Use Google Trends to Improve Google Ads Performance

Google Trends can help brands find additional keywords to target popular promotional ideas. Plus, marketers can use seasonal trends to maximize their ad budgets throughout the year.

Have you ever wanted to know in which months your prospects are more likely to be searching for something you sell? Or did you ever wish you could capitalize on recent trends to promote your brand?

Then you need to get familiar with the Google Trends tool.

Imagine you’re a sports medicine practice. You want to set up a campaign that coincides with sports injuries throughout the year. Sure, you could look at your own patient data, but that may not align accurately with when prospective patients are searching online.

How to Find When and Where People Are Searching

By using Google Trends, you can take a peek at the search terms being used throughout the year for your specialty. This way, you can create ads and target specific keywords when there’s a high likelihood people will be searching for them.

By entering “sports injuries” into Google Trends, we receive these results:

As we can see, people search for sports injuries much more from about February to April. Then there’s a huge dip until people start searching more in September until the holidays. To capitalize on this trend, you’ll want to allocate more of your ad budget from February to April and from September to November vs. May to August and December to January, when there will be fewer searches.

Google Trends will also show you a longer timeframe, like the last five years, so you can see if the trend consistently repeats every year and if more or fewer people are searching each year.

The graph above shows us that the same dip in search popularity for “sports injuries” occurs consistently every year in the summer.

Capitalizing on Trending Topics

Discovering what is popular now will help you see if you have a chance to capitalize on it before it fizzles out.

For instance, at the time of writing this article, the fifth-most trending search was related to sports and one of the popular articles was “What really works when it comes to sports recovery?”

That tells us there’s currently a lot of interest in the topic of sports recovery, which could be a good angle for an ad campaign.

Anticipate Trends

By studying Google Trends, you can spot early trends. While this takes much more effort, experience and knowledge to get it right, it can be quite effective, if done correctly.

Because you’ll be way ahead of those who haven’t anticipated the trend, you’ll have a nice competitive advantage.

Using Related Search Queries

You can use the related search queries in Google Trends to get additional ideas for ad campaigns. For instance, if you search for trending information on “hats,” you’ll see the following related trending searches.

If your business sells hats, then you’ll immediately see an opportunity to promote Kentucky derby hats, because that is the No. 1 related keyword that is trending right now.

Getting to Know Google Trends

Google Trends holds a lot of important information you can use for your Google Ads campaigns. Take some time to research the trends, learn how trends happen (usually when breaking news hits), and how you can jump on short-living trends, as well as the seasonal ones. And don’t forget about looking into those related queries to find additional ideas for ad campaigns.

Want more Google Ads tips to improve your performance? Click here to grab a copy of our “Ultimate Google Ads Checklist.”

Boosting Your SEO With Google Trends

Google Trends is one of the most underutilized tools available from the search engine giant. This is a shame since it holds amazing power in helping you boost your site’s rankings on search engine results pages. The cherry on top is that it’s completely free.

Google Trends is one of the most underutilized tools made available by the search engine giant. This is a shame since it holds amazing power in helping you boost your site’s rankings on search engine results pages. The cherry on top is that it’s completely free.

The reason most people do not use it is they don’t know how to use it. Many people believe that trends come and go too quickly to benefit from it, but that’s simply untrue. Trends could give your website the push it needs to be recognized not only by Internet users, but Google too.

So, let’s get into how to use Google Trends effectively to boost your SEO.

Target Your Audience with Filters

The filters in Google Trends can help you target the topics of interest to your audience.

Start with the geographical region of your customers. The default is worldwide so change this to the area where you will see trends for just one of your target locations.

Some trends do come and go, but there are some that stick around for a while. To get an idea of what trends are more likely to last days, months, or even years, change the time selection filter.

The category filter will help you hone in on your industry or topics your audience cares about the most.

The last filter is the type of search. You can choose to see trends in search, news, or YouTube. It’s good to know which one your consumers utilize the most to see trends that they likely have seen when either searching Google, browsing news, or watching YouTube.

Pay Attention to Fluctuations

You could miss some trends that come and go repeatedly if you don’t pay attention to the timeline. When you put in a topic, you may see that the trend is losing traction if you have it set for the last 24 hours. However, if you change the timeline, you may see that the trend seems to increase and decrease quite a bit week to week or month to month.

Using keywords that have a tendency to rise and fall in popularity are the best to use because you will continue to benefit from them over time.

