How to Use Google Trends for Marketing

Do you wish you could understand how people are searching for products or services in your industry? Are you wondering when or where they are most interested in searching for them? 

You’re in luck because there is a handy tool to help you discover these answers. It’s called Google Trends, and it can help you supercharge your marketing efforts.

Let’s have a look at how you can use Google Trends for marketing your products or services—more effectively and efficiently.

What is Google Trends?

Google Trends is an online tool offering a visual comparison of relative traffic levels for specific search queries. It shows how searches trend over time, so you can analyze changes in search behaviors across specific time frames, platforms, and regions.

For example, here is the data for the term “online learning” in the U.S. over the past year:

online-learning

Source: Google Trends

You can see at the end of February 2020, there was a spike in searches for online learning, and it has gradually decreased over the following few months. Since we know all U.S. schools moved to virtual learning during that time, it makes sense there would be a surge in inquiries and less as it moved toward summertime. 

Applying Google Trends Data to Marketing

Now that you understand how Google Trends works, you may be able to see how it can be applied to marketing strategies. Whether you’re working in SEO, PPC, social media or other channels, you can certainly leverage Google Trends data for your business goals. 

Digital Marketing Specialist Master's Program

Advance Your Career as a Digital MarketerEXPLORE COURSE
Digital Marketing Specialist Master's Program

Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

With the data available in Google Trends, you can easily extract insights about where, when, how, and for how long people are searching for terms related to your product, service, or business. 

In terms of Search Engine Optimization, this can help you:

  • Refine keyword choices
  • Expand optimization 
  • Update content

Refine Keyword Choices

When you perform keyword research with tools like Keyword Planner, you receive absolute search volume data (for example, let’s say “online learning” has 10K searches every month). But with Google Trends, you are viewing the relative popularity of a search term (as shown above, “online learning” has been more popular recently).

If you were targeting the keyword “online learning” for SEO purposes, then you would look at the trending data and consider focusing on content for this trend. However, if you were to see a downward trend for this keyword, then you may want to push marketing dollars toward another keyword that’s more popular.

Expand Optimization 

Google Trends has another feature called Keywords Rising, which you can find in the lower right of the results it returns for your search term. 

Here’s what it looks like in our search for “online learning”:

google-trens

Source: Google Trends

As you can see, it displays search queries related to our original search that are on the rise. You may find additional opportunities here for content development, including keywords you may not have thought of before. This helps you expand your optimization efforts to reach your audience with topics they’re interested in right now, which in turn helps you increase traffic to your site. 

Update Content

One of the benefits of using Google Trends for marketing is the ability to track seasonality for search queries. For example, the term “swimsuits” is more popular in the summer months than the winter months as proven by the data:

 swimsuits

Source: Google Trends

If you have existing content on your site that’s performing well, you could update it around this seasonality to reach people who are looking for swimsuits during the time they’re most likely to be looking for them.

Improve Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

If you participate in PPC advertising, then you can also benefit from using Google Trends for your paid marketing activities. Again, you may want to play with the filters for different regions, platforms, and time frames to check for variances.

For example, you may find that trends in Canada are different from the US, or that there are differences in search behavior on the web (desktop, mobile, etc.) than on YouTube. You can apply this data to your advertising strategies to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns. 

You may even combine your SEO and PPC efforts. By creating content around trends, you can reach people who may be interested in your products or services. You’re then bringing them to your website, which helps you increase the effectiveness of your remarketing ads. 

Digital Marketing Career Guide

A Guide to Becoming a Digital Marketing ExpertDownload Now
Digital Marketing Career Guide

Improve Competitor Research

Google Trends can also help you visualize how your products and services are trending compared to your competitors. Here’s a 12-month timeline in the U.S. comparing the Samsung Galaxy phones to Apple iPhones:

samsung

Source: Google Trends

The results can be truly surprising sometimes, which is why doing competitive research with Google Trends can be helpful for marketing purposes. It can show where gaps exist and even challenge assumptions. Marketing teams can use this data as a springboard for improvement, whether that’s analyzing competitors’ marketing channels to see how to improve or reallocating marketing spend to other areas.

Wrapping Up

Google Trends is a highly valuable tool for marketing, including SEO, PPC, social media, email, and other channels. Not only does it assist with your own research, but it helps you evaluate your organization against competitors. Without Google Trends in your toolbox, you miss out on marketing at the moment it matters most to your audience. 

Want to Learn More?

In today’s hypercompetitive business landscape, companies that don’t build a strong marketing strategy risk being left in the dust of their competitors. That’s why they need highly skilled professionals who understand how to leverage the latest tools and techniques to help them stand out in the crowd. Whether you’re a business leader looking to upskill your employees or a professional who wants to boost your career in this exciting field, Simplilearn’s comprehensive Digital Marketing Specialist Master’s program has everything you need to succeed. Check it out today!

About the Author

Rob SandersRob Sanders

Rob Sanders is a digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience. During that time, Rob has helped a wide range of companies utilize new and emerging technologies to increase sales and profitability. As founder of RSO Consulting, Rob helps clients maximize their digital marketing efforts via SEO, SEM, SMO, and Web Analytics. He is responsible for many facets of the web analytics value chain, from identifying business goals and objectives to developing strategies and translating those into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Rob also teaches digital marketing and analytics classes throughout the U.S. and abroad. As a contributor for Simplilearn, Rob creates expert thought leadership content on a variety of digital marketing and analytics topics.

View More
  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.