In order to pinpoint and solve your Audience’s Search Behavior problems, you have to figure out where they are occurring. Here’s how trend analysis can assist with search engine optimization (SEO).

The study of trends has always been an important aspect of marketing.

In today’s environment, understanding the fundamental causes of your target audience’s decision-making and how to use them to your advantage is nothing new.

The world is currently in a vast constant state of change, which has an impact on how we navigate it and interact with our search bar.

As search specialists, we must be able to identify these changes, apply them to our strategies, and foresee the long-term effects before they occur.

So, how can you figure out what those changes are, when they occurred, and how to take advantage of them?

The purpose of this article is to answer that question.

We start by looking at trends analysis.

What Does “Trend Analysis” (Audience’s Search Behavior) Mean?

Understanding fluctuations in users’ search interests and identifying emerging landscape search nuances is what trend analysis is all about.

Don’t know where to begin?

To conduct a successful pandemic trend analysis, all you need is:

  • Your mind.
  • An online tool for free.
  • A little initiative is required.

Pre-Quarantine😎 vs. Quarantine Search Interest in the Audience😷

You may have observed that your personal behaviors have changed throughout the pandemic, both offline and online.

You can suppose that your target audience’s usual habits have changed as well.

But how can you be certain?

You must examine the only reliable data available: search volume data.

The best approach to get through this exercise is to concentrate on what matters most to us right now: COVID-19’s impact.

To do so, break out the events that may have an impact on your audience’s search patterns, such as:

  • All industries are subject to quarantine.
  • Travel restrictions Impact the tourism industry.
  • Finance, asset management, and insurance companies are all involved in financial relief activities.
  • Restriction on stay-at-home orders is increasingly being lifted, with regional implications for all industries.
  • Phase two is on the horizon, and it will affect all industries.
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In spite of the fact that there may be more complex impacts and events associated with COVID-19, the list above highlights some of the most significant ones that you can use to predict how your users will act as the second wave of shutdowns approaches.

In shifting landscapes, use trend analysis to your advantage.

That’s where you’ll need to start if you don’t already know your normal search audiences’ interest seasonality.

The purpose is to understand how quarantine affects regular search behavior, thus you’ll need to know the distinction between “usual” and “strange” search.

Check to see Search Audiences & User Intent: SEO’s Secret Weapon and Top 10 Tools for Bulletproof SEO Content Strategies for a refresher on how to detect “normal” search audience interest seasonality.

Once you have your baseline search audience profile, you can begin to determine what has changed and what is regarded as “strange.”

Recognize COVID-19’s impact on search audiences.

With the widespread quarantine in March 2020, COVID-19 is likely to have had the most impact on your search viewers.

As a result, this is the next step in your research.

Google Trends (PS: it’s free!) is always my “go-to” tool for quickly understanding the variances in search interest over time.

Let’s take a look at how users spend their time in quarantine and how their search interests change.

The most straightforward assumption is that your target audience is spending more time at home and looking for activities.

To be sure, let’s look at Google Trends:

After the nationwide lockdown, search interest in “video games” skyrocketed.

Audience's Search Behavior
© Search Engine Journal

This is the highest peak we’ve seen in the last five years, reversing a five-year drop in user search interest.

Audience's Search Behavior
© Search Engine Journal

“Video game consoles” also reached a high point, surpassing Holiday 2019 search interest, and has shown consistent gains in search interest, which appear to be prepared to soar for the 2020 holiday season.

© Search Engine Journal

This quarantine craze isn’t just exclusive to the entertainment business.

Users are adding loungewear to their wardrobes, experimenting in the kitchen (hello, sourdough starts! ), building an outdoor space at home, and even leveling up with more skill-intensive creative activities.

Loungewear: The typical peak occurs each year around the holidays in December, while the year 2020 saw unexpected peaks in March.

Baking: The term “baking” experienced a massive spike in interest at the start of April 2020, which is unusual given that the regular yearly search interest peak occurs over the holiday season.

Outside living: The traditional peak occurs around May when the weather begins to provide the optimum outdoor experience; nevertheless, the peak in 2020 was significantly higher than the steady peaks witnessed over the previous five years.

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Creative expression: There is year-round interest in creative tools, with few “peak” periods of search interest. Users were invested in leveling up their skills during their confinement experience, as evidenced by the significant spike in March 2020.

