What Are Vertical Search Engines and How Do You Rank for Them?

April 17th, 2021

Many webmasters use a linear search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that revolves entirely around Google. They realize that Google receives more search traffic than all other search engines, so they optimize their websites to rank for it. While you can always target Google in your SEO strategy, however, you may want to target vertical search engines as well. Ranking in vertical search engines will allow you to capitalize on highly relevant search traffic that drives success for your business.

Overview of Vertical Search Engines

Vertical search engines are those that return results for a specific type of digital content. Unlike standard search engines, they don’t return generic web page listings. Rather, vertical search engines return other types of digital content. They receive their namesake by focusing on a vertical, which is a specific type of digital content.

There are vertical search engines for video content, for instance, and there are vertical search engines for image content. YouTube and Vimeo return video results for searches, whereas Google Images and Picsearch return image results for searches. They are all considered vertical search engines because they focus on a vertical.

Other vertical search engines return results for products. Products are a type of digital content. PriceGrabber, Bizrate, Google Shopping, Amazon and eBay are product-based vertical search engines. Shoppers can use them to search for products to purchase. Of course, there are vertical search engines for specific types of products and services as well. Shoppers can use Zillow or Trulia to find homes for sale, and they can use KAYAK or Expedia to find hotel accommodations.

Benefits of Ranking for Vertical Search Engines

Ranking for vertical search engines offers several benefits. Vertical search engines typically deliver higher quality traffic than standard search engines. Users perform searches on vertical search engines to find a specific type of digital content. Therefore, vertical search engines automatically filter irrelevant and low-quality traffic. You’ll receive high-quality search traffic that’s relevant to your business if you rank for vertical search engines.

By targeting vertical search engines, you can rank other types of content besides your website’s pages. Most vertical search engines don’t return results for web pages; they return results for other types of digital content, such as videos and images. You can rank this content in vertical search engines so that it reaches additional users, some of whom wouldn’t otherwise find the content.

It might be the most popular, but Google isn’t the internet’s sole search engine. A study conducted by SparkToro found that nearly two in five U.S. searches are processed by a different search engine. According to SparkToro, Google Images accounts for over 22 percent of all U.S. searches, whereas YouTube accounts for over 4 percent of all U.S. searches. Ranking in vertical search engines will allow you to reach these users.

There’s also less competition for vertical search engines than standard search engines. Millions of people use vertical search engines to find specific types of digital content on the internet. Since vertical search engines have narrower results than standard search engines, though, there’s far less competition for them.

With their low competition and ability to reach additional users, vertical search engines can increase your business’s sales. You can rank products or services in vertical search engines. Shoppers who are looking for a product or service to buy may then come across your business’s listings, thus paving the way for new sales.

How to Rank for Vertical Search Engines

There are dozens of vertical search engines, many of which require different SEO processes. To rank for a vertical search engine, you must understand how it works. All search engines are powered by an algorithm, and vertical search engines are no exception. They evaluate various signals using an algorithm to determine which content listings are the most relevant to users’ search queries.

While there are nuances between vertical search engines’ algorithms, keywords are an important factor in all of them. Users must enter a search query when performing a search on a vertical search engine. Search engines will run the user’s search query through their algorithm to find the most relevant content listings for it. To rank a piece of content for a vertical search engine, you must optimize it for relevant keywords.

Some vertical search engines have ranking requirements. To rank a product on Google Shopping, for instance, you’ll have to create a Shopping campaign in Google Ads that includes the product in a merchant feed. To rank a product on Amazon, conversely, you’ll have to create a seller account, followed by listing the product for sale.

With that said, Google Shopping is a form of paid advertising, whereas Amazon is not. You can rank products higher on Google Shopping by raising your Shopping campaign bids. To rank products higher on Amazon, you’ll need to create long and detailed descriptions, earn positive customer feedback and generate a high conversion rate.

Depending on which vertical search engines you are trying to rank for, you may want to build backlinks. Most image-based search engines use backlinks to determine where images should rank in their results. If an image has a lot of backlinks, it will likely rank higher than images with few backlinks or no backlinks. Video-based search engines are a different story. YouTube doesn’t use backlinks for rankings. It relies more on engagement signals, such as likes and watch time, to determine where videos should rank in its results.

