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How to Promote Your YouTube Channel [+ Tips from HubSpot’s YouTube Team]

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How to Promote Your YouTube Channel [+ Tips from HubSpot's YouTube Team]

In the early days of YouTube, there weren’t a whole lot of YouTubers or brands creating content on the platform, so it was much easier for content creators to stand out. Fast forward to 2022, and there are now roughly 15 million active content creators on YouTube pumping out 500 hundred hours of content every minute.

With that in mind, you’re probably wondering how to promote your YouTube channel so that it stands out above the rest. And how much will promotion cost? Fortunately, there are many tools, tips, and tricks you can use to promote your YouTube channel without having to spend a lot of money — or any money at all.

In this blog, we’ll explore some of my favorite, no-cost methods to promote a YouTube channel.

  1. Create compelling content.
  2. Use keywords in your headlines, descriptions, and tags.
  3. Use hashtags.
  4. Customize your thumbnails.
  5. Post regularly.
  6. Promote your channel on social media.
  7. Promote your channel on forums.
  8. Build a community.
  9. Run a contest.
  10. Cross-promote your videos on YouTube.
  11. Collaborate with other creators.
  12. Create playlists for your YouTube videos.
  13. Embed your YouTube videos.
  14. Livestream.
  15. Add a YouTube widget to your website.

How to Promote Your YouTube Channel for Free

I have my own YouTube channel where I talk about anime, and when I first got started I definitely did not have money to spend on expensive ads or pricey tools to grow my channel. So, I did a lot of the following to find my audience, and I saw growth pretty quickly:

1. Create compelling content.

There are many tactics you can use to attract viewers to your channel, but none of these tactics can make up for lackluster content. The fact is no one wants to get invested in content that isn’t good.

A major key to attracting an audience and encouraging them to subscribe is to create compelling content that will keep them coming back for more.

Pro-Tip: Look at other established content creators in your niche for inspiration. What do you enjoy most about their videos, and what would you do differently? Use your answers to help you figure out the kind of content you want to make.

2. Use keywords in your headlines, descriptions, and tags.

Hundreds of thousands of videos are uploaded to YouTube every day. To ensure your videos reach your target audience, you need to incorporate keywords into your headlines, descriptions, and tags.

There are free tools like Google Keyword Planner, which can be accessed from your Google Ads dashboard. Don’t worry — you don’t have to run ads to use it. All you need is a Google account.

Google Keyword Planner can be used to promote your YouTube channelBildkälla

Pro-Tip: One of the simplest ways to find the right keywords without using any tools is to enter your video’s topic in the YouTube search bar, and use the autosuggest to find words and phrases you should incorporate into your content.

yt autosuggestBildkälla

3. Use hashtags.

You can also use the keywords you found to create hashtags for your videos’ titles and descriptions. Your video’s content may also inspire ideas for a hashtag. For example, maybe you interviewed a popular guest on your channel — that guest’s name can be used as a hashtag to attract their fans to your content.

Hashtags are used to promote a YouTube channelBildkälla

Pro-Tip: Look at other YouTubers in your niche to see what hashtags they are using so you can find the right ones for your content.

4. Customize your thumbnails.

The thumbnail of your video serves as your video’s first impression — and we all know you never get a second chance at a first impression. To grab viewers’ attention, create a unique, eye-catching thumbnail that will compel them to click on your content.

YouTube thumbnails that stand out typically include a combination of the following:

  • High-quality images
  • A face (humans naturally focus on faces when it comes to photos)
  • Bright contrasting colors
  • Action shots
  • Bold text of no more than six words

Pro-Tip: For my own YouTube videos, I use Canva’s free YouTube thumbnail tool. With Canva, the thumbnail templates are already the proper dimensions and there are tons of fun stickers, bold fonts, colors, and background images to choose from. Plus, I can upload my own images from my phone or computer to the template.

This thumbnail is used to promote a YouTube channel

5. Post regularly.

Consistency is important when attracting potential subscribers to your channel. When you post frequently and consistently you’ll gain credibility with your audience because they know you’ll always keep the good content coming. To start, try posting a new video every two weeks and eventually work your way to once or twice a week.

