How and where to reach your target audience

Imagine you’re on trip, it’s approaching midday and you’re beginning to really feel hungry. You’re keen to get pleasure from one of the best native delicacies your vacation spot has to supply. So you go to Google Maps and seek for “finest lunch restaurant close to me”, a subject that’s greater than doubled in search quantity on Google within the final three years alone. 

Over 80% of searches worldwide happen on Google based mostly on the most recent search engine market share information. You may suppose that you simply’ve simply accomplished the most typical search journey to lunch.

However, almost 40% of U.S. searchers between the ages of 18 and 24 go to TikTookay or Instagram when searching for a spot for lunch, in accordance to Google’s personal inner analysis.

In different phrases, if a restaurant within the space desires to entice this audience, their advertising and marketing technique wants to prolong past Google to embody these platforms.

Now think about when you have been crunched for time and had determined you’d moderately order lunch in your room than exit to eat.

If you’re vacationing in San Jose, customers in your space are statistically more likely to find lunch on DoorDash, whereas New York customers are extra possible to order via Uber Eats. 

Ultimately, these eventualities illustrate that when constructing a search advertising and marketing technique, entrepreneurs want to contemplate the context behind a search, similar to:

  • Demographics and psychographics of searchers.
  • Their location when conducting a search.
  • The aim of their search journey. 

We want to erode the distinctions we’ve traditionally made between conventional search advertising and marketing domains (e.g., Google and Microsoft Bing) and the broader ecosystem of digital platforms. 

Search is without doubt one of the most typical human behaviors within the digital area. It’s no shock that Google is the most-visited website throughout the globe and all the highest 10 most-visited web sites worldwide characteristic a search expertise that’s core to the consumer expertise.

Search can be probably the most precious consumer behaviors for entrepreneurs as a result of it’s an expression of customers’ wants and intent. Search information shouldn’t be solely a key enter into content material and promoting methods, but additionally it offers precious perception into the mindset of high-value audiences (HVAs). 

As a results of technological innovation and shifts in consumer conduct, trendy search advertising and marketing methods should now contemplate a considerably broader set of platforms than ever earlier than to successfully perceive and market to target audiences and seize true search demand. 

The following are only a few examples of the variable nature of customers’ search engine consideration units, and the platforms that must be on each search marketer’s radar. 

Traditional search engines like google and yahoo

Perhaps other than Wikipedia loyalists, conventional search engines like google and yahoo stay the dominant vacation spot for customers looking for data on-line.

Google introduced a brand new expertise in 2021 known as Multitask Unified Model, or MUM, which goals to extra effectively reply complicated queries which will beforehand have required a number of searches. MUM is multimodal, which implies it understands data throughout textual content and pictures, and sooner or later, can increase to video and audio.

This potential to index a number of content material codecs and present dynamic, related search outcomes pages is why conventional search engines like google and yahoo will proceed to be a catch-all vacation spot for searchers. 

Google, Bing, and Yahoo make up 95% of the worldwide desktop market share of search engines like google and yahoo. Despite that international dominance, it’s necessary for search entrepreneurs to additionally contemplate different conventional search engines like google and yahoo. 

For instance, the next search engines like google and yahoo entice the biggest share of searches inside their main area:

Each of those engines requires a custom-made search engine optimisation technique and paid promoting will be purchased via the engines straight. 

There are additionally newer entries into the panorama globally which might be value monitoring, together with:


DuckDuckGo launched their search engine in 2008, which goals to shield customers’ privateness by not monitoring their search historical past. DuckDuckGo has been steadily rising in use since its launch and now processes 3 billion searches per month. It had a 0.6% search engine market share worldwide and 2.52% search engine market share within the U.S. as of August 2021.

DuckDuckGo doesn’t require a customized search engine optimisation technique, although you possibly can set your self up for achievement by following finest practices for Bing search engine optimisation and claiming your native listings on Apple Maps, if relevant, based mostly on the sources from which DuckDuckGo compiles its natural outcomes. Paid search adverts can be bought by way of Microsoft Advertising’s accomplice community.


