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Choosing Keywords

An Amazing Online Market Research Tool: Google Keyword Trends

Choose your words carefully, goes the old saying.   The words you use to describe your service or product determine its ranking online, its categorization online, and of course, how relevant your marketing will appear to its potential customers.  It can have the effect of making you hot online, or not!

Choosing the rights words used to be guesswork.  This is not the case anymore.   And you don’t even have to be an online marketing genius to figure it out.

This is because there is an handy tool online that you MUST know, if you have any interest in marketing or branding:  Google’s Keyword Trending Tool.

With no cost and no technical ability at all required, you can look up the trending interest in any word or search phrase.

Choose the best general keywords

For example, suppose you’re deciding which words to use to describe your business on the first page of its website, which is a law firm.   Suppose you are not sure whether to describe your company as a “law firm”, “attorneys”, “lawyers”, or variations on those terms.  So, have a look at the Google trending tool for insight.  In the left side bar, under where it says “Search terms,” enter the first term you want to compare, then click “add term”, and then add another until you have filled up all your options.  The tool lets you compare up to five at once.

Assume also that you are in Canada.  Under the “Limit to” heading, change “Worldwide” to “Canada” in the left sidebar.    It is clear, people in Canada search for “lawyer” or “lawyers”.

 Compare Keyword Interest, Country vs. Country

Now, what if you want to attract interest in the United States?   Go to the left sidebar that says “Limit to” and Select the Region as United States, and you’ve got a completely different answer.

Americans look for an “attorney”!   Good to know, depending on where you are marketing!

Drill Down to State or Provincial and City Level Keyword Search Interests

Now, that sounds like good marketing insight….but the tool has even more functionality than that.  Suppose you want to know not just the best terms, but where the most interest is for what you are selling.   Look at how nicely you can see where search terms line up with regional interest.  Here are some classic Canadian examples:  “Lobster”, “Cowboy”, and “Combine”!

Lobster Keyword Search interest in CanadaCowboy keyword search interest in CanadaCombine Keyword Search Interest in Canada

So in Alberta, is it all cowboy country?  Let’s drill down to the city level to find out:

Cowboy Search Interest by City

The answer is that Calgary searches more for “cowboys” than Edmonton, and then the Toronto (Waterloo Municipality) zone is next in line.  If you click on “list” view – see upper right corner of the map box, you can get specific city  listings and search index volumes.

Find Related Terms and Phrases Searched for

Carrying on with the cowboy example, suppose you want to see what exactly people are seeking related to cowboys:

Phrases related to cowboy search

Now, while you wouldn’t want to make a location decision just based on this information, this kind of tool gives you a powerful place to start investigating, and some amazing consumer marketing insight.

Start Learning More about Consumers and Markets Around the World

Want to learn more about the world’s consumer marketing trends in general?  Why not check other interesting search terms?  Suppose you want to reach teens, and associate yourself with the coolest new trends.  Try comparing teen music genres like screamo, punk, hip hop and rap.

Search trends in Teen Music using Google Keyword Trends


Consumer Buying Patterns — All Visible Through Search

It’s also a really interesting way to check patterns in products.  Look at this enlightening comparison between ice cream, candy and chocolate.  You can literally see how ice cream’s seasonality offsets that of candy and chocolate.

keyword trends comparing various confections

Popularity of trendy new words online?  Politician vs. politician online popularity?  All easy to do!   You’ll also see that the tool lets you change the timeline over which the search is measured.  It goes back as early as 2004, but you can also get detail to the level of the past 7 days, which is amazing, and compare global interest in terms to see which countries or cities have peak interest in certain terms.  Compare religious term searches,  political terms, celebrity names…..it is truly endless!

What cool searches or comparisons can you think of?   Drop us a note and let me know!  I am absolutely hooked on what this amazing new market research tool offers the world — all for free, and oddly, completely under the radar to most Google users.

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About the Author - Jacqueline Drew
Jacqueline M. Drew, BComm, MBA is founder and CEO of Tenato Strategy Inc., a marketing research and strategy firm with bases in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. With over 25 years' experience in all facets of marketing strategy, she is a business consultant, trainer and speaker who loves to use her superpowers "to help the good guys win."