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Google Keywords and trends

Google receives more than two trillion search queries a year – so it’s no secret that it knows what’s popular at any given time. For an entrepreneur, digging into Google’s data can guide the way you reach your customers and identify gaps in your industry.

In broad terms, Google Trends uses data from Google Search to display how much a particular phrase is searched.  

The power of this tool lies in its ability to compare trending phrases across categories, location and as a percentage of total volume searched to get a more accurate depiction of the trends. You can also see related queries and related topics that can give you more insight into what the market is looking for and how they word their inquiry on Google. Armed with real information about what your customers are searching for, you can turn your hobby into a thriving business.

Go to to access what’s trending around the world.

When you use Google Trends, search for both broad and specific phrases related to your product. For example, a store owner who offers meal prep may want to research a new product line, offering Indian food. She could search for ‘indian food’ to get an idea of general interest and also specific recipes she has in mind. Narrow search will allow her to gather data for how many people will be searching for those recipes, like ‘aloo gobi’ or ‘butter chicken.’ 

If the graph shows that interest is low for your search terms, demand might also be low — or that could indicate that you have an uphill battle ahead of you in making the market aware that your product even exists.

If you see a huge spike in interest at some point, followed by an equally steep decline and then a steady volume of search interest going forward, this might not be the best business idea. The jump in searches could suggest that this was a fad that flashed by and is unlikely to be a sustainable product to sell.

Cyclical interest where searches periodically rise and fall could indicate your business might deal with high and low seasons. Knowing the peaks and valleys of your product’s interest cycle will allow you to plan how you spend your marketing dollars.


Keyword research is one of the foundations SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Keyword research is the simple art of better understanding what words your potential customers are using to find the products you’re selling, then matching your website and marketing terminology.

Why Keyword Research Is Important

Every time someone does a search, the search engine must decide which handful of results to display from hundreds of thousands and often millions of possible pages.The search engine algorithms determine the best and most relevant matches for every single search. This is why it’s so important to gather real data for what your audience wants and use those keywords on your online properties so that the search engines can match and display your site in the search results to the most relevant keywords searches.

The coveted spot for search engine results is the top position of the first page, using the most relevant search terms in your store is the first step to getting there.

Understanding Keywords

Before you jump into doing keyword research for your online store, there are a few basic terms you’ll come across that are important to know and understand.

These terms include: 

Keywords – A keyword, in the context of search engine optimization, is a particular word or phrase describing the content of a web page or site. Keywords act as shortcuts to sum up the content of a page or site. Keywords are part of a web page’s metadata that helps search engines match a page to an appropriate search query. In your Shopify store, you’ll also utilize your keywords in your product titles, product descriptions, pages and blogs.

Longtail Keywords – Longtail keywords are simply keywords that contain three or more words. Longtail keywords are important because they make up over 70% of online searches according to SEOMoz and also tend to convert better as they catch people further along in the buying cycle. Someone searching for “hair extensions” is likely in the early information gathering stage, however, someone searching for “20 inch brown hair extensions price” is likely further along the buying cycle and much closer to purchasing.

Search Volume (Avg. Monthly Searches) – Search volume is usually measured in average monthly searches. This is the total number of searches each month for each particular search phrase or keyword. When you use search terms with higher search volumes, you increase the potential for you site to rank  high on search engines, receive more traffic and conversion within your store as you reach the right audiences.

Brainstorming Your Initial List:

To begin, you’ll need to brainstorm an initial list of search terms you believe your customers would search for to find your shop and the products you sell. Grab a pen and paper (or a blank document on your computer) and begin making a list of search terms with two word keyword phrases and long-tail keywords of up to four to five words as well.

A great tool to jump start your brainstorming is Übersuggest. Übersuggest scrapes Google for Google suggestion keywords by taking your keyword and adding every letter of the alphabet from A to Z capturing the most frequently searched permutations.

Don’t forget to consider keyword modifiers like “how to” or “where can I” etc. For example, someone may not be looking necessarily for “hair extensions” rather they may be looking for “how to get fuller, longer hair”. 

Keyword Research Using The Google Keyword Planner Tool

Now that you have your initial list of brainstormed keywords, you can use online tools to find related keywords. There are many tools you can use to conduct your keyword research, paid and free, however, one of the most popular tools for conducting keyword research is Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. The Google Keyword Planner Tool allows you to search for keywords to determine how many searches per month are being made for that term, how much competition there is bidding on ads for the term and the related search terms.

Related search terms expose you to other keywords that are similar but may have a greater number of searches, less competition or a combination of both. 

To use the Google Keyword Planner Tool, create a free Google Adwords account which only takes a few minutes to get set up. Once you login to your Adwords account,  select Tools from the menu at the top, and then select Keyword Planner. On the next screen, click Search for new keyword and ad group ideas.

Next, enter the keywords you’ve brainstormed from the previous section. We recommend starting with entering terms one at a time to keep things simple, you can also search a few at a time using commas to separate them.

Two settings you’ll want to pay attention to are Targeting and Customize your search and Keyword options to make sure you’re viewing search information that is relevant to you. For targeting, ensure you refine your search by region and turn on Only show ideas closely related to my search terms under customization options.

On the next screen, it will default to the Ad Group Ideas tab. Change that to the tab labelled Keyword Ideas.

The first column will list the original keyword(s) you searched for as well as closely related keywords. The second column shows you the number of searches being performed each month in the geographic area you specified. The third column is the level of digital advertising competition for each keyword.

Use the Keyword filters on the left side of the screen filter out the ones that would likely be too difficult to compete for and show low and medium competition keywords that you have the potential to see more results from in advertising.

Your final list will provide the basis from which you can take the best terms that describe your site, pages and product offering, keeping in mind the search volume and competition, and record them, ideally in a spreadsheet. For best results, repeat this process with the remainder of brainstormed keywords.

Refining Your List And Checking It Twice

It’s easy to get a little carried away and add in some keywords that were low competition, or high search volume but don’t accurately describe your store and offering. To further refine your list, look at each of your keywords and:

Ask yourself – Is the keyword relevant? If someone searches for that term and lands on an appropriate page on your site, will they find exactly what they are looking for?

Search for the keywords in Google and Bing – You’ve already looked at the competition strength in Google Keyword Planner but those levels represent paid search competition, which doesn’t always translate over to organic search. Understanding which websites already rank for your keyword gives you valuable insight into the competition, and also how hard it will be to rank for the given term. If the top results are for major and well established brands, it’s going to be more difficult to rank highly for an individual keyword.

Will all the keyword information you have gathered, you’ll now want to really boil your list down. To start, you’ll really want to focus on a handful of keywords (5-7) that you’ll use on your homepage,  but it’s a good idea to keep a broader list (15-20) that you can work into the sentences that make up your product descriptions, pages and blogs.

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