Google Trends is a free tool that provides search data for keywords and topics. For example, you can look at search volumes for “artificial intelligence” over the past five years to gauge how interest in this topic has changed over time. This makes it a useful tool for a range of marketing tasks – from finding new keywords and content ideas to measuring interest in your competitors.

Google trends showing growth of interest in AI

Let’s take a quick look at some of the things you can do with Google Trends.

Google Trends search tool

It’s easy to think of this tool as nothing more than a poor keyword research tool. After all, you type in a search term and it shows you how many people have typed that specific keyword into Google over a specified time frame. But it doesn’t tell you how much traffic those keywords generated or include filters for match types – crucial features of the Keyword Planner in Google Ads.

Google Trends isn’t really designed to be a keyword research tool though.

It’s more of an interest research tool, but this doesn’t make it any less useful than Keyword Planner. In fact, there are a lot of things you can do with it besides some basic keyword research.

In our 8 Google Trends tips for advanced SEO insights article, we explain how you can do the following:

  • Find new keywords
  • Test keyword variations
  • Find new content ideas
  • Find new product to sell
  • Assess market trends
  • Compare industry niches
  • Compare your demand vs competitors
  • Create FAQs
  • Find peak seasonal periods
  • Compare demand in different countries/markets
  • Track behavioural changes (e.g. interest in same-day delivery vs next-day delivery and free delivery)

As you can see, there are some really useful insights available from Google Trends that you can use to improve your marketing strategies and business decisions. Not bad for a “second-rate” keyword tool, is it?