Ecosia launched in 2009 and like DuckDuckGo, it promotes privateness instead to extra mainstream search engines like google and yahoo. Ecosia’s privacy features embody: 

  • Anonymizing all search information inside one week.
  • Not promoting information to advertisers.
  • Avoiding the usage of third-party trackers.
  • And extra. 

Its most important differentiator, nevertheless, is its climate-conscious mission. Ecosia makes use of its income from promoting to fund local weather motion and has already planted more than 150 million trees all over the world. 

It held a 0.11% worldwide search engine market share as of September 2021, together with a 1.03% share in Germany, where it was based. 

Organic and paid outcomes are sourced from Microsoft Bing, so Bing search engine optimisation finest practices and a Microsoft Advertising account are the first instruments required to target Ecosia searchers. 

Brave Search, one other “no-tracking” search engine, exited its beta section in June 2022, a 12 months to the day after launching. It surpassed 2.5 billion queries in its beta section and is projecting queries to double over the subsequent 12 months. 

Unlike DuckDuckGo and Ecosia, Brave Search has its personal rating algorithm that serves outcomes from its personal net index.

Searchers can personalize their natural outcomes utilizing the newly launched Goggles beta characteristic and have interaction in conversations associated to their queries throughout boards similar to Reddit and StackExchange via the Discussions search engine outcomes web page (SERP) characteristic. 

In the longer term, Brave Search will characteristic adverts which might be a part of the Brave Rewards program, which permits customers to earn a portion of the income Brave earns from promoting. In the meantime, searchers can subscribe to Brave Search Premium for $3/month to get pleasure from an ad-free search expertise. 


Yep is a search engine presently in beta being constructed by the search engine optimisation device firm Ahrefs, which introduced an preliminary $60 million funding in June 2022. It is dedicated to consumer privateness in the same method to lots of the different search engines like google and yahoo which might be positioning themselves as options to Google and Bing.

What makes it stand out, although, is its proposed revenue-sharing mannequin. Yep plans to share 90% of its promoting income with content material publishers. It doesn’t but serve adverts in its present beta state, so no distributions have been made to date. Yep has its personal net crawling expertise, index, and rating algorithm.

That mentioned, it’s too early in its growth to warrant separate consideration in web site optimization methods until a writer desires to promote the usage of Yep to its customers as a method to earn potential income from the revenue-sharing mannequin when it launches its promoting resolution.


You opened in public beta in November 2021 and introduced a $20 million funding round at the moment led by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. It has since closed a further $25 million round of funding in July 2022 to develop “premium options” and increase on its distinctive apps characteristic. 

You affords customers a customizable search engine expertise by supplementing net outcomes from its personal rating algorithm with customized apps that seem within the SERP. 

Apps vary in performance from offering outcomes sourced from a particular web site (e.g., Wikipedia) to its YouCode app, which permits customers to generate code based mostly on a search question. You touts its privateness options as a key promoting level for customers and doesn’t presently serve adverts. 

Richard Socher, co-founder of You and former chief scientist at Salesforce, claims that You has a quickly rising consumer base within the tons of of hundreds. He additionally reported that 50% of users proceed to use You after setting it as their default search engine.

It’s possible nonetheless too early for You-focused optimization efforts to yield any significant outcomes, however its increasing library of apps is value monitoring, particularly for publishers who might want to accomplice with You to launch a customized app. 


Finally, whereas Apple has but to formally launch their very own search engine, there have been a number of rumors over the previous few years that they’re planning to develop a Google Search competitor. Among Siri, Spotlight, Camera, Shazam, and extra, Apple already has a wide range of search entry factors seamlessly built-in into its working system. 

