How Brands Can Use Google Trends for Market Research

While Google Trends has been around for a while now, there are brands that are still not using the tool to its full potential for market research.  In addition to illustrating a search term’s past, current, and future traffic volume, this tool also provides valuable insight into seasonal trends and regional interest for search terms.

How Brands Can Use Google Trends for Market Research

According to Google, there are two kinds of data omitted from Trends graphs:

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1. Terms with low search volume: Trends only analyzes data for popular search terms, so terms with low volume won’t appear.

2. Duplicate searches: Trends eliminates repeated queries from a certain user over a short period of time.

Google Trends answers a variety of questions:

  • What search terms consumers are using
  • Where the search interest is predominantly coming from
  • Related terms that are popular or gaining popularity
  • How your brand is ranking compared to your competitors

Unlike the Keyword Planner in Adwords, Google Trends does not provide total search volume, but rather the relative popularity of a term over time. The highest point on the graph is 100, so the other points are set relative to that mark. If you’re looking for hard, accurate numbers, Google’s Keyword Planner is the tool to use.

Essentially, Trends is about search behavior, and it’s crucial for business owners to be cognizant of what their audience is searching for at any given time. Although Trends has been around since 2006,  it’s a comprehension marketing tool that companies don’t take enough advantage of. The array of components that Trends offers can ultimately help businesses time their campaigns accurately and get an edge over their competitors.


The navigation featured on the tool allows users to customize search by altering the location, date range, category and type of search (i.e. Web, Image, or News).

Another beneficial feature of Google Trends is the ability to search up to five key terms, which is valuable when you’re feeling particularly inquisitive and want to compare related key phrases, i.e. internet marketing company versus digital marketing company.

Google Trends integrates news headlines that are relevant to your industry. If you select the “News headlines” option, you are able to see a variety of relevant articles that you can use for content curation or social media.

Scrolling over the letters returns the publication and article headline; clicking on the letter opens the article itself.

Users also have the option to view a term’s projected popularity, which is the red dotted line presented in the diagram above. A forecast is unavailable for the term  internet marketing company, most likely because the term’s popularity has been steadily declining, so it’s difficult for Google to determine a projection.

Regional Interest

Curious about where your service/product is the most popular? Trends can help with that, too. Trends’ regional interest lets companies know where the most search interest for those specific terms are coming from. This tool is particularly beneficial if a company is looking to expand its storefronts or market its brand in new cities. The states that are shaded blue have the highest search interest for the term internet marking company.

If a company is looking to expand into a new regional market, a great place to start would be Google Trends because it shows where there is the potential for profit. By tracking the areas with the highest predicted interest, businesses can create campaigns targeted to those areas, and thus, get the highest return on trending terms.

Seasonal Patterns

Take a look at your past campaigns. Were you hoping for more engagement from your target audience? Did you have a strategy for the release date of your company’s advertising endeavor? Well, timing is everything.

Because Trends’ graph conveys the “interest over time” for a search term, companies can learn when demand is the highest. On average, internet marketing company and digital marketing company annually yield the most traffic in spring and fall. Companies can profit from annual seasonal patterns by building out their campaigns and digital marketing strategies in advance during these seasons in order to capitalize on peak search interest.


Ultimately, Google Trends is an effective strategic tool for not only creating integrated search campaigns, but also in helping business owners better understand their consumers. When brands take interest in what their audience cares about, they make it clear that they care about establishing a stronger, more personal relationship with their consumers. It is never safe to assume that their interests remain constant, which is why keeping up with the trends is vital.

So, business owners, get curious. Be creative. Whatever you want to call it, embrace it.

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