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SEO

responsive web design Hong Kong

5 SEO Benefits Of Using Responsive Design On Your Hong Kong Website

By | Blog, SEO

It’s no surprise that we’re entering a mobile-first era. No matter where you go, you’ll always notice people attached to their mobile phones and tablets. And it doesn’t look like things are going to change any time soon.So for this Responsive Design of website is important to satisfy customers. This means that having a responsive web design is not an option, it’s a must.

Don’t Be Unresponsive to Responsive Web Design

It’s been long predicted that mobile devices would eventually take over web browsing. Not only that, but that Google and other major search engines would start to index websites based on the mobile version of the sites. However, now that these predictions have officially come true, it seems that there are still many Singapore businesses who are slow to adapt to this change. Despite Google officially announcing it’s mobile-first indexing, many companies are still dragging their feet when it comes to adopting a responsive design.

In fact, according to research, at least 60% of businesses are still operating with a design that is unresponsive. And when you think about the fact that Google favours sites that take mobile user experience into account, this number is pretty alarming. If you’re a Singapore business owner and are not quite sure in what ways a responsive design can affect how well-optimised your site is, then take a look at the following list.

1. Responsiveness Improves Usability

‘Time on page’ is a huge ranking factor on Google. The longer visitors remain on your page, the more value this search engine will give to your site. And one of the most important tips for keeping people on your site longer is to make sure that your website is as easy to navigate as possible. The benefit of using a responsive design is that it makes your website easier to read and simple to use. This inevitably leads to better usability scores, repeat visitors, and higher conversion rates.

2. Responsiveness Increases Page Speed

Google also places a significant amount of importance on the speed of your website. On average, your visitors will expect your page to load in less than 2-3 seconds. If it takes longer than this, they typically leave the site. If you would like to ensure that your website loads quickly, then you need to make sure that are fully optimised. The benefit of using a responsive design is that they tend to load faster. This is especially the case when it comes to mobile and smart devices. And this ensures a great user experience and can lead to a significant boost in your ranking.

3. Responsiveness Decreases Bounce Rate

Another important ranking factor is your bounce rate. This is the ratio that shows how many people leave your website or hit the back button upon viewing one page. Google wants to know at which points people enter your site and at what points that leave. And when your website has a high bounce rate, Google assumes that you don’t offer the users what they need and that your content is not relevant. This can have a big impact on your rankings.

The bounce rate is connected to your time on site and it is often hugely affected by your page loading time. The benefit of working with a responsive design is that it takes care of both of these factors. Sure, you need to provide content that people can relate to, but ultimately, your design is going to play a big role in how quickly people exit your site.

4. Responsiveness Leads to Less Duplicate Content

There is no doubt about it, Google’s algorithm is extremely intelligent. It has the ability to figure out just how relevant your content is to your target audience as well as the quality of the content you offer. However, this does not mean that Google does not need your help. There are still a few things that you have to communicate to the search engines. This is especially the case if your mobile site is separate from your regular website. Google needs to know which content is the most important. More specifically, you need to ensure that Google does not penalise you for duplicate content.

You see, the problem with separating your site into two different URLs is that it makes it more difficult to manage. And that’s because the mobile and desktop versions of your website will share the same content. If Google doesn’t know which content to index, then it could easily lead to a drop in your rankings.

The best thing about working with a responsive design is that you don’t have to worry about these particular issues. A responsive design allows all of your content to remain under one URL. No matter what type of device they are using to view your content, they will always be able to view it properly so there is no need to separate your website versions.

5. Responsiveness Results In More Social Sharing

Whenever you create a website, one of your main objectives should be to get people to share your content. The more shares and backlinks that are connected to your website, the more Google trusts you. And the more Google trusts you, the higher your ranking in the search engine.
One of the best ways to get people to share your content is to make it easy for them to share it. They should not have to guess where your social share buttons are. They should be displayed prominently and the buttons should work effortlessly. It can be next to impossible to convince people to share when your website is designed poorly.

This is where a great responsive design can really work to your advantage. A responsive web design is developed to ensure that social sharing is easy for–specifically in the case of mobile users. This can help you to expand your reach and create greater brand awareness.

