What’s the biggest killer of content?
When nobody reads or cares about the content you create, it might as well not be there. But if you’re starting a blog for your company and don’t know what to write about, or you keep striking out with what you think is great copy, it’s hard to know what to do.
And so you keep on putting out content that goes nowhere.
Help is at hand! The best kind; free help, in the form of Google Trends.
A tool that, used correctly, can save you from writing irrelevant content that has no audience and creates nothing for your business but tumbleweeds and a growing sense of panic.
What is Google Trends?
Google Trends is a free online tool from Google that allows you to track the relative popularity of search terms over time.
It’s been around since 2006 but isn’t well-known outside marketing circles.
You can search by different regions and languages, and also within different industries and on different platforms (like images, news, or YouTube). You’re also able to compare search terms, to see which received the most interest and is thus better to address in your content.
Why should I care?
To paraphrase Ron Burgundy, it’s a pretty big deal.
Google Trends gives you a direct insight into the minds of your potential customers through the keywords they’re using in their searches.
Using Google Trends, you can get a heads up on whether that blog post you were planning to write is likely to be of interest to many people by checking the keywords associated with it.
You could discover that with a slight change of focus you’ll be able to reach a much wider audience, or get inspiration to address an issue that you didn’t know was a big deal within your industry.
If your business is affected by the seasons, you can search for the times of the year when related terms spike and plan your content to suit. If you promote your content through paid ads, you can budget accordingly, too.
Don’t forget, your website is home to a lot of your business’ content. You can also use Google trends to optimise the existing content on your site so it’s more likely to appear in search results.
In short, Google Trends adds a whole lot of value for free, taking the guesswork out of your content creation and management.
How can I find it?
If you have a Google account, make sure you log in so you can find your previous searches and any updates you choose to subscribe to.
No Google account? No problem. You can use the tool for free or sign up for an account in a few seconds.
How do I use Google Trends?
Visit the tool and you’ll find a selection of topics that have been the focus of people’s searches from around the world over recent days and weeks.
Click on any of these topics and you’ll be able to see the more in-depth detail of the kinds of questions people are asking.
At the time I’m writing this, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is in full swing, so that’s dominating searches.
To find out about a specific subject or search phrase that you’re thinking about creating content around, enter your search in the field at the top of the page and you’re on your way!
When you’ve searched for a term, simply scroll down and Google Trends will show you related topics and queries. It’s a great way to build up a library of content ideas and subjects to focus on over time, and it also helps you understand what questions your customers are looking for answers to.
If you want to export, share, or cite data from your Google Trends research, you can do that too — here’s a guide.
What are the alternatives?
Google Trends is free and easy to use, and is the perfect place to get started if you haven’t looked into keyword research before.
But it isn’t the only kid on the block; there are other tools which you can use — free and paid — to help you gain insights and data to steer your content creation and strategy.
It’s beyond the scope of this post to go into detail, but here’s a quick rundown:
So before you start creating your next article, series of social posts, or other content marketing assets, head over to Google Trends and do some research. Your readers will thank you for it.
At Prize Content, we conduct research for every piece of content using Google Trends, and other tools, to understand what will get the best results for our clients. Drop us a line to find out more, or sign up below for more content marketing advice.