If you're running an ecommerce business, you'll know that keeping up with the latest consumer trends and behaviors is crucial to building an edge over your competition. Fortunately, there's a handy tool that can offer you strategic leverage: Google Trends.
What is Google Trends?
Google Trends is a free tool that allows you to explore what people are searching for on Google. By analyzing search data, you can gain some pretty cool insights into real-time consumer behavior. On the homepage, you'll find a selection for trending searches, trending issues of concern and examples of how Google Trends is being used by other businesses.
A heads up: Google's 'search volume' indicator on Google Trends shows you the number of queries made in relative percentages on a scale of zero to a hundred, rather than the actual amount of people looking for a product or service like yours.
Here are some ways you can use Google Trends to improve your ecommerce marketing strategy:
- Use Google Trends to guide your inventory
- Monitor seasonal changes
- Compare brand's popularity
- Inspire content development
- Inform campaign targeting
Today we're going to dive into each of these points.
use google trends to guide your inventory
Google trends can be used to inform your product inventory. Let's say you run a business that sells sweaters. Pop in the search phrase, 'sweater' into the Explore page, and see what kinds of sweaters are increasing in popularity. Half-zip jumpers, retro style jumpers, and leather jackets are all increasing in popularity over the last 30-days in Australia.
Maybe you sell garden products online. You can use Google Trends to look up product categories and see what's rising in each. For example, if I looked up 'Bottlebrushes' as a nursery, I'd see that there's an increase in people looking for spider flowers and banksias.
Maybe you sold facemasks during the pandemic, but now sales have been dying off. You can use Google trends to give you new products ideas for your business. Using Google Trends related queries, I can see that clay face masks, hair masks and various other skin care masks are increasing in demand. A natural pivot for your face mask business would be to begin selling any of these.
Tip: You can use punctuation to filter your search. For example, if you add quotation marks around your query, such as, "fine hair shampoo", your results will contain exactly these terms.
Monitor Seasonal Changes
Google Trends can help you identify seasonal trend timelines and capitalize on them. For example, if you're a clothing retailer, you could use Google Trends to see when searches for "summer dresses" or "winter dress" start to increase, and adjust your inventory and campaign strategy accordingly.
If you want to launch a new business, such as a swimwear business, you can use Google trends to research when people buy in preparation of summer. You can see where the dips are and adjust your ecommerce sales forecasts by the average percent. For example, you can see from the image below that there's a drastic dip in demand around March year on year.
Compare Brand's Popularity
Ever wondered how popular your brand is compared to the competition? Google Trends it. Let's try this by looking up Super Cheap Auto vs Autobarn for example on the Google Trends explore page. Once you've popped in the brands to compare, you'll notice that Autobarn is currently searched more than Super Cheap, and, Super Cheap Auto has been on a downward slide for the last year. What's going on guys?
Google Trends is another tool you can use to monitor brand growth.
Use Google trends to Inspire content creation
Google Trends can help you assess the types of content people may be looking for from a brand like your own. For example, if I search for, 'gift ideas for him' vs 'gift ideas for her', I can see there's a higher demand for 'gift ideas for her' over the last 90-days. You may do a content series covering exactly the topic with the higher volume, such as a blog on my ecommerce website recommending 'gift ideas for her', as well as social media content.
You can use Google Trends to research search volume specific to Google Shopping, YouTube videos and even News Search. This is useful if say, you're a cooking brand for example. You may notice that people are more likely to look for video content on cooking, than web search so you create more video content and grow your audience.
You can also assess what type of content is more popular, whether it's 'how' content, 'what' content, 'who' content and so on...
Use Google Trends To Inspire Social Media Content
If you move to the 'Trending Now' tab, you can see Realtime Search Trends for different countries. View what's trending in Australia, and use that content to inspire your social media plans. You can even subscribe to a consolidated daily digest to help you stay ahead of the game.
Short term trends can bring you a massive amount of traffic
Capitalize on rapidly changing search trends by regularly assessing rising search queries over short time periods. For example, let's say I have a beauty ecommerce store. I could look up 'makeup' and see that under 'Related Queries' there is rising interest in Sophie Monk without makeup. Creating quality content around 'how to get Sophie Monk's makeup free look' is going to help nab you some of that traffic.
Inform geographic targeting
Use Google Trends to gain insights into geographic trends, helping you understand which regions or countries there is growing interest in your products. This can be more useful in markets that have a higher volume than Australia, such as the States. Target areas where there's growing interest in your products and tailor your marketing messages to the needs and preferences of those regions.
Tip: In Australia, broad targeting can sometimes work better for campaigns as platform algorithms currently need volume to optimise ad delivery.
By using Google Trends to inform your ecommerce marketing plan, you can stay ahead of the competition and drive more people to your website. Give it a go and see what insights you can uncover.