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What Is Google Search Trends? +How to Start Using It Now (2022)

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Read Time: 10 min

If you’re running a website or marketing campaign, insights are a must. What are people searching for, and how is it changing over time? Google search trends help you gain these insights.

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Google Trends helps you understand what users search for, and how it changes over time. (Graphic source: Envato Elements.)

Google Search trends offer a look into the terms that people across the web search for. With this data, you can build content and products that meet users' needs.

Google Trends is a powerful tool that tracks global activity on the Google search engine. In this article, you'll learn how to make the most of it to learn what the world is searching for. You'll see pro tricks to study how trends change over time, plus other features to understand  search specifics.

What Is Google Search Trends? +How to Start Using it Now (2022)

Seeing what’s trending now on Google is interesting. But Google Trends isn’t built for mere entertainment. When you use it, you can gain a powerful advantage.

Google Trends allows you to see what people are searching for, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can explore where they’re searching from, when they search, and more.

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Google search trends help you gain insights about web search traffic. (Screenshot from Google Trends)

By studying searches from around the globe, you can make content that fits what people search for. Tailor your content to search trends, and your audience is sure to grow. This is how to use Google Trends to gain competitive advantages.

You can measure search volumes by geographic region, season, and more. You can then apply this data to your own work. In essence, Google search trends help you provide what the world is searching for. And for your website, this can lead to increased views, purchases, revenue, and more.

How Do I Use Google Search Trends?

Now, you’re wondering how to use Google Trends. Fortunately, it’s very easy to work with. The key is to know what you’re looking for. 

We’ve learned what Google search trends are. And we’ve learned how to use what’s trending now on Google to help your online content thrive.

By using the search functions on Google Trends, you can find only data that's meaningful to you. Let’s look at several of the main tools for Google search trends to help you get started. 

1. Where to Find Google Search Trends

You may wonder: what is Google Trends? A website? An app? In fact, it’s best described as an online dashboard that you can access here.

When you visit Google Trends, you’ll see a search box front and center. Here, you can input a search term or a topic. Typing and pressing Enter will take you to a  page where you can explore data related to that search term. 

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The default view in Google Trends shows you how a keyword evolves over time. (Screenshot from Google Trends)

While Google Trends data doesn't include the exact number of searches, it does show you the relative popularity over time. You can quickly determine if your given keyword is trending now on Google.

Scroll down on the home page of Google Trends to see other data, showing popular search terms around the world. Here, you’ll often see searches for pop stars, sporting events, and seasonal trends.

For example, in winter you might see search data about ice hockey and holiday sales. In spring, you may find baseball and summer vacations featured. 

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Don't know where to start? Scroll down the Google Trends homepage to the Recently trending section to spark inspiration. (Screenshot from Google Trends)

You can also explore recent trends. These essentially capture the pulse of global search activity. They’re very broad, but they can be useful to you. For example, if you run a site focused on pop culture or sports, you’ll likely see topics that you’ll want to focus on.

If millions are searching for the name of a football star, odds are you’ll want to have content on offer. Again, this is how to use Google Trends. Analyze what others are searching for and be ready to meet their needs. 

2. Compare Search Trends to Gain Insight

To better explore how to use Google Trends to gain insight, let’s imagine a real-world example.

Suppose that you’re writing an article about presentation software. You’re wondering whether more people search for "Microsoft PowerPoint" or "Apple Keynote". If you want to create content that creates the most page views, you’ll want to focus on the most popular search terms.

Begin by typing your first search term into the box at the top of the Google Trends homepage. Hit Enter on your keyboard, and you’ll see trend data for the search “Microsoft PowerPoint.”

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Enter a keyword into the Google Trends search box to perform your first search. (Screenshot from Google Trends)

To compare search trends between two terms, click Add Comparison (or + Compare), then type in the second term. Here, we’ll use Apple Keynote. Hit Enter and watch the data transform. Now, you’ll see results for both terms compared to each other across the featured categories.

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By comparing two terms on Google Trends, you can measure relative popularity of keywords. (Screenshot from Google Trends)

At the top is a rolling average of interest over time. Below, you’ll see interest by subregion. If you’re in the United States, this will be by state. Trends will detect your location and adjust this based on where you are.

Below, you’ll see dashboards for related topics and queries. These are searches others perform on similar topics. Reading these, you may get ideas of other things to feature. For example, those searching for PowerPoint may also want PowerPoint templates.

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Use the Related queries section to help brainstorm more ideas for keywords to target. (Screenshot from Google Trends)

The Related queries table is a powerful way to spark your thinking. After all, most sites are optimized for more than one keyword. Use these suggestions to create more content that helps your potential audience find you.

