The last thing you want to do is jump head first into a declining market. Google Trends is a really simple and free web application that will allow you to search for keywords related to your chosen product to better understand the trend based on Google searches over time.
Is your product idea trending up, down or is it stagnant? Knowing where the market is going can help you make a more informed decision for your idea.
In the example below, a search for hair extensions showed steady growth from 2004-2011, with a sharp incline in interest followed by a slow decline for the last two years. Would you enter this market at this point?
For example, we are going to build a store that will sell ‘Harry Potter’ products for Harry Potter fans.
We can observe a small decrease since 2004 but the overall picture looks good, there are no dramatic falls and the trend is rather stable. So, Harry Potter niche seems interesting to me for a drop shipping site.
Or let’s take ‘GoPro accessories’ as an example:
Here we see the trend that is increasing year by year starting from 2011. This is a good niche to be taken and tried.
Below you see the niche (‘Nokia’) that is not worth trying:
2. Keyword Analysis
Understanding your product’s trend is a good start but it’s also important to know how many people are currently searching for your product idea each month. That’s where Google’s Keyword Planner Tool comes into play. The Keyword Planner Tool allows you to search for keywords and phrases related to your product and then displays the total number of searches each money for the chosen terms.
In addition, the Keyword Planner tool will also display the level of competition in paid search for each term. This can allow you to better understand how lucrative the keywords are, which can also be an indication of profitability of the product.
To use this tool you need to have a Google Adwords account which you can sign up to for free. Login to your account and select Tools from the top menu, then select Keyword Planner. On the next screen, click Search for new keyword and ad group ideas.
On the next screen enter your product idea. Double check your settings under Targeting to make sure they’re to your liking, in particular the locations you want to target.
On the next screen, it will be on the default tab Ad Group Ideas, change that to the tab labelledKeyword Ideas.
The first column will list the keyword you searched for as well as the various search queries related to the keyword you entered. The second column shows you the number of searches being performed each month in the geographic area you specified. The third column is the level of competition for each keyword.
After looking through the results, a few things stood out, noted below:
- As we already knew from the original Pinterest pin, coconut oil has many uses. From the keyword planner though, we can see uses for hair, skin, recipes, dogs and face. Going through the full list uncovered even more.
- The main search term “Coconut Oil” has a lot of search interest. 246,000 searches per month in the USA and Canada. Unfortunately, it also has high competition. This means that there are a lot of other people already advertising and competing for that particular term online, making it more difficult for you to compete effectively.
- There are many other search terms that still have high search volumes with less competition. That roughly translates into opportunity.
Filtering out the keywords with high competition, it appears there’s still a lot of keywords with high search volume that are less competitive. Noticing a few of them had the word “hair” in them, we created a new search for “Coconut Oil + Hair”.
Here’s what we found (Results have been color coded by competition difficulty):
The search volume for many of these terms are pretty strong and all have low to medium competition. The top term “coconut oil for hair” in particular has extremely high search volume.
Starting a new business can be a little scary especially when you’re unsure in your product idea. However, taking the time upfront to better understand your competitors, the market and doing some testing can help build confidence and save you time as well as money down the road.