Your site’s ranking in Google’s general search results could be what you need to increase organic visitors. That is different from saying that Google Search is the only game in town. Learn to master vertical search engines; you’ll have many new ways to target prospects throughout the conversion funnel.
We always use vertical search technology, but it’s so natural that we only sometimes notice it. Big labels such as Amazon, Pinterest, eBay, etc., are examples of vertical search engines. They are designed to help us give the most relevant results for each type of search query.
Vertical vs. Horizontal Search
When you use Google, Bing, or Yahoo to search the web, you use a horizontal search engine (also called general search). This is because such engines return results from all across the internet.
Google Vertical Search
Google maintains a sophisticated network of vertical search engines to give the user the best possible search experience. Most rely on the essential search features of the universal engine but are then filtered via the prism of distinct content requirements.
Let us return to the preceding example. If you use another vertical search engine, such as News, Google will only return news items for “SEO strategy.”
Websites that need to be ranked on Google cannot just switch to a vertical search engine and dominate there. But what if you’re already doing well on Google and want to add caffeine to your organic strategy? Optimizing for more specific search engines will propel you to the next level.
Social Media Vertical Search
Every major social media network has its internal search engine to provide the in-platform experience that consumers expect. Some of these, such as Facebook, are primarily intended to assist users in finding other users. Others, such as Pinterest or Houzz, are driven by specific content groups or genres. In the latter group, opportunities abound, with YouTube reigning supreme.
YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine, is also owned by Google. However, it should have been included in the list of Google verticals above. Why? Because, in contrast to the others, it employs a powerful internal search engine designed mainly for YouTube. It’s so distinct from Google Search that Google has created its vertical search engine, Google Videos, to assist people in finding video content from around the web.
Significance of Vertical Search
Vertical search engines evolved naturally to meet the needs of specific users. Their popularity gives helpful information about searcher behavior. Similarly, their popularity demonstrates that users occasionally require more refined and compared search results than what Google’s universal search can deliver.
In the broadest sense, vertical search is significant since we expect a slow-growth pattern in user behavior to persist. SEO is concerned with tracking and anticipating user behavior. What’s beneficial for the user is good for search engine optimization.
In a nutshell, the laws of optimization differ on vertical search platforms. Many brands’ SEO strategies do not include optimization for specific platforms. As a result, there is a less competitive road to a highly targeted and valuable audience.
Vertical search engines broaden your search by introducing you to new user bases. Simultaneously, their tighter focus increases the likelihood of your unique audience being near the bottom of the funnel. If you do, you could gain a lot of future eCommerce revenue.
How to Optimize Through Vertical Search
The main challenge today is including organic vertical search into your marketing strategy. Because each search engine considers different parameters, the answer differs from platform to platform. We’ll cover particular tactics for a few of the most prevalent vertical search engines, then we’ll close up with some general tips about your overall content strategy.
Let’s go back over our list of vertical search engines and discuss how to develop SEO tactics for each one:
Optimizing and submitting a shopping feed is critical to performing well on Google Shopping. As a result, reviewing the resulting data and fine-tuning the campaign can rapidly become a full-time job. Shopping feed strategists frequently overlap in ability and strategy with PPC strategists, thus having the two teams coordinate closely is beneficial.
If an in-house employee isn’t for you, organizations that provide PPC services frequently provide shopping feed services.
Other Engine’s Shopping Category
The easiest way to gain an advantage in more specific comparison engines like Kayak or Priceline is to ensure that you compare positively in the categories that customers care about. Even the best instances of content marketing will fail in Google Search if people compare plane tickets by price, for example. You’d need the lowest costs to win there.
However, for an adventurous travel website, other aspects will trump price. Beautiful content marketing campaigns can help you land the conversion in all circumstances, so notice them.
Make your brand newsworthy by sharing tales and utilizing the language you want to appear in search results. If something important in the news is popular, you can employ newsjacking tactics to integrate your brand into the conversation and the Google News search results.
Google creates the context required to rank an image by combining alt text and current site relevancy/authority. The stronger your content and on-site SEO, the more likely you will rank a high-resolution, properly-optimized image for the right search queries. Design cool infographics for specific topics, for example, to assist you in acquiring traction and broader visibility.
Use alt text to describe the image, including long-tail keywords as appropriate appropriately. This is also a vital technique to assist visually challenged viewers in understanding the information in your photos.
Although YouTube video SEO is comprehensive for a vertical search engine, it is not nearly as complex as Google on-site SEO. Create fantastic videos (that are better than everyone else’s for your desired topics) to earn outstanding results on YouTube.
To target the proper keywords on YouTube, use tools such as YouTube Suggest, YT Cockpit, or KeywordTool.io. You can improve the title, description, metadata, and tags by incorporating a transcript and installing a video sitemap. Keep an eye on your video analytics to consistently produce higher-performing videos that earn more awareness and delight your audience.
eCommerce Search Engines (eBay, Amazon, etc.)
All these search engines use a combination of content, reviews, interaction, and relevancy in their search algorithms. Your product or service listing should be keyword-rich and appealing, with a call to action to entice the user to learn more. Then devise your review strategy, following up with customers and soliciting candid comments.
Retain a Consistent Brand Voice
Vertical search dominance is part of an omnichannel strategy, and the same brand consistency best practices apply. Don’t think of each channel as having its silo. Instead, incorporate each one into the enormous ecology of your brand, marketing, content, and SEO tactics. Ensure that your brand’s voice and strategies are adequately documented. It will be easy to give a consistent experience across platforms this way.
With a little effort, you can boost your online exposure and website traffic while also making your brand more memorable by keeping track of where and how your clients search across numerous search engines.