Identifying trends in language, or more specifically, identifying the words and terms people search for on the internet can be extremely helpful in discovering which words and phrases you should, or shouldn’t use on your website to attract new visitors.
Lets say you were starting a business and were going to sell “widgets”. You are getting ready to put together your marketing material and source vendors for product, but you aren’t sure if people were interested more in “red widgets” or blue widget”.
Doing a web search and simply observing the number of listings found on a search engine for either really wouldn’t give you any insight into buying trends. But, if you could know which term more people search for, and whether the trend was increasing or decreasing, you would have a much better idea.
Thanks to Google, you can perform exactly this kind of research, and additionally, view the results side by side, and get additional information such as which cities, languages and countries the searches originated from. Google trends, ( http://www.google.com/trends ), is the tool to use for this work.
As an example, I entered, “obama, mccain“, into Google Trends to see what type of info Google would produce for the two names.
Google produced a graph, showing the search traffic for the two terms for the past several years.
In addition, below the chart, Google provided additional information comparing the two terms based on what countries, (“Regions”) the search traffic came from;
The top cities the search traffic came from;
And what languages the searches weer done in;
Using Google trends you can see how many queries were performed for one word or term, or companre two or more word or terms to see which have the most traffic. Since Google’s, (and other search engine’s), results are based, for the most part on the the words that appear on a page, words found in the URL, title and other text elements of a particular web page, knowing which words are searched for more often, and using those words or phrases on your page can increase the likelihood that your page(s) will appears in the results.
One of the sites I work on has to do with lawyers which can also be referred to as “attorneys”, (Massachsuetts Lawyers & Legal Services Directory, www.Lawyer-MA.com). To be sure I was using the best words and phrases on the website, I wanted to know if more people type in “find a lawyer” or “find an attorney“.
Google Trends made this easy, (and confirmed what I thought), by comparing the two terms side by side.
This is done by entering the phrases, separated by a comma.
Here’s the results:
And the top countries, (“regions” of the world) where the searches originated from:
The cities within those regions, (strange how many people in New Zealand are searching for lawyers, but that’s one factor I’ll ignore for now)…
…and the languages used:
which were 100% English, (which makes sense because the word “lawyer” or “attorney” are English words).
Based on the Google Trends data, it appears it would be more effective to have the term “find a lawyer” in the web site than “find an attorney“. This same type of comparison can be used any time there are multiple words or phrases used to describe what are basically the same thing.
Google offers several other keyword and SEO related online tools including:
Google Insights, ( http://www.google.com/insights/ ), which allows you to perform queries of demographic and historical searches and also produces “rising” factors to show you which search terns are on the rise.
Google Search Based Keyword Tool, ( http://www.google.com/sktool/ ), which allows you to find terms related to a particular website and shows what it would cost to bid on those terms for Google Adwords accounts. (You could also use it to check up on the competition’s websites)…