SEO is a profession that is highly dependable on various tools. In fact, it can be regarded as one of the most analytical disciplines. Unlike some other jobs, where you have some sort of a material measurement (such as the money), it is very hard to quantify success for websites.
Although very intangible by nature, our best bet is to measure things by comparison. In fact, everything within SEO is based on this principle as our ultimate goal is to have a better position in SERP compared to our competition.
That being said, some of these numbers are very troublesome for laymen. Basically, there is only a few tools that can help casual users establish what is happening. One of these tools is Google Trends.
What is Google Trends?
Simply put, this tool is telling us what is currently trending on the Internet.
Like all the other Google tools, it has pretty simple and straightforward interface. That is to be expected given that it is mainly oriented towards casual users. Nevertheless, it is something that can be used by everybody. It is a great way to predict how a keyword will fluctuate showing us internet users’ attitude towards a topic.
But, there is another thing that most people do not consider.
Google Trends is a great analytical tool that depicts the state of industry.
Companies are able to use it in order to predict growth of certain products or industry as a whole. Even though there is no direct connection between number of searches, number of news and sales, it is safe to say that some of these stats can be used as potent indicators of general public interest.
If you think about it, Google Trends can be regarded as a free public pole.
Google Trends and local results
When we talk about keywords and SEO tools, majority of the software is oriented towards the Internet in general.
SEO as a profession needs to ensure that you website is ranking among top 10 results in Google. Rarely do we concern ourselves with anything else. Due to this fact, most of the tools are not oriented towards local search.
Google Trends is unique in that regard.
Among various features, it allows us to track popularity of a keyword within a region or a city.
After typing in a search term, we get several different data such as interest over time, interest by region, related topics and related queries. Within interest by region section, you are able to narrow down the query by using region or city filter.
Furthermore, you are able to click on particular countries which will give you additional data regarding the cities where this keyword is most popular.
How can a local businessman use Google Trends?
Nowadays, everybody has a website.
Even though there are a lot of organizations that use their domain on a global level, numerous companies are geared towards local success.
Similarly to global enterprises, these small local entrepreneurs have to optimize their website in order to be visible in Google. Some may say that this is unfair due to the fact that a small company has to invest same resources as big companies just to make profit locally, but this is the nature of the beast.
Here is where we come to Google Trends.
As we said, this tool can help you discover how popular a particular keyword is in your city or country.
Research is performed by taking several interesting keywords and comparing them to each other. Google Trends returns results for each one of them and shows you which one you should pursue.
I believe that Google Trends is a must for every local entrepreneur.
A word of precaution: Google Trends analysis needs to be performed after the initial research which helped us establish volume and difficulty. In other words, even if you find a juicy keyword that is immensely popular within your city, it may turn out that this keyword has low traffic or high difficulty; either of which can affect your efficiency. On the other hand, if you website offers its products/services only locally, there is not much point in using a keyword with high traffic and low difficulty if there are no local searches.
There is another thing you have to pay close attention to and that is interest over time or keyword trend.
It is another variable which can affect your plans making a keyword more or less appealing.
In a perfect situation, you will find a keyword that has descent traffic, which will be easy to rank for, highly searched within your city and with an upward trend. Of course, if you wish to rank for a keyword, it is much better to start using it when it is less popular and after a while, you can reap the rewards of increased traffic.
Final thoughts on Google Trends
Most SEO experts do not like Google Trends because it doesn’t provide quantifiable results. All the data is presented on a 0 to 100 scale, where 0 is non-existent and 100 is maximum.
We already mentioned that SEO is highly intangible. Due to this fact, we require some solid numbers that can help us establish the real situation. Google Trends doesn’t provide this as it is based solely on approximation.
On the other hand, there are certain benefits to it. Even though it may be an approximation, it can show us some clear winners or losers. Like we said, there is no point for a local business to use something that will not bring local customers.
In a way, Google Trends is Jack of all trades. It can be used for multiple things and it is really easy to handle. Nevertheless, we should always take it with a grain of salt.
Do you use Google Trends for your projects? What is your experience with this program? Share it in the comment section below!