Using Google Trends For SEO: Domaining, Expanding, Seasonal Queries

Author: Gab Goldenberg

Just as Google loves data, so should SEOs. I love country-code domain names and domaining (NamePros is a great community to learn if you’re interested). As I was conducting some keyword research to buy new .ca domains, it occurred to me that I could use Google Trends (notice the nofollow on that link ;) ) data to help me with my selection. There are also other uses for Trends data in SEO that are equally interesting.

Google Trends shows you data on which countries’ people are the biggest searchers for any particular keyword. They’ll also show you what cities are the volume users. There are a few uses for this data. The title promises only one tip, but I’m going to share some more to see if underpromising and overdelivering really works, or if it’s just a popular idea with no juice to back it.

First, you can usually pick up a keyword domain with the ccTLD of the country that does the most searches. For example, if you’re targeting “calgary hotels,” the domain is likely to still be available once the .com is gone (and if you’re a typo domainer, you look for sites exclusively hosted on ccTLD domains and get the .com ;) ).

The reason you want to get the ccTLD is that you’ll get the edge in Google.ccTLD results, which are often defaulted to in foreign countries. I’ll frequently type a search into my browser (like calgary hotels) and find that I’ve ended up at a results page.

As an aside, this post originally recommended that you host locally; I personally don’t think that’s necessary nor a particular advantage. Just because you do business with a local company, doesn’t make you local. By that reasoning, everyone who’s hosted with Dreamhost should have a boost wherever Dreamhost is situated. But, though I’d like to be neighbors with Aaron Wall (that way I could bug him for tips in person ;D), we’re not. Yet we both use Dreamhost.

Then again, most people do business with people in their neighborhood. This is especially true with regard to smaller hosting companies. In that respect, it makes more sense if this is used as perhaps a counterweight to when big directory type sites try and rank for lots of local terms against smaller folks.

Second, continuing on the theme of SEO uses for trends data, you can figure out what [keyword] direction to expand your site in. If you’re succeeding with selling a product to a particular country or city, then look at related products and see how much demand there is for them in the market you’ve already conquered. This can make upselling (aka add-on sales) a lot easier for current clients. The tip comes courtesy of Julinho (with a bit more detail and practical application added by yours truly).

A few people pointed out that Google Trends is also useful for seasonal data. It doesn’t take a genius to see Christmas is a great keyword in December. But are there any keywords that could get your sales volume on March 23rd up to the same level? I’d bet that gag gifts keywords go hot as April approaches (April fools) and that certain brand modifiers become more important at different times of the year. Think TV channels promoting at sweeps time.

And sometimes, Google Trends is just good for a laugh at MSN. I know, I know, I’m in MSN’s corner and want them to boost their share of search, so I’d be better off keeping this one to myself. But returning Google blog searches robots.txt file in the SERPs? Come on! Then again, maybe I should be laughing because Google blog search is so full of spam (another great source of data, as per Smaxor). I can’t do screenshots with my HP laptop (or not as easily as I used to with the desktop anyways) so here’s a copy-paste of the SERPs (the Google mail one had me thinking privacy issues – like David, whose Gmail was hacked and caused him to lose his domain! (which he’s since gotten back) – but it’s just some innocuous Google Trends data page):

Web results 1-10 of 3,180,000

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Author: sroiadmin