Using Google Trends to Optimize Your Content Strategy Timing

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7 min read

At a time when everything is fast-paced, Google Trends allows you to work smart, not harder. It helps you create the perfect strategy for coming up with content for seasonal and popular topics and promoting that content at the best time.

Google Trends plans the perfect timing for posting and promoting seasonal content for bloggers and digital marketers. To maximize your traffic for seasonal content, such as Easter posts or best gift ideas for Christmas, make sure your content is ready before you start your campaign to see an upward movement for the topic in Google Trends.

If you wait to prepare, post and promote your seasonal content until the topic becomes popular, you will likely miss out on this high-traffic opportunity. When you post early and promote when interest in a topic is just starting to rise, you gain the following advantages:

Google indexes your post before readers start flooding the search query for the topic

You can hold the interest of early birds seeking and planning way ahead of the expected trend schedule. A tool such as Google Trends enables you to research the timing of seasonal content and prepare your content calendar strategy in advance.

What exactly is Google Trends?

Google Trends is a tool for SEO that enables you to compare the popularity of search terms and trends. To put it in another way, it allows you to gain insight into the most popular searches at the moment and those there are about to create a buzz or rising stars over time.

There are three things to keep in mind when it comes to Google Trends:

  1. Google Trends is used primarily for researching keywords and content marketing strategies.
  2. Google Trends is different from Google keyword planner. The latter only shows the overall search volume data of the search term, whereas Google Trends features the popularity of the search term.
  3. Google Trends is free.

Seven ways to use Google Trends

Be aware of seasonal trends so you can create and publish the best content at the right time.

Before you begin the topic or content, you must consider if it applies to the times. For example, is it a good idea to sell umbrellas to people feeling chilly in their homes? It is recommended to use Google Trends to determine what ideas are trending and in season. Then, you must position your content accordingly.

Look at the Google Trends data for the “umbrella” keyword in your territory. Take for example the United States. You might discover a steep spike around the popular Rihanna song “Umbrella.” But the data you must focus on is the search terms’ peak occurring in June, representing the start of the rainy season in the US.

You might also find a similar trend in Australia. In this case, you will notice that the peak occurs in December, which represents the entry of the rainy season when people are most interested in searching and purchasing umbrellas, so they do not get drenched in the middle of the rain unexpectedly.

So how should you use this information in your overall content marketing strategy? You must create and publish meaningful content in their peak periods. If you sell umbrellas and you are targeting prospects in the United States, the best thing to do is to write about topics such as “how not to get wet this rainy season.”

It would be best if you published this guide in June. This is a good strategy because it coincides with when most of your target market searches for such information. It is also recommended that you optimize existing content before peak periods.

For example, if the peak period has passed for marketing in the US, and December is approaching when the search keyword peaks for “Umbrellas” in Australia, a good strategy would be to begin revisiting your relevant posts or product pages and retarget them towards the Australian market a few months before December.

Be in the loop for trending topics to cover

There is incredible value in covering the latest and most talked-about topics. Your target audience will be fully informed, engaged and begin relying on you for the latest information.

But how do you come up with relevant content that attracts, engages, and potentially converts prospects? If you are trying to research your next great topic for your content piece, you must head to Google Trends first before doing anything. It is not a good idea to craft content for topics that are going out of style.

To search for trending topics, utilize Google Trends’ trending search tool to know the most keyed in search terms people have used within the last 24 hours. It would help if you looked all the way down to specific categories they fall into, such as entertainment, science, technology, business, and top stories.

Bear in mind that there are typically many stories around trending topics. It would help if you stood out with your content piece. To rise from the crowd, you might have to view things from a unique perspective different from popular opinion to get that coveted organic traffic.

Make sure spikes in popularity are not distorting keyword data

Certain elements can skew the data you are seeing. For example, in 1985, studies said that the average starting pay for students majoring in Geography at the University of North Carolina was more than $100,000. But this information is not accurate because the outlier here is Michael Jordan, a geography major at the same school before joining the Chicago Bulls and signing a contract that gives him one million dollars annually.

Therefore, if you take Michael Jordan out of the picture, the new average will only be $25,000.

The key takeaway is that popularity spikes can distort keyword data, impacting your content strategy. Therefore, keywords with massive monthly searches will require a second check to see if the trend is steady or suspiciously increasing and changing over time.

Use Google Trends data and plan your content calendar ahead of time

Using Google Trends to Optimize Your Content Strategy Timing 1

Let’s say you are checking Google Trends data for the search term “Oscar awards.” This term typically peaks at about the same time within five years at the beginning of March. The reason for this is the Oscar awards happen every March. Therefore, if your website revolves around creating content about trending celebrities, you may want to make a note of this on your calendar and publish relevant content around these dates for maximum exposure and high traffic.

