Getting More From Google Insights

Google Insights for Search can be a great tool for understanding how to most effectively target your campaigns and find out where you should focus your search efforts. While it uses the same data sources as Google Trends, its advanced features are designed to be useful for advertisers.

The data is normalized to allow different datasets to be analyzed simultaneously and can be compared by either search terms, location, or time ranges. In addition, the data can be split on the different industry categories and across other Google properties, such as image search, news search, and product search.

Search Terms

Top searches are what they are — top related searches for the search phrase being analyzed. Rising searches highlight searches that have experienced significant growth in a given time period, with respect to the preceding time period.

If you’re looking at data for a search term during June 2010, this will be compared with the same period in May 2010. The same applies for year on year comparisons. Here you can take advantage of related terms that are likely to have some commercial intent.

Search interest for LeBron in the U.S. in June correctly suggested that he would probably move to Miami over Chicago. Heat fans will start flocking to buy the shirt and some keywords do still have low paid search coverage.

LeBron James SERP
Screenshot taken July 9, 2010 12:29 BST

Any rising search classed as a breakout term has experienced a change in growth greater than 5,000 percent. All these are great for brainstorming ideas on what to include or exclude from a keyword campaign.

Location, Location

For some countries, it’s possible to zoom into specific regions to look at their search interest. For the United States, it’s possible to drill down and gauge the level of search interest at the metro level.

This is particularly useful for location-based products and services. For instance, search interest in the U.S. for “movie theater” is rising for “imax theater” related terms. However, this interest geographically is higher in New England when compared with the rest of the United States.

Getting a bit more granular, the results suggest that Bostonites love their IMAX experience and it’s possible to gauge in which particular areas within that metro theaters are most frequently search for.

Regional Interest

While this may appear to be hyperlocal, the same approach can be applied on a larger scale to cover larger regions.

Trends Over Time Ranges

Probably, the most important feature in Insights is its ability to help us infer future trends based on the experience from the past. For instance, we can look at impact the current FIFA World Cup has had on “south africa” search interest. We can expect Brazil interest to increase by similar levels in four years time.

With the World Cup now behind us and Spain crowned the new champions, the next biggest sporting event that will capture our search imaginations will possibly be the Summer Olympics in London in 2012. Interest around “world cup” terms in 2010 is on trend to be similar to the 2006 experience. Looking at search interest from the last two summer Olympic Games, we can expect London 2012 to run a similar trend during the games.

Summer Olympics Interest over time

Time ranges can be also useful in assessing the increase or reduction in interest over time for particular keyword sets. Take the search interest in the United Kingdom for “flights to spain.”

Flights to Spain

One may think that Interest in that destination has been decreasing year on year, of which it has. However, interest as a whole for “flights” has been decreasing year on year.

Google Insights for Search tool is free and easy to use for even the most trivial trend. It gives the opportunity to get insight into keyword terms used when people conduct their searches.

Join us for SES San Francisco August 16-20, 2010 during ClickZ’s Connected Marketing Week. The festival is packed with sessions covering PPC management, keyword research, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, ad networks and exchanges, e-mail marketing, the real time web, local search, mobile, duplicate content, multiple site issues, video optimization, site optimization and usability, while offering high-level strategy, keynotes, an expo floor with 100+ companies, networking events, parties and more!

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