Keeping Mobile Users in Mind

Creating a responsive design for mobile devices takes a significant amount of planning. Your design needs to very thoughtful. So before you even you start, create a mind map of your SEO strategy. You need to know exactly what your goals and objectives are for your website. This will help you to create a strong foundation for your site and give you a better idea of what your responsive design should achieve. You will be able to better communicate your message.

Takeaway

It’s easy to assume that a responsive website design is simply something that is nice to have. However, when you take the time to consider Google’s main priority, which is to deliver useful information to users quickly and wherever they need it, then it becomes clear that a responsive design is a must. As one of the Hong Kong business owner, you should consider how a responsive design can enhance your overall SEO strategy.

Google SEO

Google SEO: Best Practices For Hong Kong Digital Marketers

By | Blog, SEO

Google is by far the most dominant search engine, hands down. On average, the search engine receives an upward of 63, 000 searches – which when totalled up, numbers to two trillion searches per year.

This makes Google SEO a priority for business owners and marketers from all around the globe. So this leads us to the big question – what exactly is Google SEO?

Well, you might want to read on to find out:

What’s Google SEO in Hong Kong?

By now you must have already come across hundreds of different definitions of SEO, with each one of them carrying its own flair or twist. But deep down, they all seem to suggest the same thing – mostly along the lines of, ‘SEO is a basic online marketing strategy that aims to improve your site’s visibility on different search engines such as Google, Bing, duckduckgo, Yahoo, Yandex Ru and the rest.’

Worth noting is that even Google has its own definition of SEO — which in the simplest of terms, is the process of making your site better for search engines. The definition may appear a little bit broad and somehow vague, but it does capture the very essence of SEO.

Essentially, SEO is a broad term for a variety of strategies that are aimed to improve your site for online visibility.

This definition still rings vague to some people, and there’s nothing wrong with that. For a more concrete definition of Google SEO, then you might want to look at it as the online marketing strategy that’s specifically aimed at improving your visibility or ranking in Google search.

Instead of appearing on the third, fourth, and the subsequent pages of Google, you’ll be simply aiming for the first page in the SERPs.

Keywords play a central role in this. Whenever an online user opens up the Google search page, the next thing they’ll do is enter a search query. As a business person and marketer, you’re interested in coming up with a list of all the keywords (including their variations) that are likely to make up the search query.

It can be anything, like looking for a web developer, painting company, or landscaping business in Singapore. So while optimizing your website for the search terms that fit the query, then you’re expected to come up with interesting pieces of content that focus on the list of selected keywords. And you’ll continue doing this until all the keywords are covered – and even with that, it’s crucial that you continue re-optimizing your site for the keywords over and over again until you’re finally able to secure a prime ranking in the SERPs.

In other words, Google SEO is a never-ending business. You don’t just produce a preset number of articles and call it off. For what’s worth, if you’re purposing to both earn and maintain a prime slot in the SERPs, you should be prepared to strategically keep working for it.

So basically, keywords help to shape up the kind of content you produce for your site.


Why Google?

Why should anyone direct the bulk of their SEO marketing strategy to Google?

Simple, Google is the largest search engine in the world – attracting more than 90 percent of all the searches in the world, and about 95% in Singapore. It’s at the centre of all searches. As a matter of fact, the majority of web users don’t even know if other search engines exist; ergo the term Googling, which refers to the process of querying your search term in the Google search bar.

It’s for this reason that Google is widely thought to be synonymous with SEO. Meaning, the first thing that pops up in people’s mind whenever you talk of SEO is Google.


Now Shush!!! Google Just released their New Definitive SEO guide for 2020

To clear all the confusion and the contradiction floating about in the internet echo-chamber, Google decided to step in and take a more innovative approach by sharing what’s working in terms of SEO, particularly with the search engine.

It starts by walking its readers through what it takes to secure a top ranking in their latest search updates.

How Google Approaches SEO

Google has admitted to spending the bulk of their time thinking about SEO. That’s because online searches are at the core of their business.

Google is also well informed about the other means that you could use to drive traffic to your website – and that includes, social posts, display advertising, and paid media to name a few. But even with this, they still rank SEO atop as the most efficient and cost-effective online marketing strategy to grow organically as a business.

