Getting Ahead of Google’s Search Volume Data
Identifying emerging trends in search engine queries is a powerful tool to stay ahead of the competition and acquire top positions in new, growing and relatively uncompetitive fields. In practice, this means having search volume estimates extremely close to real numbers before Google Adwords publishes them and makes them available to the general public. As with all sorts of planning, the sooner you receive the data and the more accurate it is, the better your strategy will be.
Obviously, staying on top of the industry and being familiar with current developments is an advanced technique, which requires a lot of reading in forums, participation at events and close relationships with the important people in the industry. Because of this, the technique will be unavailable, or even useless, for a beginner in SEO or a small company website.
Big trends usually start among separate niche communities and then spread to other groups, or even to society as a whole. For example, Facebook started as a student-exclusive social network. Heavy news coverage and competition usually start during or after a stage of expansive growth, so it is important to identify the trend before this happens. The first port of call should be established specialist communities that are relevant to your sector. For instance, the social lack of trust in SEO experts was first expressed in the Webmasterworld.com blog1.
Naturally, not every topic turns into a sensation and sound judgment is needed. Consider your personal opinion, the initial social response, and the availability of information on the Internet. An idea should be credible, subject to being proven, and with powerful results for it to catch on. In order to practice sustainable SEO and content creation, you should consider trends with a lifespan of more than a year. If you focus on short-term articles, their traffic will sharply decline after their expiration date. Consider the titles; “U.S. Presidential Election,” and “Social Media Marketing.” Both have been extremely relevant in 2012, however, content on the second topic will retain its value for much longer and keep attracting readers.
Practically speaking, you should be a member of all professional groups with a strong online presence and check their newsfeeds daily. Follow influential people on Twitter (Matt Cutts announced the EMD algorithm change via his newsfeed), like their Facebook pages, and join their groups. Sometimes, an old-fashioned e-mail asking people what they think about certain topics or issues can do the trick as well.
Having identified your keyword, you should consider how to incorporate it in your overall SEO and content plans. This depends heavily on future traffic and the relevance of the keyword to your business. Ideally, an initial article can test the viability and profitability of the keyword, and depending on the results, you could expand or limit your presence. Additionally, you have to decide between long or short tail keywords. The former are likely to drive high quality traffic with high conversion ratios and secure a lot of sales. The latter, provided you have high quality articles, should improve the domain authority for that particular keyword and provide fertile soil for further expansion.
With all considerations taken and choices made, it is time to create content and publish it. High quality, engaging and on time, it should be promoted initially in order to take off. Your research should have provided you with a number of places for your content marketing (formerly link building). Be sure that you don’t present people’s arguments and ideas as your own, however, as that could be disastrous for your reputation and incoming traffic. Inviting people to comment on your website will help move the discussion and attract focus on your comments sections.