What is Google Trends? Why does it matter?

By Iida Sirviö Published: 10 March, 2021 Last updated: March 23rd, 2022 at 7:18 am


What does Derek Chauvin, Burger King and Brooklyn Nets all have in common? 

Well, not much except for being today’s Top Google Trends. 

Many marketers know about Google Trends but only a few manage to leverage its full potential. So what is Google Trends? How do you use it? And how can these seemingly irrelevant trending keywords benefit your business? 

Let’s find out.

What is Google Trends? 

Google Trends is a free platform that analyzes the popularity of Google’s top search queries. 

The platform allows users to compare keywords and discover search volume spikes. It provides insights such as interest by region, related topics and queries, and whether the given search term is rising or declining in popularity.

How to use Google Trends

Google Trends has an intuitive UI and it’s easy to use. However, there are few settings you need to pay attention to before going on a search rampage.

  • Google Trends provides search data stretching back to 2004 up to the present day. The data sample is set as default for the past 12 months, so make sure to change this if you’re only looking for the most recent trends or older data.
  • The tool also allows you to filter by specific country and type of search. Choose either Web search, Image search, Google Shopping search, Youtube search or News search depending on your objective.

On that note, let’s dig deeper how to use Google Trends to improve your marketing strategies.

Google Trends and SEO

The most obvious benefit from Google Trends in terms of SEO is the ability to compare several keywords together at the same time. 

Now many of you might think, “I’m already using a SEO software where I can see the keyword volume. Why would I need Google Trends?”

For one, because Trends has valuable additional information.

Sometimes keyword research tools can make two keywords with similar volume and difficulty to look equally beneficial to target. However, when looking at the same keywords in Google Trends, you might see that the other had a big spike earlier this year and its current search volume is next to nothing, yet another has kept a steadily rising interest. 

Therefore, Google Trends gives you more insights when choosing your target keywords and enables you to predict the keyword performance.

Also, the ability to see exactly which regions and subregions are searching for your keyword can help you determine where you should focus your local SEO efforts.

And last but not least, by detecting new trending keywords you’ll be able to get valuable insights into your content marketing strategy.

Google Trends and content marketing

Wouldn’t it be great if someone could tell you when is the best time to create content on a given topic?

Well, Google Trends does exactly that. Say you have a corporate healthcare company and you’re looking into creating content around meal planning. Google Trends can show you whether it generates more interest at certain times of the year. 

See how there’s a clear spike every January? This indicates a seasonal trend, meaning that would be a good time to create and promote content around meal planning just before the uptick in search.

Furthermore, checking out the related topics and queries might give you good insight into other topics to write about.

What if you already have the content idea, but aren’t sure whether to create a piece of written content or a video? 

Google Trends can make this decision for you. Just compare the same search term by Youtube search and Web search and see which is more popular. And there’s your answer!

To sum it up, using Google Trends helps you populate your calendar with trending topics and the right type of content. And to make it even better, a lot of these insights can be used in your digital ads strategy as well.

How does an advertiser benefit from Google Trends?

Like I mentioned above, many of these tips work on more than one marketing channel. Interest by subregion, for instance, provides insights for local SEO as well as your ad targeting. 

By researching which subregions generate the most interest around your keywords, you can geographically target your ads to the most interested users. 

Besides, Google Search ad campaign is a great way to capitalize the new trending keywords even faster than SEO. Ranking for specific keywords takes time with organic SEO, but when it comes to ads – the effect is instant.

This is also where the seemingly irrelevant trends that I mentioned in the beginning come in. 

Yes it’s true that trending celebrities or random topics might not directly be connected to your business, but don’t forget that anything that’s relevant to your audience is relevant to you as well.

If you know your audience is all about Justin Bieber (which I’m sorry about if that’s the case), creating content around him can drive more engagement and interest into your product or service.

Google Trends and PR

Are you starting to notice the pattern already?

Using trending topics to create more interest towards your business can also be transferred into your digital PR strategy.

Are you planning to do a guest article or expert commentary around a certain topic? See Google Trends to find out what’s trending and which time of the year it generates most interest.

Or perhaps you’re in the process of pitching to journalists? See what news or topics people are currently searching for the most and see if you can put a trending twist in your press release. This might be the much needed hook that catches journalists attention.

The bottom line is that if you notice a new trend that you can leverage, don’t just look into one channel. Look at all your marketing and PR efforts and see where it benefits you the most. 

Wrapping up

So there you have it. You should now have a better idea how to use Google Trends to improve your marketing and PR strategies. 

If you follow my lead, you’ll have a refreshed content calendar filled with trending topics and PR & ads campaigns so relevant that your audience can’t help but engage.