10 Ways To Use Google Trends For Market Research
Google – the one word that has changed our lives forever! This one search engine has outgrown every other search engine and accounts for over 88% of the world’s search engine market. With over 1.5 billion users worldwide, Google produces 6.3 billion search queries, per day. These facts are enough to prove how Google has become an indispensable part of our daily lives. And is not just the search engine, but a whole lot of other supporting tools for Google that have changed the face of online research and marketing, like – Google My Business, Google AdWords, Google Trends, Google Drive, Google Alerts, YouTube, Google AdSense, and so many more. Among these tools, we are going to focus on one, which provides users with highly useful information, depending on Google’s data collection of search query information and that is – Google Trends.
What is Google Trends?
Google Trends is a free keyword research tool that helps users with insights and ideas about people’s search patterns not only in Google search but also in Google News, Google Images, Google Shopping, and YouTube. It shows how often a certain search term is put into Google’s search engine with the site’s total search traffic over time. To put it simply, it shows the popularity of a search term on Google. Originally introduced in 2006, the latest version of Google Trends was released in May 2018.
How Does Google Trends Function?
When it comes to evaluating the performance of a company’s SEO strategy, Google Trends is a fantastic tool. It will not only show users which themes and queries have been popular in searches, but it will also provide data on how frequently various searches have been done over a specific period – that ranges from as latest as the last hour, to as far as the year 2004.
Google can then visualize the data by creating a trend graph of the searched topic over the period you specify, allowing you to quickly analyze the results. The Search Volume Index graph can be used to visualize the results of up to five distinct searches at once, allowing you to perform analysis and comparison research. No wonder, all SEO-based companies and brands prefer to use Google Trends for market research.
Step By Step Guide To Use Google Trends For Market Research
First, enter any topic into the search bar. As soon as you enter the topic, there come four filters, which further assist in setting up a context and providing more refined search results. These options are :
- Area of Location – this helps to geographically contextualize your search.
- Time Bracket – ranges from last hour till the year 2004.
- Broad Categories – includes 25 broad categories like Arts & Entertainment, Books and Literature, Health, Science, etc. Each of these broad categories includes several subcategories.
- Search Type: Image search, News Search, Google Shopping, YouTube Search.
Once you scroll you get further options to refine your search –
- Sub Regions: This helps to further break down your search to a more precise geographical location.
- Related Topics: It shows a list of related topics.
- Related Queries: It shows a search of related queries.
Also Read: How to Use Content Writing Keywords
Now Comes the Big Question of How to Use Google Trends for Market Research?
1. Understanding And Executing Keyword Research
Keyword Research is an extremely vital component of market research and SEO-related business. It refers to the number of times, a given topic, was searched by users, in a limited time frame. It is through Keyword research data, you can drive traffic to your site. With Google Trends, we can search any keyword and see its performance over some time.
And you can get such data from popular keywords, searched not only on Google but also on YouTube. Google Trends helps to get an idea about the demand or popularity of any keyword/trend. Choosing popular keywords, and using them in their articles, help content creators to drive more traffic and gain popularity. Also, entrepreneurs and businessmen use Google Trends for market research.
It helps them to get an idea about the timing when there is a rise in the demand for their products in the market. Accordingly, they launch advertisement campaigns, and promotional offers to boost their business and make more profits. For example, a company selling Air Conditioner undertakes a search on Google trends.
By using the time frame – 2004 – to the present, and by selecting the location as India, the user gets a clear idea of the spike in demand for air conditioners, around May and June, every year. And since this trend is constant every year, since 2004, there is no doubt about its authenticity. This helps to plan and prepare an effective business model and make most of the demand.
2. Getting Related Keywords
Another advantageous way to use Google Trends for market research is to focus on its suggestions for related queries. This has multiple benefits. It allows you to expand your topic and find clues to further research. These suggestions are shown according to popularity and also provide details of the percentage of search volume of each topic. The trending searches page and the related ‘queries’ and ‘topics’ sections help you to come up with new keyword ideas.
