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Maybe you have heard of Google Trends before and know a thing or two about how it works. What you might be missing, however, is some actionable tips on how to actually use it to your site’s benefit. That’s why we’re here! What you’ll read next is a guide on how to use Google Trends for a variety of purposes.

The website can help you in many ways – find a niche, do keyword research, see what’s trending in your country, get new content ideas, compare topics, or learn about your audience.

Whatever your reason might be, we’ll show you how to do all these things. Google Trends is completely free, so if you’re just starting out, it’s something you should look into. Let’s dive in!

How to use Google Trends for various needs in 2021

To make your reading easier, we’re breaking this post down into sections based on your needs. In each section, we will show you how to use Google Trends to achieve a particular goal.

Here’s what Google Trends can do for you:

  1. Monitor search trends
  2. Find new keywords
  3. Research your niche
  4. See the latest popular searches
  5. Compare keywords
  6. Optimize for video and eCommerce
  7. Target local audiences
  8. Analyze competitors
  9. Plan your yearly calendar

Thanks to monitoring trends, you will be aware of the popularity of a topic at any given time. You can schedule posts based on the period or events that tend to see a higher search rate in the search engines.

To begin keyword research, go to Google Trends and search for any given term.

For instance, if you want to write about (or sell) jackets, give it a search in Google Trends and check the chart. You will notice that this term has more searches during winter, with a peak in November. You will also notice that it loses popularity between February and October.

It applies to any term that you want to learn more about. Recognizing the patterns will help you publish your content when people really need it. Publishing at the right time will bring you more visitors than if you would when people lose interest in a topic.

This mostly applies to seasonal topics. There are also evergreen ones that can stay on top of the charts throughout the entire year. This means that you can write about them anytime you want.

For example, “improve sleep” is constant during the whole year even though it has its fluctuations here and there. This keyword gained popularity in the past two years. Therefore, if you want to write about improving sleep, you have many good opportunities to do so.

Another reason why you would want to check search trends is to update your old content. Make sure to update it with queries that are of high interest at a certain time.

By default, Google Trends gives you a range of 12 months to analyze a search term, but you can change that range to more than one year. This gives you more clarity on which keywords perform in the long run and which reach spikes in searches for shorter periods only.

You can check the trends in a specific country or worldwide as well – if you’re addressing an international audience.

2. Find new keywords

The best way to get new content ideas is to start your search with a seed keyword, select the time range and country, and scroll down to see the last two blocks. In the “Related queries” block to the right, you will get suggestions that are related to your seed term. Filter the keywords to get the top results and you will see the queries that have the most searches for that time range.

If you click on any of these related queries, it results in more statistics for that specific query and even more keyword suggestions. So you can dig deep, jump from keyword to keyword to get new popular content ideas.

You can either look at the trending (rising) queries to see what people are hyped about at the present time or check the top queries from the time range you selected. The top queries display the most searched keywords that are related to your topic.

💡 Tip: For the rising queries, you will usually see by what percentage their searches increased during the period you selected. But, sometimes, you will see the word “Breakout” next to them. A query that is marked with “Breakout” has been growing by more than 5000% lately. So these are the search terms to aim at if your goal is to bring a lot of traffic to your site.

Be careful, though, because many of these keywords don’t have long-term popularity. They are temporary keywords that are trending for a limited period of time and then disappear.

Make sure to take a look at the “Related topics” block as well for more inspiration. There, you will see the topics that users searched for in relation to your main search term.

3. Research your niche

Before deciding upon a niche for your website, make sure it is something that still brings value. Trends come and go, so you want to know for sure if it’s worth investing in an idea.

In Google Trends, search for the niche you would like to tackle on your site. Switch the stats date in “Interest over time” from 12 months to 2004-present. This way, you can have an overview of how it has evolved or regressed over a long period of time.

For example, if you search for current topics like “bitcoin” or “vlogging,” you will see an overwhelming increase in the charts over the past few years. If you look for “finance,” you will notice that this topic has been of interest all the time, without any remarkable modifications or spikes.

So, based on the numbers in front of you and the fluctuations in the chart, you can understand better which niches have more chances of success. If the charts are constant, even though there is no considerable increase, it’s still a good sign. It means that your topic has a cool community of users that are being loyal to it, hence you can build a nice community yourself around this topic.

