What Is Google Trends and How Can it Help with SEO?
October 14th 2021 | By Sarah McInerney
Google Trends is a free Google tool that helps you see how popular specific searches are in Google and YouTube. First launched in 2006, Trends has been through a variety of updates. Here’s a look at how this tool can enrich your search engine optimisation efforts by delivering insightful keyword data.
How to Use Google Trends for SEO
Google Trends can be used in a number of ways to boost SEO. Here’s what it can do…
Find search volume trends
If you’re wondering how to use Google trends for SEO, simply type a keyword into the search bar, and you’ll see the search trends for that keyword over the past 12 months. You can adjust this to show trends for a longer period if you wish, which will help you distinguish between trends and fads. Expanding the date range will also help you identify seasonal keywords, and avoid them if you wish.
Using the related topics element of this tool helps you find keywords that are becoming popular, so you can create content around the very subjects that people are searching for. If you used a regular keyword research tool, you wouldn’t see these valuable trends, just a search volume.
Google Trends can also help you avoid using keywords that are declining in popularity.
Find related keywords
Whilst you can also see how a keyword is trending by using the Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends will show you newly trending keywords.
Simply type in your search, then scroll down to the related queries section. Here you’ll find closely related keywords, but not just any old related keywords… trending keywords. These are the keywords that are trending for the search term, ‘working from home’, for example.
Find breakout keywords
Sometimes, Google replaces the growth percentage with the word ‘breakout’. This means that Google doesn’t have sufficient search volume data to give you meaningful results.
Any search that is growing by more than 5000 per cent will be marked as breakout rather than noting the precise percentage. These breakout keywords are valuable, because they are not yet competitive. So if you use them in your content, you could net yourself a spot on Google’s page one results relatively easily before the keyword hits the mainstream. The only thing is, some breakout keywords will be fads, showing growth for just a short period of time, then disappearing off the radar.
Reveal related topics
If you’re looking for ideas for blog or video content, the related topics feature in Google Trends will help massively. These are all the topics that Google considers closely related to your search term.
From these, you could potentially create a whole blog, video or social media content series. You’ll need to further investigate the topics to find specific keywords, but you will benefit from the related topics, which can be tricky to come up with on your own.
If you change ‘rising’ to ‘top’, then you’ll see topics that aren’t necessarily increasing in popularity, but that are consistently seeing large volumes of monthly searches.
Identify local search trends
The ‘interest by sub-region’ feature in Google Trends allows you to see in which location your search term was most popular during your timeframe. Values appear on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is the location with the greatest popularity as a fraction of total searches in that location. A value of 50 indicates a location that is half as popular.
If you run a local business that serves a specific area, then you will definitely want to look closely at search volumes and trends for that particular area, because this data can and does vary from one region or city to another.
This feature can also be very helpful when it comes to finding keywords for a local SEO campaign, and to check whether there is a demand for a particular service in a certain area.
Come up with fresh keyword ideas
You don’t have to use Google Trends to search for a particular keyword. You can also use its ‘Trending Searches’ feature.
This will show you live data for searches that have peaked during the past 24 hours. The only thing with this approach is that the majority of these keywords are going to be passing fads, which makes it a waste of time creating content around them, unless you are running a timely social media campaign. If you use the category drop-down though, then you can narrow down the search to your niche industry, which can help filter out the breaking news centred keywords that don’t have legs.
Find related keywords
Related, or LSI keywords, are search terms related to the main keyword you are targeting.
Latent semantic indexing (LSI) is a system that analyses the words being used around a given topic. Google’s algorithm uses LSI keywords – words and phrases closely linked to a target topic – to help determine the quality of content and its relevance to the search term.
For Google, it’s all about ensuring web users find what they are looking for, rather than what they searched for.
Need help with SEO?
Are you looking for some expert help with managed SEO campaigns? Here at Figment, we’ve been helping businesses London and Surrey wide to boost their online visibility and increase sales since 2006. Our proven SEO tactics have led to considerable business growth for many local brands.
To discuss how we can help meet YOUR business goals, please get in touch.