Vertical Search: What It is and How to Utilize It

BY Rachel Cagle
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Did you know that, each day, Google processes more than 3.5 billion inquiries? With search being readily available through smartphones and speakers, consumers are taking advantage of the wealth of information at the tips of their fingers and/​or tongue constantly. And these consumers don’t often go past the first few pages of search results. With so much information to go through, more consumers are turning to vertical search engines, according to Jim Yu and his article, “Search is more than Google: Mastering vertical search optimization.”

Yu says vertical search engines “focus on one specific industry or type of content.” Similarly, Ballantine, a service provider, emphasizes the importance of optimizing vertical search engines and encourages marketers to engage in “the practice of optimizing products and services for niche search engines, rather than Google.” These types of search engines include classifications such as travel, real estate and auto, to name a few.

If consumers want to narrow their search to the kinds of categories previously mentioned, they’ll head to specialized (vertical) search engines, such as Yelp, trivago and Carfax. So, for companies that have a more focused product/​service set, vertical search engines have the obvious appeal of being able to reach exactly the consumer type that company is targeting who is also actively searching for what the company has to offer.

The optimization of vertical searches depends primarily on the company’s knowledge of their audience. When these targeted consumers engage with a vertical search engine, what are they looking for specifically? What terms are they likely to search? Will they look for images?

Yu points out that when consumers are visiting a vertical search engine, they’re doing so for a specific reason, and, “This leads into the types of content brands should create in response to those expectations.” Consumer searches will vary across different vertical search engines, so your clients should be customizing their content for each site.

Are your clients’ customers looking for them on hospitality-​related verticals like Yelp or trivago? Get a read on their profiles and the type of content they like by checking out AdMall by SaleFuel’s AudienceSCAN.