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Is SEO All About Google?

It may seem sometimes that Google is the only player in the search engine game. While Google does hold the lion's share of the market, there are other search engines out there – and placement in those other engines can drive just as much traffic, or more. So here are a few tips to help you maximise your search engine traffic.

Google's the King of Search – But So What?

Google is the undisputed leader in search, holding nearly 90% of the UK market. But what many people don't consider is that Google's market share is not evenly distributed across all audience segments.

In other words, while the vast majority of people might use Google, it doesn't necessarily mean that the vast majority of your target audience does. Aspects to consider include:

  • Location. People in rural areas might be more likely to use Yahoo or MSN search.
  • Computer Systems. MSN Search is particularly easy to access for less savvy web users who are using the Vista operating system or the Internet Explorer browser. They might not bother going to the Google website.
  • Internet Services. AOL users tend to gravitate toward AOL Search. Many of them may not even realise that other search options exist.
  • Country of Residence. While only 10% of the UK population uses search engines other than Google, the U.S. market shows that more than three times that number rely on engines like, Yahoo, Live, and MSN. Other areas may vary, as well.

As you can see, the behaviours and lifestyles of your target audience influence which search engine they'll use.

Why Should You Care Which Search Engine Your Customers Use?

The great thing about SEO is that the same good practices work well on all of the different engines; you don't have to optimise for each one separately. However, knowing where your customers are most likely to search gives you an edge when you plan your site.

First, keyword research needs to be conducted to determine which terms are most commonly used to find sites like yours on the search engines; you can then use these phrases in your copy. But wouldn't you rather know which search terms your specific target audience uses? By concentrating your keyword research on the search engines that your customers use, you can obtain the results that are most appropriate to your market segment.

Three Tips to Optimise for Any Search Engine

No matter what search engine your customers use, these three steps are vital to your success in drawing traffic:

  1. Write for Readers First. Don't let the search engines dictate what you write about; rather, tweak your phrasing to appeal to search engines, too.
  2. Research Keywords Thoroughly. By knowing what your customers are searching for, you can help ensure that they find it – on your site.
  3. Write Great Titles. Your meta title and meta descriptions will represent your site on search engine results pages. Don't use the same ones throughout your site; instead, create compelling, keyword-rich titles and descriptions for each individual page.

By following these tips, you can watch your search engine success grow, driving more and more low-cost traffic to your business's website. If you would like to review how search engine optimisation can work for you, please call us on 08452 579606.