How to use Internet to Find Hot Trending Topic Ideas Instantly.
Updated: Aug 20
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 Article, I’m going to show you how to use Google Trends to find hot topics that won’t fade over time.
What’s up SEOs? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool thathelps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors, and dominate your niche. And there are two goals for this tutorialand that’s to help you find sizzling hot topic ideas and to teach you how to analyze anykeyword 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’llsee a graph that shows you the popularity of the search term or topic over time. But you need to understand that the numberson the graph do not directly represent search volume. Each data point represents relative popularity. It’s then plotted on this graph on a scalefrom 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 volumesin Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. They’re completely different.
So let me give you a 30 second walkthroughof the features and then we’ll get into some techniques, tactics, and strategies. Here, you can isolate your data by locationor view the data from all over the world. And then there’s a date filter. So in general, the longer you choose the clearerthe pattern will be in the graph. Next is “compare,” which lets you gaugethe popularity of 2 or more search terms against each other plotted on the same graph. Here, you can isolate data between Google’sdifferent search engines like web search, images, news, shopping, and YouTube search. Then below that are 2 graphs: interest overtime and interest by region. Finally, there are two tables below whichare related topics and related queries, which we’ll dive into in a bit. Now that you’re a Trends master, let meshow 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 putcompanies out of business. For example, being a farmer without sun andrain 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 popularityas we get into the colder months of the year.
Now, I’ll add “golf courses” to thegraph and you’ll see that it follows nearly the exact same pattern, and appears to bemore popular than our first query. Finally, I’ll add one last layer and thatwould be “indoor golf.” And you’ll see quite the opposite effect. The last term trend slightly upwards in thewinter months, which shows you that you can’t generalize a topic, like golf, to only havedownturns in the same season. So here are a few things you can do to battlethe inevitable seasonal downturns.
#1. Focus on promoting your products, servicesand content that are in-season or not affected by the season. So as a store that sells golf equipment andaccessories, you might want to focus on selling things like golf simulators, or tools likeindoor training aids which either peak in the winter months or remain stable.
#2. Use the interests by region section to laserin on areas to push your paid ads. So, if you look at the 5-year trend for thesearch term, “golf simulators,” you’ll see that it repeatedly gets more popular inthe winter months. Now, if you scroll down to the “interestby subregion” area, you’ll see a heat map of popularity.
So rather than targeting the entire UnitedStates, you’ll see specific states you can narrow your audiences down to. So, for example, people in Hawaii probablywouldn’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 lighterin the off-season, you can use that time to prepare content for the busier months. For example, looking at the 5-year trend forsearches on the query, “workout,” you’ll see that there are mini spikes every January. And it’s because people are making New Year'sresolutions to lose weight or to get fit. And then it just continues to decline throughthe year, which is a bit sad.
So rather than releasing your content at randomtimes, you can prepare your content updates and new posts or Articles starting one monthor 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 monthlysearch volume for the keyword “fidget spinner." If you were to stick with the old way of doingkeyword research and look at just the search volume, you'd think that you found yourselfa 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 andflatlined 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 completelydead or flatlining at the bottom, you may want to consider avoiding them and take searchvolume with a grain of salt since they are rounded annual averages. Also, seeing as we’re looking at the last5-year trend, which includes its most popular time, we can exclude the spike to get a decentidea of where it is today. So I’ll set it to the past 12 months, andyou can see right away that the decline of the fidget spinner continues. And this is a very important step to takebecause if you were to just look at the 30 day trend, you might think that the topicwas still popular. The next technique is to find related keywordsto find new keyword ideas.
Now, if you look at the trend for “proteinpowder” and then you scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll see related topics and related queries. The “Related Topics” box represents topicsthat 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,” whichshows you related topics with the biggest increase in search frequency since the lasttime period. But you can set it to “top” which showsyou another relative scale scored up to one-hundred. On the other side are related queries thatusers 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 yourtopic at hand.
So you’ll see a lot of people are lookingfor the “best” protein powder, others are searching specifically for whey, and someare looking for vegan, and so on and so forth. These keywords should give you a better ideaof 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 typein 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 oftheir competitors is Salesforce. Now, I’ll take this over to Ahrefs' KeywordsExplorer and type in a couple queries like "hubspot vs salesforce" and "salesforce vshubspot" 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 sinceboth of these terms have a keyword difficulty score of zero, making it potentially a verylow competition keyword that you can go after.
Next, you'll see that cumulatively, the searchvolume is around 950 searches per month. And the clicks data shows that there are moreclicks that happen on the search results page than the corresponding number of searches. And the reason is likely because people wantto 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 marketeror a part of one of these companies, you can create “versus pages” to gain a decentamount of easy and free traffic. The next strategy is one of my favorites andapplies more to established brands for global SEO. This technique allows you to understand whichcities and subregions need your products and services.
We already discussed ad targeting using theinterest by region, but there’s more you can do with this. So, first, I’ll type in a brand name likeActiveCampaign. Then, I’ll change the location settings to “Worldwide.” And you’ll see that their branded queryhas 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 translatetheir pages into these countries’ native languages and use the "hreflang" tag. But the coolest part of this feature is ifwe 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 cansee the market share of searches broken down by country. And as we go deeper through the list, you’llsee countries like the United States, where Aweber seems to own more of the search market.
This information will give you a better ideaof where you might need to focus your marketing efforts so that you can slowly pick away atthe countries where your brand may not have the strongest presence yet. From here, you can click on the country nameto investigate further, and get more accurate regional data. So rather than targeting the US as a wholenation, you can target specific areas. The final technique that I have is to useGoogle Trends to select your YouTube topics. Now, just because searches on Google are trendingupwards 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 suddendrop off and it looks like it’s stabilizing now. So let’s say that you’re a musician andyou cover famous artists’ songs.
So rather than covering any old song, youcan use the trend to find out whether you’re creating content at an optimal time, or ifit might be too late. For example, if we look up Ed Sheeran’ssong, “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 trafficif you create content after it's faded, but by this time, it’s probably too late to jump onthe 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 morepopular 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 tendsto slow down from here.
These are the kinds of trends you can lookfor 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 monstrousand one of my favorite tools simply because it’s only limited by your creativity. So, when you’re making marketing decisionsor choosing topics to create content on, you need the history of the topic to get an ideaof where it’s going. And this can be the difference between anabsolute hit versus a complete flop. So use Google trends in combination with akeyword research tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer to make sure that you have a fullscope of the topic before you create it. This will help you create a more predictablesystem in your content choices and lead you to greater success.
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