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10 DuckDuckGo Facts For Digital Marketers & SEO Pros

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10 DuckDuckGo Facts For Digital Marketers & SEO Pros

How often do you use DuckDuckGo?

If you answered “never,” you might want to read this article.

Over the years, DuckDuckGo has redesigned itself and evolved to better meet searchers’ needs and protect their privacy.

In addition to its excellent search capabilities, DDG (DuckDuckGo) has many helpful features that can help you improve your search strategy while cutting the time it takes to complete research.

I’ve researched DDG and its value for digital marketers and SEO professionals.

Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about DDG, why marketers should consider using it, and some interesting facts about the search engine.

What Is DuckDuckGo?

DDGo is a search engine that doesn’t track users, meaning it doesn’t store any information about what websites you visit.

This means that when you use DDG, no one knows who you are, where you live, what you like to search, or which sites you’ve visited – creating a private search history.

Gabriel Weinberg founded the company and has progressed his idea since 2008.

He started using Google for searching, but after seeing how much data Google collects, he decided to create a new, private search engine.

Marketers and SEO pros can use DDG on Safari, Chrome, and Firefox with a built-in extension.

In addition, the search engine is now available as an app for iOS devices, Android phones, and Windows 8 tablets.

Now, let’s get into why you should consider using DDG.

Why Use DuckDuckGo?

With its unique search algorithms, DDG has become one of the most popular alternative search engines.

And while many people are familiar with the name, few understand what makes it stand out from the crowd.

DDG has been designed from the ground up to be fast, private, and secure.

The search engine uses only what it needs to deliver results, which means no tracking cookies or other unnecessary data collection.

This makes DDG one of the best privacy-focused search engines available today.

It lets you search anonymously while blocking trackers on websites you use.

DDG uses HTTPS encryption for all searches and doesn’t store IP addresses.

While there are similarities that make DDG comparable as a search engine to Google, the main difference is that DDG doesn’t track you as Google does.

So, no matter how often you search, you won’t see ads based on your previous searches. Instead, you’ll see sponsored links relevant to the current topic.

This isn’t just good news for privacy advocates – it’s great news for anyone looking for quality information online.

If you want to find something specific without being tracked, DDG is a great option.

Also, if you’re trying to figure out how to incorporate SEO for DDG, you can check out this Search Engine Journal resource.

DDG allows you to block certain types of cookies, which means you can control whether third parties can track your browsing history across the Internet.

Access to this information can provide significant advantages, especially regarding marketing campaigns.

For example, you can target specific keywords based on the pages users visit, which means marketers can reach potential customers faster than ever before.

So now, let’s dive into the helpful features DDG offers.

Helpful DuckDuckGo Search Features

DDG has numerous features such as image searches, location-based searches, and voice searches.

As I mentioned, the main difference between Google and DDG is that DDG does not track users through cookies or other methods.

It also does not sell any data to third parties.

DDG aims to protect the people using its service.

The company has built several features enabling it to identify potential threats without invading user privacy.

It also has instructions to evaluate your add-ons to help you safely remove any unofficial and potentially harmful add-ons.

In addition, DDG has integrated with Apple Maps, allowing users to search for locations privately.

Some features include Safe Search, Instant Answers, and private searches. These help DDG protect its users from malicious websites, scams, and malware.

With Instant Answers, DDG uses over 100 different sources to provide answers to your queries without making you click on different websites for results.

The !Bang Syntax

One very cool feature on DDG is the !Bang Syntax function, which lets you directly search on a site from DDG without having to go to that site first.

For example, suppose you want to search for butter chicken recipes on Pinterest.

You can use DDG’s Pinterest shortcut by entering [!p butter chicken recipes] into the search bar, and it will transport you straight to the Pinterest results on that platform.

DDG has many other shortcuts to websites such as Amazon, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Wikipedia.

To see all the shortcuts, type in the exclamation mark in the search bar, and they will pop up.

Don’t worry – it is easy to use and very helpful for quick searches.

It takes the time out of navigating to a website to complete a search.

If you use DDG’s browser extension or have it as your browser’s default search engine, the !bang commands also work in the address bar.

DDG has many other interesting features you should check out, such as category pages, keyboard shortcuts, and Autosuggest.

If you’re not sold on the search engine yet, check out these ten DDG facts that might help to change your mind.

10 DuckDuckGo Facts

1. DDG Turned 14 In 2022

Google has become synonymous with Internet searches. Even though DDG is a relatively new search engine, the company has existed for over a decade and is still growing at an incredible rate.

2. DDG Hits 100 Million Searches Per Day

It is now one of the top 10 search engines worldwide.

In addition, the search engine hit the milestone of 100 million daily searches in 2021.

3. Over 100 Billion Searches Have Been Performed On DDG

In 2019, it broke one billion searches in a month – and in 2020, it broke 50 billion searches.

Due to its efficient and streamlined search capabilities, over 100 billion searches have been performed on DDG.

4. DDG Has A 11.43% Bounce Rate

While Google still ranks as the number one search engine in the U.S., DDG has worked its way up to the second leading search engine.

And DDG has a bounce rate of 11.43% compared to Google’s 28.46%.

5. DDG Employees Have Grown To 180

From its humble beginnings with founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg running DDG by himself until 2011, the company now employs 180 people.

Additionally, the business is now profitable.

It’s a great example of how you can start small and grow into something bigger.

6. Average Of 6 Million Monthly Downloads On DDG

With more people looking to protect their data, there are an average of six million monthly downloads of DDG for both mobile and desktop use.

Since 2020 it is also the default search engine on Android throughout the EU.

7. Average Of 3 Billion Monthly Searches Performed On DDG

More people are benefiting from the DDG, and now there is an average of three billion monthly searches.

This is because more people rely on the site for everyday searches.

8. DDG Holds 2.42% Of The Search Market In The US

In 2019, the DDG market share began to grow, starting at 1.25%, and has nearly doubled today.

DDG holds 2.42% of the search engine market shares in the US.

9. The Cost Per Click On DDG Can Be 10x Cheaper Than Google

DDG runs pay-per-click advertising like Google and Bing.

But, some marketers have found DDG significantly cheaper than the cost per click of ads on Google, thus lowering the cost of their average conversion rate.

With the right strategy, DDG can be a valuable marketing opportunity for marketers and brands to increase conversion rates.

10. DDG Has An Average Rating Of 4.5 Stars

One of the best ways to determine if a platform is legitimate and worth your time is to look at its reviews.

DDG has an average rating of 4.5 stars, meaning people like using it.

With quick load times and ease for mobile users, it’s an effective search engine.

Key Takeaways

DDG is fast becoming one of the world’s most trusted and popular search engines due to its excellent privacy policy.

It is one of the top search engines for digital marketers and SEO pros because it offers a unique combination of features that help our users stay safe online.

As you can see, DDG provides a wide range of tools and features that can help you optimize your digital marketing strategy, create more opportunities for organic traffic, and increase your online presence.

But don’t let these benefits fool you: DDG is an entirely free service, requiring minimal investment on your part.

So it’s time to try DDG and take your online search strategy to the next level.


Featured Image: sdecoret/Shutterstock

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7 Ways To Improve Local SEO & Attract New Business

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7 Ways To Improve Local SEO & Attract New Business

There is a big difference between the way standard organic SEO works and the way we should approach Local SEO.

Not only is searcher intent likely different, the algorithms Google uses to show the map pack differs from the main organic algorithms.

In this article, I’ll be taking you through the ways you can win new customers and improve your visibility through local SEO.

Top Ways To Improve Your Local SEO

1. Keep An Eye On Your Competitors’ Google Business Profile Q&As

Google Business Profile (GBP) has a great function that can do wonders for growing new business – the questions and answers feature.

If you use it well for your own organization, it can help convert customers who are otherwise on the fence.

But don’t stop there. Spend time researching your competitors’ Q&As, too. See what your potential customers are asking others in your industry.

