Google Trends is a powerful tool to help you analyse what people are searching for and how those searches have developed over time. The results can be enlightening.
This Translators’ Hub post will attempt to show how using Google Trends can be helpful for freelance translators, and how adapting your business to account for emerging trends can be beneficial for your freelance translation career.
To do this, we’ll take a look at comparing some relevant search terms and see what conclusions can be drawn from the results. Hopefully this will inspire you to use Google Trends to enhance your business too!
Human translation vs. machine translation
By comparing the terms ‘human translation’ and ‘machine translation’, we can see that in the past people used to search for machine-based translation far more regularly then they do today.
Whilst searches for ‘human translation’ have remained at roughly the same level over the past decade, this news is encouraging for a freelance translator such as yourself: potential clients seem to have caught onto the fact that machine-based translation isn’t as good as human translation, and although the specific term ‘human translation’ hasn’t seen a spike in search frequency, it’s reassuring to know that demand for your robotic competitors has reduced significantly!
Free translation vs. translation service
In a similar trajectory to the previous result, the search term ‘free translation’ has seen a drastic decline in search popularity over the past ten years, which again is good news for freelancers who charge for their translation services. If you’ve been freelancing for a while now, have you found it easier to find paying clients compared to a few years ago?
Quick translation vs. cheap translation
Comparing the term ‘quick translation’ with ‘cheap translation’ reveals some interesting results. At various points between 2005 and 2009, the search frequency of both terms converged on multiple occasions before settling into a more predictable trend.
More detailed statistical analysis could probably shed light on potential economic or political factors that might have caused these convergences, but the lesson to take away from this is that your business’s marketing material has account for how external factors could lead to more or less work for you. At present though, it seems that potential clients seeking translations prefer value to speed – so be sure to take this into account when promoting your services.
Experienced translator vs. professional translator vs. expert translator
The final example in this post illustrates how carefully choosing how you describe yourself may well lead to more business. In this comparison, the term ‘professional translator’ is certainly searched for more frequently than ‘experienced translator’ or ‘expert translator’.
If you currently describe yourself online as an ‘experienced’ or ‘expert’ translator, then potential clients are less likely to discover you based on these search terms alone. Subtly changing your marketing copy to describe yourself as a ‘professional translator’ could make all the difference!
Have you ever considered letting search trends dictate how you advertise your services? Perhaps this post will inspire you to conduct some of your own research into search trends? Let us know in the comments section if considering search frequency proves to be helpful for your freelance business.