Anyone who is involved in content marketing to a greater or lesser extent will have used or at least heard of Google Trends. Whether you spend 40 hours a week on online content or perhaps write a content blog on your company's website a few times a month, Google Trends is in all cases an incredibly valuable tool with which you can make your online content as relevant and current as possible.
Making the most of Google Trends can give any content writer an edge over the competition. Anyone who makes smart use of Google Trends will be the best to respond to the current ones trends in society or within a specific target group and can therefore expect the most traffic. And since online entrepreneurship starts with creating traffic, it is all the more reason to get serious about using Google Trends. But how do you do that? And what added value can Google Trends offer exactly?
Case study: corona crisis
To give an idea of the potential added value that Google Trends can offer, it is best to look at a recent case. The corona crisis is a good example. If you follow the Google Trends timeline during the corona crisis, you can see exactly what information people needed at certain stages of the crisis.
Data source: Google Trends
Other, less directly related search terms have also been demonstrably influenced by the corona crisis. In American states, for example, the popularity of search terms around baking your own bread appears to be one direct connection with the amount of corona outbreaks in that state. And the most common symptoms also become visible.
Prediction instead of looking back
The added value for writers of online content is clear: jump into these trends, which Google makes crystal clear, and your content becomes more current and therefore more relevant. Now for the most basic user, Google Trends is mainly a look back tool. In the past you look at the most searched terms and try to recognize trends in them. That's nice, but the real added value starts where looking back ends and the prediction starts. After all, you want to be the first and not run after the polonaise.
The good news is that Google Trends can be used perfectly as a forecasting tool. In Google Trends you can see not only historical developments (for example the most used search terms of 2019, or of March 2020), but also the development of one specific keyword (or term). This option is very interesting, especially if you don't just want to write about every subject, but want to respond very specifically in a specific industry to new trends.
Trending search terms and correlation
Two options in Google Trends are important to master in order to get the most out of the tool for the most relevant online content. The first is therefore the function to map the development of specific search terms. After all, you want to align your content with trends that are growing, rather than falling. When a trend is reversing, it often means that the target group has already found the information that these search terms provide and that the information is already there for the taking. Looking back at the case of the corona crisis: in June 2020, much less was searched for ways to work at home optimally than in March 2020. Not because people no longer did it, but because the information was now generally known and there was no new content was 'necessary' to make that knowledge available.
Another example: voice search if trend has been indicated by many (also by Bloeise) as the new marketing channel. But if you look at the worldwide interest in the three most common voice services Alexa, Google Home and Siri, you will see that they were especially popular around Christmas. And indeed, Searchengineland.com reports that voice search is not experiencing the promised increase for the time being.
But how do you know which search terms are relevant to your website or industry? A second option in Google Trends is useful for this: finding correlation between search terms. This option is called Google Correlate and gives you the opportunity to discover which search terms are interrelated and, for example, used by the same users one after the other. You simply enter a search term relevant to your website, and Google will tell you which search terms your target group uses even more. Simple enough, but not everyone uses it or knows that Correlate exists.
See for example for “one and a half meters”:
Google Trends for content marketing and e-commerce
How can you apply all this in a practical way if you are an (online) entrepreneur or want to generate more traffic to your website for other reasons? Just follow the trends a bit and incorporate those associated search terms into your blog, because you will not get there.
However, it is step one: follow the search term trends in your industry and process the most searched terms several times in your content, preferably (also) at the beginning. It is important to do this well keyword research to do: don't just look at the numbers, but try to understand how internet users apply a search term. At what time, in combination with what, with which pattern?
Then don't publish your content haphazardly, but check in Google Trends when the most searched for 'your' search terms. Is that on the weekend? Or Monday morning? During holidays, or only in winter? Schedule your publication immediately prior to when the trend line becomes positive. So you want to publish content that is in high demand during the weekend early on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. You want to publish content that is in high demand in the spring in March or April. Of course, take into account the time Google takes before your content is indexed.
Google also indexes via Facebook
Does Google see my content? That is a crucial question for content marketers. The fastest way is to get in Google Search Console at the top of your URL and then order the indexing. Interestingly enough, Google also appears to track and index the publications on Facebook, as can be seen from this screenshot.
The article Content marketing reference work for the content coordinator was published. The fastest way to check the indexation is to search parts of the title: “content marketing reference work”. If you hover your mouse over a link, you will see the exact URL at the bottom of your browser. In this case https://bloeise.nl/contentmarketing-naslagwerk-voor-de-content-coordinator/? utm_source = dlv.it & utm_medium = facebook. So you can see from the UTM code (bit of addition to better measure traffic in Google Analytics) that the source is DLV.it (an RSS tool that automatically publishes) and is the medium Facebook.
Always up to date
Also check it out this beautiful exposition about search term research and planning content around recurring phenomena, such as the full moon or the Oscar awards.
Then adjust not only your content, but also the design of your website to the trends you observe. Google Correlate can be useful for this. For example, do you sell games through your webshop and do you see that the search term 'football games' often correlates with 'sports games'? Then consider renaming your 'sports games' category to 'football games and sports games'.
If you carefully and continuously apply these methods, you will automatically ensure that your website always offers current, relevant content that provides fresh information when there is a demand. Realize that you are never done: online content is aging quickly and you will have to continue to delve into Google Trends day after day to benefit from it in the long term.