Vertical challenge

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Ben Hanna, VP of marketing at Business.com, spoke about the unique approach search marketers should consider when choosing a vertical search engine:

Users' search is multi-layered

Finding information online today is a continuing process of discovery.

Customers don╣t stop their search for the right product or service to meet their needs at a general search engine, so search marketing efforts shouldn╣t end there either.

Specialized search for quality

Most BTB search marketers look to general search engines to amass higher traffic volume while using specialized search sites such as Business.com to drive fewer, but more highly qualified, buyers.

Beyond total traffic

Specialized search is about driving high quality traffic to a site. Search marketers who only measure site visitors driven by search ads without measuring traffic quality (for example, total sales or qualified leads) often have a hard time sustaining specialized search campaigns. They miss opportunity to improved SEM results.

Separate the wheat from the chaff

It remains crucial to focus on the best general and specialized search sites available. First, find the top one or two search and directory sites that best reach the audiences you want to target. Additionally, consider using tools such as comScore or Hitwise. Also, look for recent studies showing clear specialized search preference share. At that point, think like your customer. Know the keywords your customers will most likely use to find your products and services, and look at the search results for these on Google, Yahoo or Microsoft Live.

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