Now here’s a service Google has offered for some time now which is yet to get enough recognition, Google Trends.
Google Trends is a brilliant service giving you insight into historical search trends, complete with pretty graphs.
Granted not everyone will get excited about this (I do, though I find myself easily entertained) that said, I strongly recommend you check this out.
For this example I used the term “Ipod” and then graphed this over a 5 year period. As you can see from the thumbnail, the terms use within Google increases over Christmas time, this is clearly due people beginning their search for Christmas presents.
Another feature of Google trends is comparing multiple search terms, thus giving you a clearer understanding about which terms or perhaps brands a more popular. Try comparing “BMW” and “Mercedes”.
Taking a quick look at the trend graph above you can clearly see BMW being the more popular searched for term within Google. Note the spike in search for both brands at the end of 2007, shopping perhaps? Both brands have had a steady increase in news references over the past 4+ years.
If you’re running a paid search campaign it’s a good idea to throw some of your more popular keywords in here and spot any trends that could be occurring. Using the first example (Yes this is a no brainer though should give you the drift) start bidding on a broader number of “iPod” type terms heading into the Christmas period. You may even be able to beat some of the rush and get the terms in there before your competitor does thus capturing the first Christmas traffic and also helping to increase your Google quality score, lowering CPC etc.
So, next time you’re looking for some further insight into a brand, what search terms to target or even want to compare who’s more popular, Britney Spears or Madonna, don’t forget to drop by Google Trends.