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Analyzing search trends to gain insight into customer demand

Contributor: David Brim May 16, 2013

Search Engine Optimization…we’ve all heard of it.

When most people think of SEO they think of getting keywords to the top of Google to bring targeted traffic to a website. Fundamentally that is the main purpose of SEO, but very few people consider other ways that SEO can be utilized to help your marketing, innovation efforts and overall business strategy.

Let me explain….

It’s very difficult to know what someone is thinking without asking them, or having some sort of written, verbal or non-verbal (body language) communication with them. We are not mind readers.

Google on the other hand…

The information they gather and have access to based on search queries are staggering.

Think of all the queries that occur every day (Over 4 billion). Multiply that by 365 across many years and you have a very large set of data that can be very valuable to a marketer or business owner.

A person’s search queries can tell us a lot about them, the problems they face and what they are interested in.

In marketing…understanding your key prospect and analyzing search queries is one way to do it. Equipped with this knowledge a business owner or marketer can make much better decisions.

I was recently working with a company that developed an allergy spray and was trying to determine the best places and times for a media buy.

In addition to suggesting they utilize secondary market research I decided to analyze search trends to assist them with this endeavor.

My logic was that if you are able to identify the locations that have the highest search frequency for allergy and nasal spray related keywords that this may provide insight into the best locations to advertise.

When someone searches for a keyword there is a specific intent or motivation they had for searching that particular keyword. Typically intent that is to learn something, solve a problem, do something or navigate somewhere.

Being able to recognize what is being searched, when and why can help you get into your customer’s heads.

In the case of someone searching for nasal allergy related keywords we can infer that they have allergy symptoms and are ultimately looking for a solution.

The number of search queries therefore may strongly coordinate with the actual demand for your product. Therefore if one was able to uncover what areas have the highest demand for allergy relief they could purchase a TV media buy, Facebook Ad, or other form of Online Advertising to reach individuals in your target audience within those areas.

This research could also provide insight into what time periods would be best to launch ad campaigns. I conducted this research by utilizing Google Trends and here is what I found…

Google Trends - search - demand

I want to note that this research makes complete sense….It seems that I am not alone with May being a bad allergy month for me!

In this case it may be good to launch an ad campaign from April through June.

In addition to seeing the search query frequency overtime I was also able to gather the locations that have the highest frequency of searches.

Regional Interest in Allergy Nasal Spray

In addition to utilizing Google Trends I also decided to conduct Long-tail, or niche, keyword research using WordStream.

Results for Allergies

I was able to identify over 100 niches related to Allergies (some more relevant than others) that can be used in a variety of ways.

Here’s how this niche keyword research can be used to:

  • Build ad groups for a PPC campaign
  • Provide ideas for custom content or pages that can be created address the intent of each major niche
  • Use as market research as a quick screen to gain ideas into customer pain points
  • Come up with other product innovations to address a given niche

I hope that you found this post informative about other ways keyword research can be used outside of traditional SEO to be valuable.