Guest Post by Sarah
Let’s be clear right off the bat: Google Trends doesn’t actually endeavor on your behalf to bring more traffic to you website. It is not some kind of web-bot that goes around planting a link-back on trendy blogs so that you can reap the benefit of their popularity (sigh, if only). In order to utilize this tool to your advantage, you are going to have to roll up your sleeves and do a little a work.Â But first, you need to understand what Google Trends is, what it does, and how you can use the information it provides to bring more targeted traffic to your site.
So what is Google Trends? It is a program offered by Google that tracks search topics and organizes them at your request so that you can determine the relative popularity of a specific term over time. It does not compare how popular a certain search term is to every other search, but it can be used to compare a finite number of terms (five, to be exact) and add or subtract related terms from your search. For example, you could do a search for video game and compare it to data for related searches like Xbox games and PS3 Games to see which terms were entered more often by users. Or you could look at data for the term video games and Halo to see a sum total of searches for both. You could also track video games but exclude any searches that include handheld games. Your results will then be displayed on a graph that shows you increases and declines in searches for your terms over time (although this is relative only to the search terms you enter, not to all searches).
Other areas of interest for users of Google Trends are Hot Searches and Hot Topics, which reveal, respectively, terms that are trending today (or on a recent date of your choice) and terms that are popular in the news (as well as social networks like Twitter and Facebook). One of the many handy aspects of Google Tools is that in addition to giving you information about the relative popularity of search terms, it can also tell you in which geographic regions these terms were searched the most, which can be extremely useful if you run a local business or cater to a specific area.
As for how you can use this information to your advantage that is pretty self-explanatory if you know anything about tags. As you probably know, tagging your site (or specific portions of your content) is a way to help people find you. If they do a search for a term that happens to appear in your tags, they will (hopefully) be directed to your site. So knowing which keywords are trending can not only help you to determine the best way to label your site, but also which topics to cover in your content. If you stay on top of trends, you can see a significant boost in traffic to your site. And if your content is not only related to those keywords, but is also high quality, you are likely to see repeat visitors, which is what you are really after.
Sarah Danielson writes for ProspectMX, an Internet Marketing Firm offering customized online solutions in the areas of SEO, PPC, Social Media, web design, and much more.