By breaking down this data, you can see which of the search terms is more popular. This helps you craft content to fit what searchers are looking for. 

3. Track Modern Trends

When you’re looking at specific search terms on Google Trends, timing is everything. Popular searches from three years ago aren’t much help if you’re trying to capture today’s traffic. By using the time filtering options on Google Trends, you can see how popular terms are currently.

These options live on the menu bar, just below the search term or terms you’ve entered. By default, Google search trends will display for the past 12 months. To change this setting, click on the adjacent dropdown arrow.

You’ll see a list of options. You can take a sharp focus with this: one setting displays history for the past hour! 

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Change the date dropdown to see how keyword trends change over time. (Screenshot from Google Trends)

Again, filtering by time impacts the other displayed information below. You can focus on specific areas and check out related topics searchers are viewing. Explore these modern trends so that your content is relevant to today’s audience. 

As a counterpoint, you can explore lengthier history. Some topics may have once been popular, but now are diminished. This is also useful information. If a search term is falling out of favor, it won’t be your best focus if you’re trying to attract the attention of searchers. 

Staying on-trend is crucial. Learn more about recent trends in social media marketing in the article below:

4. Explore Seasonal History

Using longer timespans on Google Trends delivers a second benefit. It lets you explore seasonality, the parts of the year where certain terms ebb and flow.

An analysis like this is useful, especially if your online presence is sales-focused. By studying the past, you can plan for the future. If you know that demand for certain products always peaks in the fall, you can build ahead over the summer.

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Searches like "Halloween" have clear seasonal peaks that you can explore on Google Trends. (Screenshot from Google Trends)

You can also use this knowledge to refine marketing campaigns. If you know searchers are looking for something in July, why not approach them in late June? This helps you beat your competitors and close more sales. 

5. Explore the World of Search

Did you know that you can narrow down your search trends to specific regions? This is an important way to create content targeted toward other audiences.

After you enter a search query, click on the dropdown that includes your home area. For me, this shows "United States" by default. You can change the dropdown to focus on broader areas like "Worldwide," or zoom in on specific countries for precise data.

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Refine your geography to study how search trends differ by region. (Screenshot from Google Trends)

Don't forget that you can explore the globe to find search terms that are popular in other regions. Many times, exploring this data will find that consumer preferences and interests vary widely based on region.

6. Other Google Trends Search Options

When you think of how to use Google Trends, be creative. Remember, Trends helps you search for insights that matter to you. Spend time exploring the filters and search options. You may be surprised at what you discover. 

For example, click on Categories and browse search trends across many topics. You can focus these based on industries and more. This is a great way to get a broader idea of what searchers are looking for. Again, you can use this information to build a focused web presence that searchers will visit. 

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Filter by category and more to gain insights into what's trending now on Google. (Screenshot from Google Trends)

You can also focus on specific areas within Google’s search tools. For example, you can filter for web search, image search, and more. Depending on the nature of the search, this helps you find more meaningful data.

As you can see, it’s easy to use Google search trends. You can explore what users search for. Additionally, you can learn where and when they search for specific things.

With this knowledge, you can optimize your content to capture more traffic. This is a key metric to success online, and Google Trends is a free and easy way to succeed. 

Millions of Creative Templates for Marketing in 2022

What is Google Trends if not a powerful marketing tool? From it, you learn how to craft content that helps your marketing efforts.

Once you know your search terms, bring these insights to life with premium templates from Envato Elements. Elements offers thousands of custom presentation templates, plus other design elements that marketers love. 

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Envato Elements is an all-you-can-download resource for marketing materials

The offer is unmatched: unlimited downloads. For a flat monthly rate, you can download and use as many premium presentation templates as you want.

After you use Google Trends to gain insight, you're sure to benefit from all of these assets included at a flat-rate on Elements:

  • Presentation templates. Package your new search insights into marketing proposals to win over your team.
  • Website templates. Launch new mini-sites, targeted at specific keywords from Google Trends, with less work than ever before.
  • Email campaign templates. Launch your keyword-driven email marketing efforts with eye-catching email marketing templates for tools like Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor.

Need only a single template to share Google Trends insights? Turn to GraphicRiver, where you’ll find thousands of templates available for individual purchase.

You Just Learned How to Use Google Trends

With Google Trends, you can tap into the hive mind and find out what people are interested in. That's the first step to creating great content that addresses a need.

Don't forget the ways that we explored search trends in this article. Take the techniques you've learned, combine it with your interests, and you're on your way to creating popular content.

Editorial Note: This content was originally published in January 2022. We're sharing it again because our editors have determined that this information is still accurate and relevant.

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