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When evaluating the trends, Google Trends is my favorite place to go. You can see the hot searches for the day while you're there. But what I like to do is go up to the search bar. Type in the keywords that I'm most concerned about, that I want to see the annual trends for their searches. Once I do that, Google shows me a bar graph. Showing the demand of each of the keywords over time. Now I like to do a couple of things here to make sure that I'm getting relevent information. The first thing is I'll go to the location, I want to be sure that I'm targeting users in the United States.
That does change the information slightly. I also want to change the time. Just because it's from 2004, doesn't mean that it's always relevant. Usually, I'll look at just the past three years, maybe more if necessary. And so I'm going to look at just the past three years. Now I'm presented with a little more contextual information. Now in Categories, I can look specifically at whether this is Entertainment, Hobbies or Travel. If I choose Travel, it will show me slightly different information.
Sometimes I see the keyword counts go down when I do that. And so I don't always do that. I'll go back and just look at all categories. I can also look specifically for web searches, image searches, news, google shopping, or YouTube. If it's relevant for you, then definitely use that. If I need to add a new term, I can do that here. And immediately I can see where that term rates compared to other terms. Now I've got a nice, color coded chart that I can look at, all I have to do is mouse over it and I can see for a specific month and I use this especially for the peaks and valleys in demand.
I can see that July tends to be the highest month for my hiking keywords. It will let me know in index, meaning for hiking California it has an index of 79, hiking in Northern California an index of six. Google is not going to tell you exactly how many searches were done for those keywords. What it's giving you is on an index level of one to 100 at that period in time hiking California was at a 79. So there's no real correlation to the amount of searches.
You can also look at a forecast if that's available. And you can also overlay news headlines if some of your keywords have to do with content and relevancy for the news. One nice thing is if you use Google+ and you have a homepage on Google+ that you go to every morning, you can embed this chart on to your page. So that you'll always see this chart with those keywords and this time frame. Some of the additional information that's available on the page is regional interest. The reason why I chose California specifically to look at the traffic is, because on this chart, the majority of people searching for hiking in California are from California.
Nevada is the next closest state, and it's not even close. Oregon, Arizona and Washington are my next. But what's interesting, is they also see Illinois and Texas showing up in my top ten states of people searching for hiking in California. So this helps me navigate a regional interest in keywords. I can use this information in setting up an AdWords campaign. Where I only target my ads specifically to people in California.
I can also set up an ad campaign specifically for people in Nevada or Oregon. I don't have to create a national campaign and spend a lot of money for that visibility. Another good feature of Google Trends is that it will show you related information. If I'm not using these keywords already, I can add them. But also on the right hand side are rising keywords. That means in this point in time compared to years past and months past. These keywords are rising in popularity, and what I can see here is that they are very specific in cities in areas of California.
And so I can take a look and make sure that my trend lines are matching with these rising keywords. Or just my trends as necessary to account for the change in trend at this point compared to a year earlier. Google Trends presents a lot of information that is useful for your keyword research but also for your marketing and understanding of the trends throughout the year. It's one of my favorite tools. And I suggest that you go try it and utilize it with as many keywords as you can to compare and view and I guarantee you'll learn something about your market.
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