Heyyy friends! I’m going to come right out with it – I’m the worst secret keeper in the history of secret keepers. I mean it. I can’t keep a secret to save my life and I readily admit it. Friends and family will say, “Hey Ashley, can you keep a secret?” and I just scream out, “Noooo! I can’t!” as a clap my hands over my ears la-la-la-la-la. Honestly, as soon as I know something, the world knows it. I just get way too excited over stuff and I have to tell every single person I know. In fact, when my sister found out she was pregnant with my niece I was the last person she told because she knew I’d tell everyone. It’s cool though. I’m not bitter (mostly…).
So anyway…back to blogging!
Friends, I have to share something with you that I am crazy excited about it because it is one of the best blogging tools ever! It feels like it’s kind of a secret in the blogging world but I’ve already told you how I feel about secrets (I’m a total over-sharer) so I’m just going to come out with it. Ready? Google Trends. This thing is a gold mine of epic content! In case you didn’t know (and I’m sure you do because you’re a completely passionate blogger) epic content is critical to building your blog.
It’s genius. In fact, I rely on it at least 2x a week.
What does it do?
Google Trends gives you a glimpse in to the topics the world is searching for so you can use those topics to draw traffic to your blog.
So how can you use it for your blog? Well, read on my friend.
Scope out the Featured Stories
Google Trends opens up to the Featured Stories which, sometimes, can be crazy helpful when building blog posts. I mean, today isn’t the best day (see below) but some days it’s awesome. Today’s Featured Stories are Guns in America, COP21 Paris Climate Conference, and Election 2016.
Now, if you blog about that kind of stuff then you’re golden but if you’re like me (and you don’t blog about that kind of stuff) then you’re screwed. Or, you can get creative.
You could write something like, “What the Gun Control Debate can Teach You About Navigating Office Politics” or “What the Paris Climate Conference Has in Common with Blogging Conferences.”
Whoa. Enticing title. Capitalizing on current trends. Relating to your niche. Drawing in an audience. Total win, right?
(Funny story – a few months ago Miley Cyrus was a Featured Story on Google Trends. A friend e-mailed me, “How do I take advantage of Miley Cyrus trending to write a blog post???” I wrote back, “What Miley Cyrus Taught Me About Rebranding.” I wish I had kept the idea for myself. I still kind of love it. Maybe I should write one about Lady Gaga, have you seen her lately???)
The Point? Review the Google Trends Featured Stories and play with blog post titles. Get insanely creative and capitalize!
Search and Compare Keywords
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crazy important when it comes to blogging and there are a billion (maybe a slight exaggeration?) SEO experts out there who can teach you all about it. I’m not a SEO expert but I do know it’s really important to driving traffic. Search traffic is my #1 traffic referrer every single day so I must be doing something right and I have a sneaking suspicion that “something right” is Google Trends.
Here’s the 4-1-1
Google Trends has a search bar and all you have to do is type a search term in there, then click Enter to open the Explore page. On the Explore page you can compare up to 5 keywords to drive traffic. I’ll show you what I mean because that’s what I do. :smiley face:
I typed in Style Guide and then decided to compare it to Style Template, Design Guide, Branding Guide, and Branding. Here’s a legend to help you out:
Style Guide = Blue
Style Template = Red
Design Guide = Yellow
Branding Guide = Green
Branding = Purple
Now, that graphic contains data from 2004 – Present but I don’t want data from the last 11 years. I only care about the last 12 months so I changed the date range to the 2015 (since it’s the end of the year).
WOWZA! Check out that change!
Is it just me or do you notice a major trend in searches? Branding gets wayyyy more searches than style guides or any other variation thereof so if I’m going to write a post about building a style guide I definitely absolutely positively must keyword branding! If I’m insistent, and I’m often insistent, and I demand to use Style Guide I could still create a blog post title like “How to Create a Branding Style Guide” or “How to Improve Your Branding with a Style Guide” so branding would be my keyword and I still get to talk about style guides.
Now I’m going to get all infomercial on you, ready? But wait! There’s more!!!
It’s not as simple as that, sorry to say. Honestly though, is anything ever that easy? Sigh.
We can break it down even farther. Google Trends offers Related Searches which helps you really make sure you’re targeting the audience you want to target.
So I saw that fancy schmancy graph and I was all, “Yeahhhh baby! I’m targeting branding!” but then I get down to Related Searches and suddenly I’m thrown a huge curve ball.
Ummm…WTH is “de branding” and why are people searching “branding iron”? I’m talking blogging, not cattle! Sure, branding brand, branding marketing, branding design, branding personal, and logo branding are related but what I really wanted to blog about was a style guide for your writing. So, back to “style guide” I went. Now, look. “Writing style guide” is on there as the #4 search. That’s what I wanted to write about. Those are the people I want to target. Now I’ve found the perfect keyword for my SEO.
I know it sounds complicated but, friend, I promise you it’s not. Yeah, it takes a little bit of time to get used to it but take the time to play around on Google Trends and you’ll get it. Don’t doubt yourself. You’ll get it. You will. YOU WILL. I promise. (If for some reason you don’t then just hop over to A Silver Twig and e-mail me so I can answer your questions and walk you through it.)
If you’re going to be a blogger or a freelancer or a business owner then you really need to be down with Google Trends. It’s basically the greatest thing ever, especially once you and it become BFF’s.
About the Blogger
Ashley LaMar is the founder of ASilverTwig.com. She works as a Purpose and Passion Strategist and teaches others to find their purpose, fuel their passion, and build lives they love. We all want to love our lives and we don’t have to figure it out alone. It’s about being brave, living fearless, and embracing the person you were born to be.