Hey Translators! Do you know where your clients are?
Introducing Google Trends.


Figuring out where your clients actually are can be a life changer, but it`s also a huge challenge. You can’t – or shouldn’t – rely on intuition alone to figure out which investments towards your audience bring the best/fastest results. If you’re not using data to drive that kind of decision, your lack of SEO could jeopardize your goals.

Services such as Google trends function as a great introduction to basic level SEO (the starting work that is done to make sure your website / brand will rank high on google as it can enable you to figure out what types of  translation topics people are searching. Better yet, you can analyze trends and see when people’s interest in specific topics spike as well as WHERE it`s spiking. In this article, we’ll talk a little about how Google Trends works!

An Introduction to Google Trends

Google Trends enables you to see how many people are looking for a specific term over a period of time. More importantly, it shows you this data in direct relation to all the searches it processes. When one term in particular spikes in relation to other searches, Google classifies it as a ‘trend’.

Using Google Trends is simple. You don’t even need to sign up for a Google account to do it. Just visit the Google Trends page and you’ll see which stories are trending at the moment.

If you want to get more specific, you just need to type the keyword you want to research into the search bar at the top of the page. Let’s see what Google Trends has to say on “Translation agency”, for example:


What the graph tells us is that interest in Translation Agencies has held relatively steady over the last 4 years. As you can see, there’s a scale stretching from 0 to 100. In this case, 100 represents the moment in time where the term was at its most popular.

Now let`s see how the search for “Translation Agency” is being spread out through US:


Because of this graph you are able to spot what sections of U.S. That demonstrates more interest in translation agencies and use this information to your advantage. Marketing and branding decisions usually should take other sources of information (we use 9) to achieve a solid decision, but assuming we would only use google trends and google trends could give us all the necessary information, here is a small list of thoughts that could be started from that data as an example:

1- If I`m not trying to compete with agencies maybe I should try to market myself in states that agencies are not the top search.
2- Maybe I should market myself as an agency on states that agencies are the top searchers.
3- Maybe there is a correlation between states that search more for agencies with states that search more for freelancers.
4- Maybe I should market myself when people search less for agencies.
5- Maybe people search less for agencies where the natural demand for translators is lower, so maybe I should not market myself during that period.

You can validate and verify theories and curious thoughts by doing other keyword searches and watching patterns over the time. Of course, as said before, you would need more tools to pinpoint certain conclusions, but Google Trends can definitely help identifying what is hot in a certain part of the world.

Key Features:

  • Stay on top of the latest search trends.
  • Research a keyword’s popularity over time.
  • Explore specific periods of time or regions.
  • Segment your results according to web, image, news, and YouTube searches.
  • Find out about related keywords and topics.

Key Advantages of google trends: 

  • Enable you to make decisions through data instead of only through intuition.
  • Will decrease the amount of lost investment when marketing yourself.
  • Have the potential to increase your gains by tackling the right online market at the right time.
  • Empowers you as a professional with knowledge about your market.

Price: Free

How to Use Google Trends to Help You Come Up With A New Online Strategy.

Using Google Trends is simple, but figuring out how to put the data it shows you to work is more difficult. Let’s talk about one practical way you can use Google Trends to help you come up with new ideas for your future/current website. For example, let`s assume you will start a WordPress blog focusing on Japanese literature reviews and comparisons. This blog is your window to showcase your skills, market yourself and gather potential clients. Also, you are a Japanese to English translator.

Identify Seasonal Trends

Some seasonal trends are self-evident. For example, searches for electronic devices will spike during Black Friday in several countries. However, most translators work either on niche topics or don`t translate more than just one or two languages, which makes it harder to figure out when interest will spike for specific search terms.

If you manage to figure out when interest in a specific topic tends to spike, you can time, for example, related blog posts to release during that window. This increases the odds of your content becoming more popular, which can net you additional conversions (people contacting you).

You’d like to write more content that focuses on sushi because you saw some people writing about it receiving huge reactions, but you’re not sure if it will perform well or be shared well. Let’s see what Google Trends has to say when we look into the term ‘sushi’:


According to the service, interest in sushi holds very consistently for the past week, with repeated ups and downs at almost the same level. If you pay closer attention and hover your mouse over it, you’ll see that are spikes every single day at exactly 5pm. With this information, you might conclude that it’d be best to hold off until around 5 pm to promote more content focusing on sushis. However, the smart move is to verify those trends by expanding the range of our search.

You can also spot that the highest point of trend is in Hawaii, so sharing and writing texts that appeal for the Hawaiian community might be an interesting choice.

But how can writing about sushi help a professional that works with Japanese to English translation get more clients?

Well, let`s search for the terms “Japanese to English Translation” and see what come up:


How interesting! Hawaii is ALSO the state that search more for Japanese to English translators. This means that we have an overlap of interests in that region. A percentage of people who would consume texts about sushi at 5 pm might either be a future client or network your post, through social sharing and word of mouth, to those who will be. That is the social media / blog networking game and how google trends can help you both playing and winning it. Agencies are very aware of that and plan their actions, therefore, that`s one of the reasons they rank higher than translation freelancers.

The more resources you use or hire someone to use the best you will be in the long term. Of course, that’s the best and most precise tools that can, for example, identify how people are actually spending money through key words (showing exactly how they are spending and what are they buying) are not free (some are $800 per month) and require a few years of training to use as well as complementary tools, but google trends is very useful and definitely should be a mandatory stop for translators that want to enter the online world.

Identifying seasonal trends it`s simple and all you need to do is to have a keyword already in mind. If Google Trends tells you now isn’t the right time to write about it, you can always look for related ideas instead.

After using market trends for your online approaches, you will feel results that will show off as well on your reports. In this illustrative graph below of a website owner, for example, it shows that in April more than three times the usual number of conversions was achieved after a post was made following a simple line of trends.


Using Google Trends is simple, but figuring out how to make the most of the information it`s a challenger for each project. We used Japanese to English translators as an example but different approaches can be created for each type of professional. Here are three ways you can use the data to help you create better topic ideas:

  1. Identify seasonal trends.
  2. Check out how keywords perform in specific regions to figure out where to market yourself.
  3. Use related topics and queries to find related translation work.

Do you have any questions about how to use Google Trends to come up with new strategies for your translation work? Comment below your thoughts and suggestions for the next posts!

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