One of my favorite daily tools just got a lot better. Google announced last week the biggest expansion of Google Trends since 2012. Google Trends is a keyword research tool that gives you insight into search trends for a given keyword phrase.
I routinely use Google Trends to see what people are searching for on a given day but also to compare the popularity of search terms and look for search trends over time.
Unfortunately, the tool has always been a bit limited. Google Trends has always been most useful when using broad search terms for which there is a critical mass of data; the more specific you get for a search query, the more hit-and-miss the tool becomes. But that appears to be changing.
Google Trends Update
Google is adding more data to Trends, including trend data from Google News and YouTube. The most exciting upgrade, however, is the addition of real-time data. The date-range function on Google Trends now allows you to narrow the time period of your analysis to:
- The past day,
- The past four hours, or
- The past hour.
One valuable result is the ability to discover useful time-of-day trends, as I will illustrate.
[Tweet “COOL TOOL: Google Trends Explorer”]
Game Of Thrones Search Trends
We scheduled a recent post titled Public Relations Advice For 7 Game Of Thrones Characters to be published the night of the Season 5 finale to take advantage of the social conversations about the show. The post enjoyed a surge in visits based on that interest immediately following the final episode and we re-shared the post on social channels the following Monday, when people would be talking about it with family, friends and colleagues.
But can we harness interest in Game of Thrones to promote the post well after the season finale? That’s where Google Trends comes in handy. Let us first take a look at historical data to see what trends we can discover.
Game Of Thrones Search Volume By Year
As you can see from the following chart, searches for Game Of Thrones information in the United States peaks predictably between April and June every year, coinciding, not surprisingly, with air dates on HBO.
Game Of Thrones Search Volume – 90 Days
Let’s break those searches down even further by narrowing the date range to the past 90 days. When we do that, we discover that Game of Thrones search volume surges on the Monday following a Sunday night episode. I might’ve guessed that but it is a nice bit of validation for next season.
Game Of Thrones Search Volume – 7 Days
But knowing search volume peaks the Monday following a Sunday night episode is only really useful when a season is actually airing. Is there anything we can take advantage of during the off-season? Let’s find out by narrowing our range to the past seven days. Keep in mind that the Season 5 finale aired June 14.
In this chart, we discover that people are still searching for Game of Thrones information, though with steadily decreasing volume. There are nevertheless surges in search volume that peak daily from roughly 12:30 to 2:30 am.
Who knew? Perhaps it is due to binging behavior from fans who are not yet caught up. Regardless, now I know to schedule Twitter links to our Game of Thrones article daily between 12:30 and 2:30 am for maximum exposure. I might also want to test Facebook ads for that time time period to see how much traffic we can get from that tactic.
This is just one example of how Google Trends’ real-time data can serve your content marketing efforts. I could also compare search volume for the various characters in the show to see who is most popular and apply that insight to deciding which images we share on social channels to promote the post.
Use your imagination!
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