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Using Google Trends Post-Keyword Not Provided

Just because keyword referral data is no longer being provided by Google doesn’t mean that keyword research is dead. There is still a lot of value that can be gotten if you take the time to research specific trends and use your content to target those trends. Google Trends is exactly the tool that you need for this and once you get started, you’ll find it hard to stop putting in media terms, random terms, friends, business, and anything else you can think of.

Google Trends is incredibly versatile and if you were to be limited to just one analytics tool to help optimize your site to bring in more traffic, Trends would easily be one of the best candidates. But just what can you do with a tool like this and what can you do to maximize it? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Keyword Research
Keyword research has become one of the most important reasons to use Google Trends if it wasn’t already. Customers use keywords to search for what they want online and Google and other search engines respond by returning relevant results. According to Ken Mueller of InklingMedia.net:

With Google Trends you can see how popular various keywords are, along with suggestions for similar keywords. You can use this information as you optimize your online properties and create SEO friendly content for your blog. Tip: Don’t use this alone. Use your results here in tandem with the keyword tools you can find elsewhere, including in your Google analytics and Webmaster Tools.

Content Ideas
Another way to use Google Trends is when you are brainstorming for new ideas for content. You can simply use any combination of terms you want that are related to your niche and use Trends to find spikes in search patterns for any related events at any point in time. From there, you can check the related terms and rising terms and start creating content around that. One tip from Arnie Kuenn of ContentMarketingInstitute.com is:

If you want to be super hip, produce a blog post or two, or perhaps some social media content about the trendy search topic du jour. To find more potential terms related to your topics, head over to the Top Charts tool in the left-side navigation, and see what transpires.

In addition to the top and rising terms, you’ll also want to pay attention to terms that are marked “breakout”, as these indicate that the term has seen a search increase by 5,000% or more.

News-Jacking
One technique that SEOs love is called news-jacking. It’s a great way to attract some news coverage for you and your business with the help of a trending topic. The formula for news-jacking is pretty simple. You just pay attention to breaking news, figure out what keywords might be used to search about that news, produce high quality content that delivers on the demand for information, and syndicating the information very quickly for news organizations to find. According to Adam Stetzer on SearchEngineWatch.com:

Newsjacking is similar to content marketing in that the content comes first and the marketing second. Serve the reader’s desire for news, facts and opinion – but use that opportunity for a branded mention and a link (yes, it is still OK to get a link when you work for it). Finally, use social media for quick dissemination and viral spread. Recognize that unlike content marketing, newsjacking is fleeting and timing is critical.

News-jacking is actually a less technical form of SEO, but it requires a bit of effort to keep paying attention to possible trending or breaking news. Still, it’s a great source for traffic and can get you a lot of mentions and back links if you do it well.


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