Ideally when you are proactively marketing a business, a product, or a concept you want to see measurable growth in money, fame, or popularity day after day. The reality of the situation is that every market has some sort of cycle to it and it is natural to have good days and bad days that average each other out. When watching the trends within your own business and within your Adwords account, sometimes you have to step back and look at things from a higher level.
A free and simple to use tool that we use fairly often to get a general feel for the popularity of a search term is called Google Trends (www.google.com/trends). It allows you to enter a search term (note: this works mainly just with broad keywords) and see the search volume history on Google.
To illustrate ways this can be used, and reiterate my assertion that Google is the new phone book, I took a Google Trends screen cap for “Google Adwords” and one for “Yellow Pages.”
You can see that Google Adwords has been climbing steadily in popularity since 2005, but it does see a dip every year around Christmas. The Yellow Pages on the other hand has been steadily declining in popularity since 2004.
Google Trends can also be used to anticipate when you may need to start ramping up your marketing if you are tied to a seasonal event like Christmas Shopping. You know how everybody jokes that Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier each year… according to Google it is! You can see that each year that the query “Christmas Shopping” starts to get traffic earlier and earlier each progressive year.
Or if you ever wondered why your CPC shoots up certain times of year, a trip to Google trends can help you understand when and why it happens. For example if you are selling Flat Screen TV’s summer is going to be slow but the traffic will probably be cheaper, but if you want to play from Thanksgiving to New Years you better get out your check book.
Now remember Google Trends isn’t gospel, but it is a very useful tool for web marketers. Plus it’s free! So the next time you’re in a slump or your AdWords account seems to be acting a little weird, check out the current trends and see if it’s the entire industry or if it’s just you!