As a website copywriter, I’m always talking about optimising content for Google.
But a few weeks back I switched to using Ecosia as my default search engine.
And it made me think:
Should we be optimising our content for Ecosia too?
Because although Ecosia is like Google in many ways, it sometimes serves up slightly different results.
So, does this mean we need to make different optimisations to appear in the Ecosia search results?
Or does the SEO we do for Google also cover Ecosia?
Let’s take a look into how SEO works for Ecosia and whether it’s worth making specific Ecosia-friendly optimisations.
First, a note on how Ecosia’s search results are generated
Ecosia uses Microsoft Bing technology to power its search results and ads.
(It’s still its own thing in terms of being carbon-negative and funding reforestation, etc. – it just uses Bing’s search technology to serve up its results.)
This means that, when you’re searching Ecosia, you’re actually searching Bing.
And so, in order to optimise for Ecosia, you need to optimise for Bing.
Is SEO for Ecosia/Bing the same as Google?
The good news is: if you have optimised your content well for Google, it will likely do OK across all the search engines.
That’s not to say that the other search engines don’t have their own preferences for ranking content.
But the basic principles of SEO are the same for all search engines.
(I should mention that Bing has its own set of SEO recommendations that Ecosia directs its users towards.)
Like Google, Ecosia/Bing values:
- Trustworthy websites with good authority
- Content that is genuinely relevant, useful to the customer, and sufficiently detailed
- Content that is clearly structured and easy to read (use of headings, no big chunks of text, etc.)
- Sites that load quickly
- Sites that are easy to access and navigate
- High-quality backlinks from well-established, relevant websites
Ultimately, Ecosia (just like Google) needs to be able to easily crawl your website and understand your content so that it can present its users with the best results for their search query.
So, if you have optimised your content well for Google, this should give you a solid SEO foundation on Ecosia.
Optimising for Ecosia (without hurting your Google ranking)
Saying all that…
If you specifically want to improve your ranking on Ecosia, there are some small SEO tweaks you could make that your Google optimisations might not cover.
- Using exact focus keywords – As Google’s language technology is so advanced, it can often match relevant content to a search query even if there’s not an exact keyword match. With Ecosia, it’s more important to be exact with the keywords you use and put them in all the key places (see the next section for more on this).
- Adding your focus keyword to your meta description – While Google doesn’t look at the meta description as a ranking factor (it’s more to do with click-through), it’s still a ranking factor for Ecosia/Bing.
- Considering social sharing – Unlike Google, Ecosia/Bing still considers social signals when ranking content. If your website content is shared widely on social media, this indicates to Ecosia/Bing that your content is worth ranking.
These are small optimisations you can make for Ecosia that aren’t going to negatively impact your ranking on Google.
Because obviously, as much as we might love Ecosia, Google is by far the biggest search engine (it had 86.64% of global desktop market share in September 2021) – and Ecosia is way too tiny to make changes that risk our Google ranking.
Basic SEO tips for Ecosia AND Google
As you can see, you don’t have to make heaps of changes to optimise your website for Ecosia.
You can make small tweaks to ensure your content is pleasing Ecosia AND Google.
Here are some basic SEO tips to make your content Ecosia- and Google-friendly:
- Choose 1 focus keyword and 1-2 synonyms for each page
- Use your exact focus keyword in your title (H1 tag), subheadings (H2 tags), meta description, SEO title, first 100 words of your copy, and 1 image file name
- Make sure your title is relevant
- Craft an intriguing and relevant meta description that includes your focus keyword
- Use your keyword synonyms throughout the page to add variety (but only where needed – never stuff them in for the sake of it*)
- Make sure your content is clearly structured and easy to read
- Ensure your website loads quickly and is mobile-optimised
- Add shareable social media marketing to your mix
- Create 301 redirects for any pages that are no longer there
- Build high-quality backlinks from relevant sites
*A word of warning: Even though exact keywords are important for Ecosia, be careful not to ‘keyword-stuff’. This could get you penalised by Google. Just pop the keyword in the places I’ve listed above to optimise your page for that keyword.
Obviously, this isn’t all there is to SEO, but these are solid optimisations that you can implement that will help Ecosia (and Google) understand and rank your content in its search results.
Is it worth doing SEO for Ecosia?
I would say… by all means make your content Ecosia-friendly.
If you know it’s a search engine that your ideal customers use, then why not? It’s another place where you could get seen by like-minded, eco-conscious customers.
TOP TIP: Check your website analytics to see if you already have traffic coming from Ecosia. If so, this is a good sign that your ideal customers are using Ecosia for their searches.
While Ecosia is tiny (1% of the market), Bing is not. It’s second to Google, with 6.79% of the worldwide desktop market share in September 2021. So, it’s certainly worth considering Bing in your SEO strategy, and this should trickle through to Ecosia by default.
Plus, as Ecosia/Bing is a smaller search engine, you might be able to get seen for search terms that are hard to rank for on Google.
BUT I’d still focus your SEO efforts on Google first and foremost.
This is the search engine that most of your audience will be using, and I certainly wouldn’t make tweaks for Ecosia that may negatively affect your Google ranking.
As always, the best SEO strategy is creating relevant, useful, easy-to-read content that genuinely answers your customers’ queries – whatever search engine they’re using.
Write for humans first, and Ecosia/Bing/Google second.