Google Insights For Search: Coke vs. Pepsi

If you like Google Trends, you're going to love Google Insights. The solution analyzes a portion of Google Web searches to determine how many searches have been done for terms you've entered, relative to the number of searches done over time. This is an important offering from Google - really, really important.

Google Insights data can be used in different ways depending on your objectives; from selecting advertising messages (determining what resonates best with an audience) to examining seasonality, creating brand associations and even deciding whether to move into new geographic markets. Let's look at just one powerful aspect of Google Insights and how you could leverage the data (which is freely provided) for the benefit of your online enterprise.

Say you worked for Pepsi and were interested in seeing how you stacked up against your primary competition (Coke) for interest over time, regional interest and the search terms that people were actually using. Enter search terms Coke and Pepsi and Google Insights get to work, returning the following graph:

As you can see, there is not much disparity on the surface for the past few years with the exception of a few peaks and valley's. The numbers on the right hand column of the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches as I mentioned above. This is important to remember as it means these are not absolute numbers, but rather a set "normalized data" - immensely useful for tracking general search term volume. Right now, Coke is beating Pepsi; and if you're Pepsi, that's good to know (even though Pepsi is technically in the lead over the past four years).

So how will Coke climb back into first for current interest? One way would be to analyze regional interest and focus advertising spend on areas where brand awareness might be lacking. For example, while Coke has the most interest in South Africa (and the U.S), it has all but nonexistent interest in Argentina and sparse interest in Pakistan. Why? Who knows, but thanks to the ability provided by geo-targeting and even Google Ad Planner, Coke can focus on sites in Argentina that may help drive that interest level past Pepsi and in turn generate more awareness and sales.

There is actually a whole lot more data that Google Insights can provide and it's worth investigating.