How to use Google Trends to Find Sizzling Hot Topic Ideas 🔥

Have you ever bought one of these? Or one of these? Even if you don’t know what either of these are, there’s a good reason for that. And it’s because they gained popularity so fast, and lost it just as quick. And in this video, I’m going to show you how to use Google Trends to find hot topics that won’t fade over time. Stay tuned. [Music] What’s up SEOs? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors, and dominate your niche. And there are two goals for this tutorial and that’s to help you find sizzling hot topic ideas and to teach you how to analyze any keyword and know that it won’t disappear tomorrow. Let’s get into this thing. So Google Trends is pretty straightforward. You enter a search query, hit enter, and you’ll see a graph that shows you the popularity of the search term or topic over time. But you need to understand that the numbers on the graph do not directly represent search volume. Each data point represents relative popularity. It’s then plotted on this graph on a scale from 0-100 based on a topics proportion compared to all searches on all topics. Here’s a good example. If you look at the trend on “Christmas tree” and “Christmas decorations,” you’ll see that they have almost the exact same trend. But look at the difference in search volumes in Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. They’re completely different. So let me give you a 30 second walkthrough of the features and then we’ll get into some techniques, tactics, and strategies. Here, you can isolate your data by location or view the data from all over the world. And then there’s a date filter. So in general, the longer you choose the clearer the pattern will be in the graph. Next is “compare,” which lets you gauge the popularity of 2 or more search terms against each other plotted on the same graph. Here, you can isolate data between Google’s different search engines like web search, images, news, shopping, and YouTube search. Then below that are 2 graphs: interest over time and interest by region. Finally, there are two tables below which are related topics and related queries, which we’ll dive into in a bit. Now that you’re a Trends master, let me show you 5 actionable ways that you can extract important data from this absolute beast of a tool. The first method is to identify seasonal trends. And seasonality is so huge that it can put companies out of business. For example, being a farmer without sun and rain is like being an SEO without a computer. So let’s search for “golf clubs” in Trends. Then I’ll set it to the past 5 years to see if there is a recurring pattern between seasons. And as expected, you can see valleys in popularity as we get into the colder months of the year. Now, I’ll add “golf courses” to the graph and you’ll see that it follows nearly the exact same pattern, and appears to be more popular than our first query. Finally, I’ll add one last layer and that would be “indoor golf.” And you’ll see quite the opposite effect. The last term trend slightly upwards in the winter months, which shows you that you can’t generalize a topic, like golf, to only have downturns in the same season. So here are a few things you can do to battle the inevitable seasonal downturns. #1. Focus on promoting your products, services and content that are in-season or not affected by the season. So as a store that sells golf equipment and accessories, you might want to focus on selling things like golf simulators, or tools like indoor training aids which either peak in the winter months or remain stable. #2. Use the interests by region section to laser in on areas to push your paid ads. So, if you look at the 5-year trend for the search term, “golf simulators,” you’ll see that it repeatedly gets more popular in the winter months. Now, if you scroll down to the “interest by subregion” area, you’ll see a heat map of popularity. So rather than targeting the entire United States, you’ll see specific states you can narrow your audiences down to. So, for example, people in Hawaii probably wouldn’t be as interested as people in Minnesota, where it’s much colder and icier. And if you want to get even more targeted, you can narrow this down to the metropolitan areas and even cities. #3. Since your workload should be a bit lighter in the off-season, you can use that time to prepare content for the busier months. For example, looking at the 5-year trend for searches on the query, “workout,” you’ll see that there are mini spikes every January. And it’s because people are making New Year's resolutions to lose weight or to get fit. And then it just continues to decline through the year, which is a bit sad. So rather than releasing your content at random times, you can prepare your content updates and new posts or videos starting one month or so in advance to reach more people when they’re actually searching for it. The next technique is to avoid keyword unicorns. Let’s look at Google Keyword Planner’s monthly search volume for the keyword “fidget spinner." If you were to stick with the old way of doing keyword research and look at just the search volume, you'd think that you found yourself a unicorn of a keyword. But when you compare that with Google Trends, you would quickly discover that the unicorn has officially slid down the mountain and flatlined to nothing. And if we look at the keyword metrics in Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, you’ll see the same trend as well as the average monthly search volume. So bottomline? If you see trends that appear to be completely dead or flatlining at the bottom, you may want to consider avoiding them and take search volume with a grain of salt since they are rounded annual averages. Also, seeing as we’re looking at the last 5-year trend, which includes its most popular time, we can exclude the spike to get a decent idea of where it is today. So I’ll set it to the past 12 months, and you can see right away that the decline of the fidget spinner continues. And this is a very important step to take because if you were to just look at the 30 day trend, you might think that the topic was still popular. The next technique is to find related keywords to find new keyword ideas. Now, if you look at the trend for “protein powder” and then you scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll see related topics and related queries. The “Related Topics” box represents topics that users also searched for. So, you can see that people who search for “protein powder” are also interested in topics like “ketogenic diet.” By default, it’s set to “Rising,” which shows you related topics with the biggest increase in search frequency since the last time period. But you can set it to “top” which shows you another relative scale scored up to one-hundred. On the other side are related queries that users searching for your target term also searched for. And you can change this to top or rising too. This should give you a broader look into your topic at hand. So you’ll see a lot of people are looking for the “best” protein powder, others are searching specifically for whey, and some are looking for vegan, and so on and so forth. These keywords should give you a better idea of a searcher’s intent or next intent so that you can serve them the best you possibly can. Another effective way to use this is to type in the name of a brand or a company. Now, if we look at the Trend for “Hubspot,” then I’ll scroll to the bottom of the page. Next, I’ll change the filter to “Top,” and then I’ll scroll through these pages until I find a competitor’s name. And you’ll see here that one of their competitors is Salesforce. Now, I’ll take this over to Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer and type in a couple queries like "hubspot vs salesforce" and "salesforce vs hubspot" and run the search. Next, I’ll go to the metrics tab. There are a couple of things you’ll probably notice. First, there is little to no competition since both of these terms have a keyword difficulty score of zero, making it potentially a very low competition keyword that you can go after. Next, you'll see that cumulatively, the search volume is around 950 searches per month. And the clicks data shows that there are more clicks that happen on the search results page than the corresponding number of searches. And the reason is likely because people want to read multiple reviews before they decide on which one to buy. So even if you don’t rank in the top 3 of Google, you can still attract some decent traffic. So whether you’re an affiliate marketer or a part of one of these companies, you can create “versus pages” to gain a decent amount of easy and free traffic. The next strategy is one of my favorites and applies more to established brands for global SEO. This technique allows you to understand which cities and subregions need your products and services. We already discussed ad targeting using the interest by region, but there’s more you can do with this. So, first, I’ll type in a brand name like ActiveCampaign. Then, I’ll change the location settings to “Worldwide.” And you’ll see that their branded query has been pretty stable over the past 12 months. If I scroll down to the Interest by region, you’ll see that some of the top countries searching for them are in the Netherlands and Hungary. This can be a good signal for them to translate their pages into these countries’ native languages and use the "hreflang" tag. But the coolest part of this feature is if we add a competitor to the mix, you’ll see something completely different. So I’ll add Aweber to compare these stats. Scrolling down to the regional data, you can see the market share of searches broken down by country. And as we go deeper through the list, you’ll see countries like the United States, where Aweber seems to own more of the search market. This information will give you a better idea of where you might need to focus your marketing efforts so that you can slowly pick away at the countries where your brand may not have the strongest presence yet. From here, you can click on the country name to investigate further, and get more accurate regional data. So rather than targeting the US as a whole nation, you can target specific areas. The final technique that I have is to use Google Trends to select your YouTube topics. Now, just because searches on Google are trending upwards or are stable, it doesn’t mean that YouTube follows the same pattern. Check out the Google web searches for “HTML Tutorial.” A consistent decline, right? Now, look at YouTube. There’s a consistent incline, then a sudden drop off and it looks like it’s stabilizing now. So let’s say that you’re a musician and you cover famous artists’ songs. So rather than covering any old song, you can use the trend to find out whether you’re creating content at an optimal time, or if it might be too late. For example, if we look up Ed Sheeran’s song, “Thinking out Loud,” you’ll see the typical “new release” kind of trend. Super popular... then fades. I’m not saying that you won’t get any traffic if you create content after it's faded, but by this time, it’s probably too late to jump on the trending wagon to get real viral action. But let’s compare his more recent song, “Shape of You.” You’ll see two things: First, his new song has been quite a bit more popular when comparing peaks. And second, it’s on the decline, but perhaps, it’s not too late to get a little bit of traction, since we know that the decline tends to slow down from here. These are the kinds of trends you can look for as a musician, and if you’re able to get in before the peaks or during the peaks, the higher the chance you’ll be able to ride the wave. Now, Google Trends is absolutely monstrous and one of my favorite tools simply because it’s only limited by your creativity. So, when you’re making marketing decisions or choosing topics to create content on, you need the history of the topic to get an idea of where it’s going. And this can be the difference between an absolute hit versus a complete flop. So use Google trends in combination with a keyword research tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer to make sure that you have a full scope of the topic before you create it. This will help you create a more predictable system in your content choices and lead you to greater success. If you enjoyed this video, like, share, and subscribe to our channel for more actionable SEO and marketing tutorials. And hey, if I missed a feature, combination, or hack that you absolutely love, leave a comment and share it with the rest of us here in the Ahrefs community. So keep grinding away, get results, and I’ll see you in the next tutorial.