‘Practical Techie:’ Looking deep into the webbie mind

Written by  //  December 17, 2013  //  Biz Views  //  No comments

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Author Rafael Matos is professor of multimedia at a private university and director of the Caribbean Multimedia Center, a nonprofit media lab focusing on closing the digital divide. Questions should be sent to cccrafael@gmail.com.

Author Rafael Matos is professor of multimedia at a private university and director of the Caribbean Multimedia Center, a nonprofit media lab focusing on closing the digital divide. Questions should be sent to cccrafael@gmail.com.

We have to be frank about it. Web marketing is not a cinch.

As the Internet expands and is populated by more and more users, as digital tools become ever more sophisticated and multi-purpose, the drive to get the business message out into the vastness of cyberspace — in an adequate fashion — is no easy task.

The Internet playbook becomes ever more sophisticated. Nuanced almost to a less practical degree. Marketers must deal with all sorts of cybernetic options including social media strategies, networking, new media tactics, social icon identification, optimization, ranking, social marketing, on and on.

Small business marketeers — that is, do it yourselfers — just can’t keep up with the new technologies. Much less the ever growing sophistication of viral market technics, nor the multiple tools that arise on an almost daily basis for branding a company with remarkable success across the immense awareness spectrum of the Web.

Business owners with tight marketing budgets must latch on to the most simple, yet effective tools on hand to do the job as efficiently as possible, without steep investment in time and resources. One such tool is Google Trends, formerly designated as Google Insights. It’s simply designed but not necessarily easy to use. Yet, it is effective.

The way Google Trends works is that it gives the user interesting pieces of data pertinent to any type of business marketing operation. But, the key is not only procuring the data, but knowing how to read and decipher that information to obtain valuable biz feedback.

Getting the right interpretation
As in all Internet technologies, there are pitfalls if the obtained data is not interpreted correctly for your business purposes. Let’s try a few hands on examples of how Google Trends works, to determine if it has any use for you marketing strategy.

Let’s say you own an alcapurria stand in Piñones and want to send out an email blast, or do a social media campaign or a Google Adwords placement, to promote a new fritter type you just designed to differentiate your product from the others in the beach shore marketplace. The dilemma is what advertising words to use to describe the new product, which is a square alcapurria with gourmet fillings.

That’s when Google Trends kicks in. You do a search on what key words related to fritters in an overall sense, and then in a Puerto Rico beach environment are trending most in the Web these days.

In our search, it turned out that overall, the Google search engine had some 83,000 searches for “fritters” in the past month, but mostly about “corn” fritters. In the particular region of Puerto Rico, only 210 searches were made for “fritters.” Chicken fritters had the most count with 230. Other attributes such as “conch,” “potato” or “apple” fritters had only an average of 80 searches per month.

When I threw in the keyword “gourmet” into the fray, I got 240 searches made. Then I gave Google the word “alcapurria,” and got back a whopping 440 searches. The word “square” had only 20 searches, very low in terms of marketing standards; “Piñones” got 40 and “Puerto Rico” got 540.

The key word “travel” got half a million searches last month.

This data tells me that in any ad words campaign I do with Google for my new square alcapurria, I need to use a combination of key words that include the trending concepts in peoples minds for my region of Puerto Rico. The ad must contain in a ranking fashion the words “travel” and “Puerto Rico” as top key elements, then “alcapurria;” somehow throw in “chicken,” “corn” and of course “fritter.” The words “Piñones” and “square” are of lesser importance.

In any social media, email, ad words or a combination of all, I use for my new alcapurria product, I must in some fashion include all these words. This will allow for search engine algorithms to find my product description in the vast expanses of the Web.

In other words, we see now that Google Trends provides data about what terms people have in their minds when entering into the Google search engine to find a certain product, service or merchandise.

If I want to make sure all the expats from Puerto Rico who will travel this Christmas to the island and want to eat some alcapurrias will find information about my new fritter, I must place messages all over the Web with the words discovered by Trends.

Google Trends is much like another tool called Google Analytics but the former provides a visual representation of regional interest on a country’s map. It displays top searches and rising searches in categories that may help with crucial key words.

It’s somewhat like a cybernetic focus group without all the hassle of designing, convoking and setting up one in some secret spot where competitors will not see me.

Google Trends is also a very useful tool to help track over time about the rise and fall of ideas in user’s minds. Take the word “gourmet, for example, that is so trendy and stuck now a days. Not so 10 years ago, maybe less so in five years. Only Google Trends can tell.

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