Growth Customer Experience Productivity Business IQ Trends Success Stories Tech Solutions Awards Business Tools Subscribe Tech Enquiry

Google Trends: What can it do for your business?

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Rather than just track your own performance, you can chart Google searches for your business alongside searches for your competitors – offering a snapshot of how you're faring in the market.

From seeing what's popular to keeping an eye on your competitors, Google Trends lets you view the world through Google's eyes.

Google handles a phenomenal 3.5 billion searches on average every day, and it's the first place many people turn to when they want to know something, find something or buy something. And thanks to Google Trends, which organises a large amount of this data, you can get insight into search behaviour so you can better focus your online efforts.

Group of people dancing in pairs

What’s hot?

Google Trends makes it easy to see what people are searching for right now on Google and YouTube. “Trending Search” lists are available for each country and they're updated every few hours so you can follow trends during the day. You can also subscribe to alerts regarding certain search terms in specific countries.

Along with insight, Google Trends offers a wealth of historical data. You can dissect the Top Charts from years gone by, broken into key categories. It's also possible to dive into specific topics to chart their popularity over the last 10 years, with links to relevant news items.

From here it's easy to compare search terms and plot their popularity in a graph to see how people's interests have changed over time. A map of the world indicates regional trends – you can even press play to watch interest wax and wane in different countries. For further insight you might drill down on regions and cities to see exactly where interest is coming from.

So for example, an international automotive manufacturer could track searches for "sedan" versus "SUV" over time, with Google Trends revealing that interest in SUVs is growing faster, particularly in Australia. Meanwhile a small Australian business could look at interest in AFL in its region compared to NRL, and use that to make decisions regarding local sponsorships.

If you're contemplating expansion, Google Trends data can be a useful way to assess the demand for new products and services in various locations. Combined with web traffic tools like Google Analytics, Google Trends can also help you choose topics when writing blog content for your website or making your social media presence more topical.

How does your business rank?

Type your business type into Google Trends and you'll immediately see whether interest in your industry is growing. The graph makes it easy to identify seasonal spikes, plus there's a forecast feature that can extrapolate these trends into the future.

The “Related Searches” list offers further insight, indicating what people were actually looking for when they searched for your industry. You can rank related search terms by overall popularity or by growth, then drill down on individual terms to see which keywords and topics are sending people your way. It's a useful way to hone your website's Search Engine Optimisation.

How are your competitors performing?

Rather than just track your own performance, you can use search terms to chart Google searches for your bigger competitors – offering a snapshot of what’s driving traffic to their website.

Once again you can narrow these down to specific time frames and track what people are looking for when they search and how’s it’s changed over time. 

Learn the latest marketing trends from Smarter.

Receive actionable advice and insights straight into your inbox, fortnightly. Sign up here.

Subscribe now

Dave Macdonald and Annette Kaitinis of Scoot Boot
Growth
Growth
Annette Kaitinis: growing a business means knowing when to trot, canter, and gallop

Annette Kaitinis and Dave Macdonald have taken their small business with a big idea from Tasmania to the world. After just four short years, they're reaching international mark...

Charmaine Saunders of Mainie in store holding a traditional Indigenous-inspired garment.
Growth
Growth
Culture meets commerce: These Indigenous businesses are embracing both

These four Indigenous businesses – NAISDA, Purple House, Bush Medijina, and Mainie – combine commerce and culture. Find out how business works for people by Telstra Smarter Bus...

A photo of a woman from behind working at an office desk
Business IQ
Business IQ
How to empower staff and protect data security

Your cyber security is only as strong as its weakest link and that weak link is often the human element. Cyber security is a human problem. That’s why it is critical to invest...

A large amount of multi-coloured post-it notes lying in a large pile on a white floor.
Productivity
Productivity
How to multi-task and do what matters

As a busy business owner, it’s tempting to try juggling all the balls at once in order to get things done. But using the right technologies and processes – not constantly multi...