When people think about search engine optimization, they usually want to know how to make their site rank higher in Google. Every business has a website and Google is responsible for two-thirds of all searches online
... so if you're going to rank for one search engine, it should be Google.
But Google isn't the only search engine that people use, and it's not the only one worth optimizing for -- especially if you serve a particular niche or operate within a certain industry that may generate traffic from another angle.Alternatives for Optimization
Depending on your line of work, you might wish to include these search alternatives in your optimization strategy:1. Amazon.As BigCommerce explains
, Amazon's number-one goal is to make buyers happy -- which means giving them more of what they want, and a better experience overall. To begin with, how you optimize your product listings plays a huge role in how you'll turn up in search. Make sure to fill out all categories, tags, titles, and descriptions as fully and accurately as possible, so you'll be viewed as a relevant entry. From there, your best bet is to garner lots of validations. For example, you'll want to amass inbound links that point to your product, and you'll require lots of positive reviews from users to earn higher rankings.2. eBay.
This site works much the same way Amazon does, so it's an excellent target for optimization. Your product descriptions and images will play a huge role in your rankings, as well as your seller rating and reputation. Because the listings are more temporary, though, links won't help you as much here.
3. YouTube.According to Search Engine Watch
, the best YouTube optimization strategies start with keyword research: You'll create and name your videos according to YouTube's most popular searches. Make sure all your videos are named concisely and accurately, and pay the same level of attention to your categories, tags, and channel descriptions. The number of likes, comments, and views you attract also plays into your ranking, so encourage your audience to participate in these areas.4. Etsy.
This is one of the few online marketplaces that goes out of its way to help sellers optimize their listings
. Ideal for crafters and artists, Etsy encourages sellers to choose strong keywords, optimize their shop titles and descriptions, and earn plenty of backlinks for their products (not to mention maintaining a good reputation in the community).5. Bing.
Google still dominates, but Bing is making a respectable effort, and currently gets more than 20 percent of all searches on the web
. Bing comes as a default with most Microsoft products (because it is one of them). As a result, it tends to be more popular with older demographics. If you're targeting older populations, this makes it a key tool for optimization. Bing works in much the same way Google does, but with a few differences: It doesn't favor backlinks as heavily, it prefers old, established content to fresh material, and it's a bit more literal when it comes to keywords and titles.6. DuckDuckGo.According to Neil Patel
, DuckDuckGo's greatest advantage is the privacy it offers to users. It doesn't track or keep user search history the way Google does, so if you want to optimize for it, you'll have to take a different approach. DuckDuckGo users are concerned about their privacy, so if that sounds like your target demographic type, focus on semantic search queries on a national level. DuckDuckGo's local search isn't as robust, but it does try to intuit user intention the way Google and Bing do.
How to Decide What's Worth Optimizing For
If you've looked at this list and wondered how you'll find time to optimize for all of them, relax. Not all businesses will benefit from optimizing for all these channels. You only need to focus on the two or three -- or possibly just one -- that best suits you and your clientele.
For instance, if you don't produce a lot of videos on a regular basis, you don't need to optimize for YouTube. If most of your business comes in via Amazon, you can focus your efforts there instead of eBay.
The good news is, most optimization standards work more or less the same
, with an emphasis on quality and relevance for incoming searches. Apply those general principles no matter what kind of content you're producing, and you'll get a head start in every optimization application--even the ones you aren't directly pursuing.
Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.