Consumer behavior changes rapidly and unpredictably during the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of this, doing keyword research is more important than ever to understanding the latest changes in consumer intent.

Though 100% of SEO experts who are worth understanding how to get insights from Google Search Console and what keyword tools have helped them in the past, traffic, ranking and visibility in search results This is the time to think beyond the search box.

Even one new insight every two weeks can help your company or customers create more relevant content as they navigate the “new normal”.

This means using resources that weren't there before March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, or using additional tools to verify your assumptions.

Here are some places I visit practically every day of the week now and some tools I looked for in the toolbox that I rarely used before dealing with weird things that get restless at night.


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1. Growing retail categories

In May 2020, Think with Google launched an interactive tool called Rising Retail Categories to help us understand:

  • Fast growing retail categories in Google search.
  • The locations where they grow.
  • The related queries.

7 Google Tools for Today's Keyword Research

For example, the top trend categories in the US year over year include:

  • Sprinkler control.
  • Sneezers.
  • Household disinfectants.
  • Neck gaiters.
  • Protective masks.

Or focus on the top trending categories month after month to discover:

  • Food container covers (+ 100%).
  • Colored pencils (+ 100%).
  • Medical equipment (+ 90%).
  • Pencil case (+ 70%).
  • Baby and toddler outerwear (+ 60%).

Then, week after week, tackle the top trending categories and examine:

  • Empty ID cards (+ 40%).
  • Cake and pastry fillings (+ 30%).
  • Playmats & gyms (+ 30%).
  • Table football (+ 30%).
  • Neck gaiters (+ 30%).
  • Blackboards (+ 30%).

If your company or customers make any of these products, this is your opportunity to spot a major trend and become a hero.


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2. Coronavirus search trends

In March 2020, Google launched Coronavirus Search Trends.

From the end of February to the beginning of May there was strong search interest for the coronavirus topic.

Since then, the search interest in coronavirus has fallen under the topic of weather and now roughly corresponds to the search interest in the topic of news, but remains on the topics of sports and music.

7 Google Tools for Today's Keyword Research

3. The US Economy & COVID-19

Recently, Google added a new section to its coronavirus search trends that focuses on the US economy and COVID-19.

How has the coronavirus pandemic affected business searches?

How do they compare now to searches in the past?

Scroll down the page to see search interest for recession since 2004.

7 Google Tools for Today's Keyword Research

Keep scrolling down to see the spikes of search interest in other terms, e.g. B. Unemployment Benefit, Grocery Bank, Grocery Tokens, and Mortgage Forbearance.

Or, check the country's map to find out where debt, bankruptcy, and “can't pay rent” interests are.

4. Shopping insights

Google launched Shopping Insights in October 2015, but I rarely used the tool before the COVID-19 recession, even though it allows you to see how your company or your customers are doing against your competitors and it allows you to track your competing products Category.

It is a lifesaver in these "extremely uncertain" times.

It is now painfully evident that this year's disruptions are making it difficult for retailers to plan for the holidays.

However, Shopping Insights helps them stay up to date on what customers want and follow trends in their category.

How can Google provide this shopping insights?

According to Think with Google, in 63% of shopping scenarios, customers go online to do research before making a purchase decision, whether they are shopping online or in a store.


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With daily searches for 55,000+ products, 45,000+ brands, and nearly 5,000 categories across the US, Shopping Insights helps you better understand customers' online shopping intentions and make better-informed merchandising and marketing decisions across online and offline channels .

For example, the top brands in the Toys & Games category, based on data from July 17 to August 16, 2020, are:

  • LEGO.
  • Hasbro.
  • Mattel.
  • Funko.
  • Hot tires.

So if you're planning on either a small business Saturday or the entire holiday season, you'll know which brands to keep on your shelves.

7 Google Tools for Today's Keyword Research

5. Market Finder

Google launched Market Finder in November 2017, but I've rarely used the tool in the past.


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But now it has become a trailblazer when it comes to helping customers navigate the "new normal".

