Last month comScore, an online market research group, published fascinating trends in what it calls expanded search usage.
Expanded search refers to websites (including but not limited to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing) on which searches are performed. The chart below will help you understand this definition more fully. The purpose of this entry is to uncover ‘movers and shakers’ in the expanded search landscape and offer advice on how to cater your online strategy to these outlets. Let’s jump right in:
A) GOOGLE:Google continues to be the dominant player in the search field. In January 2010, Americans conducted 15.2 billion core searches, with Google Sites accounting for 65.4% search market share. A Search Engine Optimization company like ours helps you to perform best as possible in search engines such as Google. However, you must understand Google’s dominance in ‘organic search’ extends into other core offerings (such as Google Maps, Google News, Images and Video). Increasingly, strong representation in these Google subsets will be vital to online marketing success in any industry. Claiming and editing Google Maps listings is a great first step! We can help.
B) YOUTUBE: Why? Because online video consumption rose 59% in 2009 and YouTube leads the pack. YouTube allows a link into your website to appear on your video’s page, and the ability to add keywords so your video is found more often by people who want to see it. If you have not published any business videos on YouTube, do it today. Publish your: expertise (presentations, trade show videos, interviews with experts on-staff), any TV commercials you’ve created, a How-To on a process performed at your business, a funny or controversial video interweaving your product, etc for increased website traffic and viewing by YouTube’s 1 billion daily users.
C) BING: Bing’s June 2009 launch has proven successful. Bing usage is 4% over predecessor MSN/Live’s market share last year at this time (jump from 5-9% of all search engine usage). We are continuing to watch Bing for further growth, as it continues healthily. We do not anticipate Bing’s growth to affect our overall SEO strategy, but businesses are definitely receiving more traffic from Microsoft’s search engine than ever before.
D) CRAIGSLIST: If your business provides a product or service that is a Sales Category on Craigslist, you are competing with them for site visitors. (Visit your city’s subpage at Craigslist.org for a full view of Sales Categories). The more Craigslist continues to grow, the higher its Category pages will rank in Google results. Describe your products as fully as possible on your website to ensure Craigslist directory pages do not beat out your site’s rankings on general (Google) results pages.
E) FACEBOOK: Your business needs a Facebook Fanpage, even if you don’t think your business is ‘cool and hip.’ Enough said! Facebook allows so many customizable fields that elevate your Fanpage’s placement within Facebook Search and Google results. If I type our business name, “Upright Communications,” into Google, our Facebook Fanpage is the 3rd result! The ability to describe your business, add photos and videos, provide your business address and phone number, etc. allow you to make your business appear healthy and credible, in addition to increasing exposure across the online market.