Back-to-School 2013 Searches

Back To School


It’s that time of year again! Now that most children and young adults are officially back in the classroom, we thought we would revisit some popular searches and trends for the back-to-school season from the last month. Let’s take a look at the top keywords and trends a professional search marketer will need to ‘school’ themselves on.

Before diving into top searches, it’s interesting to point out that according to Google, the overall search interest for “back-to-school” is up about 10% from last year. 

Back To School Trend


Top 5 Back-to-School Searches:


  • Of course, textbooks would be the top term around the back-to-school season – students have to learn from something! For the search marketer, the term textbooks had $900,000 spent on it between July and August, and additionally garnered about 19,000,000 impressions.

school supplies

  • This term was second on the top search list for the back-to-school season. Interestingly, similar to the broad back-to-school term, school supplies had about a 10% increase in search volume over last year. For the budget conscience shopper, top variations of the term include school supplies deals and cheapest school supplies.

school uniforms

  • This is more of a regional specific interest search term, but for the search marketer this term had $100,000 spent on it for about 8,500,000 impressions between July and August.

 School Uniform Trend

used textbooks

  • For students looking for a deal on that $200 textbook and re-sellers looking to move their used textbooks to the hands of eager young minds, this term is extremely popular. It is also another costly and competitive keyword for the search marketer since it has $100,000 spent on it for just under 3,500,000 impressions annually.

soccer cleats

  • The first “non-school” term for the back-to-school season. However, with about 30% of American households containing someone who plays soccer, a percentage that is second only to baseball, this is a term worth exploring during the dual back-to-school / fall soccer season.

The Remainder of the Top Ten Back-to-School Searches:

–          textbooks online

–          best laptops for college*

–          football cleats

–          school backpacks

–          school desk

*best laptops for college made the top back-to-school terms with more than $43,000 in spend and nearly 570,000 impressions. However, the term may be understated with college or school as a keyword modifier.

Final Thoughts:

First, with the back-to-school season winding down, one of the things we have learned from this season’s searches are that both parents and students are researching earlier than past years for school items; according to Google, the back-to-school trend started two weeks earlier than last year! Specifically, whether searching for fashion, typical school items (notebooks, pencils, and folders), books, or sporting goods, parents and students are doing research in July and purchasing in August.

Second, as we have always mentioned, do not ignore searches for mobile and tablet. Searches for tablet exceeded searches for backpack for the first time in the back-to-school season. Also, etextbook searches were up 50% from 2010.

Hope this helps with planning for the back-to-school season in 2014! Study hard and keep searching! 

 Graduation Caps


Statistics from:


Google Trends




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