Pay close attention to terms that only see temporary popularity and then drop consistently in the charts. You do not want to commit to a niche that brings evident risks.

If you’re into writing time-sensitive content, Google Trends should be your best friend. How to use Google Trends to get the list of the latest popular searches? Just enter Google Trends, select the country whose trends you want to check (top right corner), and scroll down.

Here, you will see the recently trending searches and the yearly top searches in that country. Keep in mind that these currently trending keywords are temporary and they might not be as popular next week or month.

If you write news or short articles to get a boost in traffic, this feature in Google Trends is your go-to resource. But if you plan to write content for people to come back to later, you should not rely on the latest trending searches. Keyword research on longer time frames will be much more relevant for evergreen, long-form content.

5. Compare keywords

Use Google Trends’ comparison option to see which relative keywords have the most searches and how they fluctuate over time.

For example, there are terms that get a huge spike in popularity for a short period of time and then drop to very few searches per month. On the other hand, there are terms that never hit spikes but stay constant during a long period of time.

If you need long-term content, you would want to use the constant search term because it will be still relevant for a niche in the following years.

This feature is cool because it’s easier to observe the differences and find the most effective keyword when you have all the stats presented in the same chart.

Let’s take this interesting example where we compare podcasts vs audiobooks:

It seems that podcasts are people’s favorite form of audio content. After seeing a drop in popularity in 2008, they rose again in 2017. Even though there’s been a slight decline in searches in 2021, they seem to remain dominant. Another interesting observation is that, while podcasts have ups and downs in the number of searches, audiobooks follow a constant path from their very beginning to today.

6. Improve SEO for video and eCommerce

If your business relies on video marketing or eCommerce (or both), Google Trends is a good resource to understand how trends vary.

When you search for a term, change the channel from “Web Search” to “YouTube Search” or “Google Shopping.” The results you will get will only include one of these two platforms and not the general Google search engine.

They are very helpful because you can see what products or industries are popular for eCommerce shops. Also, you can find topics that can make for successful videos based on what people search on YouTube.

For example, if you search for “how to cook,” you will notice that it has more weekly searches on YouTube than it has in Google search. So, if you want to create content about this topic, you might want to consider resorting to videos.

This is a cool feature because, while some keywords work great for blog articles, they might not be so popular in a video format, and vice versa. It helps you adapt your content based on the topic and channel.

7. Target local audiences

Another cool thing about Google Trends is the fact that you can use it to learn about your audience. When you search for a query, you will see the regions and cities where your content or products are the most popular.

You can use this data to optimize your website for local SEO and target these specific regions through paid advertising or custom content. You can personalize your content marketing to reach more of these targeted areas and increase conversion rates.

8. Analyze your competitors

Sometimes people search for a specific brand they trust when they look for a product. The same happens if they enjoy a specific blogger’s content or vlogger’s videos.

Through Google Trends, you can see in “Related queries” if any brands do show up in people’s searches.

If I search for “coffee,” I get “Starbucks” as one of the top queries that are related to it. When you see brands in the suggested queries, you get a hint at who your competition is and can study their marketing strategy.

You can also use the comparison feature in Google Trends to see how many searches your competitors have – either versus yourself or versus each other. These stats will help you analyze your market and spot the areas where you can improve your branding strategy.

You can even write content to compare your products with those of your competition and present the benefits of your products to the users.

9. Plan your yearly calendar

If your niche involves writing about hot topics that come and go for short periods of time, proper editorial planning is what you need. With this kind of topics, it’s best to find the perfect timing so that your content, sales, or seasonal offers are live just in time for the peak.

By learning how to use Google Trends, you will be able to look up keywords and topics in advance, check their peak searches over the years and schedule your content based on conclusions from that.

Learn how to use Google Trends in 2021

This wraps up our guide on how to use Google Trends. As you can see, the tool can provide you with valuable insights for your content strategy. It will help you plan ahead and schedule your content for the most optimal periods throughout the year. It will also give you relevant numbers concerning your audience and seasonal topics.

To recap, here’s how to use Google Trends:

  1. Monitor search trends
  2. Find new keywords
  3. Research your niche
  4. See the latest popular searches
  5. Compare keywords
  6. Optimize for video and eCommerce
  7. Target local audiences
  8. Analyze competitors
  9. Plan your yearly calendar

How often do you use Google Trends? Do you think it is a must-have tool for any individual or business looking to increase site traffic?

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