Taking the previous example of air-conditioners, the related topics in Google Trends are – Power Inverter, Solar air-conditioning, etc. This gives a good idea about the kind of demands, the market has for various related product categories. This helps in broadening the business idea and customizing it according to the growing needs.
Here’s What You See as Related Topics and Queries:
A very important thing to note here is the term ‘Breakout’. These keywords are very rewarding, as you can use them in your article to land on the first slot on Google’s search page. These trending keywords attract traffic to your content making you earn the coveted slot on the Google search page.
However, such keywords often turn out to be fads and not real trends. So the best way to check the viability of such “Breakout’ keywords, is, by increasing the time frame. If they continue to be ‘Breakouts’ over a long duration, only then build a content strategy around them. That way you can never go wrong with the trends and your content doesn’t fade out soon. It is very important to be aware of such technical details and to use Google Trends for market research.
3. Filter Your search by Time and Location
It is very important to be able to distinguish between a fad and a genuine trend when you use Google Trends for market research. This can be done by selecting a bigger time frame, instead of a year or a few months. Initially go for the broadest time frame – 2004 to present. This helps in having a general idea about the topic, and its trends over time.
Then further break it down into narrower time frames like the past 5 years, past 12 months, and past 90 days to get a more real-time idea about the market. Likewise, breakdown the location from country to city, to have an overview of the local market. This helps in gathering more accurate information about the brand, on a granular level.
Continuing with the previous example of air conditioners, we saw its demand patterns have a uniformity when we use the location India. However, when we break it down to specific locations, over the last 5 years, we notice, that the demand patterns change considerably. This location and time-specific information help you to customize your business plan or content strategy.
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4. Compare Upward Trending and Downward Trending Keywords for Better Market Research
There are two kinds of keywords – one that exists for a longer duration and the other that exists for a shorter duration. Quick research on Google Trends will reveal which keyword is –
- Upward Trending Keyword– If a keyword is trending long term and still going upward, this means it’s a stable trend to create content.
- Downward Trending Keyword – If a keyword is trending long-term term but slowly dipping down then it implies that users are losing interest in it.
When you use Google Trends for market research, it is very important to know that creating content on Upward trending keywords is always more rewarding, as it will keep drawing traffic for a long period. For example, it is noteworthy how the demand for online classes spiked from the middle of 2020, due to the pandemic, whereas demand for physical classes was at an all-time low.
However, with time, and successful tackling of the pandemic, online classes are gradually losing their popularity and physical classes are gradually picking up. So if you own an academic or coaching or professional institute, this valuable insight on Upward Trending and Downward Trending keywords using Google Trends will help you to schedule your classes.
5. Frequently Use Advanced Search Options
A very unique feature of Google Trends that is generally ignored by Google Trend users is the feature of the 5 options
- Web search (Default Setting)
- Image Search
- News Search
- Google Shopping
- YouTube Search
Whenever you use Google Trends for market research, make sure you click all these fields. Each segment will lead to different leads to potential markets. In addition to this, it helps in generating new keyword ideas for your content and gives ideas about rival companies as well. Continuing with the example, we search for the keyword “Air Conditioners’, and used the feature Google Shopping, and this is what we get.
All the Related Topic gives us a fair idea about the standings of different rival A.C. companies. Also note the “Rising” option, on top of the related keywords. This ‘Rising” option is a very effective tool for SEO, as it signals upcoming new trends. Thorough research of “Rising” keywords is highly recommended to content writers, as they might lead you to a trending topic and earn you the first position on Google’s search page.
6. Efficacy of YouTube & Google News Search Category for Research and Analysis in Google Trends
By now we know that search results on YouTube can also be gathered from Google Trends. YouTube has the maximum “how to” search hits. Compared to ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘how’ is the most popular search word. So if you are producing instructional content ( that includes ‘how to’), the YouTube search category of Google Trends is particularly beneficial.
