How To Use Google Trends For Research

Hello again everyone. Often times when we’re sitting with a client or prospect and talking about digital products, its nice to have an idea of the general volume of search traffic there is for their product or service. In other words, how many people are searching the web with keyword phrases that are relevant to your client right now? That’s a pretty good piece of information for you to bring into a meeting, and helps differentiate you as a well rounded media consultant. The easiest place to collect some of that information is from Google Trends – so let’s dive in to that.

The first thing you’ll want to do is look for “Google Trends” in none other than….. *surprise surprise*…. Google. The result you are looking for says www.google.ca/trends/ (alternatively, you can type in google.ca/trends into the address bar of your browser).

Google Trends

Once you’ve clicked on that, you’ll be taken to the Google Trends homepage. Next, we’ll want to find the link that says “Explore In-Depth”. This will take you to a page where you can customize your searches and collect some actionable data.

Google Trends

Now let’s search for some keyword phrases that are relevant to our client/prospect meeting. We’ll start off by narrowing our field of focus down to the Province level. Keep in mind, this is not a super specific tool, it just provides trends (hence the name), so Province level is sufficient. Click on the drop down icon beside “Worldwide”, navigate down to “Canada”, and select your province. For the sake of this example, I’ve selected “Ontario”.

Google Trends

With that complete, we can now enter up to 5 keyword phrases in the boxes and see their results mapped out in the graph below. If you use very specific keyword phrases, this tool may not be able to show any results due to insufficient traffic. However, this is a limitation of the tool itself because it follows bigger trends, and is not necessarily an indication that there isn’t actual sufficient traffic. In the chart below, you’ll be able to see how the keyword phrases you have selected stack up against each other.

Google Trends

In the area below this chart, you’ll be able to see the major geographic areas that are generating traffic for each of your keyword phrases. Sometimes internet providers are clustered in one area, so while it may appear odd in this example that so much traffic is coming from Vaughan, which is an area just north of Toronto, it could be that they have some of their switching stations located in Vaughan. Remember to use this information to get a GENERAL understanding of the online world.

Google Trends

Lastly, we can see the related search phrases that people are using, giving us an idea of what else we might be able to target for our SEO or PPC campaigns. Furthermore, this shows that customers search for information in a variety of ways, and so improving content on the website can help to capture those additional searches and can yeild incremental results for the client.

Google Trends

 

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