There’s no universal SEO strategy that works for all vertical search engines. Each vertical search engine has a different algorithm, and many of them have different requirements as well. You can still rank for vertical search engines; you just need to optimize your content around their respective signals while also following their requirements.

Vertical search engines are on the rise. They allow users to find specific types of content by entering a search query. By ranking for vertical search engines, you can reach more users with your business’s products or services while encountering less competition in the process.

How to Choose a WordPress Theme for Your Blog

April 13th, 2021

We all know you should never judge a book by its cover, but we all do it, right? And people judge blogs by their covers, too. You could be the best writer in the world, but if someone lands on your blog, and the theme puts them off, you better believe they won’t be sticking around to find out all about your wonderful way with words. Here are some tips to help you choose a WordPress template that will make your website look as good as its content.

First of all, you need to make sure your website is responsive. “Responsive”, when used to describe websites, simply means that the site will change to fit the size of screen you’re viewing it on. A responsive site is really important in today’s world, because so many people now browse on their phones/tablets/whatever, so you need to make sure that all of those people can still read your blog on all of their different devices. Most of the newer blog templates are built with this in mind, and will flag up the fact that it’s a responsive layout in the description, but if you want to check, just try changing the size of your browser window – the blog you’re looking at should change to fit it.

Just as people use lots of different devices, however, they also use lots of different browsers, and you need to make sure your blog template is compatible with all of them – or with the main ones, at least. If you’re buying a theme from a good designer, they’ll normally have taken care of that for you, but again, if in doubt, try viewing the demo site on a few different browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, IE, etc) just to make sure it’ll work.

Currently, the trend in web design is for minimal templates, with white backgrounds and big pictures. That trend will change in time, so you shouldn’t let yourself be too influenced by it if that’s not your style: what you should bear in mind, however, is that people will probably always prefer sites which use dark text on light backgrounds, purely because they’re easier to read.

Next up, it’s time to choose the layout of your website, and decide whether you want to go for the classic blog format, or a magazine style layout.  For those who don’t know, the “classic” blog layout is where all posts appear in chronological order, with the latest post at the top of the page, and the rest underneath, while a magazine template involves a layout whereby there are lots of posts on the page, and you choose which one you want to read.

Which style will work best for you is up to you to decide, but, in general, if you’re planning on posting lots of content, and want people to be able to find it easily, magazine layouts tend to be better than the “old style” blog format, which presents each post in its entirety, and forces readers to scroll past each one in order to get to the next article.

No matter what kind of theme or layout you end up going for, the top half of the screen is the most important part, and the top of the page – where your banner goes – is the most important of all. If you have an eye-catching, well-designed banner, it’ll go a long way towards improving the appearance of your blog: a bad one, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect, so choose your logo with care, and consider investing in a professional design (You can get very affordable logos on Etsy, for instance) if you don’t want to DIY it.

On that note, you’ll want to make sure that the theme you choose has an option for you to change the header by uploading your own banner/logo: some themes only allow you to change the wording of the text banner that comes with the theme, which means you don’t have the ability to personalize it to a huge extent.

Most pre-made themes can be customized to some extent (and all of them can be customized if you know enough about coding!), but some more so than others. A very basic theme, for instance, might just allow you to switch between a few pre-made colour schemes, while others will allow you to change almost every aspect of your blog’s appearance. With this, it’s very much a case of “you get what you pay for” – the latter type of theme will be more expensive, but will also give you a lot more versatility, and reduce the chances of someone else having a blog which looks identical to yours.

Not everyone wants to spend a lot of time messing around with their theme settings, though, so if you want to keep things as simple as possible, a good way to approach it is to decide which aspects of the theme are most important to you, and work from there.

With all of this said, as with so many aspects of blogging, design is a very subject thing, and you can’t possibly hope to please everyone. One of the biggest barriers to success in blogging is the failure to get started, so don’t spend so much time obsessing over your WordPress theme that you don’t actually get around to writing: the good thing about design is that it can always be changed!