Comprehensive keyword research is a critical first step in any local SEO strategy. Finding the words and phrases that potential customers in your area are searching for helps you create content and improve your local business listings for those important keywords.
One free tool that can provide tremendous insights for local keyword research is Google Trends. Google Trends shows current search trends and patterns that can help improve your local SEO.
I’ll explain Google Trends and its usefulness for local SEO. I’ll also show you how to find and analyze location-based keywords using Google Trends.
What is Google Trends?
Google Trends is a free public web tool from Google that allows you to see at a glance:
- How frequently certain keywords and topics are searched on Google over time
- Where geographically those searches are coming from
- Related topics and queries for keyword ideas
It provides search data and graphs showing search volume trends for global keywords or specific regions, cities, or languages.
Keyword research tools provide precise search volume data, unlike Google Trends. But the relative popularity score it provides for keywords still offers valuable insights.
Why Google Trends Is Useful for Local SEO
Google Trends can enhance your local keyword research process in several ways:
Discover New Location-Based Keywords
Google Trends uncovers keywords and emerging search trends that you might have overlooked. This uncovers fresh opportunities for local keywords.
Identify Seasonality Trends
You can see how search volumes for keywords fluctuate seasonally based on location. This tool assists in predicting future demand.
Compare Keyword Trends
Compare trends for different keywords to see which ones have a more consistent or growing search volume in your location.
See if search interest for a keyword is declining in your area, indicating the potential for you to target it.
Identify Geographic Demand
Google Trends shows which cities or regions have the most keyword search interest so that you can focus your efforts accordingly.
Inform Content Planning
Spot rising keyword trends you can quickly create content to attract that growing search volume.
Step-by-Step Guide to Using Google Trends for Local SEO
Now let’s walk through a step-by-step process for harnessing Google Trends for local SEO keyword research:
1. Identify Seed Keywords
Start by brainstorming a “seed keywords” list relevant to your local business and location. These will be the base keywords you’ll input into Google Trends as a starting point.
Examples of restaurant searches in San Diego could include “San Diego restaurants”, “restaurants in Little Italy,” or “places to have dinner in downtown San Diego.”
2. Input Seed Keywords
Go to Google Trends and input each of your seed keywords one at a time into the search bar.
Select the geographic area you want data for, like your metro region or city.
3. Analyze Search Volume Trends
Look at the search volume graph for each seed keyword. Are volumes rising, declining, fluctuating, or consistent?
The increasing trends point to a surge in search demand. Declining may represent an opportunity to target.
4. Compare Keyword Trends
Compare graphs for your different seed keywords side-by-side using the comparison feature.
This reveals which terms have the most search interest overall in your location.
5. Identify Seasonal Fluctuations
Look for seasonal dips or spikes in search volume.
This helps you anticipate increases or decreases in search demand at different times of the year.
6. Explore Related Queries
Scroll down on the Google Trends page to “Related Queries”. Input any relevant related keywords into Google Trends to view their data.
Look for keywords with rising popularity or high local interest.
7. Search Using Keyword Planner
Enter any promising keyword finds into Google’s Keyword Planner to view their estimated local monthly search volumes.
This indicates how much traffic that term could potentially drive.
8. Create Location-Based Content
Once you’ve identified locally in-demand keywords, create and optimize content around those terms.
Helpful formats include location-specific blog posts, guides, and landing pages.
9. Monitor Ongoing Trends
Check Google Trends regularly to spot new rising keyword opportunities and stay on top of seasonality trends.
Generate content that adapts to evolving demands.
Tips for Using Google Trends Effectively
Here are some tips to use Google Trends most effectively:
- Use broad seed keywords like industry + location to uncover niche trends
- Look at 5-year trends to identify consistent demand rather than temporary spikes
- Compare trends for synonyms like “physiotherapy” vs “physical therapy”
- See if interest for your focus keywords has declined, indicating they may be less competitive
- Analyze trends for both head terms and long-tail variations
- Use Google Trends data to create timely, trend-based content
- Combine insights with Google Search Console and Analytics data for the full picture
Google Trends is a valuable free tool for enhancing local keyword research and content planning. By analyzing search trends and volumes for your location, you can:
- Discover fresh location-based keywords and opportunities
- Identify seasonal fluctuations to anticipate
- Compare keyword demand to choose focus keywords
- See which areas have the most search interest
- Create content aligned with rising trends
- Monitor ongoing changes in search patterns
This ultimately allows you to refine your local SEO strategy based on real search data for your geographic area.
Give Google Trends a try to gain data-driven insights to inform your local keyword targeting and content creation.