How to Use Google Trends for Keyword Research

By:  Ananyaa Venkat

Updated On: January 27, 2023

As an SEO, you probably know how important it is to use the right keywords to drive positive SEO results for a website.

That said, if you fail to identify the right keywords used in industry-specific online queries, you will fail miserably at achieving the desired results. 

I understand you don’t want it to happen. Let me tell you how you can stop it from happening.

One word. Research. Focused keyword research is the key.  So, how do you do that?

Keyword research can be a cakewalk with the right tool. That’s precisely why you need Google Trends.

Let me explain what Google Trends is and how it can help you do focused keyword trends

What Is Google Trends?

Google Trends is a free tool that comes in handy to obtain data from Google searches while allowing users to compare the occurrence of particular search terms with other keywords based on frequency, geographic locations and so much more.

It started as a pipeline to analyze and consolidate online user interest in different topics. But, it just didn’t stop there. Google Trends has gradually transformed into an ultimate data utilization tool that takes into account public reactions to real-time events or other trending stories.

With Google Trends, you can quickly narrow down industry-specific keyword occurrences online by fixing a time frame, say, in the last seven days or from the previous year to the current one.

Why Use Google Trends?

Google Trends is the best choice to analyze the popularity of any search term or topic in a hassle-free way. 

With this tool, you can keep track of user search behavior, compare and validate search volumes of different queries, leverage historical data to check the popularity phase of a topic. The tool is free, up to date, and relevant.

Google Trends is easy to use. When you search for a certain query, it will provide you with a graph ranging from 0 to 100. 

While 0 indicates that there isn’t enough search data denoting a low search volume,100 represents the peak popularity of the topic you have searched for. The higher the number, the more the search for the keyword. So, keywords hitting close to or at the 100 need your attention. 

And, that simplifies keyword research like never before.

How Google Trends Works

Now, let me walk you through the step-by-step process of conducting keyword research with Google Trends.

Visit the Google Trends site.

google trends


At the top right corner, select a location, for instance, the United States. You can change it later.

Once you have the location, enter the keyword. I choose “SEO”

Press Enter and Google Trends will generate a graph.


google trends graph

Okay. You have four tabs here. 


google trends tabs

The first one denotes the geo-location the given keyword used. For a broader perspective, you can go for the “Worldwide” option under this tab.

The second tab denotes the time frame of the keyword frequency. Choose anywhere from the past hour to 2004-Present.

Once you modify the timeframe and location, the graph alters accordingly. 


google trends graph modification

Third, choose a category of your choice.

Fourth, pick a channel to find out keyword frequency.


google trends channel menu


Scroll down to find the “interest by region” report.

You will find a list of countries where the keyword is performing well. The score lies anywhere from 0 to 100 based on keyword popularity.


google trends interest by region keyword research

In the “interest by region” section, click “region” at the top-right corner and click “city” to view the city-wise report. Every time you choose a different location, you get a unique set of data from Google Trends.

The last section of the page features “ Related Topics” and “Related Queries”. Here is where you get more suggestions based on your search term.

You have a detailed “Breakout” for each query.


google trends breakout queries

Click on the “rising” option and choose “top”. Just like the Region report, this provides you with top topics and queries. You now get a list of keywords that have been trending for the selected timeframe.

For all the reports, you have downloading, embedding and sharing options.

Keyword Trend Comparison

Now let’s move on to keyword trend comparison. We already have the data for the keyword “SEO”

Scroll on to the top of the page. Click compare and add a new term ”Link Building” and then hit Enter.

You now have the graph with two different colors each representing a keyword.


keyword trends comparison

Scroll down to find the region-wise reports. Keyword trend comparison isn’t limited to two. You can add more terms to the list using the “Compare” option and go for a vast analysis based on your needs.

How Google Trends Complements Effective Keyword Research

Now you know how Google Trends works, right? Cool. Let’s explore the ways the tool can bolster effective keyword research.

Keyword Search Volume

The search volume of a keyword denotes the number of times people have used a given keyword in their searches within the fixed timeframe.

Given the scenario, if you can include keywords with high search volume in your content naturally, your website has more chances to gain a top search engine ranking.

