January 19, 2012

How to use Google Insights for your nonprofit or business

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Improve your marketing strategy with free insights generated by Google

Target audience: Nonprofits, businesses, NGOs, social enterprises, socially responsible brands, marketing professionals, cause organizations, social media managers, bloggers, individuals.

Guest post by Frank Anderson

You’ve started a blog for your nonprofit, NGO, social enterprise or green business and included examples of your organization’s sustainability initiatives. You’ve highlighted your efforts to reduce your carbon footprint and green your supply chain in your marketing collateral. You’ve created guides for your customers of how to be environmentally conscious with your product.

You’ve laid the groundwork for your green marketing. But things are changing and news is happening fast and furious. There are always new things to be trying and new green ideas you can be writing about to show that your organization is on the front lines of the green movement.

What is Google Insights?

The tagline for the popular movie The Watchmen was “Who watches the Watchmen?” With Google, if you’ve ever wondered, “Who searches the searchers?,” the answer is Google Insights.

Google Insights gives people access to what people are searching for on Google. And before you start to cry privacy foul, this data is on a very high level and no personal data is being shared there. In other words, you can see what groups of people are searching for, but not individuals.

What can I do with Google Insights?

Google Insights is best used for three things:

  • Seeing the general interest in the topics you are focusing on
  • Seeing popular related news articles to give you an idea of what is going on within your focus
  • Ideas for what other areas you could be focusing on

But first, you need to go to the site and start searching for something you are focusing your business on regarding green issues.

Let’s say you run a furniture store. Perhaps you’d want to search for “eco friendly furniture” or “eco furniture” (“green furniture” would obviously pull up some unwanted data). We want to start broadly as Insights works with very high level data.


General interest

The first thing you are going to notice on Google Insights is the search interest graph. This graph gives you an idea of how many people were searching for that term over the last few years.


As you’re trying different keywords for things your company is focusing on in the green sphere, this graph will give you some insight into what is gaining popularity and what is not.

Popular news articles

If you are looking for article topics to write on your company’s blog concerning the latest innovations and news in green issues, Insights can be a real help. On many keywords that you enter, the interest graph will be smaller, and on the right you will have a list of trending articles related to your topic.


These are usually from very respected news websites and can get your brain spinning thinking of things to write about. Not to mention keeping up with the latest news on eco-issues will keep you well informed and knowledgeable on the subject.

Ideas for future initiatives

The last piece of Insights that could possibly be the most helpful is the Rising Searches section at the bottom right.


Rising Searches can give you an idea of topics similar to the one you searched for that are becoming popular on Google. If your marketing efforts have the goal of bringing people to your site, you may want to incorporate these new ideas into your plan.

In the furniture example, you may have focused your business on providing furniture that is eco-friendly, but were you aware of the desire for recycled furniture? Could you possibly have a page on your website that explains what the materials are in eco-friendly furniture to help people searching for that information? What exactly is organic furniture and how does it compare to other types of furniture?

Final thoughts on using Google Insights

People often look all over for ideas of how to perform better in their online marketing, especially in terms of getting more visitors form Google to their site. But not a lot of people realize that Google itself has a ton of tools to help you do just that. After you’ve had your fill of Google Insights, you might want to check out some of their other similar tools like Google Trends and Google’s Ad Words Tool.

Does your organization know about Google Insights?

This article originally appeared on GreenMarketing.tv. It is republished with permission.

Frank Anderson is a marketing and technology blogger. He currently works with exchange hosting and other Web technologies. Green Marketing TV is the business channel for green business owners and social entrepreneurs.
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