Pro-Tip: You can also use YouTube Analytics to track the days and times your audience interacts with your content the most. For example, if you notice your videos get the most views when posted on Saturdays at 12 p.m., you’re going to want to have videos posted around that time to get the most engagement.

6. Promote your channel on social media.

The news director of a TV station I worked for would always say this about promoting content: “If it’s not on social media, then it doesn’t exist.” Keep this in mind when promoting your YouTube channel.

You can put out amazing content, have the perfect thumbnail, and use all the right keywords — but if you don’t promote your content on social media, you’re losing out on a potentially huge audience.

To attract anime fans to my channel, I started a Twitter account and started using the #anitwt and #AnimeAfterDarkCH hashtags whenever I tweeted about my videos. “Anitwt” is short for “Anime Twitter,” and is used to help anime fans connect with other fans on the platform.

#AnimeAfterDarkCH is a hashtag used for a weekly Twitter space geared toward Black anime fans. Now when I check my YouTube analytics, I often notice about 80% of my views come from Twitter users.

HubSpot’s Senior Manager of Marketing Essie Acolatse also suggests creating videos to cross-promote on different platforms.

“Make shorter bite size versions as teasers for other platforms. These teasers should fit the best video format for that platform, and should be engaging enough to make the viewer want more,” she said. “It’s often times hard to get people to leave the platform they’re already on, but taking advantage of your other social platforms can help drive views to your channel.”

Pro-Tip: Use social media to follow and connect with content creators, figureheads, and other prominent people in your niche. This will help you find online communities that correspond with your niche and can help expose your channel to the right audience.

7. Promote your channel on forums.

Online forums like Reddit are great places to promote your channel. Just remember that many forums have “no promotions” policies — but you can get around them with a little bit of tact. Make sure that you’re contributing value to the conversation and that your posts don’t come off too much like advertisements.

For example, let’s say you’re a fashion YouTuber and you notice a Reddit forum discussing thrift store fashion — a topic you’ve covered on your channel. Instead of replying with “Hey, check out my YouTube channel about fashion.” You can say:

“That’s a really cool perspective! I love thrifting and actually made a YouTube video with some great tips on how to find the best items at thrift stores. You can check it out if you’re looking for advice.”

Then you would link to your specific video.

Pro-Tip: Be an active contributor to these forums even when you don’t have new content to promote. Doing this adds value to the conversation and shows that you’re trying to be helpful instead of just plugging your channel.

8. Build a community.

Use your YouTube to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your niche and to create a space for people with shared interests. The most effective (and free) way to do this is to simply engage with your audience. Reply to comments by sharing more valuable information.

Some YouTubers will even shout out new subscribers in their videos. You can also ask commenters for suggestions on your next topic and give them some recognition for contributing.

Pro-Tip: If you have more than 500 subscribers, you can take advantage of YouTube’s “Community” feature. This feature allows creators to engage with their audience between uploads via status updates, polls, and GIFs.

9. Run a contest.

Running a contest is an effective way to attract new subscribers, but you’ll want to make sure the contest attracts people who are genuinely interested in your niche and not just the prize.

To do this, make sure the prize is something connected to your topic. For instance, if I were to run a contest to attract anime fans, a good prize would be free anime merchandise or a gift card to anime clothing retailer Atsuko.

Pro-Tip: Be sure to promote your contest on social media and in online forums whenever possible.

10. Cross-promote your videos on YouTube.

In every YouTube video I post, I always take advantage of the platform’s “cards” feature. This feature allows you to promote a video across different videos on your platform. This works by posting a small icon at the corner of your video that links to another video or playlist. You can set the duration for how long you want the card to appear. Below is an example of what a card looks like:

YouTube's cards feature is used to promote a YouTube channelBildkälla

Another way to cross-promote your videos is to include an end screen. Have you ever watched a YouTube video and saw clickable ads for other videos appear in the final 10 seconds? That’s an end screen, and it encourages viewers to explore more of your content and subscribe.

Acolatse also suggests using YouTube Shorts.

