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CoatIf you take a look at October’s keyword data in isolation, you’d quickly come to the conclusion that [coats] is a hugely popular keyword and no one is searching for [flip flops]. Researching highly seasonal keyword phrases has always been challenging, but with the Google Keyword Tool it’s even more so.

After much peer debate and soul searching, I’ve come to rely on Google Keyword Tool for my keyword research needs. Sure, I check in with Keyword Discovery, but GKT’s has the most representative data set because it pulls directly from the largest search engine’s actual searches. But GKT has a core weakness: seasonality.

The Google Keyword Tool Annualizer developed by Brian Brown at Netconcepts provides a template for annualizing the data so that seasonal phrases can be compared on common ground. Take a look at the Google Keyword Tool Annualizer for instructions and screen grabs to get the right data out of the system, and to download the tool.

Flip FlopLet’s go back to coats & flop flops as an example. Just looking at October’s local data (US English, exact match), I see [coats] at 823,000 searches and [flip flops] at 74,000. But looking at the cute little trend chart GKT offers, you can see that coats are at a seasonal peak and flip flops are at a seasonal valley. But how much? If you sell both coats & flip flops, and you want to know which will be more valuable to optimize over the whole year, the trend chart visual doesn’t provide useful numerical data to make that decision. Pasting the data into the Google Keyword Tool Annualizer shows that [coats] represents 2,485,460 searches annually in Google with October as the peak month, while [flip flops] represents 1,301,727 searches that peak in May and June. Just looking at the trend chart visual and the global monthly search volume for these two terms, I would have guessed they were more evenly matched annually, but [coats] is clearly the larger opportunity.

Now imagine doing this exercise across all the major categories and brands your site carries. You’d know which content to target for optimization based on its annual search opportunity, as well as which seasons to target the optimization to go live (approx. 3 months before the peak month). That’s incredibly powerful. This tool and the data that comes out of it will change the way you create and optimize content. At least, it should.

Photo Credit: Flip Flops at Shoes.com, Coats at AnnTaylor.com

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1 Comment on Are Coats Really Hot & Flip Flops Really Cold? Find out with Google Keyword Tool Annualizer

  1. Scott says:

    Very interesting concept. I like the idea of applying a seasonal index to forecasting search volume. I use a similar method in forecasting traffic for PPC campaigns.

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