One of blogging’s biggest challenges is coming up with ideas and inspiration. What do you do when your creative well runs dry? And once you have an idea, how do you know that people will actually be interested in reading about it after you’ve taken the time to write your post?
Luckily, there’s a tool for that!
AND, it’s easy and free! Enter Google Trends. Google Trends uses search data to show us what’s hot, and when.
When you visit the home page, you can find some interesting information about what’s trending right now in Google search.
If you wanted to write a blog post in late March of 2015, something that would be buzzworthy right then, you might want to write about March Madness, Game of Thrones, or Beyonce.
But there’s so much more to Google Trends than just what’s trending at the moment.
Discover topic seasonality
Say you’re a food blogger, and you’re looking to post some new spring recipes. Just type an ingredient into Google Trends to see what time of year those foods are most popular.
Here’s a search for zucchini. As you can see, interest in zucchini peaks in the summer. (Hey, they call it a summer squash for a reason.) Maybe you can save your zucchini recipes for a few months and start posting them in July or August.
What about brussels sprouts? Nope, searches for those recipes peak in November and December.
Asparagus? Yep, that’s the ticket – these peaks are in April, every year!
You can also use Google Trends to compare two or more terms. Here’s what it looks like on a search for two fairly new and trendy produce products: ramps and fiddlehead ferns. You can see that while both topics peak in springtime, ramps have been much more popular these past few years.
Delve a little deeper
Google Trends also shows related searches, which can be very helpful when it comes to blog post brainstorming.
This is a search for the term “recipes.” There are definite peaks in November and December, but the topic is very broad.
Fortunately, Google Trends can help you narrow it things down. If you scroll down to the bottom, you’ll see related searches, which provides insight into topics and search queries.
Here are the top topics and queries:
And here are the rising topics and searches, which are gaining popularity:
After reviewing this data, a savvy food blogger might want to post some chicken recipes, healthy recipes, or crock pot recipes, STAT, because that’s what people are searching for right now.
Location, location, location
Google Trends is flexible when it comes to location. You can set the searches to worldwide, or to your home country, state or city. This could be very helpful if your blog readers come from a specific city, region, or country. Here’s an example of a search for two of Philadelphia’s top restaurateurs, with the location set to Philly:
But when the location is set to San Diego, you’ll see that there’s not enough data to show trends:
But wait – there’s more!
If you click the menu at the top left, there are some more options to explore.
- Trending Searches will show you what’s hot at this very moment.
- Trending on YouTube will show you what the site’s currently most popular videos are.
- Top Charts provides data on the top trending searches in different categories (Actors, Athletes, Books, Cocktails, Songs, and more).
Have you used Google Trends for you blog? How has it helped you come up with blog post ideas?