Google Trends: Best Uses for Small Businesses

If you own a small business, you might be wondering how you can market and grow your business while staying within your budget. Google Trends offers data and search tools companies can use to maximize their marketing approach. Read more to discover what Google Trends is, how it can benefit your business and how you can apply it to your business for the best results.


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What is Google Trends?

According to ScienceDirect, Google Trends is a free website first launched in 2006. In 2008, Google launched Google Insights, another SEO tool. Since then, Google has combined these two areas to create the Google Trends platform used today. It evolved to provide business owners and content creators with real-time information about trending topics, keywords, industries and the geographic area where specific topics receive the most searches. Google Trends gets this information by pulling data from Google searches at a given time. Here are some of the Google Trends key features available to you after you enter a search term:

  • Interest over time: The interest over time section provides a visual representation of your search terms’ popularity via chart. You can change the time frame to find search data from the past 24 hours or the previous year.
  • Interest by subregion: The interest by subregion section shows you the geographic areas where people searched for your term the most. You can change the subregion by clicking the down bar at the top, and you can either do a worldwide search or select a specific country.
  • Related topics: In related topics, you can view the five most relevant search topics that are also popular at the time.
  • Related queries: The related queries section provides you with the five most relevant questions and topics related to your search term at the present moment.


Benefits of using Google Trends for businesses

There are several benefits to using Google Trends for your business. Here are a few examples:

  • Allows you to find the best keywords: When you search for keyword terms on Google Trends, it gives you the option to add one or more terms and phrases to compare it to. This, along with a visual chart, can help you determine which keywords about the same topic offer better SEO results for your business.
  • Keeps you updated on industry trends: If you enter the name of your industry into the search bar, you can get real-time search results that highlight trending topics within your industry. This could help you craft web content and even prepare for industry changes.
  • Provides potential for increased website traffic: By getting information about the most searched topics and queries, you can create content or seasonal campaigns that feature those trending topics. This could potentially help boost your web traffic due to your use of trending keywords.


Ways businesses use Google Trends

Businesses can use Google Trends in a variety of ways. Here are some examples:


To review how they compare to their competitors

With Google Trends, you can search the names of your competitors and see what keywords and topics people search for about them. You can also add your company name to compare who customers search for more. Further, this can encourage you to update your marketing tactics to rank better than your competitors for SEO.


To establish and build an online brand identity

You can also use Google Trends to help establish and build your company’s online brand identity. This is because Google Trends allows you to find trending topics and keywords. By implementing trending topics and keywords into website copy, articles, blog posts, social media posts and other forms of content, you can potentially increase your brand awareness.


To revise their marketing strategy following new trends

Businesses can use Google Trends to help revise their marketing strategies depending on current events and popular trends. Having access to this data can help them create seasonal campaigns and create fresh content that reflects public perception at a specific moment in time. Further, if a business already has a marketing campaign running, their marketing department can use Google Trends to monitor the campaign’s effectiveness.


To buy and sell the right products

Businesses can use Google Trends as a potential indicator of whether a business should purchase inventory or continue selling a particular product. For example, if a local boutique sells two handbag brands, they can use Google Trends to see which of the two is more popular with consumers. If one brand yields a significant amount of search results and the other brand doesn’t, they might get a better return on investment by increasing inventory of the more popular brand.


How to use Google Trends effectively

Here is a suggested list of steps to help you start using Google Trends effectively:


1. Review trending topics on the Google Trends’ homepage

The first way to use Google Trends effectively is to make use of the website’s homepage. Under the latest stories and insights section, Google Trends has information about current worldwide events and trends. You can also review the year in search to review top trends from previous years.


2. Search using your industry name as a keyword

Another effective way to use Google Trends is by searching your industry name to identify the top trending topics at the moment. For example, if you own a local bank, search the “finance industry.” You might find relevant topics like net income, financial planning or investor relations. From these three keywords, you can create blog posts, infographics, how-to videos and other forms of content to drive traffic to your site.


3. Use subregion data to hone in on trending topics in your area

For small businesses with the bulk of their customers residing within a town or state, Google Trends subregional data can be extremely helpful. You can adjust your search by inserting specific locations into the location tab at the top of the page. Then, you can figure out whether people are searching for relevant topics in your area. For example, you own a coffee shop in Maryland and notice that the most searched topics include the best coffee shops in Maryland and at-home latte tutorials. From this data, you can create content that associates your coffee shop with the most searched terms.


4. Use related topics to find new niche areas for your business 

You can also use Google Trends to potentially expand to niche markets. For example, a staffing firm searches the “Recruitment Industry” on Google Trends. The top searched terms include payroll management and independent employee benefits programs. From these results, the staffing firm decides to expand its services to include payroll management. This could make their business more appealing to employers because they offer an additional service.

By taking advantage of SEO tools like Google Trends, you can help your business evolve to meet the needs of modern-day trends and expand your business to new markets.


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