Using Google Trends For SEO – Tricks and tips

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Google Trends is a tool that anyone who does anything even remotely related to SEO will come across sooner or later.

Whether you are a marketer who is compelled to check out current popular topics or an SEO expert attempting to optimise content delivery times, a better understanding of Google Trends can be an invaluable tool.

How you use this service can have a much greater impact than you may realise. Use Google Trends in the wrong way and it can give you a skewed view of reality.

Use it correctly, however, and you have a tool that can help you in a myriad of different ways, from analysing trends better to aiding with other SEO research.

Keep this in mind: Trends is all about relative popularity

Whereas tools like Keyword Planner deal with absolute volumes, Trends is all about relative popularity trends.

“Each data point is divided by the total searches of the geography and time range it represents to compare relative popularity. Otherwise, places with the most search volume would always be ranked highest.”


Google essentially attempts to score searches on a scale from 0-100 based on where the searches are coming, when they are happening, and what they represent.

Get a better understanding of time-sensitive searches

Whenever you search for a term in Google Trends, you can view its popularity across a variety of time ranges. This is crucial to understand when topics are at their most popular.

Some search trends will be painfully obvious. For example, searches for Mother’s Day will peak on that day and instantly vanish afterwards. However, you may find trends that are much more surprising and thus, far more valuable.

Curate your content accordingly

Regardless of where your marketing efforts are focused, there is a case to be made for curating content around specific times.

Jumping on the bandwagon of a currently hot trend is not always a winning strategy; often, it’s better to prepare for trends you know will be popular.

As an example, if you are trying to market winter socks, you may think that they are most searched for in the coldest months. However, the data might actually show that people are trying to sort out their wardrobes much earlier than that, allowing you to get a leg up on your competition.

Distinguish actually popular queries from flukes

In many cases, search volume data can be very misleading as to the actual popularity of any query. There are so many fads in this day and age that it can truly be hard to distinguish between items of value and worthless ones.

That’s when you need to take a deeper look into Google Trends and see what’s happening with the popularity of any given query. If you see a million queries in November 2018 but nothing before and since, then does its total search volume matter in any way, shape, or form for your current marketing efforts?

The same can be true for any search term that surges in popularity due to a specific event. Leonardo DiCaprio finally winning an Oscar was huge news but that does not mean searches for the actor will stay at the same popularity afterwards.

Never miss out on currently popular topics

You may have already heard that if you fail to capitalise on a trend within a given time frame, you might as well give up on it as your efforts will be in vain due to the competition being quicker.

This, however, does not take into account the relative popularity that a trend might have over a period of time.

Take any film nominated for an Oscar as an example. When the nominees are announced, search popularity spikes. However, these searches stay popular for a couple of days so you can still capitalize on them.

Find surprisingly relevant terms and skip the competition

Google Trends offers a lot of similar queries and trends to help you understand what other terms might be relevant to you as sometimes search language is different than what you may expect.

Use your imagination, however, and you will get a treasure trove of relevant trends that Google itself may miss.

For example, searches for the Grammy Awards are obviously going to go up when they are on. But did you know that searches for the Oscars also skyrocket around the same time? Even better, search popularity wanes relatively slowly so you can focus on it for a few days.

Don’t forget about YouTube trends

Video is obviously huge nowadays and it shows no signs of slowing down. One of the things that people seem to have missed, however, is that a lot of searches have moved from traditional platforms to video ones.

If you have noticed a dip in the organic searches of any term, don’t dismiss it right away. First, check to see if its searches have moved on to YouTube.

This should give you a much better idea of what is happening. Then, you can focus your marketing efforts on creating video-heavy content that will actually be consumed and may well mean the difference between winning over potential leads.

Finally, be creative

As is the case with any other tool you can use to boost your SEO efforts, the competition is stiff and making sure that your own campaigns hit the mark can often be extremely challenging.

Because of the fact that the same tools are available to virtually everyone, you will have to be a bit creative with your use of Google Trends.

Try to think of imaginative search terms, get down into the nitty gritty details of time-sensitive searches, and look up geographical areas that you may not have considered before.

With that, and these tips, you will hopefully be well on your way to using Google Trends to its maximum potential.