Using Google Trends for Product & Niche Research
What is Google Trends?
Google Trends helps identify search trends and regional interest over time in any country.
Want to know if a search term is increasing or decreasing in popularity? Google Trends can show that.
Want to know if a search term is searched more often at different times of the year? Google Trends can show that.
Want to know if a search term is more popular in a certain country? Google Trends can show that.
Want to know if a search term is searched for on YouTube, Google Images, Google Shopping, Google News or Google Web Search? Google Trends can show that.
Want to know related search terms from another search term? Google Trends can show that.
The scores (0-100) on the left of the ‘Interest over time’ timeline, have no quantitive meaning so they DO NOT directly represent search volume. They purely represent high and low levels of search volume over the time period chosen for that particular search term. So for instance, on one search term 100 may represent 1,000,000 searches and 1 may represent 10,000 searches, whereas, on another search term, 100 may represent 100 searches and 1 may represent 1 search.
You can use Google’s Keyword Planner or other tools to get approximate numbers of search queries.
How to use Google Trends for product & market research
Google Trends can be a very useful tool for product and market research. Being able to see whether search terms are increasing or decreasing in popularity (interest over time), and where they are most commonly being searched from (regional interest), can be invaluable research information to a business. Also seeing other popular related search terms can help you identify new products and markets you may not have considered before.
I would recommend every business to spend a good hour or two playing around with Google Trends to carry out initial product and market research, taking screenshots of results. I would also recommend jumping back into the tool fairly regularly also.
Example Research: Wedding services within the UK
In this example, we used Google Trends to research wedding services within the UK over a 12 month period.
The search terms we chose were:
- wedding venue
- wedding photographer
- hen party
- stag party
- wedding cake
Here is the Google Trends results graph:
So what can we gain from this?
Well, we can clearly see that there is a slow decline in searches from the start of September to the third week of December, and then a rapid spike in searches from Christmas time (a lot of proposals made then) and through early January. We can also see small spikes in search volumes in early May, June, July, and August, always around the start of each of those months. Other than that the search volume is fairly steady throughout the year.
We can also see there is proportionally far more search volume for ‘hen party‘, ‘wedding cake‘, and ‘wedding venue‘ than there is for ‘stag party‘ and ‘wedding photographer‘.
This information could already be quite useful market research for anyone in that sector, but of course, we could do other search trend reports also looking at more specific search terms, localization, or any other factors, to help gain more search insights.
The results below are for the default ‘Web Search‘, however, we can change this to show results for:
Perhaps unsurprisingly ‘wedding cake‘ is by far the most searched term on Google Images, but I didn’t expect ‘hen party‘ to have more image search volume than ‘wedding venue‘.
How to use Google Trends for SEO
Google Trends can be used for:
- Keyword Ideas – Google Trends shows you the most popular related search terms to the keywords you entered
- Keyword Trends – is a search term rising or decreasing in popularity, or remaining fairly consistent
- Geo-Targeting & Local Relevance – view the popularity of search terms by area, internationally, nationally and locally
- Trending Topics – see trending topics in real time. A great way to quickly jump on new trends
- Topics Comparison – compare search term topics with up to 5 on the same comparison chart
- Topic Search Seasonality – how search term popularity changes throughout the year and from season to season
- Compare the search popularity of your brand vs competitors brands, over time