Find out the demand for your product or services by geolocation

It is impossible to satisfy everyone, and your product or service may not appeal to all.

But the good news is you don’t need to please everyone for your website to succeed. You need to create just enough traffic. But in many cases, those who need what you sell are scattered around different regions, cities, and megalopolises. It is up to you to discover them and reach out to them.

For example, if you sell outerwear, a quick search of the popularity of the keyword “leather jacket” in a specific region, city, and urban area over a particular period will provide you valuable insight into the particular demographic to target.

And once you discover the location where your keyword is a lot more popular, it is more effortless for you to optimize your keywords in your content for specific audiences at peak periods.

Utilize related queries to track your prospects’ search journey

A remarkable thing about Google Trends is it can show you other queries people key in while searching for specific terms. For example, people searching for sneakers search for related searches such as Nike and Adidas.

This will enable you to enhance your keyword bank and help you have a better understanding of your prospects’ needs and search journey.

You can also utilize related queries to spy on your competitors to understand how to beat them. A quick search of Ahrefs on Google Trends, for example, reveals what your competitors are focusing on.

You can research your competition and examine its strengths and weaknesses with this information. Then, you can come up with content pieces and highlight points where your solution could be better than theirs.

Gauge if your message is better delivered in video format

In some cases, the popularity of a keyword declines on web search, but it doesn’t mean you should abandon it. It is not uncommon to discover a keyword that is not coming up on web searches but is gaining popularity on YouTube.

An example of this is the keyword “content marketing.” But its popularity on Google search has waned over the past year. But when you plug in the same keyword into Google Trends for YouTube search, its popularity has risen over the past years.

What can be learned from this is that keywords don’t entirely lose their popularity; they simply transition from one medium to another, such as from Google to YouTube.

Promote your content through the end of the peak season to capture the highest number of seasonal traffic

If you can find all of your seasonal content for the year and map out the timeline of each on your editorial calendar at the same time, you will be able to see how they affect each other on a global scale.

After seeing everything in one place, you can move tasks around to allow yourself space in your schedule, so you have room for both seasonal content and crafting and promoting hot topic content in real-time.

For this purpose, Google Trends helps you stay current with the freshest trends.

Regardless of whether you want to boost your status as a trendsetter or simply wish to jump to on a few viral happenings, you can diversify your content strategy to incorporate hot trends. Thus, you will propel more traffic and convert your readers into loyal audiences.

But where will you find these hot trends, and how will you know if these are quality audiences?

Bear in mind four things:

  1. Pay attention to current news headlines and look at trending searches on the Google Trends homepage to get ideas.
  2. Once you find a trending topic that captures your interest, utilize a Google Trends search feature to take a closer look.

    You can use the platform filter to see both “web search” and “news search” as well as the “category” filter to drill down into your specific niche.  For example, you may want to see the results for a specific topic in the food niche: vegan pasta recipe.

    If you scroll down the page, you will discover related queries to help you know more about the context of the topic. You can toggle between “rising,” and “top” queries so you will get the complete picture.

    Utilize social media to verify if it is indeed a trend. Please search for the topic on social media platforms to ensure it is really on the rise and is worth your time to craft content revolving around it.

    Monitor the topic on Google Trends for growth patterns. As a pro-tip, when you are dealing with multiple hot topics, you must compare up to five terms to see which is gaining a better momentum to help you decide where you should focus your time and resources.
  3. Use keyword research tools such as SEMrush and Google Trends to optimize your post with relevant hashtags for your social media promotion.
  4. Publish and advertise your content and ride the waves’ peak while hot. Bear in mind to keep monitoring the trend so you can be flexible and tweak or update your content as interest evolves.

Google Trends lets you know precisely what to create and when to post and promote your seasonal and hot trending content to help you save time and energy while maximizing your results.

Google Trends should be part of your arsenal when doing keyword research or if you are looking to beat the competition with better and in-demand content. It is a terrific tool that provides you with the freshest and most powerful data on what’s trending in search at the moment.


Alona holds a masters degree in Linguistics & Cultural Studies from the Department of International Relationships. Alona has combined her academic knowledge of Social Sciences with her creative and strategic thinking to help her clients reach the toughest audiences through bespoke Digital Marketing Strategies. Alona's strategic approach adds several layers of complexity to the campaigns that enable them to perform time and time again.
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