Google’s latest “Insights for Search” tool provides a way to analyze search data, monitor trends, and identify opportunities. The tool provides a free way to analyze search patterns across regions, categories, and time frames. Basically, you have Google’s entire search database at your fingertips and can analyze information from 2004 to the present.

Here are a couple of practical applications of the tool:

    • Identify industry trends by viewing keyword searches.
      Have you ever wondered what types of trends are popping up in your industry? The Google Insights for Search tool allows you to see what types of keywords are appearing more and more in searches. If you’re looking to keep your fingers on the pulse, then this tool is crucial for understanding how customers are searching for topics in your industry.
    • Monitor trends within a specific geographic location or identify geographic areas for growth.
      For businesses that have a geographic focus, the search tool provides a way to filter searches based on location data. So, you can use the tool to follow trends for a particular region of the country and also identify areas of the country to target.
    • Capture keywords that are being used in your industry.
      What are the terms that are being used to describe your services? Uncovering those hidden search phrases can be an excellent way to find new customers. Even though there are common search keywords for any industry, it can be a good practice to learn how customers are searching for services or products in different ways. The tool allows you to see different search phrases that are being used and you can filter keywords by industries.
    • Explore common themes during specific time frames.
      The Google Insights for Search tool provides a filter so you can monitor virtually all data elements within a specific time frame. This functionality can be very useful for businesses that have sales fluctuations during certain periods of the year. More specifically, if your business experiences peak sales during the holidays, then it may be very helpful to view the previous holiday season’s search criteria.

Once I saw the capabilities offered by Google Insights, I immediately decided to dive in and conduct some research. I searched for results related to digital marketing, web design and development, and video production. And, I must say, I was quite surprised by some of the results. But it’s going to be even more interesting to see how businesses use this type of data for growth. After all, analyzing the data is just the first step…determining which actions to take is what ultimately separates your business from the competition.