Yesterday in the newspaper (yes, I still get a newspaper), I was reading an article about the predicted top 10 toys of the 2012 holiday season. Now I’m not one to rush through Thanksgiving, but it got me thinking about hot toys of past holidays like Tickle Me Elmo and Furbys. Wouldn’t it be nice for parents to be able to get a jump start on these trends so they’re not slugging it out on Christmas Eve with other parents for a chance to buy this hot toy?
Whether you run an eCommerce site or just a blog, you’ve probably wondered that same thing; “how do I get a jump start on these trends?” If you look at an innovation curve, over 66% of the population adopt new technology, new products or whatever it may be at about the same time. Once that portion of the population has already adopted the new technology, it usually doesn’t make sense for a business to jump aboard that trend because the population is moving onto the big thing.
How about we use blue widgets as an example. If you could determine that blue widgets are going to be very popular, wouldn’t it be great if you could already be selling, promoting and optimizing your site for blue widgets before that 66% majority of the population was buying them? Maybe more importantly, you would be launching your blue widgets before your competitors would be. Not only would this give you a head start for optimizing your site for “blue widgets”, but also give you time to become the authority on blue widgets.
This was quite a large build up, but Google Trends can help you determine these “up-and-comers”. Google Trends shows how often a search-term is entered today relative to the total search-volume over time. So if you enter a search term into Google Trends with a recent sharp rise in searches, you may have find the next “blue widget”. This is especially true if you use Google Keyword Tools to discover breakout terms that get searched a lot. Try to optimize your site for those keywords early! If you discover a highly searched term that is starting to fade according to Google Trends, your competition has probably already pounced on the term, the majority of the population probably has already adopted it and they are looking to adopt the next big thing. You should be as well.
Want a real world example? Search 2012 Olympics. If you change the date range to show 2012, you can see how gradually the volume of “2012 Olympics” searches grew until peaking in August 2012. If you had a sports related site that you spent time optimizing for “2012 Olympics” related search terms earlier in the year, you would’ve been in great shape. Actually you would still be in great shape with over 11.1 million monthly searches for this term according to Google’s Keyword Tool. For anyone just starting to try to optimize for this keyword, it doesn’t make sense. Not only is the competition going to be stiff, the number of searches for this keyword will continue to decline.
It’s never too late to find the next big thing though! Remember, the name of the game is to stay ahead of your competition!