As a business person or marketer looking to make the most out of SEO, Google suggests that you make an effort to stay on top of their latest search updates. The same applies to them internally.

Google has also admitted to owning more than 7000 websites that are currently being managed by a dedicated team of product and marketing managers from all across the globe. The company even goes ahead to point out that they make more than 200 changes on these websites per day, with each change putting their site at risk of hurting their SEO score.

They don’t favour themselves over the other websites listed with them. Instead, all their sites are subjected to the same SEO treatment as any other website or blog on the web. Which is to say their team has to follow the exact same SEO guidelines they’ve provided to webmasters in general if they want to rank high in their result pages.

It’s for this and so many other reasons that Google saw it fit to pull together a solid SEO strategy that strives to clear up any contradiction and misunderstanding you might have came across online while reading through any SEO guide. These are the strategies that the company has tested out itself and found to work.

So as web owner or marketer looking to start driving an insane amount of organic traffic to your website, we encourage you to read through the guide for a chance to learn straight off the horse’s mouth.


Best Hong Kong SEO Strategies as Laid down by Google itself

Start Small, For Big SEO Results

Don’t be over-ambitious. That’s Google’s first advice on SEO to web owners and marketers looking to secure a prime ranking for their sites in the search engine.

Google doesn’t over-complicate this important piece of information. All you have to do is focus on making small, but incremental changes to your site’s overall SEO strategy, and watch as it starts yielding big gains over the long haul.

Their Google My Business site for marketing is one of the websites that has managed to take advantage of this simple advice, and the results that followed were nothing short of incredible. First, the site was able to increase the amount of organic traffic they were driving by two folds.

The team managing the site focused on implementing fundamental best practices for SEO like using canonicals to show the search engine which URLs they needed to index.

Correlation doesn’t always translate to causation. But quite a good number of Google sites that managed to implement these simple SEO changes have managed to record steady organic growth.

Hierarchy

Crawling and Indexing are two of the most important components of SEO. Though rarely talk about, if your website isn’t crawled and indexed by search engines, then there’s no way it will be showing up in the result pages.

It’s for this reason that you’re encouraged to adopt a site hierarchy that’s easy for both users and crawlers to follow. That way, online users will have an easy time finding your products and services. That’s besides making it easy for the Google search engine to understand the role of that particular webpage.

You can start by making sure that your site’s hierarchy is intuitive. One approach to take is by focusing on the navigation bar of your website. Depending on the nature of the site, you can come up with different headings for the site, with each menu item featuring a subset that’s intuitively easy to figure out from the user’s standpoint.

Comprehensive In-depth Content

In the old days of Google, all they did was analyze the HTML content of your web page to find out how many times you’ve managed to use a specific keyword.

Their algorithm was 100 percent focused on the content on your page. Which is to say, all that the Google spider did was visit a page to find out if the keyword appeared in the title tag, image ALT text, URL, H1 tag, and the description tag to name a few.

Nothing has changed as search engines still focus on keywords and other traditional SEO stuff. It’s just that their system has significantly improved, making their algorithm smarter than they used to be then.

So instead of them targeting keyword stuffing in the web pages they crawl, they focus on breaking down the content’s context.

Come to think of it – Google is all about showing the best content results to their users. And like you already know, good content or the best SEO result has nothing to do with keyword stuffing. Instead, what search engines (Google in particular) interpret as the best result is the type of content that strives to cover an underlying topic in greater depth.

Meaning, the person searching for something on Google should be able to find all the content they need in one place. So yes, with Google, quality takes precedence over everything else. So if you’re NOT willing to cover a particular topic more deeply, don’t expect the search engine to reward you with a prime ranking in their result pages.


What Google is currently looking in the Content They Rank High?

1. Content-Length

The first thing that Google looks into while ranking your web content is your content length. Speaking of which, lengthy content has been found to rank much better. So you might want to make sure that all the articles you post are at least 2000 words in length, unless otherwise. By doing this, you’ll be covering almost everything a Google search user might actually be interested in.

2. Evergreen Content

BuzzSumo conducted an online study about a year ago on the type of content that Google ranks atop. Through the research, they were to establish that a good chunk of the type of content people post online end up with zero backlinks. However, highly authoritative research and reference-able content end up gaining lots of links over the long haul.

