Google and its subsidiaries are a behemoth that commands 90% of search traffic. Giant industries exist, dedicated solely to decrypting the algorithm and gaining ground on the SERP. However, not everyone can find success on the platform.
Many struggle with Google ranking. No matter how hard they try, it just seems like they can’t get any traction. With over 30 trillion pages on the site, it’s understandable that many website owners get lost in the fray.
So, if not Google, then what? The remaining 10% of searches are still a considerable market share – accounting for tens of millions of queries every day. Most people overlook alternative search engines, but they each boast a unique audience that is ripe for the picking.
Other popular search engines include:
Here are five great reasons why you should experiment with targeting different platforms.
Less Competition for Small Businesses
If you’re an SMB or individual website owner, it’s unlikely you’ll have unlimited resources to invest in hitting that top spot on Google. High-ranking sites often have entire teams, dedicated solely to their SEO efforts. While it’s not a necessary requirement for success, it is incredibly helpful for keeping up with the changing climate of Google SEO.
Fortunately, less manpower goes into other search engines. While some ranking strategies crossover between various platforms, it’s not the case that Google’s highest-ranked options are the same for other engines. If you were specifically to target Bing, for example, there is way less competition trying to hit the right ranking triggers. If you don’t have to go up against online giants, then there’s a higher chance that you can climb the ranks and gain traction.
Untapped Market Potential
While most traffic goes through Google, the amounts of users on other engines are still substantial. For example, DuckDuckGo boasts over 30 million annual searches. Even more impressively, Bing rakes in 9.6 billion searches per month. These statistics are unremarkable compared to Google’s vast numbers. However, they still have the potential to turn into a significant amount of site hits – if you can play the algorithm correctly.
Search engines with fewer hits also usually comprise of users who are less jaded by conventional SEO methods. They won’t be used to seeing hundreds of identical listicles, all offering the same information in relatively similar structures. Due to this, strong content will be more impactful, with an increased chance of further shares or return visitors.
Targeting Specific Audiences
Another important benefit relates to why people have chosen an alternative search engine. With most traffic and advertising pointing users to Google, not using the service requires an active decision. Understanding this decision-making process means you can target specific audiences on alternative engines.
For example, if your goal is to sell a product, then your primary focus should be Amazon’s search engine. It’s responsible for nearly half of all product-related searches, compared to the 34% share that Google offers.
Similarly, many alternative search engines have a defining feature. For the privacy-conscious, DuckDuckGo doesn’t track and data or use targeted advertising. If you were attempting to reach people who are interested in cybersecurity and data protection, it might be the most profitable platform.
Ecosia is also a great example, as its premise involves planting trees as a reward for searching. With this information in mind, it would be a useful platform to target if your website focuses on the environment and tackling climate change.
Cheaper PPC Advertising
Targeting search engines isn’t just about researching the specific SEO tactics for that site. PPC advertising is another major player in website marketing. Unsurprisingly, Google comes with a hefty price tag when it comes to PPC. In fact, it’s average cost-per-click is a shocking 70% more expensive than on Bing.
The reasoning for this is once again due to the size and popularity of the platform. In Google’s eyes, their ad space is worth more than competitors, even though it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll get more click.
PPC marketing works with a bidding structure. You input the amount you’re willing to spend per day, and the algorithm assigns you appropriate advertising slots. These ads are usually targeted to the users specific demographic and psychographic. Just because an ad space is more expensive on Google, doesn’t mean it translates into more website hits. Since you are only charged when a click happens, the price of the online real estate itself doesn’t directly correlate to more successful advertising.
While some benefits apply to all alternative search engines, there are also the advantages that come from each specific platform. For example, a study by Matthew Woodward looked at the conversion factors for websites on Bing and Google. What he discovered was shocking.
Bing search engine was found to have:
- Lower bounce rates
- Higher page visits
- Better website engagement rates, such as time on site and newsletter sign-ups.
It’s easy to overlook alternative search engines, but these discoveries provide a compelling argument. While Bing may not have the audience of Google, if you can get more hits and more engagement, then it’s by far the superior option.
Ensure the Best Results for Your SEO Efforts
There are no concrete rules for targeting search engines. However, trends and studies can unveil user habits and help website owners understand where to focus their efforts.
If you haven’t already considered targeting alternative search engines, then these five benefits are compelling enough reasons to give it a go. We recommend that you undertake split testing to establish which options most aids your specific website.