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Whether you’re a copywriter, marketer or fully fledged SEO ninja, the chances are that your optimisation will be primarily focused on the larger search engines.
More people use Google and Bing, so they’ll be your primary sources of revenue. However, there comes a time in every campaign's life when results level off. At times like this it’s worth taking time to consider other search engines.
There’s is no shortage of them available, and while they don’t have quite the same audience share, they can still provide you with a healthy traffic boost.
Before you dive in however, you need to remember that different engines crawl for slightly different content. Relevant, quality content with solid search phrases will always work well, but for PPC you’ll definitely need to consider other factors and tweak your campaign accordingly.
Here’s a few ways you can maximise your results on alternative search engines.
Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater
Remember, every engine is going to provide slightly different results.
Even major campaigns can experience vast differences across Google and Bing, so make sure you have a dedicated account manager on hand and run carefully through each engine you intend to target.
If you have a successful campaign to use as a blueprint then by all means do so, but be prepared to rejig it extensively along the way.
Make sure you take note of your best existing traffic sources so you can target them and avoid dead ends.
Don't overdo it
Optimisation is key, but you can have too much of a good thing. You may have laser-targeting for Google, but again, each new engine will require different keywords and sources so be prepared to loosen your parameters and experiment.
If you have 50 clicks from a source and no sales, then the initial reaction is to dump the source, but stop and think about your overall conversion rate before you do this.
If you are seeing 2% conversions then you need larger figures before you can really write anything off, so don’t over-block or over-target.
Watch your overheads
If you’re only receiving one or two conversions then it may seem wise to stop targeting that source.
Before you do though, measure the actual amount of money those customers spent with you. If you are paying a low rate for a few high paying conversions then it’s still worth it.
With smaller engines you can usually pay less for productive keywords, but don’t be tempted to bid under the odds.
Although the overall volume will be lower, you’ll still get out what you put in, so be prepared to invest properly at the start of your campaign and then rethink things when the numbers start to come in.
PPC campaigns need to be flexible, but balance this against solid metrics first.
Track everything and everyone
Make sure you set up detailed conversion tracking from the off. Just because you’ve assigned a large section of your budget to two or three words, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ditch them if they aren’t providing results quickly enough.
Think about the search engines user base and key demographics when choosing keywords, you may need to optimise around completely different terms.
Finally, remember that a new search engine means new infrastructure and business practices.
You may be used to working with Google or Microsoft, but don't assume that every search engine does business in the same way, so make sure you have internal and external fraud tracking in place so that you are protected.
There are plenty of free third-party fraud detection systems available so any reputable search provider should be able to offer adequate assurance against fake clicks.
Building a successful campaign on any search engine is a challenge, but one that can be overcome by taking time to understand the community using it.
Different engines prioritise different material and some target specific subject matter, so make sure you’ve done your research and feel that your product is a good match for the service before you commit your PPC budget.