Creating a successful ecommerce business will take tens of thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of your time. Before making such a commitment, you want to make sure that you have a high chance of success. You need to do your research and identify the best opportunities first. There are plenty of great tools that can help, but Google Trends is definitely at the top of the list.
How Can You Use Google Trends to Identify Markets?
You need a lot of leads to generate steady sales in ecommerce. Jacqueline Biggs estimates that an ecommerce designer shirt company would need to generate 10,000 leads to earn $30,000 in profit a year. You can’t have a sustainable business if you don’t identify growing market opportunities.
When you want to identify new products to sell, you need to find out how much interest there is in them. This is true whether you are an affiliate marketer, running an Amazon fulfillment store or selling your own products from home.
The first place to start is using the Google Keyword Planner to determine search volume for phrases your target customers would be using. Even if you aren’t relying Google for traffic, this is an important to gauge interest in your product. The Keyword Planner also provides monthly searches for the past year, but I have found that the data isn’t very detailed and it is difficult to notice long-term trends, because they don’t provide charts.
This is where Google Trends come in. You can use Google Trends to identify changes in interest over time. It allows you to look at trend charts for any search phrases. You can filter by country and varying timeframes. The timeframes you can look at are:
Past 4 hours
Past 7 days
Past 30 days
Past 90 days
Past 12 months
Past 5 years
2004 to the present
Here are some tips for ecommerce marketers to get the most out of Google Trends.
Look at Different Keywords for Any Given Niche
A single keyword can usually give you a good approximation of the level of interest in a given niche. For example, one of my old clients wrote an ebook on paleo ice cream. Before he committed to writing it, I wanted to know how much interest there was in the niche. I knew that most people probably weren’t searching for paleo ice cream specifically, but wanted to at least make sure that the paleo diet was still something people were interested in. I plugged the word “paleo cookbook” into the Google Trends tool to see if the industry was stable.
My results showed that the level of interest fluctuated over the past couple of years, but was still about as strong as it ever was. However, I knew that I should use a couple other search terms. I used the search term “paleo diet” and noticed that there was a fairly significant dip in interest after February 2014. Since the Google Keyword Planner showed most people searched for the term “paleo diet”, I realized this was probably a better measure of long-term interest.
Filter By Region
I can’t emphasize this enough. You must filter your results by the regions that you will be marketing in. If you are only selling in the United States, then you want to filter your results for U.S. search results. You don’t care how much interest people in Russia or Brazil have in your vertical.
Look at Different Time Frames
In business school, I read a lot of books on using technical analysis for investing. One thing stuck out – the period of your chart can make a huge difference in your interpretations. If you look at a one-year chart, you will notice very different trends than if you looked at a five-year chart.
It is important to look at charts over different time frames. The duration of those charts depends on whether you are considering promoting a fad or evergreen product. If you are promoting an evergreen product, I would look at trends over the course of 90 days, one year, five years and 2004 to present. If you are promoting fads (such as the people that sold Pokemon Go products on Amazon), it is a good idea to look at charts over periods of one month, 90 days and one year. A week isn’t long enough to see any real trends and most fads aren’t old enough to give you any data over a five year period.
Google Trends is An Awesome Tool for Identifying Ecommerce Trends
As an affiliate marketer and ecommerce consultant and entrepreneur, I don’t promote anything without using Google Trends first. If I am going to commit to building a niche site to promote an Fulfillment by Amazon campaign or a product on Clickbank, I need to know that there will be some interest first. There are a lot of tools out there, but Google Trends is the best hands down.