Many people will only associate search data with SEO or paid search. It’s true, search data is obviously crucial for any SEO or search advertising campaign, from research and planning through to tracking and analysis. However, search trends and data can provide value in many other business areas too.
Companies are often focused on their current set of products and services. Doing so is clearly important for the everyday running of a business where the goal is driving leads, sign ups or sales through a website.
However, many companies are also focused on long-term growth and how SEO can factor into or play a pivotal role in future successes. Expanding a campaign through alternative search terms is great but how else could search data add value?
Search engines are central to personal and business behaviour. Search data contains many trends and patterns that reveal growing interests, hot topics or popular niches. Search data can help steer company growth by uncovering new customer needs in novel. areas, showing stakeholders where to invest their time and capital. Around 15% of searches everyday are for completely new phrases – this gives an unrivalled view of new challenges or needs that your company could fulfil in the future.
Many businesses go through cycles. For us, January is always a busy time as many clients want to start new projects in the new year. Understanding the demand for your products and services will help you to plan ahead and be ready for peaks and troughs – having extra staff on standby, knowing when to book holidays or even planning promotions are all examples of how this information could be used.
Search data can reveal trends that show seasonality – when are users searching for a product or service, when do these searches spike or are they consistent month to month? While Google Analytics might show spikes in traffic, these results are limited to your rankings. Using search data from sources that give a broader view will provide a clearer picture of the marketplace and should feed into your decision making.
Similar to growth but perhaps a bit more specific. If you’re an ecommerce store, search data can help decide which stock to invest in. For many businesses, holding stock and failing to shift it can cause a lot of headaches. Understanding which products are in high demand (consistent best sellers or what’s hot right now) will help you make better decisions when thinking about stock and cash flow.
Search term reports, impression data or even Merchant Center‘s popular products features will reveal which products are selling well and are highly sought after.
Using search data gives a broader, customer-centric view of the market and ultimately informs better decisions. Understanding what’s happening in the wider world allows companies to be more proactive in seizing opportunities – as opposed to an inward, head down mentality purely focused on a fixed set of products or services.
This data is used heavily during SEO and PPC campaigns. However, this information could have much more value when applied across the whole business – like a giant market research survey with no leading questions!
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO research, or any topics raised in this article, contact us here.