Using Google Trends to Choose Article Keywords

Google Trends is a goldmine for online article writers. As a writer, not only do I need to write compelling content, but I also need to think about using good keywords to help drive Google search engine traffic to the article when it is published.  

Let’s pretend I am going to write an article on computer security. I could consider any of the following titles:

  • 5 Computer Security Tips
  • 5 PC Security Tips
  • 5 Windows Security Tips 

To help me choose the best title for the article, I use Google Trends to see how frequently the keywords and phrases I am considering have been searched for in Google.  Google Trends will show you the average search traffic for the terms you enter in the search box.

Here are the steps to do this:

  • Go to Google trends at http://www.google.com/trends
  • In the search box type: computer, PC, Windows (notice the keywords are separated by a comma) and click “Search Trends”.

The resulting graph shows the frequency your keywords were used in a Google search query. In this example Windows is searched for the most, followed by PC then computer.

Google Trends: compare computer, PC, and Windows

Google Trends: computer, PC, Windows

 I’ll do the same test again, this time using “computer security”, “PC security”, and “Windows security”. In this instance, Windows Security is still the most popular search; however computer security is more popular than PC security.

Google Trends: compare PC security, computer security, and Windows security

Google Trends: computer security, PC security, Windows security

For this article, I would use “5 Windows Security Tips” as the title, provided it was a precise match for the content of the article (remember you have to write for humans first and engines second). For a more general security tips article I would use “5 Computer Security Tips” in the title of the article.

You can also quickly check Google Trends when trying to decide between using a singular or plural form of a word or to see if people search for formal words or its slang variation more often.  For example, “bike” is used more frequently in Google search queries than “bicycle”, and “classified ads” is far more popular in searches than “classified ad.”

You can use Google trends to compare up to five comma-separated keywords or keyword phrases at one time.

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2 responses to “Using Google Trends to Choose Article Keywords

  1. Yes, I am using it to track what is the hottest topic on the web!

  2. I agree, the top trending topics would also be useful to many writers. By the way — great blog. I’ll visit again for tech news.

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