Going Beyond Google: New Search Engines for Service Providers

Beyond Google - SEO for other search enginesRemember that time you heard an SEO expert discuss how modern SEO is about more than just Google?

This is one of those times.

I recently got an email inviting me to participate in Amazon Business Services to “reach the right clients when they’re searching for the services you offer.

We’ve known for a while that Amazon is a hot search engine that many bypass Google to use. And it reminded me, to remind you, about all of the potential out there right now.

SEO Hasn’t Died—but It Has Evolved.

Has your SEO plan traditionally looked like this? Create your awesome content, put it on your website, and cross your fingers your website ranks high for your target keyword so that a significant portion of your traffic will convert upon that first visit.

That is so 2014.

It’s critical you start looking beyond Google as a search engine for additional places to showcase your services and place your content. Wherever your market might be typing in queries relevant to the services, products, information, and solutions you provide, you need to look to see if it’s a viable place you need to better optimize your presence for.

And when two of the biggest companies start improving their search engine capabilities for service professionals, you pay attention.

Discoverability: Amazon Services and LinkedIn ProFinder

The primary goal of creating content used to be ranking your website in the #1 spot. That’s still a goal – but it’s no longer the only goal.

At the end of the day, Google still may be the biggest, most popular, used search engine worldwide, but it’s not the only one being used by your target market. Check out these two opportunities B2B and B2C service providers can explore:

1. Amazon Services

Beyond Google - Amazon Business Services

Amazon is a giant in the space who has historically dominated the SERPS for an insane amount of keywords. Not only do you want an Amazon product page to show up if you have a book or a product you sell, but now you can use Amazon in a different way: selling your services.

This is ripe for the picking for Local SEO. B2C services are a no-brainer, but certainly I saw B2B being offered around graphic design, web design, and sales and marketing.

Here’s an example of a service provider page:

Beyond Google Search - Amazon Business Services

And the “Business and Commercial” page:

Beyond Google - Amazon Business and Commercial Services

A few tips:

  • To qualify to sell services on Amazon, you must meet a number of requirements: passing an initial application test including business verification, undergoing a background check, holding and maintaining appropriate business licenses, and carrying insurance with appropriate coverage limits.
  • Be prepared to meet Amazon’s “Happiness Guarantee” of service
  • As far as how Amazon handles promoting you? Here’s what they say:

Beyond Google - Amazon Business Services Marketing

Search Engine Journal makes a great observation about the weight an Amazon page will carry: “Google is quick to provide Amazon and other retail stores as its top results when the query is reflective of a purchase, will the same be true now that there are services on offer? If so, that’s a huge competitive boost for Amazon sellers who work with these providers or work with this function.”

This is fairly new, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

2. LinkedIn ProFinder

LinkedIn ProFinder – “Hire a Freelance Professional.”

Beyond Google - Linkedin ProFinder

The concept of filling out an online profile in a marketplace for freelancers and service providers is not new (Fiverr and Upwork, anyone?). Searching on LinkedIn isn’t new. But a vetted, high-quality marketplace that is fully searchable on a trusted platform? That is new. Here’s what LinkedIn ProFinder says:

“We’re looking for top quality freelance or independent professionals looking to get new clients and leads. We currently feature US based experts across a variety of professional services, from accounting to real estate to web design.”

A few things you need to know – hat tip to this Inc. article about ProFinder:

  • Because of its treasure trove of user data, LinkedIn is able to quickly and easily show you the best prospects for a freelance project or ongoing service you need based on keywords, categories, or search terms you type into ProFinder.
  • LinkedIn can even filter search results based on your network (who you’re already connected to at a first or second degree level), recommendations those professionals have, their physical location (if that matters), and more.

Getting Started:

  1. Start with your normal LinkedIn profile as your ProFinder profile is created directly from your LinkedIn profile; make a great impression
  2. Optimize your profile: match your profile headline to the services you originally selected. Use the summary to share more about your accomplishments and passions. This is valuable real estate
  3. Start gathering recommendations
  4. Build a professional brand with LinkedIn’s publishing platform as these posts will be clearly displayed on your ProFinder profile

The Common Thread: No Shortcuts

One important point behind all of this is there is no shortcutting. To really get noticed and get attention on these platforms, it takes a solid marketing strategy behind any of these efforts.

And do you want to know the really cool thing about all of this?

No matter where people started searching, they will google you and ultimately end up back on your website. Your site still has to be top notch. So you can breathe a sigh of relief that your investment into your website thus far is not only valid, but more important than ever.

Your Turn to Knowledge Drop:

How have you consciously diversified from your Google-Only approach to SEO? Are you exploring platforms like these for your service?

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Jenny Munn

Jenny Munn is a freelance Search Engine Marketer focused on generating awareness, traffic and conversions. Her mission is to help businesses fill their pipelines faster. Jenny is passionate about her field, and is a frequent speaker on SEO and website marketing. Jenny has taught SEO at EdNet, WordCamp Atlanta, NAIS, EdNET, Digital Atlanta, Solo PR Summit, Business Marketing Association, Atlanta Tech Village, SuperNova South, PRSA, and various digital marketing organizations. Find out more at https://jennymunn.com/.
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1 Comment

  • Tom Nguyen says:

    Nice post, Jenny. A colleague mentioned Amazon to me. You’re the second person this week who mentioned Amazon to me.

    Outside of Google, I’ve received inquiries via Bing, Yahoo, Manta, Ask, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, vendors, word-of-mouth, and press release articles.

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