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So what I do is punch in my most historically important key-words and phrases to Google trends and look at what has been happening over the last few years.
I find it a good morale booster, you can see the traffic spikes that will be coming, and it spurs me on to update relevant pages and add new content to catch those all important new, related keywords.
I know from my Google analytics data and Google trends that for one of my most important key-phrases, "widget thingamy" there is always a lull in the Spring, a spike in the Summer, another lull in the Autumn, and then a huge spike towards Christmas, so I make sure that particular site is more than ready to catch all those fresh visitors, with the new related widgets and thingamy's. I double check browser compatibility, broken links, and fine tune any ad layout and positioning experiments.
Aspirational goods that I may have trouble getting individual pages ranked for (too much heavy competition) get links on the pages I know I will do well on - and people always click across.
Christmas is coming - are you ready?
So don't embarrass yourself with Brazilians, Australians, and so on with web copy that is too provincial.
I just checked the trend for the word "Christmas" itself and it looks like search volume really tanked last year -- even though the News References maintained the normal pace. Not sure what we can make of that, though.
I was checking something out for a client on google trends and looked up custom widgets, custom otherwordforwidgets. What I saw in trends was that there was a steady but noticable decline for both terms over the last couple of years.
I then went in and tried state names. I saw the same trend pattern there also.
What I'm wondering is: Why would there be less search volume for single terms (ie state names).? I can think of a couple of possiblities
1. Users are getting more sophisticated and using multi search terms.. ie statename sports or statename travel .. However, with the increase in connected users and increases in bandwidth, this doesn't make a lot of sense.
2. People are using search engines other than google. Again, common sense would tend to say that isn't what is happening.
3. Google is counting searched differently. This doesn't make sense because we should then see a kinked curve, not a gradual decline.
4. Maybe Google is really getting better at delivering results and people find what they are looking for with less repeat searches for the same word.
5. Take a look at the trend for sex. That is steady.. Maybe people are just using the internet for pure recreation and not any type of enlightenment.
I guess it's ok to put a sample search here. try new york, california, texas and you will see the trend I'm mentioning..
I dunno... I'd be interested in any theories..
[edited by: tedster at 10:44 pm (utc) on Oct. 6, 2007]
Google Trends aims to provide insights into broad search patterns. Several approximations are used when computing your results. Please keep this in mind when using it.
Although it is true that gradually users are becoming more sophisticated and using longer searches, it's those "approximations" that I suspect.
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Try it with some of the keywords for your sites. Trends may be useful.
On the Christmas subject this is also the time to revisit any affiliate links - surfers will be switching from "browse" to "buy" mode very soon - who is going to get you the best cut? (But I know that belongs in a different forum...)
" I have the same seasonal highs and lows but I'm endeavoring to find something related to that season to increase traffic during the low times. One of my highest months is around thanksgiving due to just one page that has a turkey "widget" on it. "
I'm a big believer in understanding why you're successful (through analysis of what brings visitors to your site) and then trying to build related content which you'll also probably be successful with.
So if you rank highly for searches for say, "digital camera reviews", which peak at xmas, why not create some content for "picture editing" which seems to have strong and consistent growth throughout the year, and it would be reasonable to expect one to follow from the other.
(If you use adsense this can give you great clues to what content Google thinks is related to what you have on your pages that maybe you haven't considered - a series of ads on my main site led to the creation of a whole new sub section which is now doing very nicely.)