Keyword research is no longer the king of the SEO world. Creating loads of worthless content with your b2b company’s top keywords stuffed into it will now hurt you way more than it could ever help you. But this doesn’t mean keyword research and optimization is useless, it has just changed.
In this article I’d like to explain how Google Trends can help you understand what keywords and topics you need to be focusing your content on.
Keywords aren’t dead
To summarize Convince and Convert’s article: Does Keyword Optimization Still Matter? – it does, but it has changed dramatically. Keywords aren’t king, but they also aren’t dead. Understanding your keywords can still help your content connect with your buyer personas better.
Things have changed
In the Search Engine Land article: Why You Should Never Do “Keyword Research” Again, Nate Dame points out that traditional keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner are going to miss huge opportunities your your content marketing efforts.
Traditional planners will let you down in two ways:
- Google only knows what it has indexed, and if there’s a topic that people are curious about and that their is hardly any content for Google to index (every content marketer’s dream), Google isn’t going to help you see that golden opportunity.
- Another way that most keyword tools fail is seeing overall trends. Most tools show you two numbers: how competitive a keyword is (how much content there is about it) and the search volume. The tool might give you insights into the keywords recent movement up or down in these numbers, but that’s about all the long term info you’ll get.
Enter Google Trends…
Google Trends can fill in both of the gaps where traditional keyword research tools fail. Type a keyword and Google Trends will give you a visual representation of online interest in that keyword since 2004. You can even compare up to 5 keywords at a time. Google trends also added real time capabilities, allowing you to look at search trends in the past hour.
Here are a few ways that you can use Google trends to help your keyword strategy and improve your content:
- Spotting dud keywords – grab your current keyword list and type them into google trends one at a time. Do you see any of them with a downward trend? It might be time to switch them out for a more cutting edge synonym, or shift the focus of your content all together.
- Finding content ideas – type in a keyword and then scroll to down to see top related keywords. You can also see related keywords that are rising in popularity. Note any spikes and see what events happened at that time to increase interest. Also, check out top Google trends for some surefire news-jacking opportunities.
- Planning your content calendar – Do you sea any seasonal spikes of interest for certain keywords? Maybe you should work that into your calendar. Learn more about how to create a good content calendar here: How To Create A Killer B2B Content Calendar.
Things to Remember
- A spike doesn’t always mean something good. If you’re curious, check out news headlines and make sure your keyword doesn’t have any negative press.
- You can embed a Google Trends chart on your website just by clicking the embed button below the chart and copying the embed code into your site.
- If you want to really delve into some deeper data analysis, Google publishes data sets on key trends to their GitHub. You can even download them.