They were also able to prove that authoritative evergreen content continuously gains more shares and backlinks as time goes, and as such stands a better chance of being ranked favourably in the SERPs.

Here’s a Classic Example.

Assuming there are a lot of people posting about the services of an SEO agency in Singapore – It could be anything, like the qualities of a good SEO agency in the country.

Instead of taking a more pedestrian approach as with the rest of SEO agency providers, you could provide a more detailed, step-by-step definitive guide that’s well researched and covers the topic in question more deeply.

When done correctly, this is likely to attract more shares and even get more people to link back to it thus earning you a favourable spot in the SERPs.

3. LSI Keywords

The Google search system is also concerned about the use of LSI keywords in the content you post.

The easiest approach you can take is by focusing on writing an in-depth 2, 000 words piece of content on the topic of your choice, and after you’re done, you can go ahead and incorporate a series of LSI keywords to it.

In which case, an LSI keyword is an all-encompassing term for a list of all the words or phrases that are closely associated with the topic you’re trying to cover in a piece of article. That includes keyword variations and synonyms.

For instance, say you’re writing about paleo diet; to make sure the article ranks atop on all the variation of the ‘paleo diet’ keyword, you might want to consider adding search terms such as weight loss, nutrition, grains, recipes, and cavemen into the article.

In other words, try to put yourself in the shoe of an average Google user. What alternative search terms are they likely to use while searching for the same piece of content?

It could be a synonym, poor wording, or something quite similar or somehow relatable to the topic in question.

Don’t stress yourself if you can’t pull the LSI keywords from the thin air. There are a number of tools that have been specifically designed for that – examples include the LSI graph

To use the site, just open it up using the link provided and then enter your target keyword into the search bar provided. The next thing you do is press enter and the tool will automatically generate all the LSI keywords associated with the search term you entered.

You can go through the list and pick a list of all the LSI keywords that make sense to you.

Alternatively, you’re allowed to search for the keywords on Google. In the result pages that show, scroll to the bottom and check out ‘searches related to…’ The bolded list presented features some of the LSI keywords you may consider adding to the content you’ve created.

Another viable option would be to use Google planner. You can start by opening the planner and entering your main keyword before clicking on ‘Get Started’. You’ll be presented with a long list of LSI keywords to use. Just go through the results presented and pick all the LSI keywords that appeal to you the most. Those are the keywords you’ll be randomly sprinkling in the web content you create.


In summary, great content is defined as:

  1. Something that’s totally unique, different and original in nature. In other words, you’re NOT trying to regurgitate the same piece of content that’s already filling up the blogging eco-chamber.
  2. Useful or helpful to the intended audience. You’re simply NOT trying to fill up your website or blog with all sorts of online pabulum. Instead, you want to provide your online audience with something they’ll appreciate or find helpful.
  3. Great content strives to offer answers to some of the common niche-related questions online users ask all the time.
  4. Well-researched, original content that’s comparable to none.
  5. Step-by-step, how-to guides and tutorials.
  6. Great content can also come in the form of video.
  7. Has a list of all the helpful resources.

Does Your Content Kick Butt on Mobile?

Your webpages load just fine on mobile. But there’s a huge possibility that they’re a pain to use. Or they could be loading like molasses, adding to poor user experience.

The point is that your users should actually be enjoying to view your content on the phone. If not, then expect them to hit the back button almost immediately for something else.

You have to make sure that your site is essentially mobile friendly. But how, you ask?

Simple, if you can’t find the devices to test the site out, then you have the option to use Google’s Mobile-friendly Test tool. Open the site and enter your site’s URL and let the site inform you if the site is indeed mobile friendly. More interestingly, the platform might even hook you up with some suggestions on how best you can improve your site for mobile.

Lastly, it’s crucial that you take your time to go through the Mobile Usability report as provided by the Google Search Console. The platform will show you how your pages load on mobile, together with the much-needed tips on how to improve your site for mobile or fix the non-responsive pages on the site.

Consolidate, where Possible

The internet is filled with sites that are almost similar in terms of the type of content they generate.

