Which Search Engine is the Right Fit?

- January 28, 2009

More often than not, clients (especially those brand new to MoreVisibility) ask which search engine they should allocate their online marketing dollars toward.   Right out of the gate, many will say they want to focus solely on Google.  This is understandable given that Google holds anywhere from 65 to 70% of the market share; depending on which publication you read. Although no one can argue that Google is most widely used, there are a myriad of other channels worth considering.

So how do you know which engine is the right fit for you? It’s all about testing, testing and yes, more testing. Some clients perform better in Yahoo versus Google. Others experience a much higher ROI in MSN and a large majority of Ecommerce websites tend to do quite well in shopping portals like Amazon, Biz Rate and Shopzilla. It is advisable not to limit your online marketing initiatives to just one channel. Every search engine offers certain advantages, based on factors such as age, gender, demographics, etc. When creating a search engine marketing campaign, the preferred strategy is to take certain steps to achieve a more favorable result. These steps include, but are not limited to the following:

Budget – Determine an approximate monthly budget you wish to target. Keep in mind that this figure can change based on your results. Once you have the ability to gauge your progress (hint hint, I am referring to testing again), it will be much easier to choose which engine to spend the majority of your budget.

Bidding Strategy — Not all search engines are created equal; bid prices can vary depending on engine, industry and overall competition. 

Keyword Research – It is mission critical to take the time to research keywords for trends, competitiveness and volume. Certain keywords perform better in some engines than others. One word phrases are too generic and therefore, not often recommended.  The more targeted the phrase, the more targeted the searcher.

Testing — I am not trying to beat a dead horse, but you must analyze your results. Otherwise, you could be spending good money on top of bad money. Every dollar counts, specifically in today’s tough economy. Utilizing an Analytics Tool is essential and will afford you the ability to make educated decisions with respect to your online efforts. MoreVisibility utilizes Google Analytics (GA) and continues to source GA on behalf of our clients.

The morale of this blog? Expand your (online) horizons. Just because Google is dominating the market does not mean that your site will not also perform well in other engines. Get your hands dirty! Test out a few engines and take advantage of how robust and comprehensive analytics tools are today.  You will find the right potion for your site; you just need to figure out the right ingredients!

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