Google has recently launched a new service called “Search Insights”. As with most Google services this product is free and very powerful. Search Insights allows you to research the popularity of search terms over time and by region. Region can drill down to the state or even city. Different time periods or regions can also be compared side by side. It should be noted that the traffic numbers and regional demand are all normalised and so if you want to find specific search volume numbers in each region you should use Google’s Keyword Tool.
In the study below I wanted to examine the popularity of “ski” related terms used by Australian users. During this research I used the very powerful Category option. This option allows you to filter the search volumes based on the category the searches fall into. For example in this analysis I have examined “ski” filtered by “Travel” and “Shopping” and you can see below the impact this category filter has on the results.
Firstly lets look at the seasonal performance of Ski Travel related terms in Australia. You can see that I have excluded phrases that include “jet” and “surf” as I’m interested in snow skiing. 2004 and 2005 show the two major seasonal peaks are in January (northern hemisphere) and June (local season). We can also see that the difference between southern hemisphere ski holidays and northern hemisphere holidays has been reducing over the last few years and would indicate that more people are taking holidays to northern hemisphere ski destinations.
Google also provides regional demand within Australia and as you would expect a high percentage of Queensland residents search for Ski Travel terms – there’s not too much snow up there!
The finals set provides a breakdown of the most popular search terms covered by the keyword “ski”. In this case we can see New Zealand, Japan and Canada are the most popular destinations. Rising Terms also provides some insights into recent trends; in this case Yarrawonga’s popularity is on the rise.
If we switch the category to “Shopping” we see a huge seasonal trend peaking in June or July depending on how early the season started in each year. Again 2008 has seen an uplift in relative demand during the northern hemisphere season.
Interestingly the regions with the highest relative demand for Ski Shopping terms are the states with easier access to local Ski slopes. So we see Queensland dropping from the highest rated state to the 4th highest with NSW, VIC and ACT taking the lead.
Again the popular terms provide an insight into the most popular items people are searching for and which phrases have recently increased. North Face features as the top brand. Due to the seasonal nature of “ski” terms we can see many terms classed as both popular and rising stars.
As you can see Google Search Insights not only provides a view of search volumes but also seasonality, long term trends, regional demand and new trends. Search Insights forms a key part of First Rate’s Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing strategies.