There’s no need to create multiple, almost similar website with almost the same type of content in a bid to target a specific group of customers or a geographical region. Google admits to have made the same mistake in the past, where they developed near-duplicate sites based on different campaigns and marketing goals. And the consequence for that hit them really hard that they vowed never to undertake the same approach ever again.

For one, users find duplicate content a little confusing, and so are search engines. And when search engines fail to index your site right after crawling it, then expect your Google search rank to tank down.

So instead of creating multiple microsites, focus on creating one great site that will be covering all the content you have. The topics can either be broken down as menu items or dedicated web pages that are specific in nature.


Let’s wrap it up

As with any business out there, all the 7000 websites owned by Google are subjected to the same SEO rules and standards. And it’s NOT like Google are doing a perfect job themselves. If anything, the company has admitted to making loads of SEO errors that have proven to be detrimental to their overall organic growth.

So yes, the point is to keep on improving on the SEO strategy you’re employing until you’re finally able to get it right. By focusing on some of the areas we’ve highlighted in this post, you should be able to come up with a solid SEO strategy that will be automatically adapting to the new SEO changes Google makes all the time.

That’s besides being able to drive powerful SEO results and having adaptable SEO strategies that you can apply to every single one of your websites.

With what you’ve learned, you should be able to put together your own SEO strategy. But just in case you’re stuck or wish to learn more about our SEO starters’ guide, you’re kindly reminded to consider reaching to us with your query and we’ll be glad to help. We also offer SEO services in Hong Kong at a competitive rate.

SEO Campaign guide for Hong Kong

Your Ultimate Guide for Running an Effective SEO Campaign in Hong Kong

By | SEO

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Generally, it refers to the process of obtaining free traffic from natural or organic search results. Search engines have rules and algorithms which aim to connect online users with what’s relevant and most useful to them.

In other words, optimizing for search engines allows your site and web pages visible to them, and hence, rank you on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Search engines such as Google possess a page rank system that operates a lot like a point system, where you earn points or lose them depending on how well you’ve optimised your site.

How do Search Engines Work?

Search engines magically provide strings of web pages in response to our search queries, aiming to give us the most useful website that answers our questions. There’s more to search engines though; have you ever wondered how those links are generated? Here’s what goes on behind the scenes:

Google (or any other search engine for that matter) has web crawlers or spiders that go around the internet gleaning for content and information. That means, so long as your site is crawlable, search engine bots should be able to both find and crawl it.

Web crawlers are designed to learn and understand webpages. So, after going through a webpage and figuring out what it’s all about, the next thing they’ll do is download it and submit it to search engines where they’ll be indexed.

Search engine indexing can be compared to creating a library card catalogue. In other words, search engines have their own way of arranging information, so that they can know where to retrieve it whenever someone searches for something.

Search engines then have their algorithms, which factor in a multitude of variables, to determine the order of arrangement for these webpages.


Types of SEO

SEO can be broadly classified into three categories: Technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. To run an effective and well-rounded organic search campaign, the strategy you select should ideally incorporate all three types of SEO.

Technical SEO

Every non-content element of your website falls under technical SEO. Technical SEO includes the strategies you employ to improve your website’s structure and performance. Search engines need to find your site crawlable and easy to understand. At the same time, you want to provide the best experience to the users that interact with it. The end goal is to improve your site’s readability for both users and search engines.

The site speed, indexing, security, crawlability, mobile-friendliness, structured data and so on some of the few facets that technical SEO considers.

To find out how your site is doing in terms of technical SEO, consider running it through Alexa’s Audit Tool, where you simply enter your site’s domain and the software automatically scans your entire website. A report detailing the technical elements of your site, alongside with suggestions on how to fix technical issues (in case of any) will be generated. Fixing these issues can then boost your search visibility, and hence allow your site higher on SERPs.

On-site SEO

On-site or on-page SEO is basically your site’s content, and refers to the strategies you use to optimise your site’s content and HTML tags. On-page SEO strives to help search engines understand your content’s topic, as well as assess its value and degree of usefulness. With better on-page SEO habits, your site can be better understood by search engines and ranked higher. Of course, it’s necessary to keep updated on the latest on-page SEO tactics as these are ever-changing.

