Thanks to the growing number of users performing searches from mobile devices and the influx of voice technology, the search landscape as we know it is changing. Something else that marketers can't afford to ignore about the way that search is evolving is the increasing number of vertical search engines.
What Are Vertical Search Engines?
A vertical search engine focuses on delivering results for a specific industry or type of content. Examples of vertical search engines include Kayak (for travel-related results) and Pinterest (for image-based content).
There's certainly nothing new about vertical search engines; however, marketers that are making these niche or single-purpose search engines part of their search engine optimization strategy are meeting their audience where their search intent is overt, thus increasing the likelihood of conversions.
How Are Vertical Search Engines Impacting the Search Landscape?
As of February 2018, Google continues to dominate the search engine marketshare, with 62.6 percent of all searches originating on Google. Google Images has the second largest search engine marketshare (22.6 percent), which indicates that a large number of users are on the hunt for image-based content. Some other vertical search engines that are on the rise in regards to search engine marketshare include YouTube (video-based content), Amazon (product-based content), and Facebook (social-based content).
If you're a retailer, you can't ignore the innately commercial nature of searches on Amazon. Getting your products on page one of Amazon search results could mean a huge boost in sales. Like most search engines, Amazon's priority is to deliver the most relevant and credible products in search results. Optimizing your Amazon listings for visibility and relevancy will ultimately help you to earn more conversions.
Pinterest, a visually-driven platform, has become known as a discovery engine as users are generally open to new ideas when browsing through this image-based vertical search engine. Marketers that are taking visual content from their websites and adding it to their Pinterest profiles are reaping the benefits by reaching a wider online audience.
While the mechanisms that drive these vertical search engines are different, the underlying purpose for using them is the same. If you take the time to understand your audience, create the right content, and share it on the appropriate vertical search engine, you'll dominate your search engine optimization strategy.
Best Practices for Running a Successful Campaign on a Vertical Search Engine
To stay in tune with the ever-changing search landscape, you need to understand how to use vertical search engines to your advantage to excel with search engine optimization. In order to establish a successful vertical search campaign, we suggest implementing the following best practices:
1. Understand your audience and which search engines they're using.
What is your audience searching for online? In addition to being aware of which keywords and phrases that your target audience is typing into search engines, you need to know where they are performing searches online. If you're in a niche industry such as interior design, your audience is likely relying on vertical search engines such as Houzz and Pinterest to discover products for their homes. Instead of just focusing on a broad search engine like Google, adding niche vertical search engines to your search engine optimization strategy can help to get your business in front of the right audience at the right time.
2. Help search engines understand your content by taking advantage of structured data.
Structured data communicates to search engines what your content entails. For example, if you are sharing a recipe, adding data labels for each individual element in the recipe will allow users to be able to search for your recipe by typing in the ingredient, calorie count, cook time, and more.
If you're not a search engine optimization specialist, incorporating structured data can be challenging. Schema.org is a useful resource to find the right vocabulary for search structured data. Taking advantage of structured data will help to elevate your content in search rankings as search engines will better be able to deliver search results based on user intent.
3. Optimize the performance of your website.
All search engines take into account the user experience that a website provides when ranking content. Focusing on improving the speed of your website and ease of navigation will help you to rank better in search results, including rankings in vertical search engines.
4. Adapt the content that you create for vertical search engines.
Going back to the example of an interior designer, it would behoove you take visual content from your website and add it to your Pinterest profile to help your target audience find your business on this vertical search engine. It would also be beneficial to consider the questions, keywords, and phrases that your audience is typing into a vertical search engine like Houzz and create content on this platform (an Idea Book or an article that addresses a relevant topic) that relates to this. When creating a campaign on a vertical search engine, consider how users discover content on the search engine and adapt your content accordingly.
In the ever-changing search landscape, there's nothing easy about mastering search engine optimization. Use the best practices outlined above to embrace vertical search engines to help your target audience find your business online.
Are you interested in learning more about using vertical search engines to your advantage? We can help. Contact us at New York Ave to learn how we can help you to create high-quality content that is optimized and designed to increase your business's visibility online.