The “Information Age” is a term that is loosely used to describe the era of the easily sharing and distributing content that, in previous era, wouldn’t have been nearly as accessible. This is due in large part to companies like Google, who have made it easy to search and find exactly the information you’re looking for.
Well, Google is doing better than ever. More people are seeking information online than ever, and Google has reported that on their search engine alone, over 1 billion queries are submitted a day.
You know by now how important it keep a regular content calendar and post content that’s meaningful to your business, but it’s also important to know which topics are timely and attention-grabbing to search engine users at that time. As with any culture or industry, search trends are constantly changing based on a variety of factors. (News, economy, global events, fashion, etc)
This is where Google Insights For Search can be a powerhouse of a tool for your content marketing efforts. Google Insights For Search works by providing results of the search terms people have been entering into the Google search engine based on a variety of factors. Results can be narrowed down with categories that are displayed the search terms.
Putting Google Insights For Search To Work
Let’s create a scenario where a business owner could derive value out of Google Insights.
Business: Awesomely Amazing Landscapers
Size: 100 employees
Challenge: To create more opportunity in their “offseason” for landscaping work. Willing to open new locations in good areas and expand business to emerging markets.
Awesomely Amazing Landscapers have decided to work with a content marketer to develop a keyword and content strategy that will help their business website get found online in the months when it’s more difficult for landscapers to find work.
One way of going at this would be to use Google Insights to research trends for content planning.
Let’s pull the search tool up and evaluate:
Choosing Your Keywords (How You Want People To Find You)
Our primary interest is to be found by prospects during the months where landscaping work isn’t in very high demand and the business isn’t flooded with work orders.
Let’s use the most sensible keyword phrase, “landscaping”. This is a way a potential buyer might search. (They might be more specific to states or cities, something else you can target).
Now that we’ve targeted a keyword that we believe our prospects will be searching for, let’s apply some filters.
Determining Your Target Location
You’ve been a local business, but you’re willing to expand if you can find markets that will serve up enough work in your slow months.
Awesomely Amazing Landscapers have decided to limit their target audience to Atlanta (their home) in their busy season, but want to research nationwide for their offseason. Since our concern is helping them get business in the offseason, we’re going to set a search filter that restricts all searches to within the United States.
This can be done by clicking ‘Locations’ below ‘Search Terms’ and choosing ‘United Stats’.
Setting Custom Time Filters
We’re interested in seeing how the search term ‘landscaping’ does over the course of the year to determine what our demand will be from season to season.
Under ‘Locations, choose ‘Time Ranges’.
Let’s add three separate years of data to chart. This will let us see how ‘landscaping’ performed as a search term online in the years of 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Picking A Category
The ‘Categories’ filter can be useful to limit terms and searches down to defined categories, so that we don’t get data that isn’t related to our main objective.
Use the ‘All Categories’ drop-down on the right to define our search to results from ‘Home & Garden’, and then we’ll be ready to search.
Let’s finally submit our search and see what comes up.
The first bit of data shows us how our targeted search performed in the years we selected. We see, as expected, the demand for landscaping is most high from March to May, during the Spring. The drop in the Summer to Winter is consistent (nearly identical actually) in the last couple years. Also notice trends, like sharp drop around Thanksgiving, when people are on vacation or with family, and not looking to buy for this kind of service.
Notice here we see what states have showed the most demand for landscaping on the Web in the last three years. There’s a particularly high concentration in the Northeast that might be worth exploring for this business.
This might lead me to further investigating states like New Hampshire, by narrowing my ‘Location’ and ‘Time Range’ filters to see when New Hampshire is in particularly high demand for work, and if it’s worth the business to look in to creating a market presence there.
Finally we see a list of popular related landscaping search terms. This list has been served up by Google as suggestions for keywords and phrases that also might be worth targeting or developing content and strategy a lot. Also notice “Rising searches” which relays specific searches that have shown particular growth around our “landscaping” keyword.
Various Applications Of Google Insights
Google Insights For Search isn’t only a powerful business planning tool, but it’s also great for helping you plan your next blog post to attract Web visitors.
A search for ‘landscaping’ with results limited to searches in the last 7 days nationwide (and not the last 3 years), will help us to know what related terms are trending, and which states are spending the most time searching for landscapers on line that week.
This week, use Google Insights For Search for your business or website to develop a piece of content and see if it delivers more organic visitors and helps you target new business opportunities.