One of Google’s many little-known free tools, Google Trends, helps you see both trends and seasonality in your market. Enter a keyword from the Trends homepage, and Google serves up a graph plotting search volume over the last six years.
For instance, take a look at composting, and you’ll see equally strong results for 2008 and 2009, both surpassing the previous three years by a wide margin.
For some search terms, it also plots related news items. For instance, the graph for vegetable garden also shows when the news stories for Michelle Obama Starts White House Vegetable Garden occurred, and the resulting jump in searches for vegetable garden is evident over the following months.
You can also compare results for several search terms. For instance, if you enter both vegetable garden and flower garden, it’s easy to see that flowers have not enjoyed the same boom as vegetables this past year.
Google also delivers information on which geographic areas are strongest for different terms. For vegetable garden, it’s Maine; for flower garden, Washington.
Spend some time with Google Trends, and you may find it a helpful guide to which product categories to focus on, what keywords to optimize for, and when and where to increase your marketing.