Google Insights


As a small business owner you never have enough money and time. To help you increase your cash flow and decrease the amount of time you spend researching keywords; I’d like to introduce you to a new tool for your online advertising utility belt.

Google Insights for Search, is a research tool dedicated to providing “search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties…” to it’s users.

In combination with Google AdWords and Analytics, Insights provides you with even more detailed location research specifically related to your keywords.

If you’re new to Keyword Research I’d recommend reading  Keyword Research – Google AdWords & Keyword Research Tool before you begin.

How to – Use Google Insights Tool for Keyword Research:

Part 1 – Setting Up Insights
Part 2 – Interest Over Time Graph
Part 3 – Forecasting Graph
Part 4 – Regional Interest -Subregion
Part 5 – Regional Interest -Metro
Part 6 – Regional Interest -City
Part 7 – Top Searches & Rising Searches
Part 8 – Conclusion


Part 1 – Setting Up Insights

In my experience using Google Insights I’ve rarely used the “Locations” & “Time Ranges” settings in the “Compare by” box – the filters offer the same settings which is what I use.

I start by choosing “Compare by – Search terms”.


A: “Compare by”:

  1. Search terms (BROAD, “PHRASE, and OR (by using a “plus” “+” to separate the keywords).
    1. For some reason [EXACT] keywords did not work even though the are listed in the example (they match BROAD – Google bug perhaps)
  2. Locations
    1. Worldwide
    2. Sub-region
    3. Metro
    4. City
  1. Time Ranges
    1. 2004 to Present
    2. Year by Year
    3. Year-To-Date
    4. Specific date range


B: “Search terms”:

  • Enter in keywords you believe your customers are using to search for your services/products.
  • I’ve entered in
    • BROAD KEYWORD: red wine
    • “PHRASE” KEYWORD: “red wine”
    • [EXACT] KEYWORD: [red wine]
      • EXACT KEYWORD does not work in Google Insights – disregard.


C: “Filter”:

  • Here you can select a filter for:
    • Web Search – (I keep it on this setting)
    • Image Search
    • News Search
    • Product Search
  • Location
    • Country
    • All Sub-regions
    • All Metros
  • Time Ranges
    • All-time
    • Year by Year
    • Year-To-Date
    • Specific date range
  • Categories
    • Pretty much every industry related category with subcategories – a few for example
      • Arts & Humanities
      • Automotive
      • Personal Care
      • etc.

Press the “search” button or ENTER/RETURN after your keywords are entered.

Part 2 – Interest over time Graph


  • The graph represents the number of Google searches for your chosen keyword over a set period of time (ex. last 12 months)
  • As you can see, BROAD: red wine & PHRASE: “red wine” have remained steady over the past year except in Nov & Dec ’10 when people searching for red wine spiked.
  • On the Y-Axis the 0-100 values are arbitrary numbers, used only to give a value of comparison.

TIP: Visually seeing a graphical representation of your chosen keyword, you can set your AdWords campaign to “turn on” during certain times of the year when your keyword(s) have shown growth or you can “slow down” your AdWords campaigns when it becomes obvious that customers are not searcher for your keyword, possibly due to season.


Part 3 – Forecasting Graph

Let’s say, instead of selecting “Last 12 months” you select “2004 – present” in the “filter – time ranges” (Part 1). The data below shows ALL the data Google has collected since 2004 in relation to your keyword.


  • This is my favorite part about Google Insights: the ability to “see” into the future and guesstimate whether or not you want to continue using your selected keyword.
  • As you see here and using data from our first graph; every year during Nov/Dec online searches for red wine increase – How about that? *hint *hint*


Part 4 – Regional Interest – Subregion Graph


  • Regional interest on the left features a drop-down menu with the keywords you entered before.
  • When selected, each keyword presents its own variables and compares them against the other keywords you have chosen.
  • In this example, under “Regional interest” the BROAD keyword: red wine has a very high regional interest in Delaware & Washington compared to PHRASE keyword: “red wine”.
  • The map on the right represents the “Search Volume Index” of your keyword and visually darkens the States of high interest (0-100).
  • As you can see, DE & WA are both the darkest states indicating a high “search volume index” – (Lots of people are interested in red wine compared to other parts of the U.S.)
  • Right below the blue 0-100 is a “View change over time” – clicking this plays a short video of the search change over time.


Part 5 – Regional interest – Metro Graph


  • Instead of clicking “sub-region” like the example above, we click “Metro” in the right corner.
  • Compounding our data by “Metro” areas helps us get even more specific for our keyword advertising.
  • As you can see, we also have changed the keyword in the drop-down box to PHRASE keyword: “red wine”, you can switch back and forth to see which keyword match type (BROAD or PHRASE) is more valuable.

Part 6 – Regional Interest – City Graph


  • If we click “City”, we are presented with a list of the top cities for our keyword search.
  • Suddenly, San Francisco is a top city whereas before it was not shown at all.
  • In this example, our keyword match type is BROAD – remember, [EXACT] match type does not work here.

Part 7 – “Top Searches and Rising Searches”


  • The “Search terms” drop down box lists all of our keywords we entered in earlier.
  • “Top searches” provides us with relevant keywords other users are typing in to Google in relation to our keyword.
  • “Rising searches” is similar to “Top searches” in that it is also directly related to your initial keywords.
  • These two categories are 2 great places to find additional keywords for your list.


Part 8 – Conclusion

Being able to segment and categorize clusters of people, you can narrow down your target market and improve your overall AdWords campaigns; thus saving/making you money (lower CPC/CPM & higher ad position) and decreasing the amount of time you spend working on your AdWords campaign since you don’t have to think of creative ads for entire populations and Insights offers you keyword suggestions you may not have thought of.

When I started researching keywords for AdWords campaigns I often thought to myself, “how do I know people in other states are searching for the same terms”? For the longest time, I didn’t know the answer to that question until one day by sheer chance I stumbled upon Google Insights. I’m pretty sure I spent the rest of the day playing with it. Simply it’s another tool to help you choose relevant keywords to your product/service you are advertising. Being able to know that people in the mid-west search for a product different from say a searcher in California is valuable information. It allows an advertiser to customize an advertising campaign geared specifically towards a certain group of people rather than having one campaign for a whole audience.

Google Insights is a valuable tool to have at your disposable when creating a keyword campaign. As a small business owner, how many of you would like to save/make money and decrease your time doing it – here is a tool to help you get on the right path…”

5 thoughts on “Google Insights

    1. Johna106

      I appreciate, cause I found just what I was looking for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye cadgkbbdeeda

  1. today keyword research

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS.
    I don’t understand why I can’t subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting similar RSS issues?
    Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond?


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