SEO remains a crucial consideration for content marketers, and we’re here to help distill the data into insights you can use. In this ongoing series, we look at search volume trends to help you identify opportunities. This month, we dive into health and wellness. Whether you’re in healthcare, food, supplements or another industry targeting those interested in health and wellness, it’s important to know what your audience is searching for, and when, so that you can serve up relevant and engaging content.
1. Prioritize content related to in-person experiences.
During our exploration of topics around self care and wellness, a clear trend emerged: Audiences are seeking out experiences. We compared “in-person” searches against similar “at-home” searches, and since early 2020 the “in-person” searches have steadily risen and overtaken their “at-home” counterparts. In the case of “yoga near me,” numbers are back to early-2019 levels. Searches for “spin class near me” have finally overtaken “at home bike,” and “gym near me” numbers hit an all-time high earlier this year.
With this data in hand, and knowing summer is around the corner, marketers should be emphasizing any in-person elements of their products and services and showcasing how their brand can offer or enhance those experiences.
2. Box here, dance there, spin (almost) everywhere!
Is your content ultimately driving your audience to attend a class? Maybe you’re simply pointing out the benefits of in-person instruction? Can’t decide whether to use a yoga or cycling anecdote? Google Trends’ data can help make sure you’re not barking up the wrong tree. We dug into some popular workout class types — boxing, yoga, Zumba and spin — and turns out there is wildly different regional interest for each. While meaningful search volumes for “boxing classes near me” only surface in four states (California, Texas, Florida and New York), searches for “spin class near me” were high in 36 states.
Don’t let biases lead you to false assumptions. Whether you’re marketing to potential local customers or launching a nationwide promotional campaign, consult the data. Make sure you’re informed of your audience’s interest in the various states and regions in which they live.
3. Help your audience achieve their wellness resolutions.
New Year’s resolutions may be falling out of vogue, but Google trends data shows the impulse to start the year with better habits is still very real. Look at terms like “healthy diet,” “healthy recipes,” “workout” and “quick workout,” and you’ll see without fail that search volumes spike in January and slope downward until the fall, when they drop dramatically.
Since we have seven or eight months until prime New Year’s resolution season, what can marketers do with this information now? For starters, find health and wellness topics with steady year-round traffic, such as “therapy” or “mental health,” and make sure you have solid evergreen content to support those. You can also take a note from financial services: By promoting content earlier and for longer, marketers grew what was once a two- to three-month window around IRA contributions into eight months of substantial search volumes. Why not do the same with New Year’s resolutions?
4. Don’t shy away from self-care content.
Since early 2016, search volumes around self care have been on the rise. Numbers for the term were admittedly inflated after the death of hip-hop artist Mac Miller in September 2018, who recorded a hit single titled “Self Care,” but the trend line for the topic confirms the trend is intact. Over the last five years, searches have gone from about 15 on Google’s relative search volume index to over 70.
This example also serves as a good reminder: When doing SEO research, investigate anomalies as you encounter them. Without proper context, a single chart or report might mislead you.
5. Let the news help you anticipate self-care searches.
The skew of Miller’s death fades by mid-2019, but the dramatic ups and downs over the last two years piqued our interest. Turns out, you can map each peak and valley to major COVID news. The climb leading up to the April 2020 peak begins in January, when the U.S. saw its first confirmed case, and that peak coincides with spiking case numbers and the FDA’s approval of emergency use of ventilators. Searches began dropping and saw their next low in June 2021, when the U.S. was at an 11-month low in cases. Volume then resurged in September, when it was reported that children were accounting for more than one in four cases, before dropping last month when the U.S. reported just 10,000 new cases in one day.
The lesson for content marketers is simple: Keep an eye on the news. When pandemic headlines turn ugly, you can bet audiences are seeking self-care content.
6. Mental health remains a top priority.
We know from anecdotal news reports that widespread loneliness is taking a toll on many, but does the search data support this? Our research confirms that it does. Searches for “therapy” and “at home therapy” are at or near all-time highs. The only time “at home therapy” touched 100 on Google’s relative search volume index was the week of March 22, 2020. But in January of this year those searches hit 92, the second highest all-time.
Combine this with what we’ve already learned about searches for self care, and one thing is clear: The psychological effects of the pandemic are far from waning. No matter what niche of health and wellness you might be in, know that your audience is likely concerned about their mental health and will appreciate any substantive content that can help them.
What search trends are you seeing around health and wellness? Need help incorporating search trends and SEO into your content? Please reach out to us, and we can schedule a time to learn more about your goals and challenges.