Dig Deeper into Advanced Search Options

Within your search on a topic, you will see information about related keywords. Along with them, you will see which ones are currently trending, those that are possibly about to “breakout” and then ones that have the potential to trend. Since all of these keywords are similar, it’s a great way to set your site up to rank for new trends.

Cater Content to Specific Populations

With the location filter, you can identify the area where people are searching for the trending keywords. For example, let’s say your topic is peaches. As you look into the advanced options, you see that “peach picking” may be trending soon. As you filter by location, you discover people in Georgia search this keyword the most.

With information on the trending keywords and location, you can publish content about the content and target the people most likely to be reading about it. This can increase your traffic and conversion rates greatly since people who read it will be highly interested in your content since it was specifically created for them.

Short and Long-Tail Keywords for Content

Since we’re on the topic of content, let’s discuss which key phrases are best for rankings. As you likely know, short-tail keywords are much more general, while long-tail keywords are specific. The long-tail keywords will help you target people who are much more interested in your products or services, so look to create content that gives them that information.

4 B2B Marketing Lessons From Michael Brenner

I listened to Michael Brenner recently give a keynote talk on B2B marketing at the MeritDirect Coop client conference, and picked up scads of great insights, tips and strategic wisdom I’d like to share.

B2B MarketingI listened to Michael Brenner recently give a keynote talk on B2B marketing at the MeritDirect Coop client conference, and picked up scads of great insights, tips and strategic wisdom I’d like to share.

One of Brenner’s many career accomplishments was his early recognition of the value of Web communities as a way to attract, engage and establish a relationship of trust with customers and prospects. He successfully pioneered a strategic web portal for SAP on the subject of business innovation that took the concept of thought leadership to the next level.

These days, Brenner is a speaker and consultant on content marketing, with many lessons to share. Among them:

1. Find Out What Your Buyers Are Looking For, and Give It to Them

Seems pretty simple, but most marketers begin with their products instead. Brenner’s approach becomes the essence of a successful content marketing strategy. Use the plethora of free tools to identify customer needs — Google search autofill, BuzzSumo and Google Trends being obvious ones — and then develop content that answers those issues.

“The buyer journey doesn’t start with a search for a product,” says Brenner. “It’s about a problem or a question.”

2. Focus on Customer Success in B2B Marketing

If you offer information that helps your customers and prospects succeed in their businesses, your B2B marketing is on the right track.

Brenner offered the example of the consulting giant Capgemini, which moved away from a marketing program featuring a famous golfer to an informative web portal Content Loop, which attracted a million visitors, drove $1 million in sales, and cost 0.1 percent of the golfer campaign budget. Later, Capgemini added a box introducing in-house subject matter experts—a move that was credited with $24 million in incremental revenue credited to the site.

3. Own Your Category

As traditional trade publications decline, companies have an opportunity to step in and deliver the information and connection that business buyers crave. Notable B2B marketing examples: Adobe created CMO.com. American Express’s OPEN Forum, which is the firm’s single most productive lead generator for merchant services. Boston Consulting Group’s BCGPerspectives.

A consumer example: L’Oreal owns the e-commerce portal makeup.com, where it even sells competitors’ products alongside its own.

4. Take Advantage of Underleveraged Internal Resources

Your employees have ten times the number of connections on Facebook and LinkedIn that your company has. You can’t force them to share content, but you can encourage them to do so voluntarily.

Furthermore, employees are often experts in their fields. Help them tell their stories and share their experience and advice with customers. Encourage them to build their personal brands, expand their networks and propel their careers forward.

Brenner shared an example from LinkedIn itself, where three employees do eight posts a day, reaching 63 million connections and driving 167,000 clicks.

A version of this article appeared in Biznology, the digital marketing blog.

Top 10 SEO Trends for 2016

How people use the Internet is changing, and SEO experts must evolve to stay relevant. Last year was defined by the rising importance of mobile website optimization — and while that trend will continue, expect social media, apps and Google advancements to make increasingly large impacts on the SEO industry.

Google WordleHow people use the Internet is changing, and SEO experts must evolve to stay relevant. Last year was defined by the rising importance of mobile website optimization — and while that trend will continue, expect social media, apps and Google advancements to make increasingly large impacts on the SEO industry. Technology is moving at breakneck speed. That’s great news for ambitious businesses, but bad news for folks who’d prefer to maintain the status quo.

