Paying attention to online search trends, which are search terms that are popular in Google, can provide valuable insight that can be implemented in a number of different ways.
Why Pay Attention to Internet Search Trends?
Chances are, even if aren’t a holiday-oriented business selling Halloween costumes or Christmas trees, you’ll be affected by seasonality in your business. Things may slow down in July and August with vacations and may become sluggish again in December. If you can identify these online search trends at the query level you'll be able to:
- Create content that focuses on a specific search query that you know will be trending
- Know when to expect drops in search query volume and plan on combating dips with other efforts
- Strategically leverage a surge in search activity
Some valuable tools for discovering keyword search trends include:
- Google Trends  & Google Insights for Search  - These tools are great for capturing search trend data. This is where you should spend the majority of your efforts in identifying valuable web search trends.
- Google Analytics  – Google Analytics lets you use your own personal data to identify search term trends that have high potential for your online marketing campaigns.
- PPC Data - You might also consider developing a PPC campaign  where you'll get a lot of great feedback regarding profitable top search trends quickly.
Web search trends can be used to discover valuable blogging ideas for upcoming blog posts. Google Trends and Google Insights are tools that make it easy to find recent hot search trends across the web.
Google Trends: Using the Latest Search Trends for Blog Post Topics
You can use Google Trends for search trend discovery, helping you find hot content topic ideas that could drive traffic to your site.
Below is an example of using Google Trends to find the hot search trends for April 1st. You may have been already planning to write a blog post about April Fools Day, but this trends search shows it might also be worth your efforts to discuss Google’s April Fools prank in which they released a joke version of Google Maps in 8-bit.
When we search Google Trends, we discover that, with March Madness coming to a close, working in some basketball references might pay off as well. Looking at the Google search trends, the Mega Millions jackpot winners might also be a good topic to consider blogging about.
Using search engine trends to generate blog topics is a solid SEO  technique because you already know that users are searching that keyword, making the blog post more likely to drive higher amounts of traffic to your site.
You can also type a keyword  into the search bar and see the Google Trends search volume index across a range of several years. You can also narrow the Google search trends by country and year.
The only problem with using Google search trends in this manner is that while the blog posts you create might drive a lot of initial traffic, eventually those top search trends will cease to become popular. People won’t be searching about April Fool’s Day and the 8-bit Google Maps year-around.
Google Insights for Discovering Search Trends
Google Insights alleviates that problem by allowing you to look at Google search data trends based off of a number of variables such as location, time ranges, and search terms.
For SEO and content idea benefits, it makes sense to search for popular search terms based off of one of your industry keywords. Using “lawns” as an example for someone in the lawn care industry, it’s not surprising to note that most searches for lawn happen in the spring.
While the top search terms may be somewhat unsurprising, the rising trends can offer some valuable data.
If I provide lawn care, I may want to consider writing a blog post about why real, natural lawns are preferable to fake lawns. “Food not lawns” reflects a growing movement towards using lawn space for gardens and food rather than grass lawns. Perhaps I could consider offering a food garden set-up service.
Twitter Search Trends
You can also search Twitter trends the same way you use Google Trends for search trend information and topic ideas.
For this example, we’ll stick with local search trends in the Boston area, but it makes sense to look at broader area Twitter trends too.
The #100fenwayballoons trend is about Red Sox’s Fenway Park releasing 100 green balloons filled with with free Red Sox tickets into the skies above Boston. You might consider a blog post about creative marketing giveaway contest, with the Fenway Balloons trend being one.
Creating content around Twitter trends can be good because when you then tweet about your blog post with its corresponding hashtag, you know you are getting an audience. Twitter trends are often short-lived though, so don’t spend all day trying to perfect that blog post or you’ll miss out completely. With Twitter trend topics, your content will have only a brief shelf life, but if the topic is popular enough, you could get some heavy traffic.
There are a number of additional ways you can discover popular search trends, such as researching YouTube search trends, or considering mobile search trends.
Search Marketing Trends: Most Expensive PPC Keywords
At WordStream we’ve collected our own data about search marketing trends in connection with pay-per-click advertising . We scoured through search engine marketing trends to discover the most expensive keywords when dealing with AdWords advertising, and compiled our data in a bright and fun-to-read Top 20 Most Expensive Keywords Infographic .
We continued our research by delving deeper and learning more about search industry trends and which industries were spending the most on keywords. This data was then formatted into our next infographic, What Industries Contributed to Google’s 2011 Revenues , documenting the latest search trends costing advertisers the most in terms of advertising dollars.
WordStream's PPC Advisor for Online Marketing Optimization
WordStream's pay-per-click management software  can help you make highly relevant, expert PPC ads  quickly and easily. Get PPC help  and learn all about beating AdWords  with PPC Advisor, which incorporates knowledge of AdWords quality score , PPC bid management , and traffic-driving keywords hand picked for your business. Learn how PPC Advisor  can boost your business today - try it free !