Google is presently the default search engine powering the online outcomes on Apple units and pays Apple an estimated $18 billion to $20 billion in 2022 for that privilege. The settlement between Apple and Google requires that the previous gained’t compete in opposition to the latter within the web search enterprise, so Apple could be violating its settlement with Google if it have been creating its personal search engine. 

Despite that appreciable barrier, Apple will proceed to be an enormous presence on the perimeter of the standard search engine dialog positioned to seize a significant share of searches have been they ever to launch their very own.

Sensory search engines like google and yahoo

Sensory search refers to the rising development of utilizing senses past typed key phrase inputs to conduct searches.

Voice search and visible search are the 2 most typical types of sensory search right now. The main platforms in sensory search differ based mostly on the sense being activated by the searcher.  

The human mind can determine pictures seen for as little as 13 milliseconds. Compare that to the measly 36 words per minute the common cell phone consumer can kind right into a search bar and it stands to cause that 62% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers need visible search capabilities, greater than every other new expertise. 

Google, Bing, Amazon, and Pinterest are presently among the many main visible search engines like google and yahoo. Google Lens utilization has tripled within the final 12 months with Lens now getting used almost 8 billion times per month

As augmented actuality and pc imaginative and prescient applied sciences advance, the traces between looking and searching will blur. For instance, Google Lens’ “scene exploration” functionality will enable customers to search a number of objects captured inside a wider scene in actual time. 

Prabhakar Raghavan, who oversees a lot of Google’s companies together with search, described the following use case:

“Imagine you’re attempting to pick the proper sweet bar for your good friend who’s a little bit of a chocolate connoisseur. You know they love darkish chocolate however dislike nuts, and you need to get them one thing of high quality. With scene exploration, you’ll give you the option to scan all the shelf with your telephone’s digicam and see useful insights overlaid in entrance of you.” 

Expect these examples to turn into commonplace as expertise improves since a 2019 study by the Intent Lab discovered that visible data is most well-liked over textual content by a majority of respondents throughout all classes apart from electronics, family items, and wine and spirits. 

The keys to success in visual search are:

  • Feed administration.
  • Image optimization.
  • Structured markup.
  • Content high quality and uniqueness 

The common English speaker talks at a price of greater than 100 words per minute. While talking a search question isn’t as environment friendly as snapping a photograph, it’s nonetheless extra environment friendly than typing. 

Google processes hundreds of millions of voice search queries per day. Voice search adoption is most prevalent amongst new web customers. In India, almost 30% of all Hindi search queries are spoken. 

Google, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa are essentially the most distinguished voice search engines like google and yahoo, typically referred to as digital assistants.

One of the extra distinctive nuances of voice search is the range of units used to conduct voice searches. While telephones and good audio system are the obvious voice search units, in-car voice assistants are the second-most used surface for voice assistant technology within the U.S. 

This system distribution expectedly presents a problem when optimizing content material for voice search, however one of the best practices are literally fairly simple: 

  • Analyze consumer search conduct.
  • Create content material that straight solutions consumer queries.
  • Ensure technical code and visible components similar to pictures are correctly optimized for units with no visible output. 

Some companies will discover extra industry-specific alternatives, as properly. For instance:

  • The optimization and syndication of location information throughout digital platforms for brick-and-mortar companies can entice in-car voice searchers to a close-by retailer.
  • Paid media and the optimization of product element pages on can drive purchases amongst Amazon Echo searchers. 

There’s numerous overlap behind how the expertise of voice search and audio search works. 

The engine:

  • Is activated via some consumer motion (e.g., say “Alexa” to an Echo, click on the microphone icon within the Google search bar, and so on.).
  • Listens for the audio enter.
  • Then returns a consequence based mostly on machine studying to match queries to outcomes. 

Voice search is essentially the most notable type of an audio search, however there are some audio search engines like google and yahoo that don’t characteristic voice search capabilities. 

One such engine is Shazam, the music recognition app purchased by Apple for about $400 million in 2018. Launched within the U.Ok. 20 years in the past as a textual content message service, Shazam surpassed 70 billion tune recognitions in August 2022 and boasts 225 million global monthly users

Many of the business use circumstances for the app are targeted on the music {industry}, such because the just lately launched live performance discovery characteristic. 