Looking ahead, we predict these 10 SEO trends will set the tone through 2016:

1. Quality video content will become more valuable than written content.
Content is king, right? Until now, written content has been the gold standard. Going forward, though, video content will become increasingly important, and 2016 may be the year it surpasses written content. That’s because video content — which can take the form of videos, animations, dynamic infographics and more — is much more engaging and shareable than text.

Not only are videos taking over social media and many of the most popular apps, but Google is also experimenting with embedding video ads within search results. The bottom line is that social media and mobile devices are the driving force in online interaction, and social media prioritizes user experience over traditional SEO signals. That’s why video may get a leg up.

2. Search queries will change as more people search the Web by speaking into their phones.
When searching Google for running shoes, a person might type “running shoes men” or “trail running shoes” into the search bar. But that same person would likely make a completely different query if speaking it aloud: “Find running shoes for men in Seattle.” Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google Now — the digital assistants that are built into new smartphones — are changing the nature of online search queries. As a result, content that contains more colloquial and conversational long-tail keywords are more likely to be rewarded by Google’s ever-evolving algorithms.

3. Social media posts will be indexed by Google.
If you didn’t already believe that social media would profoundly impact search results, then you should believe it now. Google has already started to display Twitter and Facebook content in mobile search results. More social media platforms are expected to be similarly indexed throughout the next year, highlighting the importance of strong social media marketing to go hand-in-hand with SEO optimization efforts.

4. Deep links on apps will become as important as deep links on the Web.
Apps are tailor-made to thrive on mobile devices, and it’s not hard to believe that people may eventually use apps more than they visit websites. This is why Google started indexing apps, and it’s why more apps will be indexed throughout 2016. App developers can take advantage of this trend by creating sharable deep links that can be easily viewed and shared. Deep links are highly valuable for website SEO, and deep links on apps could soon be just as meaningful.

5. Local search results will become even more focused.
The proliferation of smartphones with GPS apps is driving search results to be increasingly local. Now, people have smart watches and other wearable gear equipped with that same technology. That’s why local searches are expected to become even more hyper-local as the year goes on. Want to find the best Italian restaurant near you? Coming soon, search results won’t be optimized by just city and state — they’ll be optimized by your street, neighborhood or district.

6. Real-time updates to Google’s search algorithms will keep webmasters and SEO experts on their toes.
Google usually rolls out its algorithm updates in large chunks. However, Google may start launching real-time updates to its Panda and Penguin algorithms, which were implemented to weed out thin and black-hat websites from the search rankings. Webmasters and SEO experts who already go the extra mile to stay ahead of the curve may not be significantly impacted by real-time updates, but nobody will be able to rest on their laurels if Google ups the frequency of its algorithm adjustments.

7. Top organic search positions may have diminishing returns.
Until now, a top ranking in organic search results guaranteed hefty amounts of traffic — but that was before standard results competed with video ads and social media posts for clicks. As Google places more dynamic and engaging content along with its top-ranked results — and as other search engines eventually follow suit — then those once formidable rankings may experience diminishing returns. This highlights the need to diversify SEO and social media efforts heading into 2016.

8. Google’s rich answers will make websites with unique or proprietary information more valuable.
Did you know that Google responds to more than one-in-three search queries with a rich answer? These automatic answers to people’s search queries appear to the right of the organic results, and they can completely negate any need to visit actual websites. Not only is this bad news for websites with content that’s readily available anywhere, but Google is working hard to make rich answers even more thorough. That said, websites containing unique or proprietary content could benefit greatly from rich answers, which typically include links to their sources of information. This is one more way for quality content producers to create success in SEO campaigns.

9. Page load optimization will matter more than ever.
Pages that load faster rank better in Google — that’s a known fact. In addition, large websites that load slowly may not be completely indexed by Google’s bots, effectively wasting your SEO efforts. But there’s more. Snappy, properly performing landing pages are more likely to gain traction on social media, while under-performing websites are more likely to have high bounce rates. Advertisers will also find that slow-loading landing pages are also prone to higher costs in Facebook because of the platform’s emphasis on quality user experiences.

10. Mobile website optimization will surpass desktop optimization.
Mobile Internet usage outpaced desktop Internet usage more than two years ago, and since then search algorithms have been shifting to reflect users’ priorities. We predict 2016 will be the year that mobile website optimization in certain industries will matter more than desktop optimization for overall SEO strategies. It’s not just website presentation that’s driving this seismic shift — it’s also the rising importance of apps and social media. Expect mobile optimization to not only surpass desktop, but to eventually leave it in the dust.

Want more SEO tips? Click here to get the Ultimate SEO checklist