While that might seem obvious it's not always the case. In fact when most people think about SEO they think about what are the best ways to get to the first page of Google or being at the top of Google Adwords list when someone makes a query on a specific topic.
Whether you are outsourcing your search engine campaigns or have an in house specialist, ask them what search engine they are focusing their optimization efforts on for your website.
Chances are they will tell you the one search engine that starts with a G because that is where most of the traffic is coming from. The next question you should ask them is "How do you know if you don't try optimizing the website for all search engines not just one".
Recently I read an article called Is Google the Lazy Man's Marketing Method? . Optimizing your website for just one search engine is not lazy but stupid. In today's world where technology changes and leaders become followers from one day to the next it's not smart to put all your eggs in one basket with one search engine.
Before Google was a hit, Yahoo controlled the world of search engines and now it had to team up with Bing in order to be able to survive the search engine wars.
Your SEO specialist should also look at search engine optimization (SEO) considerations needed for Bing because is it this search engine that will power both Bing and Yahoo for the next 10 years and together they control more then 30% of the search market and that is nothing to sneeze at.
Ask.com is a great search engine as well. While much smaller then the three giants mentioned earlier, it delivers excellent traffic. There are also search engines that focus on specific niches.
In terms of advertising in search engines via ads that show up next to relevant search results, you may have heard that Google delivers the highest number of clicks but have you heard that Google Adwords does so at the highest expense to your marketing campaigns ?
Everyone wants to go and advertise via Google Adwords which leads to more competition and more people bidding for the same keywords driving costs higher.
Recently I set with one of my clients to do an annual review and I asked his team about their future goals and needs to see how we can optimize their campaigns. One of the things we looked at is their PPC cost and budget for the following year. Upon checking PPC costs on different websites for their specific keywords I was able to move some of my client's campaigns to Yahoo search marketing and extended their marketing reach with the Ask Sponsored Listings network. The result ? Actually better then expected. The client's traffic was enhanced resulting in more sales at a lower CPA cost.
In a similar case, I was able to show a different client how their marketing team can get better traffic at a lower cost using Microsoft adCenter and 7search. Again the end results were higher sales at a CPA cost that was lower then any of the previous campaigns on the Google Adwords network.
- The reason for the lower cost and more valuable traffic? Again less people bidding on the same keywords that my clients used therefore less competition driving costs down.
- The people who are actually searching and clicking on the ads on Bing, Ask and Yahoo have a habit of making quicker buying decisions where on Google users have a habit of "searching" which results on many more ads being clicked on before a final decision to purchase an item is made leading to higher acquisition costs on the Google Adwords network.
- Make sure the person you hire focuses their energy on search engine optimization activities in such a way that your website will rank well on all search engines and not just the largest one.
- Don't follow the herd and think outside the box. If you see conversions are down and costs are up, try something new. Test, test, test different marketing ideas for your website and when you are done testing, test some more because what works today may not work tomorrow not because your plans are not good but because markets move and technology changes. By constantly testing different marketing plans you assure yourself that you are always a step ahead of everyone else who is "just satisfied".
- Always ask questions to make sure you understand how your marketing budget is being used for your organization's website and if your team tells you "don't worry", it's a clear sign you need a second opinion.