“Those bite size video versions for other platforms can also be used as YT shorts,” she said. “YT is investing a lot of money into shorts and because that feed reaches a different audience, it’s a great way to boost engagement on your overall channel. Make sure these shorts hook viewers in within the first couple of seconds and make them very compelling.”

YouTube's end screen feature is used to promote a YouTube channelBildkälla

Pro-Tip: Whenever I upload a new video, I always use cards and the end screen to link back to my previous video. This can give your older content a second life and a chance to gain new views.

11. Collaborate with other creators.

This is another form of cross-promotion that is helpful to all parties involved and can help expand your reach. For a successful collaboration, find a YouTuber whose audience overlaps with yours.

For example, if you’re a fitness expert, you can collaborate with a content creator who also focuses on exercise or nutrition. Once you know who you want to work with, reach out to that person, and you two can plan on how you’re going to make a unique video for both of your channels.

“This is one of the best organic ways to grow. Their audience will get a chance to see you and your audience can see them,” Acolatse said. “Creating content with other creators that have a similar niche and following size as you can help you get additional views on your content.”

Pro-Tip: Now is the time to use the connections you’ve made on social media to scope out the best collaborator.

12. Create playlists for your YouTube videos.

The more videos you create, the harder it will be for viewers to navigate your channel. Creating playlists organizes your content into specific categories, and allows viewers to binge your work. Playlists will help viewers find the relevant content they are looking for on your channel, and they’ll be more likely to subscribe when they finish binge-watching your videos.

Pro-Tip: Keep in mind your playlists when creating content. Ask yourself how you’d categorize the video and what playlist it would fit into.

13. Embed your YouTube videos.

If you have a blog or website, embedding your YouTube videos in your blog content or product page is a great way to boost conversions and attract subscribers to your channel. Having an article or webpage connected to your video can also help it rank higher in search engine results.

Pro-Tip: Make sure to use keywords in your blog or webpage’s content as well to help people find your site and, in turn, your YouTube video.

14. Livestream.

With the rise in popularity of livestream platforms like Twitch, livestreaming content is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook have all incorporated live-streams into their platforms — and YouTube is no different. Some ways you can use YouTube Live include:

  • Q&As
  • Webinars
  • Live tutorials
  • Product demonstrations

Gamers will often livestream themselves playing the latest video games and artists will sometimes livestream themselves completing a project.

Pro-Tip: Don’t be too concerned about perfection when it comes to your livestream. One of the biggest draw-ins of livestreams is that no one knows what’s going to happen live. It all just adds to the fun and creates a more personal relationship with your followers.

15. Add a YouTube widget to your website.

By adding a YouTube widget to the footer or sidebar of your website, anyone who visits your site will be able to see and engage with your videos. This can turn site clicks into views for your content. It will also encourage interested visitors to subscribe to your channel.

Pro-Tip: Many website-hosting platforms have their own free YouTube widgets you can easily embed onto your website.

Promoting your YouTube channel doesn’t have to be a financial liability. As you can see, there are many ways to expand your audience reach, find your niche, and promote your content without spending a dime. Now that you have some free promotional ideas, you’re ready to craft the perfect marketing plan to grow your channel.

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How To Build a Communication and Implementation Plan

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How To Build a Communication and Implementation Plan

You learn about a C-suite decision that will have a transformative impact on your content marketing team. Perhaps, the announcement included one or more of these directives:

  • “We must produce more content and manage multi-platform distribution with greater agility. We plan to add ChatGPT to our editorial capabilities and implement a headless CMS.”
  • “We’re updating our three-year business strategy and need all teams to align their operations around achieving a new set of goals.”
  • “We’ve been acquired. We will be merging many of our business units and will need to relaunch our website so we can tell a more unified story.”

Or maybe it’s another substantive shift in strategy or operations. As a content team leader, whether excited or terrified, you must get your team on board and ensure the initiative succeeds.

Transformational changes are nearly impossible to implement without a clear plan that communicates the desired destination, the motivation to pursue it, and the path to reach it.

Jenny Magic, marketing strategist and professional coach, shares how to do that in a Content Marketing World presentation she co-developed with Melissa Breker.