On-site, or on-page SEO covers:

  • Keyword Research: The keywords that you survey and intend to target on a webpage should be categorised into similar themes, or search intent.
  • Content Creation: Based on the keywords identified previously during the keyword research process, you focus on producing original high-quality content that is relevant to your visitors’ search intent and not merely stuffing keywords into your articles.
  • Keyword optimisation: This section of on-page SEO ensures that you’re using your target keywords in the right places. It concerns the different tags on your website, outbounds and internal links, image optimization and so on.

To find out how well your site is doing in terms of on-page SEO, you can utilise SEO Site Checkup, Google’s Webmasters Tools, as well As Keyword Difficulty Tool to test your website and identify the relevant keywords for your brand and business.

Off-site SEO

Off-page SEO aims to strengthen the relationship and influence that you have with other websites. It’s about establishing your relevance, trustworthiness and authority. When a credible and high domain authority site sends a backlink to you, they essentially send link juice to your website. Accordingly, search engines view your website as valuable and well-established, and therefore award it with a higher SEO score.

With off-site SEO, your focus should be on amassing high-quality backlinks for your site from relevant and authoritative sites pointing back to your website. Outside your website, social media marketing, guest bloggers, and unlinked brand mentions are some ways that can improve your website’s ranking on the SERPs.

Use the following tools to help you find and evaluate link prospects for off-page SEO:

  1. Ubersuggest: A great tool for finding out how well your site is doing for off-site SEO. It’s a well-rounded tool that provides you with all the data you need to build your link profile.
  2. Ahref: A tool that generates reports to identify link opportunities as well as assess your competitive position in terms of your backlink profile.
  3. SEMRUSH: Not just a tool for researching on the keywords that your competitors are ranking high for. It’s also a great tool for identifying the link opportunities in your niche.

 Why Do Businesses Need SEO?

It’s no hard sell that your business needs SEO for its digital properties. The most obvious reason is that you need SEO to improve your overall visibility and searchability. However, there are several other reasons that prove the real value of SEO.

To Target People that are Searching for your Products and Services

More than 2 million people are super-active online – with 93% of online purchases starting from a search query on a search engine. This means up to 40,000 searches occurring with every passing second, or up to 3.5 billion searches in a day. This spells millions of opportunities for your business to be found online. Hence, optimizing your website for search engines will allow you to stand a chance to be found by prospective customers, especially those with high search intent.

SEO Pulls quality Traffic

Your business needs SEO for quality traffic, and no traffic beats SEO traffic. Quality traffic arises from people with high commercial intent – they are actively seeking solutions to their problems, which makes it an opportunity for you to convince them of products and services as they are already likely to convert.

SEO for More Sales

Everything you’ve heard about SEO is true – from it being used to gather leads and boosting your sales. Of course, you’ll have to ensure that what you offer is of good quality, as well as your SEO strategy to improve your search engine visibility and hence driving quality traffic to your website. You shouldn’t rest on your laurels though; keep your SEO team on their toes as the SEO landscape is fast evolving, and you’ll have to keep up if you want to generate more leads and increase your sales.

It’s Less Costly Compared to Traditional Advertising

The cost of acquiring customers through SEO is less costly compared to any other form of advertising. If you’re operating on a shoestring budget, it’s entirely possible to run the campaign at absolutely no cost, so long as you’re willing to do the hard work yourself. However, if your industry is highly competitive and you lack the know-how on SEO, then you might want to consider investing in an SEO agency that will be able to handle your website’s optimization for search engines. Their experience and technical expertise should help you outrank your competition.

You don’t have to Advertise when Your Site has a Strong SEO Standing

SEO offers you a chance to increase your search engine traffic without necessarily paying for PPC. An effective SEO strategy will help you cut back on your advertising cost, besides holding you down for years.

You Need SEO for Trust and Credibility

People trust search engines to give them the answers to their problems – be it credible content, or products and services that can take away their worries. Of course, sites that rank high on Google tend to be more trusted compared to those at the bottom of result pages. As a matter of fact, the first organic listing enjoys about 37% of search engine clicks.

