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Google Trends is a useful tool for Ecommerce businesses because it lets you see how products, product categories, brands and competitors are trending over time through the world’s largest search engine, Google.
You can search for a single term, or you can compare up to five different terms against each other.
The first thing you might want to do is choose a timeframe. If you want to see a general trend over time, choose a date range of greater than one year so that you can see how seasonality affects your terms, for example Past 5 years is a helpful timeframe for long-term trends.
If you want to see short-term trends, 12 months, 6 months (needs to be custom) or 30 days at the lowest will be suitable. Anything shorter than 30 days and the trends will relate more to the time of day that people tend to be up and searching rather than being helpful to you.
By default, Google Trends is set to Web Search, which shows you general searches for your keyword on Google. As an Ecommerce business however, if you want to use Google Trends to help you make strategic decisions for ecommerce product selections, you will want to switch over to Google Shopping.
In our example, Google Shopping shows very spotty data for shopping queries towards different types of apples. If you sold apples online you may struggle to get consistent search volume for your shopping campaigns.
Better to know now, rather than after you start your online apple-selling ecommerce business!
Drill down to your local region if you don’t plan to ship overseas, but perhaps check against worldwide data as well, as it would be valuable to know if something is trending elsewhere and your country just hasn’t discovered it yet.
The Google Trends graph has a peculiar scale that can confuse people. You will observe the scale is always 25, 50, 75, 100. These numbers are not fixed units of volume. Instead they are relative units. The highest volume term and date for any of the search terms compared always gets “100” on the scale, and then all other numbers are relative to this term. If you want to find absolute volumes, you will need to use another tool such as Google Ads planner or SEMRush.
While it is limited to being a free tool, Google also gives you a list of additional search terms related to the term you are querying.
Ideally you want to find a product category with growth trending up or steady over time so that you don’t have too much seasonal variability in your stock and you are not left holding stock you can’t sell. You want the search volume to be adequate in the area in which you can ship. If you’re comparing brands you don’t want to become the primary supplier of a brand that has gone out of favour with consumers.