Trends are something that can and do make a huge difference to our every day lives. Each year more and more retailers take advantage of trends, to the extent that we now are seeing (and sometimes complaining) about the continual seasonal products stacked on the shelves of supermarkets. For example in early September, John Lewis stores were stocking Halloween items, in early October this was joined by Christmas Gifts.
But the one thing both big name brands like John Lewis and small businesses are failing to latch onto is that trends also effect the online world. Indeed, they arguably are more pronounced online than offline. Oh, and don't be fooled by me talking about retail here, trends effect everything online from offering design services (which to some extent fall in line with the financial year) to charity websites (which are more popular at Christmas in most cases).
Given that trends effect the online as well as offline world, how can we use trends in search engine optimisation terms?
Well there are two or three tools offered by Google, they perform basically the same task and so I won't go through them all. The tool I am going to suggest using is the more basic of the tools but can offer the best results, it's called Google Trends. You simply enter the keyword or key phrase you want to research and find out the trend for. In the case below I searched for "gift ideas".
As you can see there are a series of spikes, representing the height of the trend for that term being searched, appearing on websites and in the news (below). As you may expect the big hit time for this term is late in the year around Christmas. But note there are a few other spikes, you can zoom in on this data and find out when the spikes occur and use them to plan your marketing and SEO strategy. You can from your research grow your strategy around Seasonal Trending. So for example in the low points you could focus on driving your content towards say "gift ideas" (as you may do all year) but then as peak times arrive join it with a PPC campaign or online advertising. You may also opt at times a few weeks before a peak to change url's for that particular part of the trend so instead of "birthday gift ideas" you would change to "Christmas gift ideas" in October or November.
A rule of thumb is you should do this as soon as, if not before, the big shops in real life put out their stock. They've done much more research than you are ever likely too, so use their knowledge to your own advantage to beat them.
In essence the data which you can glimpse, and it is only a glimpse of the data you will really need for larger websites, will be invaluable to you and your company. Using Seasons Trend SEO should be a vital tool for you, your website and also effect your offline marketing strategy. If you are not already using Seasonal Trend SEO, have a play today with Google Trends.