One of the most important things that you can do for your brand is keep a close eye on it and monitor it over several different platforms. While we’ve written about several ways to monitor your brand over time, we haven’t yet covered Google Trends and this can be one of the most effective tools that you can use to monitor your personal or business brand.
Google Trends was created by Google Labs and can be used to monitor your peronsal and business brand easily online for free. Google Trends can show you not only how often a set of keywords, either your name or your company’s name, appears on the web, but how frequently people search for it. Using a tool called “Hot Searches” you can see how often people search for your company over time. Google Trends spans back several years so if you’ve recently launched a new brand or a campaign to improve your brands reputation, you’ll be able to see how effective your efforts have been using this simple tool.
Google Trends also has as nifty feature called “Hot Topics” that lets you see not only the content you’ve published, but what other people are saying about your brand. Want to know how your brand matches up against others? You can search up to five different keywords and compare them in an easy to view graph that charts the change in discourse over time. If you want to focus on a specific period of time, the Google Trends allows you to focus in on a series of dates and narrow down your search so you can see how effective a specific campaign has been or a change in your brand strategy.
You can also use Google Trends to track negative publicity and search for a series of negative keywords that have been associated with your brand to see if the trend in using them is changing. Since bad publicity typically comes in waves, this tool can help you as you try to combat the negative publicity. Simply compare the positive keywords that you are trying to associate with your brand to the negative keywords to see whose winning the public relations battle -- that’s how easy it is to track your progress and to win the PR war online.