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How to Use Google Trends For Keyword Research

Are you carrying out keyword research and want to know which tools are the best to use? Don’t sleep on Google Trends! Google Trends can show you the popularity of different queries and how their popularity has changed over time. Here’s how to use Google Trends for keyword research.

What Is Google Trends?

Google Trends is a free tool which lets you view information about trending topics in real-time based on what people are searching for on Google.

Launched way back in 2006, Google Trends uses graphs to analyse and display trending searches, and their popularity over time. Trends can be viewed over the last seven days or a longer period of time – all the way back to 2004.

In a nutshell, it’s a cool way to gauge interest in a topic, based on the number of people searching for a topic, or how popularity has changed over time.

You can view worldwide trends or ones specific to your country and get ideas about related topics. Users of Google Trends can also search based on industry, time period, category, location, and the type of search (image, for example)  

Can I Use Google Trends For Keyword Research?

Yes, you can use Google Trends to help you with keywords. In fact, we recommend you do.

Keyword research doesn’t have an exact formula or an all-in-one solution – explore multiple sources and tools to help you conduct keyword research. Google Trends should be one of the tools you use, especially because it’s free! (we all know how expensive keyword and SEO tools can be!)

How To Use Google Trends For Keyword Research

Firstly, it’s important to remember that Google Trends doesn’t show you the exact number of people searching for a topic, it shows you the popularity, based on the data Google holds. You also won’t be able to see keyword difficulty.

With that in mind, think of Google Trends as supplemental to the rest of your keyword research. Nevertheless, it’s still very useful.

If you already have a list of keywords, you can simply put them into Google Trends and see the popularity of the keywords. You can add more than one keyword to make comparing between each term easy.

It’s a good idea to do this when you’re first starting out your keyword research – you may have terms on your list which you expect to see people searching for and find there isn’t much popularity at all.

Or, you may find some keywords were popular and have since declined.

This information can help you select keywords to target with your content, what to name categories/pages on your website or even name products.

You should, however, take what you learn and assess the keywords through a keyword tool (I’ll let you pick, there are plenty to choose from!) where you can see actual search volume and keyword difficulty. Remember – going for the most popular keywords with the most search volume isn’t always the best strategy!

You can also use Google Trends to research related topics. If you pop in one of your keywords, you can view topics that are related and trending. This may surprise you and give you more ideas for your content. By covering trending topics with your content, you’re going to get in front of the right people, at the right time.

What Else Can I Use Google Trends For?

Google Trends can help with your SEO strategy in a few different ways…

Find topics that are trending right now

Because Google Trends uses real-time data, you can look up what topics are trending right now. But how do you use that information?

Using trending searches is an excellent way to make your content relevant – this can be your blog content or social media posts. By jumping on trends, people are more likely to see your business but use this method with caution…don’t jump on temporary trends to create blog content you want to be relevant for a long time. Unless the trends relate directly to you, or you have something important to add to the discussion. However, trending topics are great for your social media where you aren’t trying to create content that gives long term value.

Optimise your local SEO

If you’re a small business that works in a certain geographic area, viewing keywords that are trending near you can be incredibly useful. Google Trends allows you to research queries worldwide, by your country, subregion, and city. Find out what keywords are more popular in your city to boost your local SEO efforts.

This tool can also be useful for brands that cover an entire country to find out which region or cities their keywords are more popular.

Analyse seasonal trends

Some brands are very obviously seasonal – a company which sells sun tan cream, for example, would know their product is more likely to be more popular in the summer months or the months people are likely to be going on holiday. For some businesses, seasonal trends may not be as obvious.

Understanding seasonal trends that relate to your business is powerful because it enables you to plan better. You can plan sales, promotions, and additional content, way in advance ready to hit the peak of popularity.

Keep up with your competitors

If you type a competitor business into Google Trends you can see their popularity over time. Useful, but even more useful is you will be able to see if they had traffic spikes or sudden gains in popularity.

If you can pinpoint what they did in that particular period, you can perhaps replicate it to see if the same works for your brands. For example, check their blog – did they post any particularly great articles around that time? Or was their social media great?


We hope you enjoyed this brief overview of Google Trends, how it can help with keyword research and your SEO strategy.

If you need any help with keyword research, a keyword strategy, or using your keywords in engaging content, please contact us!  

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