An often overlooked feature in Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner is the ability to compare date ranges for keyword searches. This functionality is useful to help identify keyword trends over time for the areas your business serves (whether a local or national business).
By default, Google shows the average amount of searches for a keyword over the last 12 months. Because many thousands of businesses and products are cyclical in nature (like holiday shopping-type keywords), it is best to view the average as a whole as opposed to just the last quarter or six months alone.
The Date Range option in Keyword Planner is pretty flexible. You can look up just the last month of searches, the last quarter or six months and also compare different date ranges. At Webolutions, we compare the average searches for the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months before that. With this setting, we are able to see how the keyword search trends have performed over the last two years.
When we perform keyword research for a website, we target very closely related/synonymous keywords to the same page, so we don’t confuse the search engines or create unnecessary competition among the site. For example, the keywords “personal injury attorney Denver” and “Denver personal injury lawyer” would be targeting the same “Denver Personal Injury Lawyer/Attorney” page, there wouldn’t be a separate page targeting “personal injury lawyer” and “personal injury attorney.”
Taking Date Range Analysis to the Next Level
Once the group of keywords has been assigned or targeted to specific pages, here’s where the magic really comes in. Using Excel formulas, you can find out the average search trends for the entire keyword group over time, not just individually.
To illustrate, let’s say there are 20 keywords targeting a specific page on a site, like the personal injury attorney example above. Twelve of those keywords may be trending upward (searched more last year compared to the year before), four may be trending downward, while four may remain relatively consistent over the last two years.
Once all of those keywords’ percentage change figures have been added into Excel, we can use a formula to get the average % change figures for different keyword groups and compare them to one another. Let’s say a personal injury attorney in Denver also has a page targeting Car Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Slip and Fall Accidents, Dog Bites, etc. It would be really useful to see which keyword groups are trending up and down in the city of Denver, state of Colorado and the United States.
It’s important to understand how people are searching for your business online. If you’re a local business in Denver, it would be useful to see search volume figures for Denver, Colorado and United States. If you are a national company and don’t just sell locally, then seeing search figures for the United States and the entire world would be helpful, as you can identify how much search demand is strictly U.S.-only vs. the rest of the world.
Keyword searches that have demand for your business are still very important to optimize for and try to rank well on the search engines. The Date Range feature in Keyword Planner and additional analysis will allow you to identify which areas of the site to focus on the most, while the pages (keyword groups) that are trending downward, should receive slightly less emphasis than the keyword groups that are trending upward.
How To Use This Information
Staying abreast of keyword search fluctuations over time is important for your business, as it directly impacts the amount of searches that could lead visitors to your site. If you would like Webolutions to perform an updated keyword research project for your site or any other Internet marketing initiatives, contact us online or call 303-300-2640.
What ways can a more in-depth keyword analysis impact your website?