#WeBuildWednesdays Episode 23: How Google Trends Can Influence Your Business

Use Google Trends to Capitalize on Changing Queries

What’s up, guys? Mike Norris here. I’m going to talk to you today about Google Trends.

Google Trends is a really great tool if you’re looking for seasonality, opportunities in popularity, things like that. The data can go back quite a few years. You can look at different regions and subregions across the world, and you can see trends and topics. It’s a little bit easier to explain as we dive into it, so let’s just get right to it, shall we?

Trending Topics v. Popular Topics

I’m going to start by searching for Kacey Musgraves. For those of you who don’t know, Kacey just won best album at the Grammys, so right now, she is definitely trending. But, before this, she was… let’s just say she wasn’t trending. I wouldn’t say she’s small-time. She’s kind of well-known, but not super well-known. So, I’m expecting, when I look at Kacey’s trend, it’s going to be like this more recently.

The cool thing about this tool is that we’re going to be able to see Kacey’s popularity over time, her search volume over time, and we’re going to be able to compare that to that of someone else. We could probably compare it to another celebrity most likely. We can do Taylor Swift or someone like that. But we’ll get to that in a second.

Google Trends Tools

Here is interest over time. As you can see, if you look back, this is scored on a zero to 100 basis. Most recently, with her Grammy win, Kacey’s at 100. So she’s killing it right now. This is the peak of her career. In the past twelve months in the United States, which is what we’re looking at, Casey was as low as a two about a year ago. So, you can see, by region, where the most interest is, which is another great thing if you’re thinking about launching a business on a national level. Let’s say that business has something to do with country music. Obviously, Tennessee is huge for this kind of stuff. She’s blowing up in Tennessee, and you can see the other areas where she’s blowing up as well. You can also see related queries. This is actually the tool that Uber used to determine which cities it should launch in based on search volume for particular terms like “taxis” and things like that. So it’s really great.

It’s a Popularity Contest

Let’s compare Kacey’s data to someone like Taylor Swift. I don’t think Taylor won any Grammys this year. I don’t know if she released an album this year, so she probably wasn’t qualified, but I would expect Taylor’s line to be more up here and then Kacey’s going to top her more recently with her win. So let’s look at that. Yep, alright. Taylor’s average is a thirty-nine and Kacey’s average is a five, but more recently, Kacey’s got her beat with a 75-31. You just see the popularity there, along with what’s trending over time. This point right here, this was when Taylor hit 100 and Casey hit a three. This was probably the release of Taylor’s last album, something like that or some other reason she was in the news because Taylor hit a full 100 on this and that’s the high point in the past year.

Real Life Example

Let’s look something a little bit more businesslike though, right? Let’s look at heating and cooling. Let’s say you’ve got an HVAC business. We’re going to want to look at something like these topics. Let’s say you’re an enterprise-level HVAC business or you’re just a mom-and-pop shop even and you’re looking for a place to open somewhere in the United States where you’re going to want to look for terms like this, where people are actively searching for heating and cooling. You’re going to be able to see, on average, heating is a 70, cooling is a 42, so heating is the more popular of the two and you can see in what months people are searching for heating as opposed to cooling. November, heating peaks across the United States, but let’s get a little bit more granular. Let’s look at Illinois. For those of you who live in Illinois, you know. With the temperatures we’ve had here recently, I would expect heating is going to peak. Yeah, there it is. We just had negative fifty weather in Illinois at the end of January, beginning of February here, and look at that: heating has peaked during that time in the past year. So, obviously, you know, that’s the time where people are gonna be searching for heating in this area. You can see places, where they have an interest for heating—Evansville, Indiana, Quincy, Illinois, Terre Haute, Indiana—these, are all related areas to Illinois. You can narrow down and look at these specifics areas in here as well.

Real Life Application

And let’s look at the past five years. This obviously is a lot more data, but you can start to notice trends when you look at this. So, if you take a look at every high point for something like heating, you might start to notice November again over here. Let’s look at this one. This point, right here: December. This point, right here: December, beginning of January. Then January to February, and then we’ve got cooling in here. Cooling hits a 70 in the month of June 2017. Cooling hits a 66, beginning of June 2018, and cooling is a 52 at the end of May. At the end of May, beginning of June, it’s a perfect time for heating in this area. If you’re an HVAC business, you know that’s when these searching are coming in. You know this is the time when you are going to want to increase your budget for PPC. Or it might be the time to run PPC ads, or you might run PPC ads during the lulls. Maybe you’re super busy during these times, you know, during May, June, everyone searches for this stuff and the competition is super fierce. Maybe you want to increase your budget during the offseason, get some business in year-round so that your workers have something to do. This is a great tool for you to be able to assess something like that.

Happy Wednesday, guys. Thank you!


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