How to Use Google Trends to Improve Your Content

Google TrendsYou’re an expert in your niche, right?

Perhaps you run a law firm, or maybe you’re in the services industry. Either way, you’re expected to be an expert and you’re expected to transfer this knowledge through your content.

Why is it, then, that so many people struggle to put together ideas for their content?

Or maybe you, like so many others are producing content that no one seems to care about.

This could be down to not conducting thorough keyword research.

It’s an easy mistake to make. Often the content you think is most valuable isn’t the content your audience wants to read.

That’s why, if you want to improve your content, you need to start using Google Trends.

In this article, we’re going to break down what Google Trends is, how you can start using it, and the ways it can improve your content.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

What is Google Trends

Google Trends is a free web app, created by Google, that allows you to see how certain keywords or phrases are trending, or have been trending within a given time frame.

You don’t even need a Google account to use the tool, simply follow the link and get started

Google Trends Website

The search bar at the top allows you to input whichever topic you’d like to research. You can also change your criteria by searching within a specific category, or for a specific location.

The location feature is especially useful if you’re working with a local company and don’t want to skew your results with data from elsewhere.

Traditional keyword research methods like Google Keyword Planner often fall short on providing crucial information.

Google’s Keyword Planner is brilliant at letting you know what Google has indexed, but it won’t show you content that hasn’t been created yet. What I mean by this: every content marketer’s goldmine is to create a piece of content that everyone is searching for, but no one has made any attempts writing about.

The Keyword Planner tool is also great at showing you the numbers. How many people searched for a keyword, and how competitive it is. And how much content there is about it.

But Google Trends successfully fills the gaps that traditional planners fail to do so.

You see a visual representation of how interested the online world is on your topic. Remember, just because lots of people are writing about it, doesn’t necessarily mean there are people who are interested in reading it.

Make sure you understand the difference between the two.

Understanding your audience

If you want to produce great content, then it’s imperative you understand your audience.

Google Trends is a great tool to help you do that.

For example, for our own agency, we might want to look at trends around: ‘search’ ‘content’ and ‘social media’ because this is what we focus on. Note: you can input a total of 25 words each search.

Google Trends Search Term

This graph shows us, within the past 90 days whilst social media has a larger interest, the interest has been falling.

It shows us content marketing has had an even interest with little to no growth.

This helps us get an understanding of what our customers are searching for and where their interests are.

We can use this information to guide our content, knowing we’re producing content people are actively searching for.

Keep in mind, however, a spike in interest isn’t always a good thing.

Never take the data you see at face value, use it to guide your ideas, but follow-up with further research.

You may see a spike in interest and assume it’s a great thing and you should start producing content around it, but be sure to check the spike is not because of negative press.

When you see a huge spike to check headlines and see why the spike exists.

Getting ideas

Once you’ve understood your audience, it’s time to start putting together your ideas.

There are a few ways you can do this.

First, take your broad terms that you searched for and start searching for micro-terms within those.

You can use Google trends to see what keywords aren’t as popular anymore. Finding your useless keywords is important to ensure you’re producing quality content that people care actually care about currently.

Once you’ve searched for your keywords, if you scroll down, it shows you related topics. This allows you to discover other keywords you might have missed that are similar to your initial search.

Related Topics Keyword

You can also use the related topics to see what keywords are rising in interest.

Related Topics Rising Interest

The rising topics allow you to see keywords related to your chosen word with new interest. It helps you discover keywords you might not have considered about.

It helps you create content around rising popular topics.

And it helps you keep your content valuable and current.

Creating content calendar and choosing the right moment to post

The beauty of Google trends is you can see the peaks in when people are searching for terms.

This gives you a good indication of when you should release your content and can help you put together your content calendar.

For example, an accountancy firm might use Google Trends to see when people searched for ‘tax returns’.

During the past five years, there have been significant peaks all around the month of January. And that makes sense. People are actively looking for guidance with their tax returns shortly before they need to do them.

During the rest of the months, there are still searches, but not nearly as much.

Using this data, you know posting your content in January will be most valuable to your audience.

Content Calendar

If you recognize peaks within your own industry, it’s

Other tools

As we’ve mentioned, Google Trends is a great tool to add to your arsenal if you want to improve your content and start producing valuable content.

But, it shouldn’t be the only tool you use to improve your content. Below we outline three other tools you should use in order to create the best content you can.

Buzzsumo

If you want to improve your content, tools like Buzzsumo can help you do just that. It’s an easy tool to use. Simply input your keywords and Buzzsumo will search the web, high and low, to find the top content related to that keyword.

Buzzsumo Website

You can use the tool to see how many social shares the particular piece of content has, as well as the medium the content was published on.

If you want to improve your content, it’s important to look at, analyze and break down the top content that already exists.

Question why this content was shared so much. Did they discover a new piece of data that will help your audience? Were they one of the first to start writing about this topic? Or maybe they simply wrote the most in-depth article about your keyword.

In any instance, if you want to improve your content, you need to look to these pieces of content and question how you can improve it. 

Google Keyword Planner

As we stated before, the Google Keyword Planner is a useful tool for seeing volume of searches.

Unlike the Google trends tool, you will need a Google Adwords account in order to access the keyword planner.

Simply input a keyword you want to search for and set parameters in regards to targeting locations.   

Google Keyword Planner

Here, I’m going back to my ‘tax return’ example. The keyword planner shows there are currently between 100,000 and 1,000,000 monthly searches for our keyword. 

Keyword Planner Monthly Search

If you want to improve your content, data like this is invaluable for understanding what is current and what your customers are actually searching for. 

Your own research

The internet is a great place to find out what people are talking about. We’ve already shown there are a large number of tools to help you do this.

However, nothing quite beats actually getting to know your audience and asking them questions.

Find where they hang out, meet them there and discover their pain points. Use forums, social media and customer surveys to find out exactly what your audience is struggling with. Then, create content that helps them solve their problems.

Takeaways

By now, you should understand that producing relevant and valuable content is key to a great content marketing strategy, no matter what industry you’re in.

The key to creating popular content that has the opportunity to go viral is timing and relevancy.

Using Google Trends in your arsenal of keyword research tools is a great way to understand what your audience cares about, when they care about it and what kind of content they’re going to appreciate the most.

You can use it to understand your own industry further. Maybe there was a news article or big piece of press you missed, use the News Headlines feature to find this out.

Have you had a play around with Google Trends, what successes have you had so far?

 

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