Trending tools are becoming increasingly used by bloggers and content publishers to monitor the popularity of certain keywords and to also see what terms or searches are generally 'hot'.
With the likes of Google and Twitter both providing the means for finding out what the mostly common searches and mentions are, there's a great opportunity for using this data to increase footfall to your own blog or content website.
In this article I'll explain a little about the different trending tools available to you and how you can use these to your advantage.
With Google Trends
, you can view the interest in the keywords and topics you specify. Simply enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched for on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most.
You can use this tool to help you decide on the content you write (timely content means more visitors) and the keywords you include within that content.
The data returned by Google Trends is scaled to the average search traffic for your term (represented as 1.0) during the time period you’ve selected. Let’s suppose that you notice a spike in the graph to 3.5; this spike means that traffic is 3.5 times the average for the time period you are viewing.
As well as the display of the most popular terms on the Twitter homepage, Twitter’s open API means that developers can utilize the data to show popular tweets, terms, and URLs. You can also compare and track trends over time and find out what’s hot or newsworthy.
Say for example you were writing a post or article on 'subscription websites'. You can easily search to see if this topic is increasing in popularity, or indeed is hot and a top trending topic. It's wise to repeat your search with variations of a topic e.g. 'membership websites' and also keywords that relate to that topic, e.g. 'paywalls' or 'content monetization'.
Here are my favourite online tools for viewing Twitter trends:
is a great utility for getting graph-based Twitter stats on any topic. Simply search for a term to generate a line graph that can be manipulated by day, week, month, 90 days and 180 days.
For each time period viewed, Trendistic breaks the displayed data down hour-by-hour, so you can see accurately see spikes and falls. Very handy.
Now this is innovative! PicFog
searches the Twitter photo upload sites, such as TweetPhoto, TwitPic and yfrog, and shows trending topics that have accompanying photos.
The site is especially popular with journalists looking for real-time images of breaking news events.
Use trending tools wisely, to search for popular topics and keywords that, when you write about them, fit your niche.
There is no point in writing a post or article that does not relate to the rest of the content on your blog or website. You may end up with a traffic spike, but you will also get a high bounce rate, where visitors read that one article only, before leaving your site. A waste of time and bandwidth!
If used correctly however, you should be able to write posts or articles that are both targeted and 'of the moment'. Good luck!