Online trend tracking — it’s the key to getting your brand content seen by thousands, or even tens of thousands, of Internet users in just one day. Without an audience, the most game-changing technology will go unnoticed, and the most convincing sales copy will never fulfill its purpose.
Search engine optimization plays a very important role in online trending, but SEO only goes so far if you don’t know how to track word-chain trends. Word-chain trends are those keywords that go further than surface level SEO and vastly improve your chances of finding an audience.
Let’s say you have a product to sell or, more importantly, a brand to sell. We’ll say the product is a type of software that helps you keep track of multiple banking platforms in one place. To attract people to the software, you need to make sure they can find you online. So you need to put your sales copy out there, and make sure you use the phrasing that your potential customers are using as well. The question is, how do you know which words to use to draw in your audience?
The Answer: Bottlenose
Bottlenose is a trend intelligence program that helps you literally track any word or phrase that is trending online. Using social media, the Bottlenose program keeps track of trending words and phrases, as well as related words, in real time. Not only can you see a list of trending articles and news reports, but also real-time Twitter feeds that relate to your search. Once you register an account, you can set it up to constantly track certain keywords so that you can follow their performance over time. Constant tracking will also show you new trending words that work with your original key phrases so that you can continually remarket your existing copy.
What do you do with this information? You play with it. Let’s take our software example again, and see which words might get the most attention. First, you would probably try something like “banking software,” which shows up on Bottlenose as something specifically used by banks. Dead end there, so try again. How about “banking app?” This time, Bottlenose shows plenty of trending words to link with your phrase, such as “Internet banking” and “mobile banking.” Even better, you can see which word chains are moving up in the ranks and which are moving down.
The program tells you that the words “banking app software” have been mentioned 107 times in the past seven days, which is a good start.
So what next?
Work Your Title, Work Those Keywords
The title of your article, your piece of sales copy, your press release, or whatever you are putting out into the Internet world for people to find, is way more important than you may realize. The importance is different than the old English class requirement that your title simply makes sense; when you want your content to hit a trending online wave, the title needs to conform to specific values that can take some of the creativity out of the process. Never fear, however, because there is plenty of room to be more creative about your content once you have already gone viral.
Let’s say that your multi-platform banking software is called “MyMoney,” but nobody has heard of it yet. Don’t start the title with “MyMoney!” Use the trending words you found on Bottlenose (banking app software) and start your title with them. This can be a little self-deflating, but trust the process. Using the trending phrase at the beginning of your content title will absolutely make the difference between several hundreds or several thousands of viewers when your piece is published.
Trending is all about humbling yourself before the gods of Google, and asking them to make your content a star. As a brand, and simultaneously as an online publisher, you need to consider the process of humbling yourself to Google and take it very seriously. The best way to do this is to use Google’s favorite words and put together high-quality content for its engines.
The keywords you choose to work with should not only be used right at the beginning of your title, but also in your topic sentence, the middle of your article, and again at the end. It’s also important that your content be longer rather than shorter — try for at least 500 words, and if you can easily add more, do it! Why? This shows Google that you are serious about the topic and trying to really inform your readers. It also shows that you are not just overusing your SEO words in hopes that the search engines will respond. Google is a very smart search engine, and when you try to trick it, it won’t be your friend. Several years ago, people tried to overload their online content with keywords to lure in Google viewers, but the programmers outsmarted them.
Rule no. 1 for catching trends: don’t anger Google!
A Little Bit about Google News Layers
Google News is one of the most important websites in your repertoire. Here, press releases and news articles will either make it big or be passed over; when you’re trying to crest a trend-wave, you want to see your published online content pop up in one of the Google News layers.
What are layers, you ask?
Layers are the structures upon which the entire Google News entity is built. When you log on to the primary Google News page, the layers are listed along the edge of the window; first, you see the Top Stories, which is the first layer. The second layer is comprised of eight categories: World, U.S. (or your local country), Business, Technology, Entertainment, Science, Sports, and Health.
The topics listed under layer two categories are the third layer, and photos representing further news stories are the fourth layer. What does this mean, exactly? It means that the larger the layer your press release lands in, the more important Google believes it is. Don’t worry, it isn’t really that complicated. As far as Google News is concerned, all top news stories can be categorized according to one of the eight second-layer topics (World, U.S., etc.). When you use your Bottlenose expertise to find the right keywords and use them throughout your article, Google News still needs a little help to find your content right away. Category marking is the final step to get your content seen at the top layers of Google News.
When your content is first published under a trending topic, Google will notice it and help it along by linking it on the News and normal search pages. After that, the Google ranking of your article depends on the popularity of your title and how many people bother to click it. Just another reason to triple-think your title!
Categorizing: It’s the New Tagging
When blogging began, tagging was an important part of getting your content seen. Writing “software,” “banking,” or “new app” would have been the key to getting your press release into the right category. Now? Stay away from tagging. Google no longer likes this method, so don’t bother with it. Instead, you need to focus on your keywords and make sure that your publisher — if it isn’t you — released your content under the relevant category.
Another note about categories: less is more. In the case of your new software, select “Technology” and leave it at that. Don’t try to overload the search engine — it’s another one of those tricky things that Google won’t appreciate.
Still trying to hone in on the perfect keyword chain to market your brand? Check Google Trends and see what’s out there. Google Trends is the perfect place to start looking for trends before you are ready to start marketing your brand. Here, not only can you track the popularity of single words and word chains, but you can also see a comprehensive list of the most popular topics of the day.
With some research, both on Bottlenose and Google Trends, you can give your emerging brand an edge over the competition. Check long-lasting trends in social media that pertain to your industry; this will help you to better understand the values of potential customers. When you are ready to start an aggressive brand marketing campaign, pay closer attention to the short-term trends before publishing a press release or launching your website. This will ensure that your readership is high on your launch date, and that you have put in the necessary work to establish an attractive brand character.
The bottom line of trending is this: follow the rules of Google and publish high-quality content. Continue to follow industry trends regularly to keep your brand on top.