Content marketing is one of the most popular and effective marketing methods for virtually any business, but it needs to be done right to work. The best content is informative, fundamentally interesting and inherently shareable, which can be difficult to achieve without the right tools.
Fortunately, Google Trends is one such tool that can help you put your finger on the pulse of society and discover the currently trending topics. Find out how to use Google Trends to improve your content and maximize your content marketing efforts.
What is Google Trends?
Google Trends is a free web app created by Google that lets you see how certain phrases, search terms and keywords are trending across the web. It also provides additional insights, such as related terms, trending stories, shopping trends and search time frames.
The best part of Google Trends is that you don’t need a Google account to use this app. Just use this link to get started.
Google Trends has a search bar at the top that allows you to input your research topic, as well as specific filters you’d like to use. Filtering by location is particularly useful if you’re a small business working in a specific region, since your results won’t be skewed by the data from everywhere else.
From a content marketing perspective, Google Trends’ single greatest strength is its ability to not only show you what has been searched, but also show you what content has been created around it. If you’re trying to get ahead of the curve, rather than always riding the tail end, knowing how many people searched for something, how competitive it is and how much content already exists is incredibly valuable.
You can also use this information to decide if your topic is worth the effort, since an abundance of content on a topic doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a high demand for it.
Find Relevant Topics
One of the biggest challenges in content marketing is coming up with fresh, interesting ideas for content that will engage your audience, especially if you’ve been around for a while. With Google Trends, however, you can use your data and insight about your audience to compare the information that’s trending in a particular area or with a particular group.
This also helps you find relevant topics to write about and to drive more traffic to your content. With the filters, you can find topics that are currently trending and tailor them to the needs of your audience. Just be sure that you’re actually choosing topics that are relevant to your brand and not just jumping on trends as they come.
Use Google Correlate
Google Correlate is a feature that helps you find topics that people are currently interested in, which you can use to plan your topics. It can either reinforce the idea for a topic you already have or direct you toward new topics that are related to what is trending online.
What makes this tool special is that it gives you associations between different trends and data points, opening up a much wider range of possible topics for your content. When you type in a search term, it pulls up other search terms that are related to it. This not only improves your content ideas, but it ensures that you’re always delivering the value that your readers are searching for.
Content needs to be valuable, interesting, creative and many other things to satisfy the needs of your audience, but it has some criteria for you as well. Content is meant to optimize your website, which is where keyword research usually comes in.
By using Google Trends for content marketing, you can conduct better keyword research. The Explore feature allows you to type in search terms and find out how often they come up, as well as compare to other related terms to see which is more effective.
Once you know what keywords are searched the most, you can include them in your content and improve the chances that your audience will see it. Be sure that these keywords are relevant to the content itself, of course, and keep the keywords more natural and conversational. People tend to search for natural phrases, not specific keywords, so your content should reflect that.
Keep in mind that these popular keywords will be used by other businesses as well, so you’re still competing for attention. This tool will give you related topics along with the keywords, which can help you come up with different ideas and get a jump on topics that are just starting to trend.
Content calendars are vital to content marketing. They keep you on schedule and ensure that you’re posting the right amount of content at the right frequency for the best results.
Google Trends has data that can inform your content calendar planning by giving you insight into the types of posts that are attracting the most interest. This not only works for the type of content, but it also helps in determining what topics are working best at any given moment.
Plenty of effort goes into crafting content that hits all the marks, so you wouldn’t want to waste that by posting at the wrong time and having it lost in the shuffle.
Google Trends gives you information about how you compare to the competition, which helps you make decisions about your shortcomings and focus on areas of improvement.
Using your industry, you can conduct a search with the region and search time frames to find out which competitors are getting the most searches. This can be on as wide or small of a scale as you wish, depending on the scope of your brand.
This data is useful in another way as well. If there are events that center around your industry, searches of related content tend to escalate. Because of this, creating content that works around these events and search terms can help you gain a lot of traction and exposure.
Shopping trends are another aspect of Google Trends that’s underutilized and quite helpful for your brand. These searches allow you to see the data for searchers’ shopping intent for different product searches, giving you a chance to learn more about your audience and what is currently trending in online shopping.
You can also use this tool to boost products that are related to these searches and promote them alongside your content, or find the currently trending stories and use that to develop your content.
As you know, producing valuable and novel content is paramount to your content marketing strategy, regardless of your industry. It also needs to be timely and relevant if you want the opportunity for it to go viral, and that’s where Google Trends gives you an edge.
Along with other keyword research tools and customer insights, Google Trends can help you learn more about your brand’s content weaknesses, your audience, your competitors and where you should focus your efforts to deliver truly spectacular content.
Like everything else, however, Google Trends is only one piece of the puzzle. It’s an incredibly valuable tool, but it needs to be incorporated into a whole strategy to reap its benefits.