How Google trends can help you to anticipate what to publish as an intuitive leader

By Jim James,

Founder EASTWEST PR and Host of the SPEAK|pr podcast

The Progress Shed ActionCOACH held a webinar with engagement coach and Engage and Grow founder Richard Maloney, and he shared four quadrants people find themselves in right now as people leading organisations. He said that on one axis, people either view coronavirus as the end of the world or as an opportunity to reset for growth. Across the horizontal axis, people either have no time, limited time, or infinite time. In the bottom left quadrant are people who feel lost and need to be rescued. In the top left are people who are fighters but need to be helped. In the bottom right are people who are victims and feel as if it is the end of the world, but are without a sense of urgency, and yet needed to be served in some way. Lastly, those in the top right quadrant see COVID as being a time to reset for growth and see themselves as having infinite time. In other words, they see themselves as getting reconnected with their core purpose and core values – those people are leaders.

This leads to a terminology that entrepreneurs can give to the three stakeholder groups: employees, partners, and customers. As previously mentioned, in the Edelman Trust Barometer, over 70% of employees currently feel as though they are ill-advised or not at all advised by their company. Richard also raised this number and how it leads to a lack of engagement, and so a large part an entrepreneur’s job is thinking about how to redefine the business and create engagement and key messaging for the team.

How to maximise Google Trends

Taking Richard Maloney’s comments to heart about looking into the future and being a guided leader, one of the roles is to tidy up the branding and positioning of the company and its leader. When it comes to company domain names, of which there are 400 domain name extensions available, assessment of this can be done using the valuation tool on GoDaddy or another one called STOBot. Most people want to have the “.com,” but actually, Yahoo and Google say it doesn’t really matter what domain name you have; what matters is how that domain name is marketed and what’s on the website. Before purchasing a domain name, it is possible to identify which ones will bring greater value by looking at keyword searches using the Google Keyword Planner or looking at trends. If you are starting a new business or are already running one, you could benefit moving from a “co.uk” to a “.com” if you want to go global.

It is also possible to use Google Trends to see which key terms and keywords are gaining popularity in certain industries such as those across YouTube or Google Shopping. Among those sites, Google Trends will show trends categorised by different subsets of dates or the number of search terms there are for a particular word or phrase. Since there is currently a great need for employee engagement, people should be looking for this term online; however, the search term “employee engagement” only has a fractional amount of search terms compared to “public relations.” 

KeywordPlanner.net is a site used to search a company name, industry, or product to see what the keywords that are being searched for are. This helps companies find words that can be used in online advertising, in headlines for PR press releases, and on social media. The average cost for the word “employee engagement” was $14.98, and the trend for people looking for that term over the last twelve months has not increased. “Internal communications” is only at 14,800 in terms of monthly search volume and cost value. If you had to try to buy the words “internal communications” for your marketing, it would only cost you $4.08 per thousand clicks through to your website, and employee engagement activities are down to 8,000. On one hand, though people aspire to have employee engagement; on the other hand, they are not searching for it online nor buying them as keywords. Actually, this then creates opportunities if you are in that space because there are some people looking, and the real estate is relatively cheap.

Why you should use Google Trends

Google Trends is an interesting platform if you have publicity and a business to build and run, because it helps determine whether there is interest in a particular keyword, whether it is rising or declining, as well as how it compares to similar products. It shows that data from search platforms across search, image search, news search, Google Shopping, and YouTube search is what people are actually looking for, and this can be broken down by region or city. The opportunity for planning PR or what social media may show is that certain trends occur and change by month rather than by season, and there’s also a content refresh that happens. Another survey found that when people look at blog content for a bicycle shop, content was seasonal since people consider buying bikes at certain times of the year, such as in spring or during Christmas when new bikes are being bought as gifts. Thus, a suggestion is to format the website or blog content according to seasonal interest based on what customers are looking for. 

By using a platform like Keyword Planner or Google Trends, one can look at what can be done for the business as well as the desired signals to be sent out via press releases, interviews, and social media activities. With SPEAK|pr, it is a five-stage methodology which includes Storify, Personalise, Engage, Amplify, and Know, and in the Knowing part of the course, this focuses on several different tools, Google Trends being one of them. Comparing Richard Maloney’s webinar about the power of engagement to the Edelman Trust Barometer, there is a mismatch in what is taking place now between what is needed and what people are looking for, which can be seen through Google Trends and the available statistics. This creates an opportunity for any entrepreneur or business owner to look at what people are really talking about and what needs to be done to bridge gap, which is what being an entrepreneur is all about. Fortunately, there are measurement tools out there that can help guide entrepreneurs, whether it be instinct, passion, or data.
This article is based on a transcript from my Podcast SPEAK|pr, you can listen here.

Cover Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

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