Everything written so far in this series has been about the undisputed king of search engines – Google. But it’s not the only one – is there any value in trying to attract consumers from others?
Is Google the champ?
In a word – yes.
Throughout 2018 (to September) Google’s share of global search engine traffic has hovered at just under 80% across all devices. It’s slightly higher on mobiles (although declining) when compared to laptops and desktops and very strong on tablets.
But the figures are skewed because the nearest rival, taking around 20%, is Baidu. That’s a Chinese search engine which is irrelevant for most businesses in the UK. In fact it’s the growth of smartphones in China that’s responsible for that slight decrease in Google’s mobile share mentioned above.
Bing and Yahoo
Although other search engines do exist, Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo are the only ones really worth bothering with if you’re based in the UK.
Globally Bing took around 4.5% and Yahoo nearly 3% during 2018, although those numbers dropped steadily through the year (to September). But in the UK, Bing has risen in the last three years from around 6% to over 12% and Yahoo stands at nearly 3%.
BT and Yahoo have a long-standing partnership so BT Internet customers who don’t change anything (so probably not very technical) will be using Yahoo. People using Windows 10 who don’t change much on their computers either will be using Bing because it’s tied into Edge and Cortana, windows 10’s browser and search assistant.
So if you’re selling something in the UK to people who aren’t particularly technology experts, putting a little effort into Bing and/or Yahoo could well yield results.
How does Bing differ from Google?
Since 2009, Bing has provided the engine behind Yahoo, so from here on we’ll talk about Bing as the same tips will hold for Yahoo too.
If you’re doing all the things you need to do to rate highly in Google, they’ll work for Bing as well. These include:
- Regular, high quality and RELEVANT content
- Making your content easy to share
- Links to your site from other, highly regarded sites
- On-page optimisation
Research has shown that links in to your site that contain your keyword phrases work well, and as this won’t be penalised on Google it’s worth doing, if you can. Bing also favours links from older, established sites.
Getting these links on to other, highly-regarded sites will be hard work, but valuable.
Exact keyword matches
It seems that Bing’s understanding of the human language lags behind Google.
This means that using your exact keyword phrases in your H1 and H2 headings will help you rank higher on Bing. You could also try using keyword phrases in page names too.
If, for example, you’re optimising for “printers in Stalybridge” and “printing Stalybridge”, try creating new pages called printers-in-stalybridge.html and printing-stalybridge.html. You would need to create new and unique content for those pages though, perhaps writing about work you’ve done for clients in Stalybridge.
On other pages, make headings using your phrases and see if that helps you rate better in Bing – it will take a few months for the results to show though.
In a nutshell
Basically the tips are to focus on all the things you’re already doing for Google, but pay a little more attention to backlinks (we’ll do a more in-depth article on this soon) and using keywords phrases in page titles and headings.
Don’t overdo the keyword work though, or Google may penalise you. Add it in slowly and keep a record of how your positions change in both Google and Bing.