You can watch the conversation (beginning at 2:30-minute mark) or scroll down to read her recommendations to gather support, clear obstacles, and keep efforts moving in the right direction.

5 sabotages that disrupt transformational changes

Every organization has unique conditions and challenges, but Jenny points out five common barriers that prevent the successful adoption of new priorities and practices:

  • Forced change. When workers don’t understand or agree with the change, they won’t invest in the process, especially if it requires a lot of effort or a long-term investment.
  • Misaligned goals. You can’t sell a change that benefits the company if employees don’t see how it helps them reach their personal or professional goals.
  • Group-speak. Your team may nod in agreement when the CEO says, “We’re all going to do this together, right?” But that enthusiasm might not hold when the boss’ eyes are no longer on them.
  • Rushed process. Team members already overwhelmed with responsibilities don’t give new tasks top priority. Jenny says if you can’t take something off their plate, communicate they won’t be pressured to rush it through.
  • Lack of team alignment. Everyone must be on the same page regarding the direction, intention, and actions required. Without this alignment, tasks fall through the cracks, and all the hard work may not lead to achieving the goal.

Forced change, group-speak, rushed processes can all disrupt transformational changes, says @JennyLMagic via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

For your change mission to succeed, your communications plan should account for how you’ll address (or avoid) these obstacles. These details will minimize the friction, lack of participation, and flagging enthusiasm you could have experienced during implementation.


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Plan for the transformation journey

Jenny shares a three-part approach she uses to help her consultancy clients get big ideas off the drawing board, onto team members’ priority lists, and into the marketplace.

1. Establish the destination: What’s changing, why, and what’s involved

To get your team to join the journey of change, they need to know where they’re going. Create a change summary to help with that. The simple map summarizes the relevant details about the change, the phases of implementation, and the benefits gained when the goal is reached.

First, identify the most critical details to communicate. Answer these questions:

  • What’s the nature of the change? What is being done differently, and what does that mean for the business and team? What isn’t changing that might be the stability anchor?
  • Why is it happening? Why does the organization think this change is critical? Why is now the right time to do this?
  • Who’s involved? Who will the change affect? What will they be expected to do? What about their roles, processes, and priorities? Why would they want to participate, and why might they be reluctant?
  • When will it happen? Will the change occur all at once or gradually? What happens at each stage, and which ones will require the content marketing team’s involvement?
  • What are the expected results? What is the organization looking to achieve? What benefits or advantages will it bring? What will the company and team see when the goal is reached?

With these answers, you can build a change summary to share in stakeholder and team member conversations. Any spreadsheet or presentation tool will do, though you can create a template based on the document Jenny uses for her client engagements (below).

The summary of what’s changing appears at the top of the page and details of the most critical elements appear below it. Bulleted notes detail what to expect with each element and the benefits for the business and your team. Lastly, a general timeline outlines each project phase.

2. Load up the crew: Gather support and communicate benefits

To achieve the change goal, all players must agree to travel together and move in the same direction. “If our team is not aligned on where the heck we’re going, there’s literally no chance we’re going to get there,” Jenny says.

Team members who immediately see the value in the initiative might follow your lead without question. But some key players may need a little more convincing. Jenny offers a few ideas to get them on board.

Enlist the support of an active, visible sponsor: Social media shows putting the right influencer behind your pitch can move minds. The same goes for pushing through a big change within an organization. Research from Prosci finds projects with an extremely effective sponsor met or exceeded objectives more than twice as often as those with a very ineffective sponsor.

If you have the support of senior team leaders and high-profile company personnel, ask for their help socializing the change to others. They might seed relevant information in their newsletters and other content they share internally or help shape your change activities and messaging to improve their appeal.

Translate organizational goals into personal motivations: Some team members may reluctantly participate because they perceive an impact on their role. For example, workers may think the added work will strain their already demanding schedules. Others may be skeptical because of negative experiences with similar changes in the past or disbelief that the change might benefit them.

A series of stakeholder conversations can help identify the significant concerns and disconnects that might prevent them from engaging. They also can reveal specific challenges and motivations that you can address with more resonant and appealing messaging.

