The PR consultant who doesn’t check the Web trends at least once a day is missing out important data that could help customers in various fields understand their markets in different geographic locations and within different time frames.
Obviously the more in-depth “trends” information comes from Google. There are two front ends for Google data:
- Google Trends, that shows the popular search queries of the hour which is particularly useful for publishers who want to drive traffic to their sites
- and Google Insights for Search that lets you compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties.
More recently Google also launched Google Domestic Trends – that tracks Google search traffic across specific sectors of the economy.
The most important use for the online PR industry is forecasting near future economic activity – including automobile sales, home sales, retail sales, and travel behavior.
This information serves to better plan SEM campaigns and CPC campaigns. It also provides a powerful brand performance monitoring tool for companies that actually have an online presence strong enough to produce a match. But being able to monitor online brand performance of even such powerful entities can be very helpful for smaller companies in the same niches. Google Insights for Search give access to the number of “Web search interest” spread on categories and regional interest, but the most interesting data comes from top related searches and rising searches. These can help plan comprehensive AdWords campaigns and also give SEO efforts a more targeted twist.
From the example above we see that the strongest interest for the term “public relations” during the past 30 days was in South Africa and the top searches refer to “PR” and “public relations jobs” – with a rising of 50% for “public relations journal” (probably related to PRSA’s PR publication). From an SEO perspective, these are the terms to capitalize on during the next month. To monitor brand performance for a competitor you simply need to type the name of the competitor’s brand into the search query box:
(PRSA used here just as an example.)
The data obtained shows which search terms are the most popular for the brand – in our example “prsa jobs” – and gives a fair idea of the public interest related to PRSA.
So what about you? How are you using Google Insights for Search?