How GBP Q&A Works

On your Google Business Profile, you may notice an “Ask a Question” button. Once clicked, users are taken through to a screen that allows them to submit a question.

Screenshot from Google Business Profile, September 2022

This next bit is key. The question does not get submitted to the owner of the profile. It gets submitted to the profile. That means it is visible to anyone who sees a Google Business Profile listing.

Once a question has been posted to your competitors’ Google Business Profile listing, you will be able to see it.

And once the question is answered, that information – and the engagement – is there for all in the future to see.

How Does This Help Build New Business?

These questions are a great way to encourage new business from local searchers. Questions are likely to be asked by people who have never visited that business before but are in your target market.

They are already engaging with the brand but need a bit more information before they commit to a visit.

For Your Own Listing

On your own GBP, you can use this opportunity to converse with a potential local consumer who is far down the conversion funnel.

If they are at the stage where they have found you and are considering you enough to ask some questions, a thoughtful response may be all it takes to see them walk through your doors.

On A Competitor’s Listing

Look at what questions your competitors’ customers and potential customers are asking. Use this to better fill out the information on your own profile and website.

If you are noticing a lot of questions being asked about the availability of gluten-free pizza from other pizza restaurants in your area, for example, you want to make sure you highlight your gluten-free products on your site and listing.

This type of research can keep you one step ahead of local competitors, especially if the questions they have been asked are slightly negative in tone.

Consider this question: “Do you still play loud music?”

If a potential restaurant-goer sees that question asked of another business, it immediately makes them consider the environment they will be eating their meal in.

It may make them wonder if they will really be able to enjoy the catch-up with their friends over a meal as they have planned.

Answer the questions being asked of your competitors on your own website and GBP before anyone asks. State in your description that customers will enjoy a meal accompanied by relaxing, ambient music.

This can put you at a significant advantage over your competitors for winning new business in your geography.

When you proactively answer a potential customer’s question before they even have to ask it, you demonstrate that you understand their needs and wants.

2. Tweak A Google Product Listing To Get More Exposure

Google allows businesses with GBP to upload details of the products they offer. This can be viewed by potential customers on both mobile and desktop search results.

The listings appear in the GBP in a carousel format on Maps and in both a carousel and under the Products tab in Search.

Both formats allow users to click on the product cards for more detail, to call, or visit the website.

How GBP Product Listings Work

Uploading your products to a Google Business Profile has gotten simpler. Google has released a new way of doing this called “Pointy.” Pointy is a device that is plugged in between the barcode scanner and the point-of-sale device. As products are scanned in, Pointy adds them to Google.

This is a quick way of uploading your product inventory to your Google Business Profile. There are restrictions around this, however, as Pointy is only available in some countries and also isn’t suitable for products without barcodes (bunches of flowers, for instance).

It is still possible to upload products manually. Simply sign in to your profile and click Edit Profile > Products > Add Product.

How Does This Help Build New Business?

You may be looking to showcase some products over others for a variety of reasons. You may have a surplus of stock in one of your locations, for example.

Bringing that stock to the forefront of that location’s GBP listing will help alert local customers to it. It will allow you to target specific products more to relevant audiences, dependent on their location.

For instance, seasonal products may be better served first. Perhaps the geographic location of your car repair shop is set for an unseasonal snow flurry. Edit your snow tire listings to bring them to the beginning of the carousel.

This could enhance the visibility of your product at just the right time for a new customer in your target location to see them.

3. Use Google’s Business Messages While You Can

Google Business Profile can include functionality that allows businesses to correspond with customers straight from the SERPs.

When activated, GBP will display a Message button that users can click on to start direct messaging with the business.

How GBP Business Messages Work

This functionality has existed since 2017 in Google Business Profile and since 2018 in Google Maps. It has only recently made it onto the desktop, however.

If you are an owner of a GBP, you should see the option in your desktop dashboard to Turn on messaging under the Messages tab.

Google My Business Turn on messaging option.

You can then set items like an initial auto-responder to be sent out when a visitor first messages you are using this service.

To make sure the service is a timely one, Google recommends you reply to all messages within 24 hours.

If you don’t, Google may deactivate the messaging service on your account. Your response times can also show in Google Search and Maps.

Google may display ‘Usually responds in a few minutes,’ ‘Usually responds in a few hours,’ ‘Usually responds in a day,’ or ‘Usually responds in a few days,’ depending on your average reply time.

How Does This Help Build New Business?

Not everyone has the time (or inclination) to call up a business they have yet to engage with. Allowing potential local customers to message you straight from your GBP is an excellent way of streamlining conversations with them.

If you respond quickly, your chances of that potential customer converting are greatly increased.

This is of particular use to local businesses that perhaps don’t use centralized call centers or messaging. It can be another touch point that shows the personalization of the business based on the location that the consumer is in.

Consider the offers, services, and tone of voice that might be most appropriate to your customers in that particular geography. This is your opportunity to highlight again how well you know your customers.

Make use of the local name for the area your business is in. Talk about the specific events and charities you support in the area.

Any additional indication that your business serves the local population specifically can help to reinforce your relevance to the potential customer who has contacted you.

Now that the functionality is available in such a wide range of places on the web, it would be a wasted opportunity not to engage with your potential customers in this way.

4. Update Your GBP With All Relevant Newly Available Attributes

Google keeps updating the features available through its Google Business Profile property. Make sure you keep your listing fully populated with the relevant attributes as they become available.

How Do New Attributes Work

Google frequently adds functionality to Google Business Profile that your business might be eligible to use. Not every new feature is available to all types of businesses, however.

Whether you can access new updates depends on what category is set as your primary in GBP.

To keep up to date with what new features are becoming available and who is eligible for them, visit Google’s GBP announcements page.

How Does This Help Build New Business?

With any new change to Google Business Profile, early adoption will put you ahead of the pack. Although these attributes will not necessarily affect your rankings in the map pack, they can make your business more attractive to prospective local customers.

For instance, attributes can include details of the business’s ownership. For example, it’s possible to include attributes like “women-owned” and “black-owned” to your Business profile.

Google also introduced the option to denote a business’s support for the LGBTQ+ community through “LGBTQ+ friendly” attributes.

A business showing that it is inclusive and supportive of minority groups can help members of those groups to feel welcomed. For some people, knowing they will be welcomed at a business can be the difference between them visiting there instead of a competitor whose support isn’t guaranteed.

LGBTQ+ Support AttributeScreenshot from Google Business Profile, September 2022

5. Join Local Marketplaces And Forums

The key to marketing your local business well is understanding what your audience is looking for. A great way of understanding your target market is by spending time where they are.

This includes online.

Make sure you register your business in local directories and forums. This is not so much for the traditional citation benefit. It’s so you can be amongst your prospective customers, hearing what they are talking about.

How Local Marketplaces & Forums Work

Online Marketplaces

Look on platforms like Facebook for marketplaces relevant to your location and products. You don’t necessarily need to be engaging with the audience to learn more about who they are and what they respond to.

For instance, if you sell locally created craft products in your store, you can get a feel for how much your audience is willing to pay for products by seeing what similar items are being sold for in your town’s Facebook Marketplace.

By watching what your local audience is saying about prices, quality, shipping, and sourcing of products, you can begin to understand more about your audience’s preferences.

Forums

If you are a local pizza restaurant, you would do well to join Reddit subreddits for your city and read the threads that talk about restaurants in your area.

What is your local audience saying about your competition? Are they sick of pizza restaurants and really want someone to bring something new to the area?

Perhaps they are enthusiastic about local independent shops and want to support them more.

How Does This Help Build New Business?

This kind of information can help you to tailor your search marketing strategy, tone of voice, and more.

Go to places where your target audience members are talking freely about your local area. Find out what they want from their local businesses.

If you are feeling brave, you can even interact with your audience on these platforms. This has to be done sensitively and authentically.

Most people don’t want to be mined for information without their consent. Be open and honest when reaching out for feedback on these sites.

The more you can watch and learn from your audience, the more likely you are to be able to offer products and services they will respond well to.