Translate organizational goals into personal motivations so team members can see how they’ll benefit, says @JennyLMagic via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Some marketing tools you use to influence an audience can help you facilitate those conversations. For example, Jenny says, personas can surface critical insights about who may be impacted by the change and what it might take to nurture them onto the path.

Her personas checklist includes these questions:

  • Who’s leading the change? Do any key sponsors directly relate to the persona’s role?
  • Will this persona be impacted more or less than others?
  • Will they need information more frequently or in greater detail?
  • What reactions will they have?
  • How will you approach training for this persona? What support will be provided?
  • At what phase of the change will they be most affected?

Jenny also recommends using your marketing communication and engagement tools. For example, the simple tracking sheet she developed (below) can help visualize the audience, delivery formats and channels, optimal messages, and approval and final sign-off requirements to mention in your stakeholder discussions.

Choose the right messenger – and a customized message: Sometimes, a disconnect occurs not because of the message but because of the message’s deliverer. For example, employees expect to hear about significant corporate initiatives from executives and senior leaders. But for changes impacting their day-to-day responsibilities, they may prefer to hear from a manager or supervisor who understands their role.

Other times, preventing a disconnect could require tailoring the message to the team’s needs. Jenny suggests focusing on the direct benefits once the initiative is activated. “Consider how it might help them further their career, address something they’re struggling with, or offer an opportunity to explore an area they’re passionate about,” Jenny says.  

Surface hidden issues with confidential interviews: Valid concerns can remain hidden, especially for team members who are reluctant to voice their objections in team meetings. Working one-on-one with a neutral or external moderator – someone with no stake in the decision for change – might help them open up.

Ensure they know the confidential interview results will be aggregated so no individual responses will be identified. “It’s really helpful to get that confessional energy,” Jenny says. “It can help you surface individual reservations, causes of their reluctance, and personal motivations. “

A confidential one-on-one interview with an external moderator can help surface concerns from reluctant team members, says @JennyLMagic via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Jenny shares in her checklist (below) some preliminary questions for a moderator to assess during a confidential interview:

  • How does the individual feel about the change?
  • Is it the right change?
  • Is it the right time?
  • Is it supported enough to succeed?
  • What risks do they predict?
  • Do they have ideas about how we could reduce obstacles and challenges?
  • What lessons from past change efforts can they share with us?
  • Could they become a change champion?

The process can fuel opportunities to shift messaging, positioning, or delivery approach to help the outliers see how the change can benefit them and get them more excited about participating. Jenny says it can also reveal valid concerns that need to be solved so they don’t hinder progress.

3. Hit the road: Position and prepare your team for success

Big changes are always risky. They disrupt the status quo, and if they involve multiple teams and business functions, some changes may feel like a win for some at the expense of others.

Taking a few extra steps before executing your plans can keep those issues from diverting the goal or leaving any team members stranded along the way. “This is where we establish commitment and accountability and think about what could go wrong and how we’re going to deal with it,” Jenny says.

Own up to what you do and don’t know: Ultimately, you can’t plan for every contingency. “You’ll lose trust rapidly if you pretend you do,” Jenny says. She offers a few communication tips to set the right expectations from the start:

  • Be clear and candid: Directly address what you do know, don’t know, and what is and isn’t possible with this change. Outline how you will communicate status updates and new information as they arise.
  • Be receptive: Don’t take resistance personally. Listen to your team’s questions and respond to their feedback with an open mind.
  • Be visible: Socialize progress across your team’s preferred communication channels, and make sure everyone knows how to reach you if they encounter a problem. You can regularly host town hall meetings, road-show presentations, or open forums to ensure everyone stays informed and has a chance to share their thoughts.

Position project requirements as opportunities and advantages: Jenny suggests exercising creative thinking to help concerned team members see the new responsibilities as a chance to benefit personally.

For example, if they need to learn additional skills to accomplish their tasks, provide in-house training or access to third-party educational tools. Position the opportunity as a chance to expand their capabilities to help them be more prepared for this change and to advance their careers in the long run.

You can also use the big change to rethink your org chart and rebalance team member responsibilities. “Every single person has work that they hate on their to-do list. I’ve found folks become more open if they’re offered an opportunity to do a task trade-off,” Jenny says.

