Utilizing many sources to help your business
When most businesses think about search engine results, they are really only thinking of their website results on a primary search engine, such as Google.
However, while Google was originally a plain search engine, it is now also a vertical search engine, encompassing many more elements that can benefit a company.
The term vertical is simply that the search results are now broken down into blocks of result types down the page.
Although I am talking about Google, most major search engines use this approach.
When you search now, unlike ten years ago, you are not simply asking just the main search anymore, but also any smaller search engines that the search provider has absorbed or created in that time.
As you see from Google results, a simple search can now result in blocks of:
pictures from Google Images
products from Google Stores
map listings from Google Local
One of the recent Google aquisitions was to include results from a travel search engine which displays comparison shopping results for travel sites like Travelocity and Orbitz.
These blocks of results are because as Google has expanded its product range, it is increasingly acting as more of a hub of information, incorporating and displaying the results from each of those smaller searches as it thinks necessary based on the search terms used.
Such a multi-result approach is of great benefit for the person searching, with every possible type of information right at their fingertips.
Of course, if the user knows that they are looking for directions, images, or videos, they can cut out the middle man by clicking directly over to Google Maps, or Images, or YouTube, and search there.
For someone who may not know exactly what they are looking for, this vertical search method brings results directly to them with just one query. In many cases it can offer a new perspective and present something that the person searching may not have considered.
Because Google bases its vertical results on the search term used, you can also shortcut results by adding keywords, such as adding a region/city name, or adding words like videos or images.
The best thing about the vertical search engine approach is because the first page of the main results contains these different items, it means that a business now has many more ways of being found than just the traditional website link results.
By utilizing as many of the different vertical departments as possible, you can often compensate for lack of visibility in other areas.
In cases where your website may not be able to get a good organic search result, with proper planning, it can show up on the map for local, generic searches.
Similarly, by posting well keyworded, informative videos to YouTube, or well worded informative blog entries, you can show up in the searches where your main website may not.
Of course, as with any marketing, you need a coherent, planned approach, rather than simply putting sometimes irrelevant or spam-looking items across the board. Probably the best thing for a local-based businesses is that if you use these different methods effectively, you can seriously increase your visibility, often showing up in several places on the first page of Google results, in the organic results, and in the map results, and so on.
If you have concerns with your web presence, 2014 is the perfect time to look into our WebUpdate system sites, which take advantage of advanced marketing, SEO and promotion features to give your business the best competitive edge online.
What our clients are saying ...
Bill McCarthy Owner McCarthy's Tree Care
"I wanted to communicate our full appreciation to you and your staff for developing our website and making us visible to web searches.
Now we have a web presence that has positively and measurably affected our business. Just contacts which resulted in an estimate have increased by a factor of four since the new site went up.
I wanted to say how much I appreciate your professionalism, work ethic, experience and honesty... It really has been a pleasure working with you!"
- Bill McCarthy, Owner
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design,
the award winning web and multimedia design agency in Chesapeake.
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