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3 Ways to Use Google Search Trends in Your Marketing

As we discovered in last month’s Google Trends blog, there were some aggressive peaks as online users shifted their behaviour due to lockdown. There were jumps in online searches for jigsaw puzzles and hair clippers, as well as growth in gardening and DIY click and collect search terms.

When used correctly Google Trends can help to build a timely and relevant marketing strategy.

1. Use Google Trends to identify which similar keywords are the most valuable to your business

With more people now than ever in the past 12 months in the UK searching for the term “bike”, particularly in the last 90 days, it isn’t hard to see the business opportunity. Sales of bikes have also increased alongside this peak in searches, with many retailers selling out and the bicycle boom well and truly here.

However, people searching for “bike” is one thing, but investing in marketing when you do have bikes in stock requires a much more cohesive strategy than just appearing for the term “Bike”.

The short term wins

If you have bikes in stock, then happy days as more people are searching and buying. The strategy then comes into play when you plan how much you are willing to invest in ensuring your website is found for ‘Bike’, ‘bicycle’, ‘ladies bike’ etc.. Each will hold a different value in regards to revenue, and each will vary in the required investment.

For the short term, paid search and social media are likely to be your go to channels. They are quick to set up and get your business found. They are also easy to shift the strategy based on sales and stock levels and therefore give advertisers a lot of control. Use Google Trends to decide what the possible volume might be for relevant keywords and understand how each keyword will vary so much based on time, location and type of search.

Google Trends can show us which search terms have had the most uplift in search trends. As well as this you can see related rising searches. ‘Ladies bike’ and ‘womens bike’ both see a considerable peak.

Additionally ‘bike with basket’ and ‘ladies bicycle’ both see a reasonable peak in searches, although they have a lower volume overall. ‘Womens bicycle’ however doesn’t seem to be a term people use in the UK.

Longer term wins

If we are able to see that people are currently going mad for bikes, what future trends may that likely impact?
Looking ahead to after the lockdown, will people still continue to use their bikes or will there be sheds, corridors and alleyways across the UK filled with disused bikes? Is there another opportunity to set up a buy back scheme, a recycling or bike storage model alongside your business?

Google trends for 2019 shows peaks in ‘sell my bike’ searches in late January, possibly after Christmas, then after the summer possibly suggesting they want to sell before the winter as it will not be used as much.

When you map the term ‘bike storage’ against ‘sell my bike’ you can see the volume in 2019 for this search term was much greater. By looking at past data in Google Trends it can help you map out the future plans for your business:

2. Use Google Trends to identify plural and singular search term volume and how they may differ based on the user intent

The Google Trend graph below shows how very slight variations in spellings or words can have a huge impact on volume and opportunity.

‘Birthday gifts’ vs ‘birthday gift’ demonstrates this point as clear as day. The plural search term has seen a much higher growth trend than the singular search term. This doesn’t necessarily follow the logic but it does showcase how user behaviour varies so much.

It makes sense that people are searching more now for online gifts due to the lockdown. But does it make sense that the plural search should be much more active? This would suggest the users intent is to purchase multiple gifts at one time. Is that the case or are they simply searching for multiple answers to gather ideas? Either way there are clear benefits in knowing there is a difference. This way you can adjust your search marketing strategy accordingly.

In this instance, you might expect that ‘birthday gifts’ has the higher clicks and costs due to having an increased trend. However that is not actually the case.

The table below is from Google’s own keyword projection tool and shows that the singular version of the keyword is actually considerably more expensive per click. At the same time it has over double the number of impressions and projected clicks.

birthday gifts and gift clicks and cpc

This may sway how you approach your advertising strategy and how valuable each of these searches is to your business.

3. Google Trends vs YouTube Trends can help identify marketing opportunities

With many people working remotely there has been a phased approach to how working from home becomes more ‘normal’ and comfortable. With this we can compare how people are searching.

Google Trends offers the ability to see the same trend data but across Google Web search, Image search, News search, Shopping and YouTube.

The Google web search over the past 12 months for ‘remote working’, ‘home office’ and ‘how to work from home’ shows a fairly similar trend, each with a clear uplift in searches in March. However the searches are clearly dominated by ‘home office’.

However when we look at the same searches, over the same time period but look at YouTube searches, we can see a clear difference. The peaks and troughs are fairly similar and more sporadic, however they still reach some interesting peaks.

How is this useful I hear you ask?

Although there is no direct pattern, what we can take from this data is the searches, and hence people using YouTube to search for working from home related terms opens an opportunity if you offer a product or service relevant to working from home;

e.g. laptop docking stations, keyboards, webcams, ipads, ergonomic office chairs, notebooks, lap cushions, lamps, flowers (to brighten up the place), wifi boosters, cables, microphones, headphones, video conference software, collaboration software, project management tools, training – you get the point.

See the YouTube data below:

There are so many opportunities where YouTube could be a better channel for you to engage with the right customers at the right time.

Key Takeaways

Use Google Trends to identify which similar keywords are the most valuable to your business and build an effective ROI strategy based on how people are searching. Build into that the short term and long term opportunities.

Use Google Trends to identify plural and singular search term volume and how they may differ based on the users intent. Based on the location and audience you are looking to engage, ensure that you have tailored your strategy to the most appropriate version of those keywords.

Comparing Google Trends vs YouTube trends can help identify opportunities. By comparing the trends on different search types you can be even more relevant and targeted based on how users are searching for your products and services online.

If you are interested in exploring how to utilise current trends and how to adapt your marketing strategy to ensure you are moving with the trends, please do not hesitate to contact me via LinkedIn @rachelmepham I’d love to hear from you.

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