Incentivize the journey – not just the destination: A lengthy and gradual implementation process should include incentives at regular intervals to motivate team members to stay the course.

Rewards can be specific and tangible, such as bonuses or loyalty program points. Or they can be intangible, such as shoutouts during monthly meetings or in internal newsletters. Arrange team happy hours or give comp time for extra hours worked. These appreciation efforts can make the added burden feel worthwhile.

Overcome obstacles in predictive planning: An element of science exists in the journey of change. You can’t reach your destination if the forces of resistance are stronger than the forces propelling you forward.

Jenny shares an innovation tool from a company called Gamestorming that can help quantify the balance of those forces at each phase. By working through this force-field analysis, you can take steps to ensure the winds of change will be in your favor.

An example of how it works is shown below. In the center, an illustration represents the change you want to implement – transitioning from hierarchical to more transparent hubs.

On one side, the forces of change – all the elements of the vision that characterize the importance of the change and how it works in your favor – are listed. In this example, those forces are:

  • Improve long-term revenue
  • Help meet market demand
  • Satisfies customer expectations
  • Addresses current unsustainable costs
  • Give a competitive advantage in the marketplace

On the other side, the forces of resistance – conditions and constraints that may prevent realizing the vision – are listed. In the example, these forces include:

  • Company culture
  • Time constraints
  • Viability of new tech
  • Client adoption
  • Current costs

Rank each element’s impact on the project’s success on a scale of one to five.  Then add the rankings on each side and compare the scores to see whether you have a stronger chance of success than failure and identify where efforts should be made to overcome obstacles.

Plan the journey for a smoother arrival

Convincing your team to jump aboard the organizational-change train is rarely easy. But with a clear operational plan, aligned support, and open communication, you’ll help them see the benefits of participating and get them excited to reach their destination.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Prenumerera till arbetsdags- eller veckomail från CMI.

HANDPLOCKAT RELATERAT INNEHÅLL:

Omslagsbild av Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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Alternativa sökmotorer: varför de är viktiga och hur man rankar dem

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Alternative Search Engines: Why They Matter and How to Rank on Them

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

12 billion, 3 billion, 1 billion. That’s the number of searches made in some of the top alternative search engines monthly.

While Google still holds more than 80% of the market share, ignoring search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo can make you lose out on relevant traffic. So don’t limit yourself to Google’s algorithm as you plan the next year’s SEO strategy.

In order to grow in the digital economy, we have to diversify our efforts. What better way to do that than by making sure that you rank on all the top search engines relevant for your audience?

Generally, there’s two reasons why your audience would choose an alternative search engine over Google: geopolitical reasons and/or privacy concerns.

As such, I’ve categorized the search engines below by global market share and by data privacy.

Top alternative search engines by global market share

When analyzing the global desktop market share of search engines throughout the last decade, there are a few small but mighty search engines that stand out. These are:

1) Bing

2) Yahoo

3) Yandex

4) DuckDuckGo

5) Baidu

These are the engines you want to give extra consideration if you intend to expand internationally. They all have their own unique search algorithms that are in many ways as complex and developed as Google’s.

Why they matter and how to rank on them

If you’re like me a few years ago, a die-hard Apple fan remarkably repulsed by Microsoft’s products (I’ve now converted to the seamless team of PC), you might think prioritizing resources to optimize content for Bing or other engines is a waste of time. What I failed to consider then, and what you might be overlooking, is geographic segmentation.

Do you want to reach the American audience using voice search? Consider Bing.

Are you expanding into China? Check out Baidu.

Each search engine matters because of its unique user types. Regardless of how small that market share might look on a global scale, if there’s regional search volume from your target audience, it’s worth the optimization.

Let’s go through them one by one.

Bing and Yahoo

Screenshot of bing.com, November 2022

Since 2018, Yahoo is exclusively powered by Bing Search. So as long as you rank in Bing, you’ll rank in Yahoo.

Bing Search, in combination with Yahoo, is without a doubt the strongest player after Google. Together, they have more than 10% of the global market share for desktop.

