Performing research into localized keywords has always been difficult. Thankfully, a new tool has been introduced that may make that task far easier. It is the date range tool that is part of the new AdWords Keyword Planner from Google.
Using the Date Range
One of the great features of the new Keyword Planner is the ability to customize your search when examining keyword usage. For example, you can use the targeting option to search by language, location and network settings.
The search can also be customized by date range. What this means is having the ability to see what keywords were popular when. For example, you could search for the keyword “pizza delivery” in the Detroit area. You could then use the date range feature to examine the use of that keyword on a graph with a bar that represents each month for a period beginning in March and ending in December. This could mean discovering that “pizza delivery” was searched for about 100,000 times in July and only about 70,000 times in December.
Forecasting the Future
However, the ability to use the date range feature to mine for information doesn’t end there. Keyword Planner also has the ability to produce forecasts for future months. These forecasts are produced from an algorithm that examines past trends to predict the future. Using this option, you could, for example, predict keyword usage in February while it’s still November. While there is no guarantee that the predicted forecast will come to pass, it can certainly be a useful tool to have.
The Benefits for Local SEO
This ability to examine keywords by both location and time has certain great benefits for local business owners. For example, a gym in Chicago may be trying to decide when to launch a promotion aimed at selling new gym memberships through a discount. If keyword searches for “gym membership” in Chicago are higher in the fall than in the winter, it may be best to launch the promotion during September to maximize its success.
This tool can also allow small business owners to adjust their SEO to changing trends. Using the date range, one can see the actual movement of keyword usage from month to month. Certain keywords may be on a downward trend. At the same time, others may be increasing in frequency from month to month. This may lead to a decision to abandon one keyword in favor of the one gaining steam with Google users.
Things to Watch Out For
Despite the fact this powerful tool can certainly improve local SEO, there are a few dangers you should watch out for. For one, just because a keyword was popular last month, does not mean that trend will continue into the future.
A sudden increase in searches may be the result of outside factors you are not aware of that could actually be temporary. For example, a successful national TV commercial by Pizza Hut could result in a sharp increase in pizza related searches in Detroit during August. All Detroit restaurants that deliver pizza may benefit. However, once the affect of this commercial wears of, the frequency of those searches may take a dive.
Similarly, certain Christmas related keywords that were popular in December 2013 may be completely off the radar during December 2014. Overall, you don’t want to jump to conclusions due to any single increase in keyword searches at any given place in time. In today’s fickle fast paced culture, trends come and go over night. What you want to be looking for are trends that are not anomalies and are significant enough to act on.
Lastly, while this new ability to track keyword trends is very useful, you want to make sure you don’t become too reactionary. Changing your SEO practices too often will likely result in Google punishing your search engine ranking. If Google likes one thing, it’s consistency.