Using Keyword Time Activated Peaks (KTAP) for SEO Reporting

Learn to design an appscript in Google Sheets using the GrepWords database to visualize keyword-activated time peaks with sparklines for SEO.

The SEO world depends on search volume to inform their strategy, but is the data out there reliable? The truth is, search volume should be used as an indicator and not gospel. There are many sources out there that provide versions of this data, but there’s no definitive source of truth. Even Google’s Keyword Planner is known to be widely unreliable  

So how can we evaluate quality search volume data? GrepWords does an amazing job at constantly updating the keyword data that they source. Additionally, the database provides yearly historical data for some terms. This allows you to go back MoM for multiple YoY comparisons to showcase yearly trends and even seasonal peaks.

In terms of keyword trends, monthly search volume is not the same month over month. You have peaks and valleys. You might have a ton of traffic due to the holidays because you sell Christmas trees. You might have a seasonal business, like an ice cream shop or miniature golf course that only peaks in the summer.

Sparklines in Google Sheets example

Keyword Time Activated Peaks or KTAP for short (Yes, we just invented an acronym!) showcases the peaks and valleys of MoM trends via the GrepWords historic data. This is showcased both in a sparkline as well as part of an app script integration with GrepWords API built by iPullRank. Now, you can visually map out the volume of keyword searches over a few months to get a sense of short-term trends and adapt accordingly.

  • Understand Seasonality peaks throughout the year by keyword
  • Spot quarterly trends or peak month for a keyword
  • Aggregate keywords by month to track monthly peak trends by keyword group

The GrepWords keyword endpoint provides a ton of useful information such as Search Volume and CPC, but it also provides historical Search Volume broken down by month and year. 

In this example, we can create a simple app script that leverages the existing proxy that we previously used to fetch and filter the historical data. Note that the example uses a node.js (express.js) endpoint that just makes a POST API request to GrepWords and sorts the historic data. This could easily be replaced or rebuilt with a cloud function or even a Cloudflare Worker. 

To get started open up a new Google Sheet

Click on Open Extensions > App Script to get to the editor. 

You can copy/paste the code from Github . Make sure you change the BASEURL to your proxy that you are using to fetch the GrepWords keyword endpoint. Don’t be intimidated if you’re new to working with App Scripts. This is actually my first appscript, as I have never done much integration with Google Sheets before. 

What do we get? This script takes the keyword data from GrepWords and filters out all 2021 (or 2022 moving forward) related monthly volumes and returns the month/year as well as the search volume. For clarity, I’ve named the function search_volume. You can call the function in sheets by clicking the cell, setting it to equal the function name and your desired query as the argument.  

For the example where the query is SEO:

=search_volume(“seo”)

This will then make a request to the proxy, which hits the GrepWords keyword endpoint and returns the month/year date as well as the search volume. Google Sheets has a built-in command for sparklines:

=SPARKLINE(A3:A13,{“charttype”,”column”;”highcolor”,”red”})

So now you can structure your template to use the keyword, sparkline, the monthly/year date, and search volume. Boom!

You’ve got your KTAPS.

Combining the GrepWords keyword database with this sparklines function in Google Sheets allows you to visualize your KTAPs and surface keyword search trends over time. Now you’re able to accurately report on expected performance, predict future seasonality, and build content in advance of upcoming search volume peaks.

John Murch

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