Google’s updated software, Google Trends for Websites, allows visitors to view the most recent trends for any website instantly.
With the launch of Google Trends for Websites, anybody with a Google account can now track visitor numbers on almost any website with sufficient traffic and compare that site with up to four others. But that’s not all it can do, Google Trends also provides data about which countries visitors came from, what other websites were looked at, and also what other search terms were used.
Let’s take a look at how this all works. To start go to the Google Trends for Websites page and enter in up to 5 websites that you want to compare. You can also choose to only enter a single website if you do not want a comparison. Please note that Google only provides trends for websites with a certain base level of traffic. If you are unable to find a website it may be because that website falls below the minimum visitor requirement.
With websites entered, Google will return two types of results, a graph and other search information. Here are my results when comparing my three favorite social networks:
As you can see, the graph shows visitor trends quarterly for all three sites. You can change the time period as well as the region that you want to measure for on the upper right side of the results above the graph. Also, by logging in to your Google account you can get actual visitor counts on the vertical axis of the graph.
The information below the graph can help further your research by providing some interesting insights into visitor behavior. Looking at the “also visited” data allows you to see the sites that were visited in addition to the ones you are comparing data on. The “also searched for” section allows you to see what users were searching for around the time they found your selected website.
Let’s look at the example above. According to the chart Facebook is now the most popular social network and it is especially popular in the U.S. We can also see that visitors are most likely to visit other social networking sites like rockyou.com and add-on sites like flixster.com before or after visiting one of the three sites we are looking at. Finally we can see that many of Facebook’s visitors are searching for movies and weather as evidenced by searches for “imdb” and “bbc weather. “ Given this information, I might want to create an add-on to Facebook that focuses on the weather patterns seen in Hollywood movies. On second thought, maybe that idea won’t work, but we still have some great info on social network visitors.
If Movie-Weather-On-Facebook.com is not enough to get you excited, let’s take a look at some of the other cool ways you can use website trends.
- Link Exchanges – Locate related sites to exchange links with by looking at “also visited” links for industry hotspots
- Competitive Research – Look at your own website to see what other companies share your “also visited” traffic. Some of these sites are likely your top competitors.
- Keyword Research – Find the search terms that your visitors “also searched” to select the best keywords to target
- Discover Services – Find the best products and services by looking at competitors. If you are looking at a book on Amazon but wondering what else is out there enter amazon.com into Google Trends and it will spit out an “also visited” list with barnesandnoble.com, target.com, and other retailers.
- Track Progress – Set certain traffic goals for your website and measure them monthly versus other sites in your industry.
Now that you know what Google Trends for Websites is all about, check it out for yourself and compare different sites to your heart’s content.
RSS Ray is a certified Google Advertising Professional who can help you with your online marketing efforts. Contact RSS Ray today to see what we can do for you.