Google Trends is a treasure trove of information that you can access for free.
When you know what you’re doing, the data on Google Trends can help you optimise your website for better visibility, higher click-through rates and more sales.
Ready to dive in? Here are 7 ways to use Google Trends to improve your website’s SEO.
1. Conduct keyword research
Google Trends is a great free tool for SEO keyword research. Simply type a search phrase into the search box on the Google Trends homepage to get started.
Google Trends will take your search phrase and compute the most popular keywords on Google. You can also change the settings to give you the data from YouTube instead.
The data is presented in graph form, showing how the keyword’s popularity has changed over the past year – or whatever period of time you specify.
This means you can find out which keywords are growing in popularity and which are trailing off. Expanding the time range to two or three years can also help you spot keyword fads that won’t last.
2. Compare similar keywords
When you type in a particular search term into Google Trends, the system will recommend a number of related keywords that you can check out data for too.
This can be super useful for identifying keywords that are more popular and more relevant around the same search topic.
The list of related keywords will be ranked in order of popularity, and each word will have a % search volume increase next to it so you can make sure the numbers are stacking up.
Let’s say you have a number of similar keywords and you’re not sure which to use. Google Trends also lets you analyse multiple keywords at once which means you can figure out which keyword is more promising.
3. Discover breakout keywords
If the % search volume increase of a keyword gets bigger than 5000%, you’ll see the word “Breakout” next to the keyword.
This is Google Trends’ way of signalling a keyword that’s quickly rising in popularity. If you get in fast, many breakout keywords aren’t competitive yet even though the search volume is big.
This is a great opportunity to start ranking for these keywords before they become mainstream. Just be careful – some breakout keywords will turn out to be passing fads so it’s important not to build your whole SEO strategy around them.
4. Brainstorm future content topics
On the default setting, Google Trends offers up data from web search but you can change the settings to get real time search info from other places like image search, Google Shopping, news search and YouTube.
Different search terms may trend differently across the different search platforms. This is good to keep in mind when you want to create new content that’s optimised for your audience, whether that’s a blog post, video or infographic.
If you dig down into the data, you can find content inspiration that’s on trend or even ahead of the trend. That’s a great way to stay one step ahead of your competitors and increase visibility.
5. Keep ahead of seasonal trends
The search volume of some keywords fluctuates throughout the year. It makes sense that swimwear searches go up much more in summer and searches for ‘scary costume’ peak in late October.
You can use Google Trends to figure out when exactly certain keywords peak throughout the year and plan to publish your content accordingly. On the flip side, you can avoid targeting keywords during parts of the year that they’re not popular.
6. Target the right locations
It’s not enough to know the world wide trending keywords, especially if you’re a brick and mortar business. Google Trends helps you figure out which keywords are trending where.
The same keyword may trend differently between countries, cities and even suburbs. Local keyword trends help you find out exactly where certain keywords are popular, empowering you to get more targeted with your SEO tactics.
You can also use Google Trends to search for location based keywords such as “SEO Perth” or “PPC Melbourne”. Use the data to compare variations of your keywords to find the right ones to target.
7. Make the most of LSI keywords
LSI (Latent Semantic Index) keywords are often overlooked and underutilised. They’re basically keywords that Google sees as semantically (or conceptually) related to your keyword.
Knowing what LSI keywords are can help you improve on-page SEO.
Use the “Related Queries” and “Related Topics” in Google Trends to discover LSI keywords for a particular keyword that you plan on writing a blog on. Then include these LSI keywords throughout your text in a natural way, making sure that you don’t do any keyword stuffing.
Including LSI keywords where they make sense will help make your content more contextual – something that will only become more important in the future of SEO.
No one can read the future, but Google Trends gets you pretty close. Whether you’re new to the tool or have been using it for a while, there’s plenty of ways to mine the data and use it to your SEO advantage.
Google Trends is just one tool that you should have in your belt. Doing SEO well takes a diverse approach and building the skills can take a long time. If you need help improving your site’s SEO, try reaching out to an SEO agency that can set you up for success.