SEO Tools

How Google Trends Improves SEO

Google Trends provides invaluable insight into how people search for a particular topic.

Similar to Google’s autocomplete, Trends is useful because it relies on data from real searchers. Unlike autocomplete, however, Trends is not personalized or filtered. Thus the results for Trends and autocomplete will differ.

Seasonal Content

Merchants can use Google Trends to predict seasonal shopping fluctuations by reviewing prior years’ activity.

For example, searching Trends for “gifts” shows the U.S. interest peaks before Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s day. Moreover, Trends displays when the interest rises and falls, allowing sellers to plan seasonal promotions.

Screenshot of Google Trends results for "gifts"

U.S. consumers’ interest in “gifts” peaks four times throughout the year. The example highlights the peak from Dec. 6 – 12, 2020.

Comparing Queries

Trends allows the global or local comparison of two or more search queries, which helps prioritize keywords.

Screenshot of Google Trends comparing "ecommerce" to "e-commerce"

“Ecommerce” has more search queries than “e-commerce.”

You could also compare the interest of competitors’ brands. Hubspot, for example, could compare itself to Salesforce, a competitor.

Screenshot of Google Trends for "salesforce" versus "hubspot"

The search interest for “salesforce” accelerated past “hubspot” in late 2017 and early 2018.

Conducting a date search on Google can provide context for competitive fluctuations.

  • Search on Google for the competitor’s name.
  • Click “Tools.”
  • Select the timeframe of the interest spike using “Custom range” behind the “Any time” drop-down.

As for the increased interest in “salesforce” in late 2017 and early 2018, a date search indicates new Salesforce features during that period and an announcement of a partnership with Google.

Screenshot of Google date search for "salesforce"

A date search indicates new Salesforce features in early 2018 and an announcement in late 2017 of a partnership with Google.

Related Topics

Knowing how Google interprets each search query will help determine a page’s content for organic rankings. Google Trends is a huge help. It identifies what Google considers relevant for each of your targeted queries by showing:

  • Related topics. Categories and entities that Google considers relevant to the query.
  • Related queries. Used by people who also search on the target query.

Both can be filtered by “Top” (i.e., most popular) and “Rising” (i.e., biggest volume increase).

“Related topics” and “Related queries” provide a high-level view of Google’s understanding of your target subject. The tools can also identify time-sensitive topics to catch the rise of search interest. Clicking each topic or query in the lists produces more Google Trends results. Selecting a particular country or state shows related topics and queries in that locale.

For example, here are the related topics and queries for “ecommerce.”

Screenshot of Google Trends "Related topics" and "Related gifts" for "gifts."

“Related topics” and “Related queries” — such as this example for the keyword “ecommerce” — can identify keyword optimization opportunities, including time-sensitive topics.

Enhanced Trends Data

Few third-party tools use Google Trends data. Two that do are Glimpse and

Glimpse is a freemium Chrome extension that adds search volume, related keywords and questions, and the most relevant social media channels (how often the query is used on each platform).

The Glimpse extension turns Google Trends into an actionable marketing dashboard, allowing the quick assessment of a target search query for additional content ideas and social media priorities. shows on one page all related trends and the search interest of each. offers a handy filter to limit the results of a keyword and to find rising trends containing it.


Explore Google Trends. There are many ways to use it for search engine optimization. Google’s Simon Rogers lists some helpful examples of using the data for storytelling, such as putting trends into context or isolating them by state or city.

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty
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