Google Tools for Seasonality Planning

*Updated October 8, 2020

To everything, there is a season. Every industry, every business, and every company has its busy and slow season. Identifying those times for a potential windfall and those times when you need to squirrel away your dollars is the hallmark of any responsible business owner. No matter what business you are in—whether you are a part of an agency or creating your own team—knowing your company’s seasonality can help you make the right decisions at the right time and lead your team into success. We’ve compiled a few Google tools that can help with identifying your industry’s seasonality and what is on the horizon.

Google Shopping Insights Tool

In late 2018, Google released its Google Shopping Insights trends tool. The Shopping Insights Tool is a great tool for e-commerce companies trying to determine the seasonality of brands and products. Not only can the platform tell you what people are searching for specifically, but it can also tell you what search volumes look like during different points, all while comparing between different brands and products. For example, if we make a search for headphones, we can learn what the trending products are within that brand and searches over time. But what’s really cool is that you can look at how that product’s or brand’s search volume performed during specific holidays. Google Shopping Insights is great for stores looking to plan their inventory, see when to put certain products on sale, and much more.

A screen grab from a Google Shopping Insights search for different headphone products during the holidays.

Google Trends

If you have been an avid reader of Online Optimism’s blog over the past 8 years, then you know how much we appreciate Google Trends at our agency. Google Trends is a free, but largely unfamiliar, tool to many business owners. Where the Google Shopping Insights Tool can see specific brands and products and the ways that people are searching for them, Google Trends gives you more depth into specific keywords and what is considered a popular “rising search term.” This is a great way to see how things performed in the past and the way that certain searches are rising in popularity. Google Trends is particularly helpful if you are trying to compare the seasonality of different searches in order to best decide things like your inventory, advertising, and promotional aspects. One of the most helpful features of Google Trends is the ability to do your search term comparisons on various parts of the Google network: Web, Image, Shopping, Video, and News. You can really gauge a full picture of the search experience.

Compare search terms and their popularity to make the best decisions for your content or promotions.

Google Keyword Planner

Much in the same way that Google Trends can show you some of the most popular search terms, Google Keyword Planner can give you suggestions for new keywords as well as the search volume trends, breakdown by platforms, and breakdown by locations. Keyword Planner is a great tool if you are looking for new and different keywords to help optimize content, if you are trying to get keyword information for different areas of the country or world, and if you are trying to determine what kind of budget you need to allocate for your digital advertising.

When looking at the search volume trends, data can trend as far back as two years ago, so you can trust the mine of data that Google is providing to help you lead into future seasons. Once you have selected a few essential keywords to analyze—things you will likely target in your marketing strategy—you can breakdown locations by county or city, depending on the distance of your average customer’s shopping radius as well as a breakdown of the cost, clicks, and impressions by device. The device breakdown in this platform is especially helpful for deciding where your marketing dollars should go or where there is an opportunity for growth.

Take a keyword search and get more segmented information regarding platform and location trends.

Google PERformance Planner

While Google Keyword Planner is essential for understanding previous seasonality trends, the Google Performance Planner is a forecasting tool that can be used to simulate how your campaigns’ performance will change in future seasons. 

Using billions of search query data points from the last 7-10 days, the Performance Planner projects your account’s changes in spend, clicks, conversions, and other metrics customized to your campaign’s goals. It’s “Seasonality Impact” feature will also tell you the traffic levels for campaigns in the same marketplace and advertising in the same location as yours, which gives advertisers the tools to understand how to best prepare for periods of higher or lower search volume from season to season. 

A screen grab showcasing an example of a Google Performance Planner forecast. 

In September, 2020, Google updated the Performance Planner to support shopping campaigns, and in turn, e-commerce advertisers are now able to better plan seasonal-specific campaigns for their products.

Start Using Google Tools Today

All of these tools can help you determine what your marketing strategy should be during your peak and low times. Planning your advertising dollars, changing the device or product inventory, and more is crucial for any business owner or stakeholder to consider when choosing a marketing agency. Instead of waiting to see how low a slowdown can get or being surprised at a strong season, using these free tools can give you a better forecast of what your business and employees will be experiencing.

If you have questions about how to find the best marketing strategy for your industry’s seasons, reach out to Online Optimism via our contact page or give our agency a call at (504)324-0073 to get more information.