Google Trends can help understand and predict consumer behaviour post-pandemic. Director of SEO at Stella Rising, John Morabito takes a closer look at these and suggests how businesses can use it in their content strategy.
With the coronavirus pandemic now nearing its peak in many parts of the U.S., search trends are rapidly evolving in ways many search marketers have never seen before. Changes are happening almost daily, and traditional search volume as a monthly average metric has become practically useless. Google Trends, however, offers useful, daily analysis of what’s trending in search. At present, Google Trends can be an invaluable tool, as it helps to uncover opportunities for e-commerce brands, publishers, and local businesses.
In this post, we’ll cover ways that search marketers can use Google Trends and other tools to discover opportunities in today’s fast-moving landscape, and review how the team at Stella Rising has been using Google Trends to inform our strategy during the pandemic.
The obvious Google Trends
Medical suppliers will be aware that, amidst the overall demand for masks, behaviours have shifted from favouring N95 masks to surgical masks. The CDC recently revised their recommendation. In this case, we see that search demand for masks is already starting to decrease.
Surgical Masks (7 Day View) – Down 68% (April 5-11th vs Feb 16th-22)
Full Year View
The less obvious: Search evolution in unexpected places
The real benefit to Google Trends is that it can help us understand and predict consumer behaviour post-pandemic. Additionally, we can see how categories are evolving. For example, at first glance, one might not think that the beauty segment would find success in a pandemic. However, social distancers are turning to self-care. “Peel masks” are seeing a huge increase in interest with a 58% increase in over the last few weeks.
Searches for skincare are skyrocketing, as are those for foot care. Consumers need help finding resources they often rely on salons for. Note the following trends from Spate:
Hand moisturizer has similarly seen an even larger increase, jumping up 156% since February (April 5-11th vs Feb 16th-22).
Leveraging the trend
When it comes to the growth in demand for skincare products, skincare brands have a number of options at their disposal when it comes to their content efforts. Make sure your product pages are being listed in Google shopping’s new free listings, and ensure that you have robust on-page content for each of your skincare product or category pages. Lastly, in a time where making returns is not an easy task, and consumers want to minimize contact with the outside world, content that helps guide users to the right product selections can be extremely valuable.
For example, this article from Bucklers Remedy, a skincare brand ranks top three for “choosing the right hand lotion”. In another example, we see a Vaseline article about how to deal with dry cracked hands ranking for a total of 1,100 keywords.
For apparel companies
Apparel companies should shift their messaging as consumers browse for clothing on their devices. Right now, leisurewear is king and we have seen an abnormal increase in demand for sweatpants over the last month.
Consumers also want to know “how to look good on zoom”. That term has increased from 0 to 100 from March 14th onward.
Leveraging the trend
Everyone from publishers to apparel and beauty brands can get in on the need for Zoom/video conferencing related content. If you fall into one of those categories, consider producing looks and tutorials for your captive audience.
For instrument makers
For instrument makers like Fender and Les Paul, there has never been more interest than now in learning how to play the guitar.
Leveraging the trend
Fender and Les Paul both offer instructional content, but now is the perfect time for them to ramp-up efforts and even consider partnering with musicians who are out of work and can easily produce tutorial content on their behalf.
People are also interested in learning about all sorts of topics. As a “topic”, interest in tutorials has increased by 72%.
Leveraging the trend
If you’re a brand with a product that has any sort of instructions or bares any type of explanation in how to use it, I would recommend using this time to produce tutorial content for each of your products or for the things your products help people to do. For example, makeup brands can not only product tutorials on how to use a specific product which can help them to rank for both nonbrand and branded terms, but they can also target things like “zoom makeup looks” which can help them to rank for an even broader set of nonbrand terms.
Sometimes, search trends are influenced by necessity. We’ve seen more interest in “how to cut your hair” than ever before.
The not so fun part
While there are search trends dealing with keeping consumers busy, there are also new trends around more serious subjects. Some of our clients at Stella Rising are writing about these. One of our clients in the small business formation space is writing about how their customers can get loans and stay in good corporate standing. Small business loans are seeing more search demand than ever before, with an increase of 2111%.
Estate lawyers may want to consider online-only services as “get a will online” has seen a steep rise.
How to get started
Now that you’ve seen some of the ways that search trends are evolving—and how to check—start by inspecting your website’s most valuable target keywords and see how searches are moving for those items. You may be surprised by what you find. Finding interesting trends can be tough, so think carefully about how behaviour will evolve in the future, not simply how it has changed today.
Bonus tool tip
Explodingtopics.com is a tool that shows exploding topics using Google Trends data and provides two key metrics: gradient and exponent. Essentially, the exponent is a mathematical expression that defines how much like a “hockey-stick” a curve is. The tool breaks up Google Trend data by category and presents which topics are “exploding” versus which have peaked in interest. This analysis is useful when wishing to stay relevant with content writing.
John Morabito is Director of SEO at Stella Rising. John has over nine years of experience in SEO, PPC, and other digital marketing channels.
Source: Search Engine Watch