Additionally, Shazam launched a characteristic in 2011 that allowed customers to seize audio from TV applications and adverts and obtain associated advertising and marketing messages and particular affords. 

This expertise and the rise of sonic branding in advertising and marketing via sonic logos, “earcons”, and different types of branded audio content material present inventive alternatives for advertisers to join with audio searchers.

Get the each day publication search entrepreneurs depend on.

Activating the senses within the search journey isn’t restricted to inputs. Searches for multimedia content material (e.g., pictures, movies, audio, and so on.) are a serious driver of conduct throughout digital platforms. 

The platforms on which multimedia content material seekers search differ by the content material format sought. The paths customers take to in the end eat multimedia content material are much more diverse.

Video content material

Approximately 720,000 hours of video content is uploaded each day to YouTube alone, so there’s predictably large demand for video search engines like google and yahoo. It is the world’s second-largest search engine and second-most visited website

In the U.S., viewers spend a mean of 31 minutes per day watching movies on YouTube. Content creators who add movies to YouTube can apply YouTube SEO best practices to improve discovery throughout YouTube and Google Search and can promote their movies on YouTube via paid promoting. 

Vimeo is one other main video search engine with utilization that pales as compared to YouTube however nonetheless is the 589th most visited website worldwide. It rolled out a collection of optimizations to its platform in May 2022 aimed toward enhancing the visibility of Vimeo creators’ movies inside Google’s natural search outcomes. 

The Vimeo workforce additionally highlighted some video SEO best practices for its creator neighborhood to implement in its announcement concerning the platform’s search engine optimisation updates. Unlike YouTube, Vimeo doesn’t have promoting and as a substitute positions its core providing as a streaming video on demand (SVOD) service.

Search performs an enormous position within the streaming video area and is a core platform operate throughout Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, and lots of the different main suppliers. There are even streaming video search engines like google and yahoo that search throughout platforms and can personalize outcomes based mostly on a searcher’s energetic subscriptions. 

JustWatch and Reelgood are two engines in that class. While search discovery and promoting alternatives throughout these streaming search engines like google and yahoo are restricted in relevance when you’re not a content material producer your self, there may be worth within the search information obtainable for evaluation from these engines to maintain a pulse on popular culture and inform potential content material partnerships or advert concentrating on throughout streaming platforms. 

Audio content material

Digital audio content material instructions an enormous share of consideration with U.S. adults spending a mean of one hour and forty minutes per day consuming this medium.  

  • Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Deezer are only a handful of the various mainstream audio streaming companies with in depth libraries of music and podcasts. 
  • Soundcloud and Bandcamp are amongst others that skew towards extra area of interest and indie artists.
  • Audible and are purveyors of audiobooks and different spoken phrase content material. 

Search is a core operate of all these platforms. The seek for audio, nevertheless, isn’t restricted to digital audio streaming companies. 

If you conduct a search in Google for “taco bell business tune” (97k searches within the final 12 months) or “applebees business tune” (79k searches within the final 12 months), you may find yourself on YouTube or iSpot.television.

If you suppose this kind of search is an anomaly, contemplate that “att lily” has been searched 2.4 million instances within the final 12 months. 

This conduct extends to all types of media. For instance, when you can’t open Shazam shortly sufficient to file the ballad taking part in within the thirteenth episode within the 4th season of Roswell, New Mexico (*spoiler alert*) in the course of the montage of Michael and Alex getting married, a fast Google search might direct you to Tunefind, where the neighborhood has confirmed that tune is “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain. 

Most advertisers produce not less than some content material that features audio, and many drive model consciousness via the promotion of that content material supported by huge budgets. 

