowing down the time frame to reflect the past couple of years, Google Trends reveals the seasonality of beards. The query “beards” is most searched for in the fall and winter months and declines during the spring and summer months.
As the owner of a company that sells man care products, this information indicates that early fall may be a good time to launch my new line of beard care products. But among beard proponents, which terms are they searching for most when looking for beard care products? Beard oil? Beard Conditioner? Beard…lotion?
2. Similar Keyword Comparison
When selling a product online, its important to know the terminology people use to describe your product and the various nuisances of those terms. Here is a list of product terms related to beard care:
- Beard Oil
- Beard Balm
- Beard Lube (lol)
- Beard Lotion
- Beard Conditioner
- Beard Softener
Out of those 6 terms, only 3 (beard oil, beard balm, and beard conditioner) of them had enough search volume to show up on Google Trends.
As we can see by the chart, the query “beard oil” is searched at a much greater rate than beard balm and beard conditioner. “Beard Balm” appears to be a recent product that seems to be trending upward. Perhaps this is a term I want to keep an eye on.
3. Keywords Based on Region
Google Trends doesn’t just tell you the popularity of a search term just based on time, but also based on region. This can be very useful considering different regions of the country have slightly different vocabularies. For example, do you call soft drinks soda or pop? The same can be true for beard products. Maybe certain terms are more widely used in certain regions.
As you can see, “beard oil” is heavily searched in Oklahoma when compared to other states.
Only a significant amount of searches for “beard conditioner” are done in New York, Texas, California, and Florida. This term may have difficulty reaching a national audience.
Again, very little usage on a national level.
Google Trends also allows you to break this information down based on cities and metropolitan areas. If we look at search volume based on cities, we’ll see a different picture. The term “beard oil” is searched most often in the following cities (comparatively):
- Austin, TX
- Seattle, WA
- New York, NY
- Washington, VA
- Los Angeles, CA
4. Finding unscientific correlations!
You can use Google Trends to discover possible correlations between certain search queries and similar trends. I have a suspicion that the show Duck Dynasty is partly responsible for the beard trend. Let’s see if Google Trends can support this theory.
Hmmmm…those patterns sure do look very similar. I rest my case.