google trends

Google has many great free tools for Search Engine Marketers, and Google Trends is one of them. The tool, which has been around for a while but still flies under the radar a bit, allows us to see what type of interest certain search queries will have in comparison to others and assign a value to them (with a max of 100). We can also see historic data and do some basic keyword research to get some great big-picture context before taking the deep dive with the Keyword Tool.

Some of the other cool things that this tool shows are seasonality, ad copy ideas, and even geographic locations where there may be some opportunity.

How does the info help? Let’s break down a few examples.

Let’s say that you had a client that designs mobile game apps, and you wanted to see what type of response you could anticipate on certain search terms.  Perhaps you want to build a few to start from in order to build out a new search expansion for that new app. For example, here is a chart showing three different search terms: ‘best game app’, ‘free game app’, and ‘new game app’.

google trends interest

You can see that overall, the highest search interest goes to ‘free game app’. It also shows that over the past 12 months, there was a huge spike for both ‘free game app’ and ‘best game app’ in late December, with ‘free game app’ maxing out at the highest peak interest rating of 100. Right away, one would say the spike in late December is because of the holiday season. This is a time when many consumers purchase a new smart phone/tablet for themselves or as a gift, and that might lead to an increase of people searching for mobile gaming apps. So during this time, you can anticipate raising your search bids in order to take advantage of the rise in interest.

You can also see that when you’re looking to make some new keywords and ads for the new mobile gaming app, that consumers are looking for ‘free’. Now, assuming that the app your client is offering comes in a free version that will not get you flagged by Google, you can put that into your keyword and ad build. Building a few ads with ‘free’ in the headline or in the body of description would spark interest in the person looking for a mobile game app, and hopefully lead them to click on the ad.

Then you might test some keywords built from ‘best’, since it shows significant search volume and may be worth testing to see if it can lead to conversions. There is a tool to select ‘best game app’, and it will give you a list of top related terms that Google recommends and give them a search interest value, as well as rising related terms. This lets you plan on how to bid on keywords, taking into consideration the peak interest assigned to each related term.

related terms google trends

Another great Trends feature is information on geographic locations. Below is the global regional interest that Google assigns for the search term ‘best game app’.

geographical google trends

When you scroll over the map, it again gives you a number that is anywhere from 1-100 on peak search interest. Australia shows the highest score with 100 (who knew?), followed by the United States with 91, Canada with 82, United Kingdom with 75, and so on.  So if your client is targeting different countries, this will help give again give you more insight on how to structure your bids in regards to location targeting.

In a world where we measure and compare performance by the smallest of margins, we are always looking for new tools and methods that will help contribute to the overall efficiency that we can bring to our clients. Google Trends is another awesome tool that we should have in our ever-growing toolbox.

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Miguel Madrigal
Miguel Madrigal, who joined 3Q Digital in January 2013, comes from a background of inside sales and account managing and has worked in industries such as commercial refrigeration, printed apparel, and distribution. He is a die-hard 49ers fan and follows all Bay Area sports. Miguel has a BS from Chico State University in Business Management as well as minors in Latin American Studies and Spanish. In his free time, he likes motorcycle riding (on- and off-road), camping, fishing, and spending time with his family and friends.