Once you type a keyword on Google Trends, the tool lets you know how user interest has been for the particular search term over time.

With Google trends, you can identify keywords that perform well for your niche and include them in your content without negatively impacting its flow.

Seasonal Trends

The main goal of keyword research is to bring more traffic to your site by leveraging the right keywords. So, it is equally important to use the keywords in the right context at the right time to achieve better results. 

Let’s take hats for instance. The search volume for the term ‘’hats’’ is always high because people look for hats almost every day. On the contrary, the search volume for the search term “Christmas hats” sees a high search volume only around the end of the year and then witnesses a dip. This is because ‘Christmas’ is a seasonal term, and online users don’t widely look for Christmas hats after the event.

You can use the same strategy to identify seasonal terms for your products or services with Google Trends. This way, the tool makes way for you to create your promotional campaigns around these keywords to attract leads that translate into revenue.

Additionally, if your site already has landing pages related to seasonal trends, you can quickly optimize them using keywords from Google Trends. This way, you can boost your website’s online visibility and help your customers find you quickly among similar service providers.

Keyword Popularity Phase

A particular keyword does not always perform well. When one keyword sees a dip, another one comes to take the top position. Yes, you need to know how long a keyword is popular in your niche to make your moves cleverly.

If you decide to dodge this segment of keyword research, you’re making a big mistake that can nullify your SEO efforts just like that. As a result, you may end up not ranking for queries your potential clients are asking search engines.

I know this is not a good sign and here comes Google Trends for your rescue. 

As demonstrated earlier, using this tool, you can view the performance of a  given keyword over the years. This way, you will be able to understand if a keyword was at the peak just for once or is building lasting user interest.

Unicorn Keywords

BEWARE. Some keywords are tricky. They might create an impression that they perform well. But they actually don’t make a big (or small) difference when you insert them in your content. These are called unicorn keywords.

Keywords with high volume but low competition, for instance, are mostly of this type. These short-lived keywords don’t prove beneficial to boost your web traffic.

Make sure to filter out these keywords using Google Trends so that you can avoid using them in your content.

Local SEO

When it comes to qualified lead generation, you cannot overlook location-based online searches. Start targeting locations where you want your products or services to sell better.

So, how do you do that? Simple.

Use Google Trends to identify keywords that perform well in specific locations and naturally include them in your content.

Trending Topics

SEO is ever-changing. To achieve success in SEO, it is mandatory to keep up with the latest SEO trends.

Using the Trending Searches tab on Google Trends, you can identify search queries popular in any specific location in the last 24 hours.

This feature makes way for you to create content based on topics that are trending at the moment, which, in turn, boosts user engagement.

Google Trends Predictions

Apart from keeping you posted about the current trends, Google Trends also lets you look into the future trends by consolidating the existing data. 

This feature facilitates you to identify relevant keywords and make plans in advance to boost up your website traffic This way, you can always be ahead of your competitors.

Video SEO

Let’s start with a fact. 86% of businesses use videos to promote their products and services.  This is, of course, a huge rate and you can’t miss out on a big part of your target audience. Yes, it is not an option but a necessity to optimize your videos for top-ranking keywords. Note that keywords may vary for web search and video search.

Enter a keyword on Google Trends and switch from Web Search to YouTube Search. The tool displays user queries and keywords that are trending for video search.

This way, you can optimize your video titles and descriptions with keywords for better search engine rankings.

Google Trends: FAQs

Is There a Google Trends API?

You have no Google Trends API that’s publicly available. But then, Google allows you to access two dataset samples, including real-time data from the past week and non-real-time data that dates back as far as 2004.

What Are the Trending Searches on Google?

The trending searches on Google changes every day. You can view trending searches on Google Trends and can also filter them based on locations as per your preference.

What Are the Top 10 Google Searches?

The Google Trends page always displays 10 recently trending Google searches. You can choose to view them worldwide or country-wise. These trending searches are subject to change. However, the tool allows you to view yearly trending searches too.


Ananyaa Venkat

Ananyaa has been penning down industry-specific content for 6+ years. With blogging as her special interest, she loves exploring multiple verticals to keep track of dynamic market trends.


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