Every Friday since the pandemic shut things down in March (here in the U.S.), we’ve highlighted communicators and marketers who at first were trying to figure out which part of the sky just fell on them in My Hot Mess. Then we shifted to those who are crushing the pandemic with Survive & ThriveNow it’s time to get back to business, even if it’s not totally normal. We’re going to do that with an Ask Me Anything series—an elevation of our previous Spin Sucks Question series.

Today, a Spin Sucks Community member asks how to optimize beyond Google.

Welcome back to another Ask Me Anything, which is a new series where we talk to our friends, our viewers, and our community. about what they would like to know. The whole point is to stump me. If I don’t know the answer, I will ask one of my smart friends to join me.

Let’s take a look at the mailbag.

Today’s question comes from Kara Vanskike. She asks:

A question about SEO came up today and I really didn’t have a great answer. What do we need to do to optimize beyond Google (e.g. Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, etc.)? Currently, we rank farther down on DuckDuckGo than Google, so that suggests to me we need to do something different for, at least, that engine. Is that correct? Then, with that, what analytics tools are out there beyond Google Analytics? Finally, how concerned should we be with SEO beyond Google?

I asked my smart friend, Kyle Akerman, to join us and give us his perspective on Kara’s questions.

How to Rank On the Other Search Engines

Google still has the majority share when it comes to searches, but I would not ignore the other platforms. Things like Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo have a combined 10% of the search world so they’re not places we tend to spend our time.

Luckily the things that we do to improve search rankings on Google should apply to the other platforms.

From a content perspective, you want to focus on expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. At the same time, you need to focus on getting quality links from relevant sites with high domain authority.

Also make sure you’ve submitted your XML sitemap to all of the search engines, not just Google. They will all index your site on those platforms and make it easier for your site to get crawled.

Then make sure your site loads fast and that it’s mobile-friendly,

I’d worry less about doing things differently for the other search engines and focus more on the tips above. If it works for Google, it’ll work for the others.

That said, one specific thing to focus on for DuckDuckGo is location. If you have a business that is dependent on location-based searches, you’ll have to give the search engines more clues about your business location. This is because that search engine does not collect IP addresses so it doesn’t know where you are.

This means you should include your location on the homepage, in the page title, and on the schema markup.

Do You Really Need to Optimize Beyond Google?

The gold standard in analytics is Google, of course, but there are some others that are similar, such as Omniture, Mixpanel, or Heap Analytics.

Then you have a whole category of tools that are more like heat mapping tools. Those include Hotjar, Crazy Egg, and Mouseflow.

But truth be told, you really should just worry about Google Analytics. They have a new platform that just came out of beta, which you can add to your site now and let it run parallel to what you already have there.

The biggest difference with this new platform is that it’s a completely different data model than the current universal analytics. This means it’s more focused on events and parameters versus sessions and pageviews.

If you’re used to reviewing data in the traditional Google Analytics platform, this will take some getting used to. But it’s much easier to set up goals and events and create funnels that are easier to measure.

Have a Question For Us?

If you have a question for a future AMA, you can drop it in the comments here or join us in the (free) Spin Sucks Community. Ask it there, get engaged, have some fun. I hope to see you there!

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich