Search Engine Optimization: Google Isn’t the Only Player

Optimizing content to rank higher for relevant search terms is an important part of running a blog or website. Most people focus their efforts on optimizing content for just one search engine: Google.

However, Google isn’t the only search engine you should optimize content for. To ensure that your content reaches its intended readers, viewers, and customers, there are platforms other than Google to keep in mind.

Search engine optimization goes beyond Google

It makes sense to primarily focus your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts on Google. After all, the tech giant accounted for nearly 75 percent of search market share in 2017, according to Net Market Share.

But, what about that remaining 25 percent? Baidu, Bing, and Yahoo! make up the majority here. So, optimizing your site and content for these search engines can position you to reach an overlooked quarter of internet users.

Search engines aren’t the only players when it comes to SEO. Platforms like YouTube and Quora are popular outlets for people seeking information. eCommerce sites like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay also use search terms to rank products and display them to customers.

These sites all use search-like algorithms to determine rankings for keywords. For the most part, the basic principles of SEO remain the same; but there are other considerations to note.

Optimizing for other platforms

You can’t optimize the same product, article, or video to perform well across every platform. Each outlet follows a different pattern to generate search results, so you should prioritize the ones that are most appropriate for your particular offerings. However, there are some basic tenets that can help you across the board.

  1. Perform thorough keyword research: All search results are based on keywords. So, get to know your target audience. Imagine the terms they’re likely to search for, and optimize for them.

  2. Strategically incorporate keywords: Regardless of which platform you’re optimizing for, make sure to include your keyword within the content itself. Your keyword should make an appearance in your headline, subheadings, the body copy, or within the product title and description.

  3. Use long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are terms that relate to your target keyword, but are naturally used in everyday language. For example, a long-tail keyword for “writer’s block” might be: “can’t think of what to write.” Long-tail keywords are more niche, so they’re tailored to a specific audience segment.

  4. Build backlinks: Backlinks are links from different websites that direct back to your content. These tell search engines that your content is valuable. Almost every platform considers backlinks to be trust-building, making them a universal tool for ranking higher in search results.

Research, optimize your content, and reach your niche

Beyond basic SEO best practices, hone your specific strategy based on the platform that you value the most. Many platforms provide insight into their algorithms. Search for a platform name and “SEO” (i.e., “YouTube SEO”) to find extensive guidelines and recommendations from online experts.

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