Use Trends to Keep Your Business Rocking All Year Long

air-guitarWe all know that almost every business has peak times and low times. The great thing about doing SEO and online marketing is that you can very easily find the peak seasons for searches and traffic in your industry.  Once you have that information, you can act on it to keep your business rocking all year long.

Discovering Search Trends

So how do you find what the high and low times are in your industry?  Here are a couple of free tools you can use:

1- Google AdWords Keyword Tool

There are so many things you can use this tool for, and here’s another one! As an example, I did a search for the word ‘camping.’ To see the trends choose “Show Search Volume Trends” from the drop-down menu that says “Show/Hide Columns” and you’ll see something like this:

Keyword Research Tool

As you can see, there is a definite high and low time for these camping keywords. The peaks are from May to July, and the valleys are from November to January. Now that we know what the low times are, we can look for other keywords that have a higher trend during those months.

2- Google Trends

This is another great tool from Google. This takes the idea of discovering trends a little further by looking at several years’ worth of data. Google Trends lets you compare multiple keywords side-by-side on the same graph.  Let’s take a look at some of the camping words from above:

Trends - Camping

As you can see, the data is pretty consistent from year to year for the keywords ‘camping sites’, ‘camping site’, and ‘camping gear’ – they all peak and valley at the same time each year.

If I ran a camping site, I’d want to do something to compensate for these down times.  Let’s take a look at the relationship between ‘camping gear’ and ‘winter camping':

Inverse Relationship

I know it’s no surprise there is an inverse relationship between these two keywords. It would be advantageous to find some winter camping products, create pages around them, and then optimize for winter-based keywords. Although winter keywords don’t obtain as much traffic as summer camping keywords, they are more likely to convert during winter months and help keep revenues more consistent.

Learning from Trends and Taking Action

Use trends to look for keywords with less dramatic trends and more consistent traffic, or see what the popular terminology is for your industry. You’ll often find that over time one term grows more popular than another.  If you want to see an example of this, check out this graph: SEO vs. Search Engine Optimization.

Chances are your business has high and low times of business and traffic. Take some time to understand when valleys generally occur, so you can compensate. Look for ways to keep your traffic as consistent as possible. Watch your analytics data to see which keywords are converting at different times of the year as well.

By making a few adjustments and watching trends you can have your business making more consistent money all year long!

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15 Comments

  1. Nate Campbell says

    Great article Dan! It’s true, if you know the trends then you are far more likely to survive the down times by refocusing on other keywords that can make up the gaps!

  2. Chris Bennett says

    Great post Dan. I agree. I also use trend data when researching and coming up with social media/viral ideas.

  3. Kat Scholtz says

    We should constantly be refining the tactics we use, which is easier to do with more specific data. Great post, thanks Dan.

  4. Dan Patterson says

    @Nate – I think camping makes a perfect example of this, as the graphs show. You have to know your industry and know when the dips are so you can find better keywords for those times.

    @Chris – I’m sure that helps a lot with timing; great idea!

    @Alex – I agree, it’s a great way to get keyword and promotion ideas.

    Thanks all for the comments.

  5. Patrick says

    I’ve known Dan a long time and he know what he’s talking about. He’s totally dialed into SEO techniques and how to make any business grow. Read all of his posts.

  6. Dan Patterson says

    @Kat – Agreed. Having the right data can help you make the right changes, whether it’s PPC, SEO, or any other online marketing techniques.

    @Patrick – Thanks Patrick!

  7. Daniel Bischoff says

    My question is, where’d you get the pic of the big-hair rocker? Who is that, and where is the guitar?

  8. Brian Fanslau says

    Great lead in pick for a subject that is often very dry. I like your strategic take on SEO and not simply running your adds like a fool on auto pilot. The trends are something that can somewhat be unpredictable if you are trying to capture people from trending topics off of say Twitter but knowing the seasonal and environmental changes in the areas you are marketing to is key. Great Job :)

  9. Ann Julie says

    Google Trends are helpful because it checks whether your website has improved or not, after all Google is not the most famous search engine and it would be good for your website if it is doing well in Google.

  10. Noah says

    Yikes, the show search volume trends column is awesome! I can’t believe I’ve been overlooking it this entire time…ah well, off to play with it and see what I come up with. :D

  11. Carla says

    A co-worker just told me of this site, WOW
    I am a small business and web site owner. I have a Ecommerce site and I am looking to LEARN all I can on how to drive people to my site… Like I said this is my first visit here. please throw all your amazing help and ideas my way, I will listen and will be truly blessed to learn from you. here’s my site, I will be changing the format of it this weekend.

    Thanks so much,
    Carla

  12. Bob says

    Great perspective on traffic trends! We would be well-served to observe trends in everything where they are measured since they define clear patterns of peaks and valleys.

  13. jamie says

    We run e-commerce and never thought of using these tools before and we will definitely use it for our seo benefit! Another great tool from google. Thanks Dan!

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