Keyword Trends: Using Trend Data Even if You Don't Sell Seasonal Stuff

September 11, 2017

When my wife turned to Google to look for the best possible Tinkerbell costume for our daughter last month, she contributed to a sharp uptick in Halloween costume search volume:

Businesses and product lines like Halloween costumes have really obvious seasonal demand fluctuations. Even things like heating oil are intensely seasonal. If I'm an e-tailer on Black Friday understanding my query volume by time of year is really intuitive and seems like a no-brainer. But what if I sell software?

Why You Would Care About Keyword Trend Data?

The reality is, even for a SaaS company or someone selling a B2B product there will be some 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 search trends at the query level (rather than just the "company sales performance" level) you'll be able to:

  • Create content that speaks to a specific query that will be trending
  • Augment dips in query volume with other activities
  • Strategically leverage a surge in search activity

 Let's walk through how this might work with a specific example.

How to Leverage Trending B2B Software Keywords

There are some really great articles on how to use trending tools to gain insight into a particular keyword. Three great ways of doing this include:

  • Google Trends & Google Insights for Search - These are both awesome tools for capturing trend data; really this is where most of your time in proactively identifying search trends is best spent.
  • Google Analytics - Your own data is a great way to identify query volume. If you are trying to get insight into a query you don't already have any analytic data on, consider creating some content around it and getting some feedback.
  • PPC Data - Alternatively, you might start a PPC campaign where you'll obviously get a lot of great feedback quickly.

So now let's assume I've dug into trends, insights for search, and my own data and identified some interesting things for the term keyword tool:

  • Every December people just stop searching for keyword tools
  • Every August people are dying to get their hands on some keyword suggestions

(This isn't actually the case, but we'll assume for our purposes here.)

This information can be invaluable! Why?

  • If I don't already have a keyword tool, I might want to create one in time for August to capture some of that demand. In fact, I might want to let something bake for a couple of months before August so I have a better chance of ranking my tool when the traffic rolls in.
  • If I don't have the resources to create a keyword tool but I have a related product and have noticed this trend, I might want to build out some content here -- maybe even a blog series -- for August.
  • If I have a keyword tool already this data is even more interesting. I can start to plan to off-set some of that lost December traffic in advance. Assuming that flow of traffic/leads/sales is critical to my business, I may be able to push traffic to my tool from another source (other queries on AdWords, display, etc.).
  • If I have a free keyword tool and want to cross promote something else, I can plan to do that in that busy August time-frame. I might even time the launch of another product or service to sync with that increased exposure I'll have available on my site.

And while we've used the example of a tool here, some of these become even more powerful when you think about them as content: The ease of promoting something from a piece of content is definitely greater than with a tool, and having a good handle on how seasonality effects a specific query type you can think strategically about how you feature that content within your site and how you leverage the content that will be driving the traffic. 

As we come to the holiday season it's important to note that even site like B2B software companies can take advantage of seasonality.

Tom Demers

Tom Demers

Tom Demers is Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Measured SEM and Cornerstone Content.

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