Google and Bing search engines - different in name only, right? Not so fast. Searchmetrics, one of the leading companies in search analytics software, released a study that looked at how some websites rank higher on Bing.com. Interestingly, there are some notable differences between the key factors for ranking well on Bing and those for ranking well on Google.
The findings beg a radical question -- should you have separate versions of your law firm's website, including one optimized for Google and the other for Bing? While this may not be feasible for every law firm, here are three points to consider when it comes to Bing.
Bing Has Some Bang
1. With the long-awaited release of iOS 7, Apple's new operating system, Bing is now the default search engine powering Siri. As iPhone sales continue to grow, the number of users utilizing Siri (and Bing) will most likely continue to climb.
2. Bing powers the back-end search results you see on Yahoo. If you add the amount of searches conducted on both Bing and Yahoo, this equals approximately 29% of total market share. It is possible that there is a significant share of search in your market that you are not currently capturing.
3. Bing can be a way to mitigate the risk of the changing search engine landscape. Google shows no signs of stopping in making major changes to its search algorithms which can affect how your law firm's website is seen and found. Optimizing for each search engine is one way to mitigate the risk the updates present. Just as you carefully consider where to invest your retirement funds, you need to consider the benefits and risks of dedicating your marketing resources to one channel.
Optimizing for Each Search Engine
A whole new SEO strategy is a lot to consider, but if you've decided you want to pursue it, what is the best way to get there?
First, remember that no matter what search engine you are optimizing for, the key is to provide value to your users. The method in which this takes place may change, but the core concept of value creation must remain constant.
Second, understand the factors that seem to be weighted differently by the search engines in your market. For example, according to Searchmetrics, pages that rank well on Bing tend to have a lower number of images and a higher amount of content than pages that rank well on Google.
Finally, just like any other marketing program, it is important to define in advance how you will measure your success. Does each version of your website drive a meaningful amount of traffic to your online presence? Does it then translate into leads and potential cases? Keeping these factors in mind can help you grow your business, no matter what marketing channel your prospects use.
For more legal marketing insights, follow @FindLawLab on Twitter.
-- Mark Jacobsen, Senior Director, Strategic Development and Thought Leadership
with Tina Johnston, Senior Product Developer