What’s one of the things that every website owner wants most?
To see their site at the top of Google search results, of course.
Holding a coveted first-page spot in the search results means you have excellent visibility, which also means more people are going to check out your site to see what it’s all about. Maybe you’ll draw in some new leads and score bigger sales, too.
If you make Google Trends your secret weapon, this could be you.
I’m here to tell you all my tricks for using Google Trends to spot SEO opportunities so you can learn how to send your website skyrocketing in the search results.
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How to Predict the Future… of Keyword Search Volume
Do you want to find keywords that aren’t just doing well now but will also likely perform highly in the future?
I bet that got your attention, didn’t it?
You may think that it’s impossible to know how a keyword will perform from one day to the next. “Today’s hot keyword could be yesterday’s old news,” you say.
Well, that’s true. But you actually don’t need a crystal ball to predict the future of keywords!
Using Google Trends to spot SEO opportunities, you’ve got a better chance of nailing down true trends so you can take advantage of them before your competitors do.
The trick is in how you use it. If you’re not careful, you might spot a great-looking keyword that’s jumped by 1,000% in the past few days. But in reality, that could be a red herring that leads to nowhere.
Why? Keywords like that are usually related to passing trends, which means they won’t be as popular next week—or even the next day.
So you might end up creating a ton of content for that keyword, only to hear nothing but chirping crickets when interest dies down. It’s a huge waste of time and pretty demoralizing, too.
How do you find keywords that are actually trending and not just fads? All you have to do is adjust the timeframe Google Trends gives you.
Try expanding the timeframe to cover the past two to four years. That will let you identify keywords that are steadily trending upward over time.
Sick of Keyword Research? Try This!
Let me ask you something: How do you normally go about finding new keywords to use?
Do you sit in front of Google or some other search engine, hoping inspiration will strike?
What will actually happen is that you’ll end up staring at a blinking cursor for an hour. You’ll probably give up because you can’t think of anything, then go find something else to do where you can make some real progress.
Or maybe you go get a snack and watch TV instead. Hey, I don’t blame you. Keyword research can be tedious without the right tools in your SEO toolbox.
Luckily, you don’t need to do all that hard work to find keywords for SEO. All you need to do is
- Go to trends.google.com.
- Enter your core search term in Google Trends.
- Scroll down to where it says “Related Queries.”
Here, Google will show you trending keywords that are related to the core search term you entered. You don’t even have to guess how well they’re doing—Google straight-up tells you!
I can hear you breathing a sigh of relief from here. No longer will you need to spend lonely nights in front of the search results, struggling desperately to find new keywords and second-guessing all your SEO choices up until now.
There’s no need for all that when you’ve got Google Trends data on your side.
So What Are Breakout Keywords?
But wait; it gets even better. You might also see a little something called “breakout keywords” mixed in with your related queries. These are keywords that have recently jumped more than 5,000%.
Yes, you read that right: 5,000%.
Why are these keywords so special? Aren’t they really hard to rank for? And aren’t your competitors going to use them too?
Maybe, but maybe not. If these keywords haven’t become competitive yet, you can use them as part of your SEO strategy to help propel your content to the top of the search results.
I know that sounds way too good to be true, and yes, there is a catch. Unfortunately, breakout keywords don’t stay hot forever. They’re usually fads that lose popularity within a couple of weeks or less.
Still, your website could end up on the front page of Google results until then. When that happens, backlinks to your site come pouring in, and your overall SEO profile becomes stronger. So I’d say that the visibility and potential for news leads are definitely worth it.
Learn the Power of Long-Tail Keywords
What can you do if you find some really good keywords but your competitors are already using them?
“They’re already ranking on the first page for that keyword,” you complain. “I can’t beat that.”
It’s true that outranking a competitor for a high-value keyword is no picnic. In some cases, it really is impossible (sorry, I didn’t mean to crush your dreams).
If you and your competitor are on fairly even footing, you might be able to pull it off. But if you’re thinking about outranking Amazon or Walmart for a keyword like “LED television,” you sadly don’t stand a chance.
That’s not to say you should simply give up, though. Enter long-tail keywords.
You can come up with your own long-tail keywords by cross-referencing several user queries to get better context. For example, say a lot of users search for “how to set up [brand name] television.” Other users might search for “Why is my new [brand name] TV not turning on?” Even more have searched for “[Brand name] TV is a piece of junk.”
From there, you might surmise that a lot of users are having trouble setting up their new TV for whatever reason. Maybe it’s missing parts, or the instructions are wrong.
So, you come up with a new long-tail keyword such as “how to fix problems with a new [brand name] TV.” Then you provide solutions to the problem. Frustrated users will flock to your site because you’re the only one with answers.
Google Trends gives you all the information you need to build long-tail keywords like these. You can even compare two keyword phrases for more in-depth data. You’ll see how the terms relate to each other, which one is most popular, which is trending fastest, and much more. After writing great new content based around these long-tail keywords, you may be able to beat out some of your strongest competitors.
Go Beyond Plain Old Google Search
Although simple Google Searches can offer opportunities to gain knowledge for your SEO strategy, you don’t have to stick to basic web search to find hot keywords for SEO. Using Google Trends to spot SEO opportunities offers several options, most of which a lot of people don’t even notice or use.
You can narrow your focus with these options:
- Web search (that’s the default)
- YouTube search
- Google Shopping
- Image search
- News search
That can seem overwhelming, I know. Where do you even start?
Remember, you’re not limited to just one option. Check them all out, and you’re likely to find a wide range of keywords and new ideas for your SEO strategy.
Let’s say your business sells gaming laptops. So maybe you’d go to Google Shopping and see which related keywords are on the rise. This gives you a good idea of the products people are searching for so you can adjust your content strategy accordingly.
Finding trends by YouTube search is another powerful tactic that you can’t afford to ignore. Using my laptop example again, if you go to the YouTube search option, you might find that people are seeking videos on how to set up their laptop or how to know if it’s powerful enough to run a certain game.
What about news search? If you sell laptops, how is that going to help you?
The news search category shows you trending topics in the news that are related to your chosen keyword. You might see an article about laptop manufacturing problems, parts shortages, or other topics of interest to your audience.
Write a few blog posts or create some videos on these topics—but do it fast. The news cycle moves at lightning speed, so those topics won’t stay hot for too long.
Beat Out the Local Competition
Google Trends shows you rising keywords for the entire planet. But for better results, you want to drill down much deeper into your local geographic region (or some other region you’re interested in).
Look at the map of your country on the Google Trends dashboard under “Interest by Subregion.” Next to the map, you’ll see the regions that have the highest demand for your keyword ranked by popularity.
You can also hover over different parts of the map to get more details on a keyword’s search volume. The darker the shade of blue for a region, the higher the search volume for that area is.
Want to break things down even further? Google lets you see search interest trends for specific metropolitan areas within states, too.
This feature really shines for brick-and-mortar businesses that want to keep an eye on trends in their local communities. Are you considering offering a new product or service to your customers? Just enter a term for it in Google Trends, and you’ll instantly see how popular it is.
That can tell you if your new product idea has a good chance of taking off or not. If keyword search volume for your region is low, you might want to consider going back to the drawing board.
Always Pay Attention to Context
So you’ve found an awesome keyword, and boy, are you excited!
“It’s risen by 3,000%,” you say. “And hardly any of my competitors are using it. This is my chance. I’ll end up at the top of the search results for sure.”
You spend hours writing blog posts featuring your shiny new keyword. Maybe you even make a few YouTube videos for good measure.
“Any minute now,” you tell yourself. “I know SEO isn’t free, but this is going to work. It just takes time.”
But no matter how long you wait or how often you keep refreshing Google, your website’s position doesn’t change.
What happened? Unfortunately, you ignored context and went wild with a keyword that had no legs to stand on.
This situation is all too common, and if you’re not careful, you could end up following bad keywords down a rabbit hole and setting your SEO strategy back big time.
It happens when you don’t pay attention to overall trends and instead focus on how well a keyword is doing at that specific moment. The only way to avoid this is by looking for context as to why the keyword’s doing well.
Some keywords only skyrocket around the holidays or when something major happens in the news. Unfortunately, the good times don’t last forever.
This goes the other way, too. Maybe you find a keyword that had a steep dive in search volume. So you think it’s not worth pursuing any further?
Take the term “cheap flights,” for example. If you searched for this term around the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’d see that the search volume fell off a cliff.
But expand the time range by a few years, and the volume looks much more stable. People weren’t searching for that keyword very often in 2020 because everyone was hunkering down in their homes, not looking for the cheapest flight for their Caribbean vacation.
Over time, though, search volume for this keyword went back up. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to context in your keyword research. Otherwise, you could waste too much time chasing bad keywords while missing out on the good ones.
Make Google Trends a Major Part of Your SEO Strategy Today
Now I’ve taught you all I know about using Google Trends to spot SEO opportunities. If you use it properly, it’ll help you uncover scorching-hot keywords that your competitors don’t even know exist yet. Give it a try, and you’ll find amazing keywords to write blog articles for in no time!