Similarly, the search patterns in the Google News section of Google Trends are very different from those on YouTube. In the past 90 days time frame, people mostly search ‘what’ and ‘how to’ related information in Google News. In 5 years time frame, who’ related searches become predominant.
So depending on the target audience, the topic, and its requirement, you can use different features of Google Trends for market research. Such features help to cut down on the excess load of information and give more accurate workable data. This is why content creators use Google Trends for market research, regularly.
7. Using Short Term Trends to Attract Traffic
Short-term trends can be capitalized on to attract massive traffic. Use Google Trends for market research to find Keywords that trend for 90 days or 30 days. This data gives valuable insights into such a fast-changing scenario. For example, doing a 90 days/30 days search on ‘How to’ and ‘Near me’ content gives an idea about the trends that get popular on particular days of the week.
This helps in planning and publishing content beforehand, so that the user reaches it just at the time of requirement. The only downside to this practice is such content, around short-term keywords eventually fade and fail to attract traffic after a certain phase. Unlike evergreen content, their lifetime is very short.
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8. Monitoring Marketing Strategies
Use of Google Trends is not just limited to planning marketing strategies but also to monitor your marketing performance and overall brand performance. The Search Volume Index gives vital insights about when your ‘keywords’ gain the maximum momentum, and when they drop. This data can be used to improve marketing strategies, revise content productions and eventually draw more traffic.
One thing that should be noted is that while searching your brand results, other information on alike-titled brands might also come up. So it would be better to search your brand along with a product or service to get the more authentic information. And in this way, the use of Google Trends for market research can be optimized.
9. Beat the Competition
You can not only use this tool for market research but also to gain vital insights about your competitors. In any Google Trends search, you’ll find related searches in addition to relevant topics. These enable you to examine what kinds of search phrases people used in conjunction with the ones you typed in, as well as compare a popular search to the total number of hits for your topic of interest.
Furthermore, you can also enter your brand and the rival brand name for a comparative analysis of brand performance. It is not the most comprehensive competition analysis accessible, but it will give you a fair idea of how frequently their product, brand, or service is searched on Google’s search engines. As we can see a comparative analysis of 2 popular Air Conditioning brands in India using Google Trends –
10. Latest Trends
Another useful feature of Google Trends is the ability to view what has been trending across the country. You can click on the upward, left button and click on ‘Trending Searches’ to see the latest ‘Daily Search Trends’ and also ‘Real-Time Search trends’ in India.
1. How reliable are the sample of searches, used in Google Trends?
While Google Trends only uses a sample of Google searches, this is sufficient considering Google handles billions of queries every day. It would be impossible to process the complete data set promptly if everyone had access to it. A dataset, representative of all Google searches while discovering insights that can be processed within minutes of an event occurring in the real world, is used. So it is reliable.
2. How is the data on Google Trends adjusted?
The data on Google Trends is converted into a ratio and presented on a scale of 1 – 100. So ‘0’ means an insufficient amount of data, 50 implies that the keyword is half-popular and 100 implies the highest number of searches.
3. Which tool gives a more accurate number of keyword search estimates – paid SEO tools or Google Tends?
Paid SEO tools come up with exact numbers for keyword search volume. Google Trends provides information on real-time search traffic. So instead of saying one is better than the other, it would be safer to conclude that, when both SEO tools and Google Trends are used together, you can have an almost accurate estimation of keyword search volume.
The use of Google Trends is dynamic, versatile, and unlimited. It helps you to peek into the rising trends while enlightening you about the current trend as well. It’s a fascinating look behind the scenes at people’s ever-changing interests throughout the world. By upgrading popular SEO pieces just in time for peak season, you’ll be able to identify complementary verticals to grow your catalog and accelerate your blog traffic. You’ll be a step ahead of the competition if you use these strategies that are shared in this article. The more you work on it, the more you learn about it. Keep discovering and most importantly keep enjoying Google Trends.