There are all kinds of ecommerce skills that you need to launch a new store on solid footing and gain customers online. One of the most important is to be able to conduct thorough research based on relevant data.
Everything from who and where your customers are to the demand for your products and even for affiliated products requires considerable research.
The power of timely data and detailed analysis of that data extends far beyond the launch of a business. Analytics can drive many important operational decisions, such as which new products to introduce and when, how to manage your ecommerce digital marketing campaigns, and more.
One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs, however, is rooted in finding and analyzing data that is derived from a reliable, trusted source.
Google is the irrefutable search engine leader. As a result of its dominance in the online search industry, it has incredible volumes of data that enable you to identify trends in searches.
By tapping into its data and analytics, you would have access to a wealth of valuable information. Google Trends is the online business tool that empowers you to do that.
What is Google Trends?
When people make a Google query, they have a need for specific information. They may search for everything from current events to gift ideas for the holidays.
Some searches cover specific types of products or brand names. Others may be related to solving a problem or addressing a need.
Google Trends is a free tool that is available for you to use right now. It provides you with specific details on any queried keyword over time.
You can specify a time period for your query that ranges from the last hour to the last 12 months and even back to 2004. You can also narrow down your search parameters specifically to YouTube searches, Google Shopping searches, image queries, and more.
To use Google Trends, you simply input a keyword that you want to know more about into its search portal. Its simplified design is as easy to use as the primary Google search engine function that you’re already likely very familiar with.
The results of a query will reveal the volume of searches for that term over the time period specified. You can also see the interest in that topic by region as well as the top related topics and queries.
The value of this information allows you to do more than spot hot trends. By adjusting the time period and geographic location for each query, you can identify ongoing or seasonal trends and if a hot trend has already peaked.
You can also examine the health of your business’s reputation and other essential details. These are insights that you need to run your business as effectively as possible.
How can you use Google Trends to benefit your ecommerce business?
Understanding who your customers are and what they are searching the internet for may be more beneficial to you than you initially realize. With the many features and functions of Google Trends, you can dramatically improve your business model and your product line.
In addition, you can further enhance your marketing plan and even how you compete with your competitors in a wide range of exciting ways. Here are specific benefits that you can start taking advantage of immediately through Google Trends.
1. Identify niches and trending products
Google Trends will not give you a list of all of the trending products and niches. Nevertheless, the information is there for you to uncover with the right keyword searches.
A smart way to identify trends is pay attention to the “Interest Over Time” graph. Many keywords will have relatively stable interest, such as socks, chairs, and other staples. Others will demonstrate a dramatic uptick that shows an increased number of searches.
The best time to jump on a trending bandwagon is usually when the keyword or topic is still heading upward in Google searches. This means that search engine users are currently interested in a topic at an increasing rate.
However, there may be a case for utilizing data after you believe the peak has occurred.
Each product and niche are unique. You must therefore apply data analytics to your knowledge of the topic for the most complete look at a product’s or niche’s popularity and viability.
2. Expand into related product categories
Launching a successful business using the right combination of products initially is challenging. Furthermore, growing your business with the introduction of new products is equally complex. This type of growth requires ample resources and generally must be completed strategically.
The new products or product categories must be relevant to your customers, appropriate for your niche, and aligned with your business values. More than that, new products or categories that you introduce should have steady or increasing appeal in most cases.
Google Trends provides you with potentially dozens of the top related search topics and the top related search queries for any keyword that interests you. You already know the keywords that are relevant to your customers through your other search engine optimization (SEO) research and marketing efforts.
When you input those keywords into Google Trends, you can easily see other topics that people search for when they are interested in those keywords. In many cases, this can help you to identify potentially lucrative areas to branch into.
3. Research keywords
Insights from Google Trends can also show you which specific long-tail keywords to target with your marketing efforts to boost ecommerce organic traffic.
For example, Google Trends reveals that the top queries related to “sweaters” are men’s sweaters, fall sweaters, ugly Christmas sweaters, and a few others.
How does this shape your marketing? Long-tail keywords like this often help content to rank higher for those who are searching for those specific items.
Note that it’s difficult for an ecommerce store to rank well for broad, popular terms like “sweaters.”
However, when you add modifiers to the keyword to make it a long-tail keyword, you’re focusing on a niche area that’s relevant to your business and to your customers. Your marketing efforts become more effective at reaching people who want your products.
4. Keep an eye on mentions of your brand
Some searches specifically mention brands, and these searches can provide you with greater insight about your brand’s reputation and overall image. For example, if a trending search is related to a new product that you’re launching, you know that there’s a buzz ahead of the launch.