To maximize the return on that funding and make sure that content material is discoverable, it’s crucial that each one content material is:

  • Hosted publicly (on a model web site, YouTube, or different platforms).
  • Properly marked up to embody key particulars that somebody beforehand uncovered to the content material might search.

Social media

Commanding one hour and fifteen minutes per day amongst U.S. adults, social media competes for consideration by constructing immersive sensory experiences. 

Scrolling might be the motion most related to social, however search performs a major position throughout platforms, as properly. 

Pinterest boasts 433 million active monthly users who conduct a mean of 8 searches per month on the platform. That equates to almost 42 billion searches per 12 months of which an estimated 97% are unbranded. It was already processing 600 million visual searches per thirty days in 2018 and continues to be a number one visible search engine. 

Search is so central to the Pinterest expertise that the corporate rolled out Pinterest Trends in 2019, which options matters with excessive search quantity over a rolling 7-day lookback interval. Pinterest search information drives the corporate’s development prediction engine Pinterest Predicts, which boasted a powerful 80% success rate in its predictions from 2021 coming true.

Search quantity information throughout social platforms is far tougher to come by than different engines that share absolute quantity or trending estimates. Even outdated information, nevertheless, signifies the immense scale of social media search exercise. For instance:

Not all these searches have significant business intent nor do social platforms usually supply advertisers the power to target on-platform search queries. 

For natural discovery, hashtags can enhance relevance for target search queries and the content material of the posts themselves ought to incorporate key phrases related to their target audience. 

Social platforms similar to Instagram and Facebook have shared extra data lately about their personalised search rating algorithms. Interest in TikTookay search engine optimisation has grown considerably, with greater than 84 million views of movies on TikTookay with the #tiktokseo hashtag as of early September.

As evidenced by Gen Z’s search journey for lunch within the U.S., many searches performed throughout social media have inherently native intent. 

It’s no shock that many social platforms have responded to this intent by incorporating extra native options into their search and discovery experiences. 

  • Snap and Instagram characteristic maps with particulars about close by companies overlayed.
  • Facebook hosts a sturdy community of location pages.
  • Twitter just lately launched a Location Spotlight device that permits brick-and-mortar companies to publish particulars about their location on their Twitter profile. 

As social platforms increase these native options, they are going to proceed to compete for native search market share held by conventional maps apps (like Google Maps, Waze, and Apple Maps) and native directories (similar to Yelp and TripAdvisor). 

Advertising alternatives complement an natural social technique and native listings administration in driving discovery throughout these platforms, ideally leveraging a expertise supplier to syndicate constant updates throughout publishers. 

BloomReach made waves within the search {industry} in 2016 once they launched the outcomes of a research they commissioned that discovered 55% of U.S. shoppers begin their product search journey on Amazon. Since then, a large number of surveys has bolstered that Amazon is the highest vacation spot for product searchers. 

Trailing behind Amazon because the go-to product search engine are:

  • Traditional search engines like google and yahoo (e.g., Google, Bing).
  • Other retailer search engines like google and yahoo (e.g., Walmart, Target, and so on.). 

More just lately, web shoppers have reported beginning their product searches on social media platforms similar to TikTookay, Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit. 

This rising development skews towards a youthful audience with 18% of U.S. web shoppers between the ages of 18 and 24 years previous reporting that they usually start their product search journey on TikTok, third behind Amazon and Google. 

Content optimizations knowledgeable by shopper search conduct and syndicated throughout retail accomplice web sites will assist manufacturers achieve natural visibility throughout the digital shelf. 

Amazon Ads and Walmart Connect are the two largest retail media ad networks by spend, however an growing variety of retailers are coming into the retail media panorama with their very own choices. 

  • Kroger Precision Marketing powered by 84.51°.
  • Sam’s Club’s Membership Access Platform.
  • The CVS Media Exchange.
  • Target’s Roundel.
  • Instacart Ads.
  • eBay Ads.
  • Best Buy Ads.
  • Wayfair Media Solutions.
  • Macy’s Media Network

And the listing retains increasing. Advertising companions similar to Criteo and PromoteIQ allow advertisers to effectively target searches throughout a broad community of retailer websites.

