Many people think that SEO is about getting your website at the top of search results for a specific keyword. However, SEO is much more than keyword research. A great example of this is using vertical reach to improve your visibility. A vertical is a website that relates to your field and is seen as an authority. Often, this vertical is used to find new information: users skip over Google and go directly to an prestigious website to find what they need. One example of this is Amazon. Shoppers will bypass Google and go straight to Amazon when looking for a specific item.
Getting to know your industry-specific verticals is a powerful way to get one up on the competition; it’s all about finding the places where the other guy doesn’t have a presence and getting in front of your audience. In this article I’ll be giving you practical advice on how to find the verticals that will leverage you the best advantage, and I’ll be showing you how to make the most of verticals that relate to your business.
First Things First: What’s Your Amazon?
Your first job is to find your Amazon; to find the places your ideal clients, patients or customers frequent. To help you determine which verticals are worth your time we’ve compiled three lists: top verticals for attorneys, top verticals for doctors, and top verticals for all business owners.
It’s important to note that while the verticals listed represent the websites that most often surface for our clients, it doesn’t mean that they will be the perfect fit for you. The best verticals for your business will depend on your local market, on how stiff the competition is, and which sites your specific audience frequents. That being said, these are a good jumping-off point for you…a great place to start.
The Top Five Verticals for Attorneys
I’ve found that these five verticals present themselves in the majority of the local searches I’ve performed for attorneys. Each of these sites is a legitimate, authoritative legal directory and I recommend that all attorneys claim their listing on these websites. To learn more about each of the five, click on the name; you’ll be taken to an in-depth explanation of each.
And for a full list of attorney directories—along with explanations of how to take advantage of all five—read my article, The Five Best Directory Websites for Attorneys and How to Make the Most of Each One.
The Top Five Verticals for Doctors
- The American Medical Association’s DoctorFinder
Top Eleven Verticals for Everyone!
The verticals listed here aren’t industry-specific. So everyone—doctors, lawyers, and business owners—should use them to their advantage. Like the industry-specific sites listed above, it’s important to your success that you create a complete profile on each of these sites. To avoid making serious mistakes while doing so, be sure to read our article, Make These Seven Local SEO Mistakes and Kiss Your Local Presence Goodbye.
Local Citation and Review Sites
These sites combine the power of local citations and reviews. They are not industry-specific, so every business owner can and should have a strong presence on all of them.
- Google Local
Question and Answer Websites
The final four verticals are more content-focused than the others. These websites are used by people who are looking for answers. To make the most of these, be sure that you add information that is relevant to your target audience. Ask yourself: what questions am I asked the most and how can I best use these sites to answer them:
- Yahoo Answers
These verticals are like extra credit; they take a bit more work but when completed can net you significant returns. Both can present excellent referral opportunities, as they can put you in front of your local audience:
With all this vertical talk, I think it’s important to note that while making the most of your industry verticals, it’s also important that you can be found in traditional search. All paths should lead back to your website, where your vast storehouse of informative content gives you the leg up you need to stand out from the crowd. The advice below will help you be the attorney, doctor, or business leader who rises to the top of search engine results and stays uppermost in the minds of your audience.
One of the best ways to ensure your Internet presence is recognized is to keep tabs on your competition. You need to pay attention to where you’re seeing your competitors show up, both inside and outside of search results. To get a leg up on the other guy, be sure to check out our full article on how to keep an eye on your competition.
Questions to Ask When Creating a Presence on Your Chosen Verticals
- How can I stand out from the crowd?
- Are there paid options to ensure I appear high on the list? Are they worth the cost?
- What’s the best way to engage with this audience? Should I advertise, provide informational articles, brief tips and advice?
- How do visitors find out about this site and what brings them to this site?
- Do they have a newsletter or other outreach to users? If so, how can I be featured there?
- Do they advertise somewhere? Should I be advertising there as well?
We can help you answer all of these questions and more. To start, request your free website and marketing analysis, where we will show you where you are listed online and give you actionable advice to fix any listing mistakes. For all other questions, please call 888-886-0939 today.