For example, I work with the Rutgers School of Management and Industrial Relations (SMLR) to generate applications for the Online Professional Masters in Human Resource Management program.

By entering the SMLR URL into Market Finder, I was able to use the key metrics for my selected categories to calculate which regions offer the best growth opportunities.

In the United States, these are California, Texas, and Florida.

This came as a big surprise to Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, as it represents a significant shift from pre-pandemic geographic trends.

7 Google Tools for Today's Keyword Research

6. Google surveys

Google Consumer Surveys started in March 2012. In October 2016, it was renamed Google Surveys.

It has become one of the most important tools in my toolkit for gaining valuable insight into the minds of my customers' target groups.


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If you haven't used it before, Google Surveys is a market research tool that gathers data from survey questions you write.

Web users answer your survey questions to access high quality content on the Google Display Network.

Content publishers, in turn, get paid when their users answer your questions. Google then aggregates and analyzes the answers via a simple online interface.

Yes, I also use search console and keyword tools. But these tell me what people are looking for.

They don't tell me why people are doing these queries.

Because of this, I've used Google Surveys several times to "look around corners or peek over walls," as is often stated in the toy periscope ads.

Only now do Google surveys help me uncover search intent, which is far more valuable.

I have used screening questions a lot to ensure that respondents to a particular survey represent the niche group that my client is targeting, rather than everyone using a search term.


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With Google Surveys, I was able to get answers in days instead of weeks using traditional survey methods.

Oh, and did I mention it's cheap?

No, it's not free, but prices start at $ 0.10 per survey completed, although I typically pay around $ 1.50 per survey completed since I use surveys with 2 to 10 questions aimed at respondents of certain ages, Correct gender or location.

For example, keyword research generally helps me choose a keyword phrase to optimize the title and headline of a landing page.

However, I can use Google Surveys to ensure that the content of this landing page actually takes into account the consumer intent behind the query.

7 Google Tools for Today's Keyword Research

Why is that valuable?

Because you can generate more than just organic search traffic.

SEOs can generate organic search traffic that converts into qualified leads or online sales.


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7. Google Trends

Google Trends was launched in May 2005, making it the oldest tool on this list.

And a lot of SEO pros don't use it that often because it doesn't provide data on organic search volumes.

However, these are not normal times.

Finding insights that can be processed within minutes of a real world event can give SEOs a seat at the table where strategic decisions are made.

For example, I just taught a group of 100+ business people in the United Arab Emirates a course for the New Media Academy (NMA) on “Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy”.

And one of the most recent articles I shared with my NMA class was titled, How People Decide What To Buy Is In The "Chaotic Middle" Of The Buying Journey.

It was written by Alistair Rennie and Jonny Protheroe, both on the Google Consumer Insights team, and it was published in Think with Google last month.


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Rennie and Protheroe used Google Trends to study global search interest for "best" and "cheap" from January 1, 2004 to July 1, 2020.

7 Google Tools for Today's Keyword Research

Well, I don't know about you, but I've never made that particular comparison before.

And I was surprised to see that the global search interest for “the best” has steadily increased over the past 16.5 years, while the global search for “cheap” has steadily declined over the same period.

Oh, and the great 2007-2009 recession didn't affect these trends at all.

This is an insight that will be worth it for the next Zoom meeting of your entire marketing team.

Since your company or your customers are dealing with these "extremely uncertain" times, it is not time to create and optimize new content for "cheap".

Instead, you should create and optimize new content for the best.


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Because that's exactly what your customers are looking for.

While we are facing an unprecedented crisis, it should be remembered that a crisis is both a threat and an opportunity to your business or your customers.

This means that this unprecedented crisis is a threat and an opportunity for you too.

Because of this, it is not time to continue using the same old tools that you learned five, 10, or 15 years ago.

It's time to explore some or all of the alternatives above.

Who knows, they can help your business or customers recover from the COVID-19 recession faster, or they can even help you get back to your next promotion in less time.

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