No matter what business you are in, utilizing both internal and external historical data and sales trends can uncover a wealth of knowledge about your industry, seasonality, & customers.
But what if you are a new business owner?
Using this array of data may be difficult because of your lack of historical internal information.
Usually new business owners will use their past work experience in the industry to help them prepare for certain seasonality trends. But what if your new business is selling some products that are unfamiliar to you?
Or what if you are starting your business online from your home in Florida, but want to reach customers in the Mid-west? Their tastes and buying habits may be quite different.
Quick, readily available insights from Google Trends may be your answer.
Google Trends is a free online tool that shows historic search query volume for a given term, all the way back to 2004.
Moreover, you can dive into this information by country, state, and even regions within states. And unlike historic government data which may take weeks, months, or even years to procure, Google Trends are updated hourly!
Google Trends also provide “hot searches” from the past 24 hours, or search queries that have recently seen a huge influx of traffic (which is great for blog posts!).
So here’s a real world example. Let’s say you own a retail hunting and fishing business in Virginia. You have decided you want to start serving customers online and offer shipping to your surrounding states.
To support this new business, you start a paid search campaign (smart man!) to target hunting enthusiasts from New England to Virginia. The trouble is each state has its own set of hunting regulations and seasons.
There is documentation available on government websites to comb through, but there is a much quicker way to identify when people are going online to research or buy hunting gear.
A simple Google Trends search for “buck hunting” set geographically for “Pennsylvania” takes a few seconds and provides a pretty telling tale:
You can see for the last several years the apparent trends in search interest.
Searches begin to trend up in October, spike in November, and start a sharp trend down in December.
From this trend report, you know when searches are heaviest and what months are most likely to result in the highest clicks (and hopefully sales as well).
You’ll also know that the best time to kick off your Buck Hunting Equipment ad group for Pennsylvania is late September and that it can probably be paused before Thanksgiving.
This is just one of many, many possibilities on how you can utilize Google Trends to increase your search engine knowledge to your relevant industry.
Happy hunting from Stream Companies and Brock Clauser!