How many cups are in a quart? What elements contribute to an effective email marketing campaign? Where is the closest gas station? Why is inbound marketing important?
Google answers more than 1 billion questions a day from people all around the world (181 countries and 146 languages to be exact).
Their algorithms work hard around the clock to return relevant, high value responses to anything and everything you can think of.
Wouldn't it be nice to have access to the terms and trends with a high search volume?
Believe it or not, Google Trends does just that.
If you haven't forgiven Google for encrypting keyword search back in September, now is a good time to get the ball rolling on that apology.
While many marketers still miss the good old keyword days, Google Trends gives users an opportunity to uncover the topics that are trending, and the search volume for keywords and terms you plug in.
If your business is looking to put an end to the "blinking cursor on an empty white page" epidemic, look no further. We've detailed how to use Google Trends to put an end to your content creation hesitation, and get the ball rolling on more relevant posts and offers.
On the Surface
Google Trends offers users three options for uncovering the goods:
This option allows you to view the top searches by day.
Each day it populates the top 10 most searched for topics, which will update in real time throughout the day.
At the top of the screen you will notice that they include the time in which the list was last updated, as well as an option to search by country.
Next to each topic on the list you will see a corresponding image that is accompanied by the total number of searches conducted for that topic so for that day.
This option allows you to view the top searches conducted in Google by category.
Unlike Hot Searches, these categories are updated monthly. However, in addition to searching by country, you can also search by year (2004-now), making it easy to compare and contrast the past and the present.
The current categories available in the Top Charts feature are:
Business & politics
Nature & science
Shopping & fashion
Leisure & travel
Each category is labeled with either an arrow or a bar graph icon. The arrow represents a "trending" category, meaning it contains search topics with the largest increase in volume since the previous period. The bar graph icon is used to convey a "most searched" category, meaning it contains topics with the highest search volume.
If you click into a list, you can then narrow in on a particular topic and explore it further.
This option allows you to investigate where specific topics of your choosing stand in terms of search volume.
Here you have the option to search by country, date, category (same as the Top Charts categories), as well as the type of search. The search options include: web search, image search, news search, Google shopping, and YouTube search.
In this feature you can compare up to 5 different topics at once, which will appear in graph form under the 'Interest over time' section. The number which accompany these line graphs represent the search interest relative to the highest point on the chart. Lets say "social media" turned up 10% of searches during the time you selected, Google would use the number 100 to covey that.
In addition, the Explore option allows you to take a look at regional interest, as well as other related searches.
What's in it for You?
The Hot Topics feature serves as an excellent resource if you are looking to "newsjack" a popular topic to amplify your business' voice.
Coined by marketing strategist David Meerman Scott, newsjacking allows businesses to position themselves or their concepts within a popular, real-time event or topic in an attempt to ride the wave of popularity a bit.
If you see a topic featured in this section that is relevant to your brand, consider trying out this marketing approach. However, keep in mind that newsjacking can hurt your reputation if you select a topic that is too disconnected or distasteful so avoid things like national tragedies.
If you are exploring the Top Charts feature and you come across a category that applies to your industry, you can click in to take a closer look at each individual topic. From the Mobile/Tablet Apps category, for example, I was able to click into Snapchat, which ranked number 5 on the list. From here I was directed to the Explore features for Snapchat.
Under the relevant searches section, I noticed this:
Voilà! Instant blog topic concept. If people are searching for "how to snapchat", you can seize the opportunity to provide them with an answer, and simultaneously build your business' credibility as a valuable resource.
Additionally, Google Trends provides users with an interactive way to justify their keyword choices.
By comparing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram using the Explore option, it becomes strikingly obvious that Facebook reigns in terms of search interest. This information may help you shift your focus more towards Facebook in order to boost your traffic, and increase the potential engagement.
The Explore option can also help you keep tabs on the keywords that your business' website is optimized for. If you notice a decline in a particular area, you may want to adjust your website content accordingly before it begins to impact your performance.