Taking Trend Insights and Putting Them Into Practice

Now that you understand how quarantine affects your searchers, you can:

  • Respond quickly to their current needs during a disruption.
  • Anticipate the needs that may arise as a result of future disruption.

Trend Insights’ Reactive Action Items

It’s vital to remember that Google Trends interest charts are relevant to the time period picked before diving into the study.

Set the date range to the months during the interruption to ensure your data is compared to the previous period in order to understand growth due to a disruptor, in this example quarantine. This is crucial for evaluating data and deriving actionable insights for your “reactive” action items.

Before moving on to the proactive step, make sure you’ve addressed any existing alterations in user needs.

For example, we know that users were more engaged in gaming at the start of quarantine, exhibiting greater interest in both informational and transactional searches for games and consoles.

Here are the dates I chose to look at the interest in “video games”:

Here, we’ll leverage data from the API’s “related searches” feature to compare interest during the last six months to the preceding six months.

Because Holiday 2019 is included in the comparative period, which is the peak search interest time, this will also highlight video game interests that are outside of our “normal” search interest.

From here, we can look at the “related queries” in the Google trends API to see what those individuals are searching for more frequently in relation to “video games” as a result of the disruptor.

We can also download the data into Excel and look at the “increasing” and “top” inquiries in greater detail.

Google Trends describes each of these terms as follows:

“*Top – The most commonly used search terms. The scoring is based on a relative scale, with 100 being the most often searched query, 50 representing a query that is searched half as frequently as the most popular query, and so on.

“*Rising – Queries that have experienced the greatest increase in search frequency during the previous time period. The number of “Breakout” results increased dramatically, owing to the fact that these queries are fresh and have had few (if any) prior searches.”

Users are looking for video games to interact with their friends and family via video games during quarantine, as well as investigating the overall “best” games to play during this time, according to the connected queries:


RISING

video games coronavirusBreakout
games to play with friends over video callBreakout
games to play over video chatBreakout
upcoming video games 2020Breakout
Video games most played right now3,700%
best video games to play during quarantine1,500%
top video games 20201,050%
popular video games 2020950%
best video games 2020550%
games to play over video call350%
games to play when bored200%

This recommends that video game manufacturers and merchants should provide content and message that emphasizes how video games can help people stay connected while staying safe during quarantine and avoid boredom.

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Trend Insights’ Proactive Action Items

A second round of lockdowns appears to be looming. As a result, you can use what you’ve learned from the first quarantine to help you prepare for this one.

Continuing with the gaming example, customers have a renewed interest in gaming and, based on search interest trends, are also looking into high-level phrases that indicate they want to learn about available possibilities to extend their game collections or console arsenals.

Given that the holiday season is traditionally a high-volume period, we can assume that search interest will be higher than usual, making this an excellent time to acquire new customers.

Moving into the holiday season and the second round of shutdowns, content creation and expansion centered on high-funnel themes like gift guides, best lists, and top quarantine games will likely generate awareness with informational queries and acquire qualified traffic.

Users will be moved deeper down the conversion funnel with a strong internal linking strategy and information architecture.

Summary

Both large and little disruptions occur.

It’s your job as an SEO expert to figure out how to spot them and how to deal with them.

Paying close attention to your users’ search behaviors allows you to respond quickly to changes, seize on opportunities, and predict how this will effect future search patterns so you’re ready when it happens.

Trend analysis can reveal important insights that lead to actionable data-driven recommendations, such as:

  • Addition and creation of content.
  • Identification of keyword targeting opportunities.
  • Optimization and iterations of the meta data.
  • Opportunities for internal linking.
  • Considering the impact of the future in planning the strategy.

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Oware
I am an African from Ghana who loves to read and code. As a result of being on the internet, my life has changed and this blog is about my experience building an online business with free offers and motivating and inspiring others to pursue their dreams.

3 Comments

  1. Hey

    Thanks for sharing such a valuable and helpful article. Its very informative and gave me such a fruit full information and tips as well. Audience is very important part of any online business so to know about their behavior means a lot to create revolution on internet. I totally agree with you that to understand their need and change in behavior must be analyzed time to time for getting a good feedback. I will surely share this post with my friends and family. I appreciate your effort.

    Thanks,
    Ruhee

    • Thank you so much for these wonderful words… I checked your website, it’s amazing you’re doing a great job
      and it’s my pleasure to provide value for you.

      Once again, thank you

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