Man, don’t you wish there was a way to figure out what people wanted?

No, really.

Imagine: Reading the minds of the audience you’re trying to sell to; uncovering what matters to them, what they want to know, and what piques their interest.

I bet you know where I’m going with this…

*Surprise!* There is a way to discover this top secret information, and more, with Google Trends.

What Is Google Trends?

Put very (very) simply, Google trends keeps a record of what people are searching online—and have searched in the past—across the world.

Don’t worry, the search data is anonymous.

But because Google gets trillions of searches every year, this tech giant can collect search information to tell you what, specifically, people are looking for these days.

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A quick pit stop on the Google Trends homepage reveals the most popular trending searches in real-time.

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…Clearly most people have moved on from the NCAA Championship Game (even if I haven’t. Go Zags!) and are in full baseball mode.

How It Works…Sort of

There’s a lot of data and numbers to sift through to explain how Google Trends works—let’s save that for another time.

I can tell you how Google Trends works on a superficial level.

You see, this platform doesn’t just allow you to find what’s trending now.

It also lets you search by specific terms, geographic location, date, and offers related searches that perhaps performed better.

You can even compare multiple search terms against each other to determine which is most popular with your audience.

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(Example: Adele vs. Beyoncé)

Basically, you can really narrow down your audience by their geographic location and figure out what they are most interested in and when.

Why Google Trends Is a God-Send for Marketers

Remember when you were in high school?

We were all just desperately trying to keep up: Who’s dating who? What’s the new fashion trend—and what isn’t? (baggy Led Zeppelin tees were apparently not in when I was a freshman).

It was an exhausting amount of information to stay up to date on, but so important if you wanted to stay relevant in a sea of other awkward teenagers.

And good old Google Trends is like the popular friend you wish you had. The one who told you what the word was in the halls so you didn’t seem like an out-of-touch dork.

As marketers, it’s obviously a goldmine to find out what your audience is interested in relating to your product or service; but it’s also crucial to find out how they look up their information (the difference between searching “PPC” and “Pay-per-Click,” for example).

Understanding your market’s interests and their wording helps you craft your content to find your audience faster.

Here, let my friend, John, show you how Google Trends works so you can see for yourself: