Close your eyes and think about the words “search engine optimisation”. What’s the first thing that you think of next? I’m betting that it’s Google. It’s perfectly natural, we all do it. Especially when all you hear from your boss is “why aren’t we ranking on Google for ….…. "- you can fill in the blanks. However, there’s much, much more to SEO than just Google and you don't have to go very far to find them.
The universe of search
Much like the universe, SEO contains a wealth of different things that ultimately work together to create this single entity. It’s huge, and a lot of the time all everyone talks about is ‘Google’ but have you thought about how visible your brand and where its potential market is with other search engines?
YouTube is the second largest search engine (next to Google) with over 3 billion searches every month. That’s a lot of people looking for a lot of video content. The question to ask yourself is, how much of your target market are using YouTube and how people could be looking at your content on it? YouTube is often under-rated or overlooked. I think the reasons for this are (a) it takes too much effort and time to create a video and (b) it’s not somewhere people typically think about visibility.
Creating video content doesn’t have to be time consuming and the likelihood is your potential audience doesn’t want long videos anyway. There’s also a lot of different video content you could consider doing to take advantage of this search space such as explainer videos or interactive video content.
The giant of a social platform has a search engine. And people can easily find your company on here (if you’re on there of course), this is another search engine to give you more visibility.
In fact all the social platforms have their own search engine. Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter all have a mechanism through which you can discover content based on a particular set of queries. Being visible within these search engines also means being visible to them.
Voice activated searches really kicked off in 2015 with search engines getting much better at understanding and interpreting questions, language and dialect. Voice search has been growing, rapidly. According to a study by Google back in 2014 41% of adults used voice search. That was more than a year ago and I would suggest the figure is a lot higher now.
Voice search is changing how people potentially search for your products and services. It will get bigger and it will become more popular. It’s another channel to think about. Google has voice search, but so does Microsoft and Apple. In the future many more apps, websites and online services will likely have this too.
With the advent of mobile the way people search and where they search from has become much more diversified. Location based search is obviously key if you sell a localised product or service or have a physical location from which you trade. It’s another form of search, providing content and information to users beyond simply web pages.
Thinking about how localised search affects you is important. This doesn’t mean to say that you should be thinking like a corner shop. You should be thnking on a much wider scale. Local search is tied into other aspects of search too. Google for example, ties in their Google+ product to business information, local information, web and social. Bing has Places for Business as well as local search, both of which tie together.
If you sell a product or service that’s very niche or has a particular following it’s more than likely you can find that following on forums. These have their own search engines too. The types of searches here will invariably be different to those found on more standard search engines such as Google and Bing. None the less, it’s another channel of search where potential buyers could be making searches and trying to find information you could be providing gaining more brand visibility and more revenue as a result.
Think beyond Google
Search isn’t all about Google, There many more search engines out there and they could be gaining visibility for your company and your brand depending on where your niche is and who you’re targeting. Take the time to research and explore other search engines, you’ll be surprised what additional traffic you could gain.
By Chris Pitt, Head of Marketing, Vertical Leap