Vertical Search

What is Vertical Search?

Vertical search is a specialized type of internet search that helps narrow down results. It's otherwise known as topical or specialty search. It focuses on a specific industry, technical area, or topic instead of general searches. It assists users by giving them a more targeted and relevant query result.

Vertical search considers predefined criteria such as location-based searches and industry-specific criteria like product specifications or keyword matches. This type of search is critical for businesses that seek platform-specific information. Vertical search engines can show pages in an organized list ranked based on relevance.

Vertical search engines use algorithms to comb through web content. From there, it identifies and organizes the most relevant results from unique websites. It offers an alternative for users who might otherwise have difficulty searching for what they need across all the online data.

Traditional search engines can sometimes be overloaded with related yet completely irrelevant information. On the contrary, specialized search engines provide users with more targeted and valuable results quicker and more efficiently.

Why is Vertical Search Important?

Well, when you use general search engines like Google, it has to comb through millions of websites to find results that match your query. It can be time-consuming and often yields less relevant results than if you had used a vertical search engine. With vertical searches designed explicitly for individual categories or topics, the process is much faster and more accurate since only relevant websites are being searched through.

Vertical search engines are helpful for finding business information such as contact details, reviews, and ratings. People also find it useful in finding Google images related to their queries or watching educational videos. There are even dedicated sites that allow people to specifically search for jobs in their area with greater accuracy than what horizontal search engines could provide.

Vertical Search vs. Horizontal Search

Here’s an overview of the main differences between a vertical search and a horizontal search:

ParametersVertical SearchHorizontal Search
Definition / ConceptSearch for a specific content or media typeGeneral type of search
VolumeNot so highVery high
ExamplesSearch different sections, such as news, videos, and image, on Google, Yahoo, etc.Vacation rental enginesEmployment search enginesLocal search enginesIn-platform eCommerce product search enginesTravel search enginesGeneral Yahoo and Google searches
ImplementationWhen SEO is properly implemented, vertical search is easier to appear on due to its narrow scope. Sites can rank higher in vertical search engines when they have different media like photos, graphics, and videos.Ranking for a horizontal search engine requires having regularly updated and unique content and pages. Using phrases and keywords can also help improve SEO rankings.

How to Achieve Dominance in Vertical Search

Every search engine considers various factors. Thus, integrating organic vertical search in your marketing strategy varies from one platform to another. But here are some strategies you can use to ensure vertical search dominance and tips for your overall content strategy.

1. Understand how the algorithm works

Each search engine has its own algorithm that determines what sites are shown at the top of their results. These algorithms look at keyword relevancy, content quality, and backlinks.

For example, Google Shopping and ecommerce search engines like Shopify use a combination of reviews, relevance, engagement, and content in their search algorithms. That means your business or product listing must be keyword-rich and has a call-to-action to engage the visitors further. Then, plan out your Shopify SEO strategy, follow up with your customers and ask for their honest feedback.

2. Choose appropriate search engines

Decide which vertical search engine to focus on so you’ll know where exactly to channel your resources and effort next. That means choosing industry-specific search engines and staying away from other vertical search sites that are irrelevant. So if your product is related to vacations, opt for vacation vertical search sites and tick off employment search engines from your options.

Determine which sites will produce high ROI for your company. Figure out as well if it would make sense to perform cross-site campaigns.

Most importantly, consult with sales and support across your enterprise to assess each platform. For instance, customer support might inform you that how-to-videos are what your target audience needs.

3. Create high-quality content for every vertical search engine

Your content must be keyword-rich and relevant to what your intended audience is searching for. When someone searches for a specific term or phrase related to your business, they should find your website near the top of the list.

Additionally, make sure that your content is well-written and engaging. And keep your content up-to-date. If something changes in your industry or with a product or service you offer, update your website accordingly.

When it comes to checking your website's performance, SEOLeverage™️'s app can help. With its Website Health feature, you'll know which pages need optimization.

4. Be consistent with your brand voice

Dominating the specialized search engine is an omnichannel strategy. That means similar best practices apply for brand consistency.

Do not treat each channel separately. Instead, you must build each into a bigger, broader ecosystem for your brand, content, marketing, and SEO strategies. After all, the best way to provide consistent user experience across different platforms is to ensure that your strategy and brand voice are well-documented. Keep up with how and where your customers search across different search engines.

5. Monitor your progress

As with any search engine optimization strategy, you must track how well it works so you can adjust as needed. Monitor which keywords are giving you good SEO rankings and which are not performing as well as expected. Pay attention also to any changes in traffic levels over a period of time. This could indicate an issue with keywords not being optimized properly.

Take advantage of SEOLeverage™️'s app KPI Overview feature. It will instantly show the essential metrics at a glance to help you monitor your progress, find areas for conversions, and even spot issues.

Getting Help with Vertical Search Optimization

Vertical search optimization (VSO) is an important tool for businesses looking to increase their visibility online within their chosen niche or industry sector. Focus on specific keywords related to your product or service. That way, you can increase traffic from customers who are actively searching for what you offer.

If you don’t have the time or resources to do your own VSO research and implementation, SEOLeverage™️ professionals can help you get started quickly and effectively. Our SEO team can assess your current website. We can provide personalized recommendations for improving its horizontal and vertical search engine rankings. We can help with keyword research and implementation. And we can assist with other essential SEO tasks such as link building and content creation.