Now, some say that Bing’s market share will increase due to mergers and acquisitions, while others argue for its decline due to the death of Internet Explorer.

Still, all Microsoft browsers, such as Microsoft Edge Legacy and Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, have Bing as the default search engine, making Bing Search the natural choice for Microsoft product users. Yahoo, which is powered by Bing Search, is the default search engine for Mozilla’s browser Firefox, adding billions of impressions to Bing’s search results each year.

If we look at the United States alone, Microsoft sites own over 18% of the market share.

This is much due to their partnership with Amazon, where all voice-activated searches on Amazon Echo and Alexa are made with Bing Search.

Microsoft also pushes Bing further by offering easy rewards for searches och more advanced image search capabilities than Google.

Although the algorithms differ, optimizing for Bing search results is not much different than optimizing for Google. With a bit of fine tuning, it’s more than possible to come up with a strategy that allows for high rankings on both.

To rank on Bing, and thus Yahoo, make sure to do the following:

Infographic by AS Marketing, December 2022


1. List your business on Bing Places

Bing Places is the equivalent of Google My Business and is the fastest way to get your business ranking for local seo. Many even consider Bing Places to favor small business owners as Bing puts their information more prominently on display.

2. Upload an XML Sitemap using Bing’s Webmaster Tools

While the debate on how much sitemaps really do matter for Google SEO continues, uploading one with Bing’s Webmaster Tool for XML Sitemaps allows the algorithm to better categorize and manage your content, making it more visible and relevant to the search audience.

3. Match keywords in your content

Check that the exact keyword match can be found in your page titles, meta descriptions and overall content. It’s known that the impact of on-page tactics as a ranking factor is much greater in Bing than Google.

4. Keep your social media profiles up to date

Go social! Bing considers your social media presence more than any other search engine. The Webmaster Guidelines specifically states that Bing considers social signals from third-party platforms to rank your content. Bing might even extract certain information directly from your Facebook company page to your Bing Places display.

5. Use high-quality images to enhance your content

Bing’s image search is much more advanced than Google’s. If you want your landing page to rank, add high-quality design assets to showcase your offerings. If you want your blog to rank, attach too-long-to-read infographics to highlight your points. Like the one above.

Yandex

Screenshot of yandex.com, November 2022

Second to Bing is Yandex, having a total of 1.5% of the market share in global desktop search.

While it looks a lot like Google, its algorithm is different in many ways. Most prominent is the way Yandex indexes pages. Unlike Google’s almost continuous indexation, Yandex indexes pages sporadically. That means that you might have to wait around for a while before your site shows up on Yandex.

Despite this, it is still possible to rank on Yandex. You just need to have a bit more patience.

While waiting for your site to be indexed, take a look at the following:

1. Focus on tags over internal site structure

Enligt The Ultimate Guide to Yandex SEO, your header tag, title tag and slug are way more important than your internal site structure. In fact, it was only recently that Yandex started to support hreflang tags. Before that, Yandex only allowed the <head> hreflang implementation.

2. Consider search intent to rank

Some argue that Yandex meets search intent better than Google. The modern ICS score, which replaced the Thematic Index Citation, is determined by how relevant a site is to the query. Yandex uses its own version of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T) test to determine relevance.

3. Eliminate toxic links

Many do not know this, but Yandex was actually the first search engine to roll out a link-based algorithm. Already in 2005, 7 years before Google’s Penguin algorithm, Yandex introduced the Nepot filter, which specifically looked at the impact of toxic link exchanges and spam links.

Baidu

Screenshot of baidu.com, November 2022

With over 3 billion searches daily, Baidu is the Google of China. If you want to do business in China, it’s the place to be.

While the site is available worldwide, the site predominantly favors simplified Chinese. So before taking any other steps, hire a native speaker to help you along the way. To win at global, you have to ditch translations.

Here’s a few steps to get your content ranking.

1. Localize your keywords and content appropriately

As with all multilingual SEO, you need to work with a native language expert to ensure proper keyword localization and content optimization. If your site experiences high bounce rates, Baidu will tank your rankings immediately. As with any search experience, localization matters.

2. Position relevant content and keywords to the top of the page

Baidu favors a completely opposite layout than the Westernized one. The sooner you get to the point the better. Therefore, it is important to position your keywords as early as possible in the text and introduce all relevant content already in the top of the page to rank.

3. Obtain a verification level and get certified

By registering and paying a small fee you can obtain a verification level to improve your domain authority and rankings on Baidu. If you want to secure top ratings, you can get certified and obtain an ICP license, which is much more difficult than getting verified.

Top alternative search engines by data privacy

While most of the search engines mentioned above are tied to big corporations or political forces, global initiatives are setting the stage for more privacy-focused search engines. Among these is DuckDuckGo, the forefront runner with over 130 billion searches processed since launch.

Why they matter and how to rank on them

In many ways, the movement is a response to Google’s invasiveness on privacy. Many are fed up with how they are capitalizing on personal data and controlling the narrative with targeted search.

On a macro scale, the European Union continues to protect data privacy with strict GDPR regulations and the California Consumer Privacy Act indicates similar trends for Americans.

From a micro perspective, documentaries such as The Great Hack shine a light on how global companies monetize on personal data. As a result, privacy-safe search engines continue to rise.

If you’re working for an innovative SaaS startup, there’s a high chance your ideal customer persona is using one of these search engines.

Let’s go through how you rank on DuckDuckGo and two alternative equivalents.

DuckDuckGo

Screenshot of duckduckgo.com, November 2022

Screenshot of duckduckgo.com, November 2022

DuckDuckGo aims to make your search experience as simple and true to its cause as possible, i.e. no tracking for personalized search results and filter bubbles. Instead it uses semantic search to determine search intent for your queries from over 400 sources.

Consequently, this attracts tech-savvy experts with a lower bounce rate. Once they commit to a search, they stay.

Here’s how to optimize for it:

1. Sharpen Your User Experience

UX continues to make an impact on SEO, not to mention for DuckDuckGo. Make your content easily scannable and stay away from intrusive pop ups that harm your users’ experience and ease of navigation.

2. Focus on High-Quality Backlinks

As with any SEO, high-quality backlinks play a huge role for ranking. If you already have a solid backlink profile from your Google strategy, you should be good to go. If your backlink profile has a high level of toxicity, do some cleansing.

3. Rethink Local SEO

Since there’s no location tracking available for searches, location-specific searches such as “services near me” don’t work. If you like to rank for these types of searches, include a specific location in your keyword strategy. Otherwise, you won’t be able to optimize for local seo.

Startpage

Screenshot of startpage.com, November 2022

Startpage could be my personal favorite among the alternative search engines. It basically is Google without the tracking.

And while many consider DuckDuckGo to be the forefront runner of the privacy-focused search movement, many forget how Startpage ‘blazed the trail in 2006’. Offering a search experience without IP recording or tracking back when it was more or less unheard of. Now, it is the common denominator among all privacy-safe search engines.

So, how do you rank in Startpage? Simple. You rank in Google.

SwissCows

Screenshot of swisscows.com, November 2022

There are many more privacy-safe alternatives to search engines than the two mentioned above. Perhaps one without equal is SwissCows – a search engine that prides itself on being the only family-friendly, privacy-safe semantic search engine available on the web.

This means that any intrusive search results, like adult entertainment or offensive content, is naturally censored from the search results. At the same time, they never store any data nor track user specific information.

SwissCows SERPs bring up organic results and paid ads directly from Bing so in order to rank in SwissCows, you need to rank in Bing. Just make sure to omit any content that’s not PG-13.

What do they all have in common?

In the end, none of these alternative search engines can replace Google. As an SEO, I’ll never advise starting out with anything other than a Google strategy.

But when you are ready to branch out and extend your reach, give these alternatives a try. Analyze where your target audience hangs out and optimize thereafter.

Many of the privacy-focused search engines require little optimization as they pull their search results directly from other sources anyways. Simply do a quick check to see how you rank on each one.

And who knows, perhaps Microsoft will continue to steal more of the global search landscape. If that happens, you’ll be there — ranking in first position, ready to reap the rewards of your diversified efforts in an ever-changing search landscape.

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