When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), we can’t recommend this enough, it’s time to optimize for vertical search. Vertical Search Engines (VSEs), unlike the ones we’re most familiar with, are specific to a particular topic or focus area.
Vertical Search Engines
If you’ve ever searched a travel site for a cheap flight or a blog hosting platform like WordPress for your favorite how-to, you’ve benefited from Vertical Search.
The rise of vertical search makes sense when you think of how specific voice search, social media search, and mobile searchers are in their targets.
There is plenty of content for vertical search to thrive— and to give your specific landing pages, blogs, and resources a chance to thrive, too.
It makes sense to us as marketers, too. We pride ourselves on personalizing content and urging our clients to do the same. This personalization leads to fragmentation: more and more specific searches and queries. And that fragmentation leads to great success for vertical search.
These search engines index by category, and deliver results to search users accordingly. Since the indexing is more focused, there is a great likelihood both that searchers find what they want. Plus, your content won’t get as lost in the shuffle as it might on Bing or Google.
That’s not to say, of course, that you should abandon efforts to be indexed well by Google (after all, entries from vertical search engines are indexed within regular Google results). And with Google Flights ITA, Google Scholar, and Google Books, it’s clear they’re no stranger to the idea of topical search.
And it’s worth noting that—through vertical search engines may not yet have as vast an audience of Google—the engagement they do get is quite lucrative for the businesses indexed there. In other words, it’s yet another instance where quality has the chance to triumph over quantity.
Vertical Seach Optimization Recommendations
With all this in mind, we have a few recommendations for Vertical Search Optimization (VSO):
- Do market research: your target customers on popular vertical search engines (Pinterest, Blogger, WordPress, Yelp, etc.).
- Once you know on which VSEs your target customers are most engaged, integrate these platforms into your existing marketing strategy. Share content and monitor analytics there consistently and enthusiastically.
- Make sure VSEs find you by using open graph tags and/or structured data.
- If your budget allows, create and test ads on these websites.
- Research how to best integrate with or be indexed by VSEs.
- Don’t be afraid to create content that is detailed and specific to the niche interests of your target customers.
In general, it can’t hurt to have more points of contact for your current and future customers. But don’t get overwhelmed. If you’re already in the habit of good SEO and [image indexing], indexing for VSEs is just a matter of some additional homework and a passion for delivering exactly what your customers are looking for,