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Getting Trendy with Google

24th March 2013

When it comes to checking out the best keyphrases for your website, there are a few effective ways to research which ones would be best for your website.  Having a good idea on what your website is a good start!  Another good tip is looking on your competitor’s websites and seeing what keyphrases they use. This is clear by looking at the page title (1), heading (2) and general text content (3).

Key areas for SEO

Now you’re armed with a list of keyphrases, how can you now check what will be the most effective keyphrases to use for your website, or get better suggestions?

Enter Google Trends.  Launched in 2008, under the name Google Insight for Search, this was renamed Google Trends in September 2012.  Its a powerful and useful tool to research and compare keyphrases, but there is much more to it than that, as I will now demonstrate.

Trends depending on Countries

First of all, I’ll give a very contrasting example:  Searching for Paracetamol, Google Trends show the name is popular across Europe, Central America, South America and Asia.

Paracetamol Trend

But if I compare it to Acetaminophen, its American name you can see that although the name isn’t as popular, if you were marketing your website to Americans, this well known painkiller would have to be referred to as Acetaminophen.

UK and US trends

How can this be used for effective marketing?

Ok we’re not all drug stores, so let’s use an example that from one of my recent clients: a worldwide resource marketing horse saddles.  Not everyone is into horses but for the minority that keep and  ride horses, a saddle is a necessity.

Dressage saddle rrends

A search on Dressage saddles show that Australia use this search term the most. Followed by the UK.  From researching economic climates, Australia has a strong economy at present and the UK is going through a slow recovery, however Canada and the USA are not.

Before we proceed, I will emphasise a point made in Google’s support page:

“Google Trends are normalized. So just because a particular region doesn’t appear on the top Regional interest list or isn’t highlighted on the geographic heat map, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the search term isn’t popular at all – it just means that the term is more popular in other regions.”
Used Dressage Comparison

In comparison to used Dressage saddles, a majority of the USA is using this search to keep costs down.  So at this current moment, this website would be better off promoting their used saddle pages for the American audience and their new saddle pages to Australia.

There is a natty widget at the bottom of the map highlighting the country most using the search term over the selected period of time.

Animation for trend map

Other Suggested keyphrases

Google Trends also list the top searches that for a specific keyphrase. Going back to the dressage saddle example, we can see that top searches list a few more niche keyphrases (saddles for sale), branded saddles and 4 out of the 10 refer to used saddles.

Top Search Terms

Getting more Specific with Filters

To get a clearer picture, several filters can be used either by themselves or simultaneously:

  • Search performed (Web, Images, News, etc)
  • Country
  • Time Scale
  • Category

Using category as an example. by selecting animal products and services, give you the top searches for saddles in that specific category. But it can also show you the search terms that have shown an increase in popularity in your given timescale. NB: The term breakout indicates that this particular term has seen growth greater than 5000%.

Rising searches

With these filters you can get a pretty clear idea of when to market your website as well.  This time I shall use a seasonal example:  Lets say I was researching fireworks.

A starting point would be a web search for fireworks.  I shall stick to Worldwide for the time being.  At the time of writing this, its March and there’s snow on the ground so chances are no one’s really put the effort into having a fire display just recently so let’s select the last full year.  I shall leave categories to all as there’s about 3 recommended categories.

Fireworks Googel trend

Now the statistics ebb off after the new year period and then keep consistently low until that very large spike in July.

Using the filter to include only USA results, proves that if you are a firework supplier operating in North America, your site would need to include keyphrases focused around Independence Day and your marketing/advertising need to be begging in the 1st week of May rather than the 3 July!  Also the closer you are to Maine the better.

USA filter

Compare this to the UK filter and the sharp spike changes to the beginning of November.  This is down to Fireworks Night on 5 November (more traditionally known as Guy Fawkes night).  The rise for this begins about mid-September in this case and may slow down for the rest of November but increases again in the week before Christmas in preparation for the New Year.

UK Fireworks results

I could show you search terms all day, but hopefully I have at least given you some insight on the capabilities of this tool.  So what are you waiting for?


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