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Utilizing Google Trends in Keyword Research

November 11th, 2008 | | SEO Keyword Research

A big part of building a site for On-Page SEO is the utilization of keywords.  Finding the right niche for your services and exploiting the right keyword competition rewards you in dominating the ranks better, but how long will the keywords overall perform?

Enter Google Trends.

Google Trends shows you how often certain search terms have been searched on Google over the past few years. Measuring the Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) alongside a good trend can give you more confidence in ranking higher and more consistently because the trend of searchers typing in your keyword is increasing.

A Real World Example

Let’s say you want to rank your site about legal issues and a nice law firm that goes with it.  Obvious words come to mind (law, lawyer, legal council).  Lets also say that the KEI on these words was workable and not as competitive for your market.  Because of this, you decide to build your site around these terms.  But let’s take a look at what Google Trends has to say about these words.

“Law,” according to this graph, shows a decreasing trend of people searching for this term.  We have two more terms so let’s look at “lawyer.”

Hmm.  The old saying goes “No one likes a lawyer until they need one.”  According to this trend, you’d think that fewer people were looking for lawyers.  With a legal system like the United States where you need law interpretation or representation from wills, business start-ups or if you were sued because your slushy stand didn’t have a “don’t slurp too fast! Caution: Brain Freeze” label on the cup, services lawyers provide will eventually be needed by all.

Let’s look, then, at what lawyers provide – “legal council”

Interesting. Still, it is heading South.  Is this a bad niche? Is it passe’? Is this the end of American Justice? Well, not exactly.  This could be a term that most people don’t type in to look for this service.  Something like this needs more research in finding what people are actually typing to find this type of service.  From a consumer perspective, legal service would probably fall under the word of “rights.” “What are my rights?” “Your rights in this situation, does it help?”  So lets see what “My Rights” and “Your Rights” do in the ‘ol Google Trends graph.

Aha! Both terms are showing an increase in user searches.  Solution Branding strikes again! People are searching for their rights and a good way for a lawyer to brand his site would be to discuss the rights of individuals.  By being forthcoming with information, trust can be built between the searcher and site and maybe … just maybe, a searcher becomes a lead.

All in all, Google Trends is a fun little tool that can be a great supporting source of data along side your current Keyword Research.

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