Use Google Insights to find a niche market for your (non-web) product

Image representing Google Labs as depicted in ...Image via CrunchBase, source unknown

(In this interesting article, Trevas of Druvaa uses keyword search trending data from Google Insights and Google Labs Experimental Search to fine-tune his idea of what exactly is the market niche into which his products are most likely to have a demand.

While search term analysis is a very common technique used by web-based companies for search engine optimization and finding long-tail customers, what is surprising in this case is that the products Trevas wants to sell have nothing to do with the web. He is using the keyword analysis to simply get a feel for which needs of users seem to have been met in the last few years, and which needs seem to be increasingly unmet. That gives him ideas for potential niche markets in which to position his products. Even if you have no interest in laptop backup and disaster recovery and the other terms used in this article, you should still read the article to get a hang of the technique, which can be applied in other fields. This article first appeared at Druvaa’s blog and is reproduced with permission. For more information about Druvaa and its technology, see this in-depth punetech article.)

While doing some keyword research for Druvaa it began to become clear how interesting search engine statistic can be when you look closely at the data. From simple keyword suggestion tools, and graphs you can ascertain information that you never thought possible.

The terms “backup” or “recovery”, for instance, get over 300,000 searches per month each with Google. In other words people are searching for good solutions to keep their data safe. That information by itself is useful (at least to us), but it’s when you begin to look at more specific search terms that things really get interesting. In fact, you can even begin to clearly see trends within the industry when you compare specific terms over any given length of time.

With a look at some simple charts, you can begin to see things like:

  • Interest in laptop backup solutions has greatly increased over the past 10 years.
  • Some users are finding solutions to their data backup needs and disaster recovery isn’t as much of a problem as it was 4 years ago (but it still is a problem).
  • Enterprise users who have laptops in the office are still seeking a suitable solution to their backup needs.
  • Enterprise users who have offsite backup needs are still seeking a solution to business continuity.

To demonstrate how I can get all of that from a few search terms, let’s take a closer look at some charts.

A Look at Trends Using Search Engine Statistics

Using Google Labs and their experimental search tool you come up with the following charts for the terms “data backup” and “laptop backup”.  This particular tool uses search volumes, online news statistics, number of websites, and more to show interest in any given topic. The charts clearly show that, while data backup has retained the same amount of interest over the past 10 years, interest in laptop backup has (and is) increasing.

Of course, this idea makes sense. Laptops have decreased greatly in price since 1998, and as such have become a more common tool both for enterprise users and at home. On the other hand, data integrity has been a problem for business users for a couple of decades now, so interest in the topic of “data backup” have remained relatively the same.

This information alone isn’t necessarily new. It’s the reason we created Druvaa InSync in the first place. The industry needed a reliable data backup solution, which is also fast enough to work well with computers that are on the go.  To further look at what’s needed let’s look at some more charts. This time based on search volumes alone.

Laptop Backup as Important as Ever

Search volumes for any given term are an easy way to see what is happening within an industry, to gauge interest for a product or service, or even to see how one product relates to another. In the developed world more than 73% of the population has internet access, and over 88% of internet users go online when they seek a solution to a problem.

With that in mind let’s briefly look at some search engine statistic.  In this case I have used Google Insights to compare related search terms. The charts are based on normalized data, over time. If you looked at the actual search volumes they would have increased with time (since Internet use has grown). To get a more accurate look, Insights uses normalized data displayed on a scale of 1 – 100.

Click Here to See the Chart for Yourself

The first chart compares the terms data backup and disaster recovery. There are two things that can be gained from this chart.

  • 1. Since search volumes for both terms have declined over the past few years, it shows that some users are finding solutions to their backup needs, and disaster recovery is less of a problem today than it was in 2004/2005.
  • 2. As the lines of the chart come together, they begin to show a direct correlation to each other. Very likely this is due to the fact that proper data backup is becoming the solution to disasters in the office. It really was only a few years ago that disaster recovery often meant taking that broken hard drive to have the data extracted. In the past couple of years, enterprise users have begun to see that simple backups are a cheaper (and more reliable) solution.

Since the term data backup may also relate to home users, with the next chart I used the term “enterprise backup” and compared it to “laptop backup”. Again we can see a couple of things from this chart. Once again we see a slight decline in the search volumes for enterprise backup. This confirms the idea that some enterprise users are finding a suitable solution to their backup needs.

Click Here to See the Chart for Yourself

By adding the term laptop backup though, something else begins to become clear. The term started the chart off at 61 and finished three years later at 62. There have been slight ups and downs in search volumes, but overall they have remained relatively the same. The two terms also begin to correspond closely with each other as the chart moves through 2007 and into 2008. To me this says that these terms are also beginning to become synonymous.  In other words, although some enterprise users are finding a backup solution, those with laptops in the office aren’t.

I could repeat these same results with terms like “offsite backup” or “remote backup”.

With a simple look at search engine statistics we begin to see that enterprise users have a need for a laptop backup solution that works. With our own product, which provides 10x faster laptop backup and a 90% reduction in storage and bandwidth, there is a solution to suit.

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