As the most popular search engine in the majority of countries worldwide, Google on average receives over 40,000 search queries per second. This equates to 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide (Internet Live Stats).
So it’s fair to say that a lot of data is sent through Google. This data can be incredibly informative, providing an insight into the most common questions that the population want answers to. This data becomes even more useful when you apply it to your business decisions.
How can you access this data? Through the Google Trends tool. Google trends collects its data from the Google search engine and shows how frequently a particular search term, phrase, company, person, group or topic is searched for across the world.
Using data from Google Trends can help you to gain an overview of trends within your industry. It can help you to check out the competition, research the viability of introducing a new product to your business, or give you an indication of the potential demand for launching an entirely new business venture. It can even provide insight into where in the world has the most or least interest in a particular product or service, how a particular region uses Google, and much more.
In this article, we demonstrate five ways you can use Google Trends to inform the way you run your business, so you can begin to utilise valuable, up-to-the-minute market data and attune to what your target audience is looking for.
1 – Seasonality
Google Trends can inform you of seasonal peaks within your industry by showing if the popularity of the search term is cyclical. Since it’s the festive season, let’s use a Christmas example to show what we mean.
While it’s obvious that trees, wreaths, baubles, etc. will become more popular towards the end of the year, there are some more useful trends that you can tap into if you have something more specific to your industry in mind.
As you might have expected, the search term ‘gift set’ see’s a huge spike in December, however interest begins to more steadily incline around August time, which shows you may wish to market any ‘gift sets’ your company sells earlier in the year, to help you get ahead of the competition. You can toggle your search by category to make it more relevant to your industry too.
2 – Longevity of Trends
If there is a particular trend that you’re toying with venturing into, Google Trends data can be a great way to understand whether it could be worthwhile. For example, if a trend has seen a steady increase for some time, this can indicate that it is still relevant, and likely to be for the foreseeable future.
However, if the data displays that the trend see’s frequent peaks and troughs, with steady decline in places, then this could indicate a fad. Take a look at the below example, which uses search data for the Hygge interiors trend that became increasingly popular in the middle of 2016. Since its peak late that year, the trend is now seeing a decline. This could indicate the trend won’t likely be carried through to 2019. Google Trends data is live moving, updating constantly to provide the most accurate search trend results.
3 – Product Range Expansion
You can also use Google Trends data to gain insight into a new product or business idea and combine this with other market research to determine whether it’s worth investing in. Using Google Trends to discover whether people want this particular product is good ground to cover initially. If the search interest for terms relevant to your idea is low, then it’s likely that demand is low too and you should rethink. If a product appears to be maintaining its popularity or interest in the product is on the up, then it may be worth looking into further.
For example, we can see from the data below that search volume for the smart watch begins low in 2012, the year that the smart watch with smartphone capability was introduced by various tech, but is continually increasing in popularity year on year. This may mean that this is a trend that is here to stay and that investing in smartwatch technologies and applications could be worthwhile.
4 – Product Categories
Google Trends data can help you to merchandise your products effectively. Perhaps there is more than one term you could potentially use for a product category and you aren’t sure which one to go with. Using Google Trends to compare these terms and filtering the results by your industry allows you to understand which term is more commonly searched for. In the example below, we can see that ‘Menswear’ is consistently a more popular search term than ‘Men’s Clothing’.
5 – Industry & Brand Monitoring
Google Trends can also help you to compare your business against the competition. While this may not work if there isn’t enough search data for your business, you can use Google Trends to determine whether you or your competitors are receiving the highest search interest in their brand name.
This data can then help you to perform further competitor analysis, such as insight into the locations where your competitors are performing better than your company, and you can then take action to target people in this area.
Google Trends updates in real-time too, so unlike other market research methods you can ensure that your evidence of consumer interests and trends is completely up to date. You can also segment search data by date, category, country and view results by city if you need more granular data. There’s also not many free data sources around that use billions of pieces of information to demonstrate consumer interest! So if you use your website to generate leads or to drive sales, then Google Trends is an excellent free tool to use when carrying out market research.
If you need help tailoring your marketing and ecommerce practice to your new found insights, we can help. Get in touch with us today.