6. Don’t Neglect Bing, DuckDuckGo, And Others

Google is not the only search engine you need to be concerned with. There are others, too, that might be the first port of call for users looking for information on local businesses.

How Other Search Engines Work

You may see the vast majority of the organic traffic going to your site coming from Google. Don’t forget that you might not be tracking all of the ways customers discover you through search.

Your profile showing in the SERPs might not generate a click. As a result, it will not show up in your web analytics program.

So, unless you are measuring impressions across different search engines, you will not know that your business has been seen on the likes of Bing or DuckDuckGo.

DuckDuckGo’s maps are powered by Apple Maps. Therefore, if you want your business to appear in the DuckDuckGo local map pack, you will need to have your business set up with an Apple Maps Connect profile.

Similarly, Bing uses Bing Places to power their local map functionality. Setting up and optimizing a Google Business Profile listing will not help you with increasing organic visibility on Bing.

We are seeing an increase in the popularity of other search engines over time, and for some locations, Google is not the primary search engine used.

If you have physical stores or business locations outside of the U.S., you should look at which search engines are also popular in those regions.

Make sure you utilize the local map functionality of these other search engines.

How Does This Help Build New Business?

Yet again, being where your competitors are not will put you in good stead.

If your competitors are not appearing in the Apple Maps results in DuckDuckGo, you are going to be far more likely to win the business of local searchers using that platform.

7. Keep An Eye On Your Reputation

You may be keeping a close eye on the reviews left on sites like TripAdvisor. You even check your own Google Business Profile listing regularly.

But are you keeping on top of some of the other places in the SERPs which might be giving potential customers an outsider’s view of your business?

How Reputation Monitoring Works

Top and middle-of-the-funnel local search queries, such as [car mechanic telford], can bring back a variety of features in the SERPs.

Prominently Featured Review And Directory Sites

Take a look at this SERP result:

Prominently Featured Review And Directory SitesScreenshot from search for [car mechanic telford], Google, September 2022

The top carousel lists large directories, social media sites, and niche directories. This gives potential customers access to information about your company – and potentially even reviews – on sites you may not even be checking.

Aside from the inaccurate data about your company that these sites may contain, what have customers, former employees, or even competitors said about you?

Given that links to these sites appear as the first feature in the Google SERPs for this query, it would stand to reason they may get a lot of visibility from your potential customers.

People Also Ask

If customers are in the process of narrowing down their choice of business, they might start searching for specific information about those businesses. That can often trigger a “People Also Ask” feature to appear.

When searching for [is (name of a mechanic) in Telford any good], the following PAA box appeared, talking specifically about that brand.

PAA for car mechanic brand.Screenshot from Googe search, September 2022

That first “People Also Ask” question is, “why is [brand] so expensive?” That does not inspire much confidence in the value for money of this particular mechanic.

Although there is not much you can do to control what questions appear in the “People Also Ask” section, it is important to try to influence the perception of those who may click on this question.

Write a page addressing this question and try to get it ranking. That way, when someone interested in your local business clicks on this question, they at least will see your response around “the quality service,” “not compromising by using cheap parts,” and “highly-skilled technicians who you pay well for their expertise.”

How Does This Help Build New Business?

It is crucial to remember that what a potential customer sees about you may not just be the information you are writing on your website or Google Business Profile listings.

It might not even be the reviews left on sites you are closely monitoring and responding to.

A potential customer will be influenced heavily by others’ opinions and experiences of your business. Local businesses tend to attract a lot of reviews because they are promoted by sites that encourage them to be left.

A negative perception of your business will likely be the difference between you winning or losing a new customer.

Always monitor the SERPs around your core lead-generating search terms. Identify where negative perceptions of your business could be formed.

Conclusion

There are many aspects of SEO that you need to consider if you want your business to do well with your local audience.

How your website appears for searches with local intent in Google Maps and the standard SERPs can make or break your business.

If you want your brick-and-mortar business to succeed online, make sure you develop a robust local SEO strategy.

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