On the other hand, if a trending search is about a scam or a recall, you know that you’re dealing with a serious reputation issue that requires prompt attention.
Brand image and reputation are critical to online businesses, so the ability to monitor trends related to your brand in real time is vital.
As soon as you identify a developing issue, you can adjust your marketing efforts to address it. You can also make adjustments to your products and processes if trends reveal problems in these areas.
5. Analyze seasonal trends
While many products are seasonal by design, others may see an unexpected spike in popularity during related seasons.
For instance, you may expect searches for holiday decor to increase between October and December. However, you might also see a search for baking items trending upward before and during the Christmas shopping season.
Understanding seasonal trends related to your products and your niche can identify meaningful ways to adjust your product line and marketing accordingly.
You can also gain insight about which products to spotlight and topics to showcase in social media and blog posts at specific times of the year. When your efforts to meet your customers’ needs are timely and relevant, you could see higher sales numbers and more satisfied customers.
6. Keep your content fresh
Blogging is an effective way to stay in touch with your customers and to encourage them to return to your ecommerce site. Blog topics may cover everything from new product features to fashion advice, product usage tips and more.
If you need to find relevant inspiration for your next blog topics, Google Trends is an excellent resource to use.The fresh content can also bolster search engine rankings.
Relevance plays a considerable role in search engine results. By targeting related keywords that are important to your target audience, your website may appear more relevant for the searches that your customers are making.
How do you know which topics are relevant to your brand and important to your target audience?
Google Trends provides you with reliable data on the popularity of related search terms that may be used as topics for your next blog posts. Because you can identify seasonal trends through Google Trends, you can create timely blog posts that are relevant to your target audience.
7. Incorporate current trends in your content
You’re probably already familiar with your industry and with your target audience. However, keeping tabs on the latest trends affecting your industry and your target customers in real time is a challenge.
Popular trends are constantly evolving, with social media, news stories, and other factors driving sharp peaks and dips seemingly overnight.
Through the insights available to you through Google Trends, you can identify trends to incorporate into your marketing efforts to maintain your brand’s relevance. These insights can be used for a quick mention in a blog post, a hashtag on social media, or in other creative ways.
8. Focus on your niche search by region
To glean the most insight from data analysis, you can refine the scope of your search to a specific country, state, or city. For instance, the top searches for sweaters recently were from users in New York City, Yonkers, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
With this information, you can determine where to target your marketing efforts for specific types of products to meet interest or demand.
You can simultaneously determine if trending interest in a product that you’re thinking about adding is nationwide, regional, or confined to several specific cities.
9. See how your competitors are doing
Do you want to know how popular your brand is compared to other competing brands? Google Trends has a comparison feature that lets you analyze the trends in popularity for the brands that you select.
This can give you incredible insights about how in-demand your competitors’ products are by brand or by niche product type compared to yours. It also reveals insights regarding their public image.
Do you want to compare multiple brands, products, or relevant keywords at the same time? Google Trends enables you to compare up to five keywords at a time. For each of these queries, you can refine the timeline to identify important trends.
10. Improve your reach on YouTube
The benefits of Google Trends go beyond product research, branding, and on-site marketing. You can also use it to gain traction on YouTube.
Video marketing is increasingly relevant and effective, and YouTube is a leading platform to use for this purpose. Through Google Trends, you can gather vital insight regarding potential video topics and titles that are relevant to your customers.
You can even identify the best time of year to publish videos on various topics.
For example, sharing a video on spring fashion trends may get the most interest when it’s published in late winter. A how-to video on making chili in your branded pots and pans may get more traction if it’s shared in late summer or early fall.
In many cases, the goal is to publish the video immediately before or just as interest is peaking.
11. Discover the ideal time to create Google Shopping ads
Through Google Trends, you can gain critical insights related to topics that are popular in specific regions or states. This valuable information empowers you to customize your Google Shopping ads so that they’re as effective as possible.
When the messages of your online marketing campaigns are tailored in this way, you can deliver the right content to your target audience at the optimal time.
For instance, if you sell clothing, you’ll probably opt to create Shopping ads for wool coats, gloves, and boots at a different time of year than ads for swimsuits, shorts, and t-shirts.
As a result of timing your ads intelligently through insights from Google Trends, you can see a better return on investment for each campaign. At the same time, you may experience an uptick in traffic and a higher conversion rate.
Google Trends is a free tool that is open for all ecommerce businesses to tap into without limitations. With the insights that it provides, businesses can more strategically develop laser-focused campaigns.
These campaigns enable ecommerce businesses to identify developing and waning trends in everything from branding and niches to competitor data and more.
With so much value available to your business at no cost, maximize the power of Google Trends to make savvy decisions throughout all aspects of your operations!