What are your customers searching for and when are they searching?

How do you know when it might be a good time during the year to sell different products and services to your potential customers?

How do you know what type of products and services might be popular now or in the future?

You could just make some assumptions based on what you think or by using anecdotal information.

But when your business gets to a certain level you want to have access to more accurate information and data that might uncover any useful trends.

There’s a good tool called Google Trends that tracks search queries -- basically what people are searching for in Google and when they are searching for it.

The information you can gather from this tool can help you decide where to invest your time, money and effort into creating products and services, and also into your content marketing strategy.

This is a quick four minute watch or read that might have a direct impact on what products and services you decide to offer and when is the best time to offer them.

You can use the tool here https://trends.google.com/trends/

Video Version

Text Version

Google Trends as a Marketing Tool

Google Trends is a tool from Google that lets you track search terms and the relative popularity of those terms over a given time period.

For example, if you are selling triathlon training plans you can type that into the tool and it will return the relative popularity of that search term over time.

When are people searching for it the most during the year or over a series of years.

As you type the search term the tool will sugges some other similar search terms. Later on, you might want to dig into those to see if you get any insights out of that.  But for now, I'll just search for "triathlon training plan". To start with we'll just look at the result for the USA. 

Google Trends Auto Suggest

You can see there's a bit of a trend here. This is over the last 12 months. You can see that in the middle of the year -- this is June, July, and August. That seems to be the highest.

Note: The scale is always 0-100 as the trend line is a relative result. The score is based on the entire dataset with 0 being the least popular time for searching and 100 being the most popular time.

Google Trends Annual Trend

Let's just break it down a little bit further and have a look at the data over the last five years to see if we can see a more obvious trend.

Over the past 5 years, you’ll see, typically it’s June, July, and August that has a bit of a spike where people are searching for that term.    

Google Trends Five Year Data

Breaking Down Searches Even Further

If we go down a little bit further down the page, we can see the results by sub-region as well.

So in the example Colorado's the state where this search is most popular which is not a surprise. Then we’ve got Virginia,  Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts. 

Sub Regions

Google Trends Sub Regions

Related Queries

And if you scroll down a little further, you’ll also see some related queries.  Potentially these could be something else that people are searching for and you could keep clicking through these to get even more insights into other trends.

Google Trends Related Queries

Top vs Rising Related Queries

You can toggle between the top related queries and the rising related queries. Top being the most popular now but rising being the ones that are growing in popularity faster.

Google Trends Top vs Rising Related Queries

What to do with the Information

So what does this mean and how can you use these trends in your business?

In the example we can see that June-August is a time when potential customers are searching for "triathlon training plan" more than they are during other times of the year. During that time of the year is when you might want to put a little bit more effort into creating some more training plans for sale, and maybe even spending some more money on Facebook ads or in this case, what would be more powerful is Google AdWords. Besides advertising you can also use the information to decide no what new content to generate to help your potential customers.

Promotion and Ads

So we've all seen if you search something in Google, there are the paid results at the top. GoogleAdwords is where you can pay for your links to appear above the organic search results. Ideally you would want your website pages to appear in the organic results but you will have more competition for that. Paying for Adwords is a much faster way to get to the top. You can read more about search rankings in my blog post Six Things Endurance Coaches Should Know About Google Search Rankings.

So the great thing about Google AdWords is that when people are searching for something, you know they’re actively looking for that thing. Whereas Facebook ads you are pushing your products out there, but you don't necessarily know if the people who have seen the ads are actually currently looking for those specific products or services.

But you would know that if someone has searched for “triathlon training plan,” you can be 100% sure that's something that would interest them. 

Google Trends Paid Results

Deciding What Content to Produce

Not only is it a good idea to think about these things in terms of ads, but it’s also good to think about them to determine what sort of content and videos you might create. 

If people are search for something and you’ve got a video on a page on your website, then that might get more traffic to your site. But even putting Google search aside the trends that are highlighted are based on people wants, needs and interests. Search is just the result of these desires.

Conclusion

It’s very interesting to type a bunch of different things to see what the trends are, and what the seasonality is.  Of course, this depends on where you are in the world – just remember to change your location filter to be in that specific country.  Depending on how popular the search term is, you might even be able to break it down to a specific region. Hopefully, you'll be able to find some insight to help grow your business.

And then of course make sure your follow through and schedule some promotion or content creation into your calendar to make the most of these opportunities.

Let me know if you do find anything insightful as I’m always interested in that sort of thing.

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