Posted on Jan 29th 2014 in Search Engine Marketing
When you hear the words “search engine,” what’s the first name you think of? Chances are your answer is Google, and with good reason. The company has become synonymous with search, boasting a 67% share of the global market and an impressive 6 billion search enquiries every day.
With such staggering ongoing popularity in mind, it’s unsurprising that when it comes to Hotel SEO, most people view optimising their web pages for Google as their number one priority. In fact, many never even look beyond Google at all. But what about other search sites like Bing and Yahoo? Shouldn’t you be incorporating them into your search strategy too? The short answer is yes! And here’s why…
Why You Need Yahoo and Bing
Imagine, like many marketers, that you’ve focused all your SEO efforts on ranking highly on Google and Google alone. All your hard work has paid off and your resort or hotel has a good ranking position on the first or second page of results. Now, imagine one day something goes wrong. Google suddenly launches another surprise algorithm update that sees your property’s website pushed off its prime ranking spot and lost amidst the oblivion of the fourth, fifth or sixth pages where your guests rarely venture. Since your SEO campaign has been focused solely on Google, suddenly all your site’s search engine traffic disappears.
Now imagine another scenario: you’ve spent most of your energy and resources optimising for Google, while still allocating a little time each week or month to optimise for Yahoo and Bing too. Your efforts have rewarded you with a good ranking on the first or second pages of results. Now, when Google’s latest update penalizes your website, there’s still a good chance your guests will find out about you next time they’re planning their breaks using Bing or Yahoo, which could mean a huge difference to your booking rates if most of your traffic is generated by search.
Search Engine Usage: The Stats
It’s easy to think Google is the first port of call for everyone who wants to make a search enquiry online. After all, the phrase “Google it” has become part of everyday speech and ‘Google’ was even added as a verb to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006. Yet not everyone relies on the search giant to find quick answers to their queries online. In 2013, Yahoo and Bing had a combined search share of just under 29%, which means a pretty significant portion of your guests are not opting for Google to make their searches.
So who are these people turning to alternative search engines to find what they’re looking for online? A fascinating US-based study by WebPageFX suggests that factors such as age, income, educational level and political leanings may have an impact on internet users' search preferences, with Yahoo holding more sway in highly religious Southern states with an older than average population, and Bing enjoying a larger share of the market in states with a low Obama approval rating. The study found Google usage was highest in US states with higher numbers of college graduates, larger households and higher Facebook usage – all factors which suggest that in America anyway, Google’s grip is strongest amongst the middle class.
All pretty interesting right? Understanding what kinds of people are most likely to gravitate towards each search engine can give you the clues you need to adopt your SEO strategy for Google, Bing and Yahoo to get your website noticed by as many of your guests as possible.
So, want to get started optimising for Yahoo and Bing? Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog coming soon!