Specialized search engines like google and yahoo

As illustrated within the situation on the outset, the seek for lunch happens on a wide selection of engines past Google and Microsoft Bing. Many different verticals observe this similar sample.


OTAs (e.g., Expedia,, Kayak) act as one-stop retailers for journey search wants.

Disruptors like Airbnb and VRBO compete with lodging community web sites (e.g., Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt) for searchers trying to guide stays.

Real Estate

Zillow, Trulia,, and Redfin are among the many main search engines like google and yahoo for getting and promoting properties., HotPads, and regional engine StreetEasy in New York entice house hunters.


Allrecipes, Taste of Home, and Epicurious are distinguished engines on this area, although conventional search engines like google and yahoo and social media platforms seize a excessive quantity of recipe search demand as properly.

Automotive, Autotrader, CarMax, Edmunds, and Carvana are only a few of the main gamers on this aggressive search area.


Google Finance, Yahoo! Finance, Bloomberg, and brokerage agency web sites facilitate conventional funding searches. Nerd Wallet, BankRate, and energy bank card searches.

CoinMarketCap, CoinGecko, and change web sites (e.g., Coinbase,, Binance) cater to cryptocurrency searchers.


WebMD, MayoClinic, and Healthline are among the many respected websites with search experiences constructed to floor necessary well being data

Freelance expertise

Upwork, Fiverr, and assist companies of all sizes supply freelance expertise, whereas serving to freelancers seek for work


Angi (previously Angie’s List), HomeAdvisor, and TaskRabbit are among the many main search engines like google and yahoo on this vertical


Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Google are a number of of the highest search engines like google and yahoo for job seekers

Note: This listing may go on and on as there are specialised search engines like google and yahoo in just about each vertical. 

What this listing and the previous examples in the end illustrate is that search is fragmented now to the purpose where the road has blurred between search platforms and digital platforms with search as a key operate. 

As the standard of website search options obtainable to web site homeowners continues to enhance, this line will solely get blurrier.

So, what’s a marketer to do? How do firms maximize the worth of their search applications within the context of their broader communications technique?

The following pointers present a framework that displays the position search ought to play within the comms planning course of:

  • Analysis of search conduct throughout related search engines like google and yahoo contributes to the event of high-value audiences (HVAs).
  • Understanding the digital platforms most regularly utilized by every HVA is vital to mapping their respective search journeys throughout platforms.
  • An evaluation of the important thing digital platforms will qualify the significance of search as each a driver to and operate inside every platform, and lead to a search technique that can incorporate some permutation of the next techniques:
    • Optimizations that may be made to an on- and/or off-platform owned expertise to drive natural search discovery inside the platform.
    • Advertising that may be bought to target customers’ on-platform search queries.
    • Advertising and/or experiences – each paid and earned – concentrating on off-platform searches that entice customers to the platform.
    • Analysis of platform search information to generate insights that ship a greater understanding of target audiences and inform different strategic initiatives.
  • Search strategists must be included all through all the comms planning course of to make sure that entrepreneurs are current throughout all levels of customers’ more and more fragmented search journeys.

Interested in studying extra? Well, there are search engines like google and yahoo for that. Which ones will you employ?

Opinions expressed on this article are these of the visitor writer and not essentially Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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About The Author

Dan Toplitt is the SVP, Head of US search engine optimisation at Reprise, the worldwide efficiency advertising and marketing company of IPG Mediabrands. Dan has greater than a decade of search engine optimisation expertise, constructing award-winning groups at enterprise search engine optimisation businesses servicing Fortune 500 shoppers. He has spoken at a number of {industry} conferences on matters starting from zero-click search to optimizing new search platforms. Prior to coming into the company world, Dan co-founded an organization that operated a nationwide highschool recognition and faculty scholarship program, awarding greater than $15 million in scholarships.

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