SEO is Long-term Strategy

SEO is a long-term marketing strategy that requires time to reap the efforts. It can take from as short as 3 months to over a year to climb up the search engine ladder, depending on the competitiveness of your selected keywords. However, once you get to the top position, you’re bound to stay there for awhile before one of your competitors optimises their site for search engines better than you. Hence, it’s always good practice to have a solid foundation for your SEO strategy.

SEO keep your customers informed

Your prospective customers use search engines to research. They use it to understand the nature of their problem, find out more about a product or service they’re interested in, and so on. Through SEO, your customers get to make informed decisions on the options they have. In your case, you can use this to educate your customers and cultivate trust.


The SEO Landscape in Hong Kong

The approach you take to improve the organic performance of any website differs from one geographical market to another. We’d like to highlight some of these differences pertaining to the Hong Kong search landscape, and figure out how to use them to make the necessary calibrations to our SEO strategy.

Google is the Dominant Search engine in Hong Kong

Google controls nearly 85% of the search engine market share. But that’s not to say the other search engines should be completely disregarded.

Search engine market share in Hong Kong

  • Google: 87.89%
  • Yahoo: 9.13%
  • Bing: 1.51%
  • Baidu: 0.86%
  • Yandex Ru: 0.29%
  • Others: 0.35%

As you can see, there are other search engines in Hong Kong that control a significant amount of traffic combined. Hene, you might want to also consider them in your SEO strategy.

Hong Kong is Multicultural

Hong Kong people are multilingual, with most of them speaking English and Cantonese and a significant number of them speaking Mandarin. Mandarin speakers in Hong Kong either learn the language from the Chinese residing in Hong Kong, or because they’re from Mainland China. This means that there are two types of the Chinese language: i) Simplified Chinese and ii) Traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese is the language that is widely spoken in Hong Kong, whereas Simplified Chinese is the language that people speak in Mainland China.

The differences in Mandarin thus affects how people in Hong Kong search the web. As a matter of fact, there are three versions of the local search engine (Google). By default, the platform allows you to run your search query in English, with an option to change it to Traditional Chinese (marked by green) or Simplified Chinese (marked by blue).

The secret is clear here; while optimising your site for the search engine on Hong Kong, you want to start by translating everything in the three languages. In other words, you have to devise a solid multilingual SEO strategy for your site. The point is to ensure that you’re able to gain visible across all the local versions. Remember that each keyword you choose boasts a different search volume for the different language.

For instance, expect some of the Traditional Chinese keywords to be trendy compared to their English correspondences. For this, it’s crucial that you run translated web pages if you want to develop a highly optimized website for the search engines in Hong Kong.

China isn’t Far-off

China is Hong Kong’s immediate neighbour and 8,662 times the size of Hong Kong, which explains why companies in Hong Kong highly regard the Chinese market as one with huge growth opportunities. Here are a few things to note if you want to take advantage of the Chinese market too:

  • Baidu is the dominant search engine in China, controlling up to 66% of the search engine market share in the country. Google’s place in China is a far cry from Baidu.
  • Other search engines, such as Haosou 360, Shema, Sogou and Bing are also widely used in the country and control a significant amount of the online traffic combined.

Search engine market share in China

According to MarketMeChina, here are the search engine market shares categorized according to the device.

Desktop search engine market share in China Jan 2019:

  • Baidu: 65.96%
  • Haosou 360: 12.19%
  • Google: 9.49%
  • bing: 6.15%
  • Sogou: 4.88%
  • Shenma: 0.72%

Mobile search engine market share in China Jan 2019:

  • Baidu: 71.30%
  • Shema: 20.92%
  • Sogou: 4.88%
  • Haosou 360: 1.93%
  • Bing: 0.59%
  • Google: 0.30%

The Current State of SEO in Hong Kong

How does the SEO landscape compare to other markets? How hard is it for one to find a good SEO firm in Hong Kong? For a start, Hong Kong has a population of about 7.2 million. It’s an Asian gateway, and a major business hub in the region. Hong Kong is highly modernised and densely populated. It’s a global crossroad, with Cantonese as the local dialect. English is also very important in the region.

According to Global Digital report of 2018, the internet penetration rate of Hong Kong rests at 89%. That accounts for about 6.67 million people. From this number, 5.8 million are active on social media (about 78% of the population). On average, people in Hong Kong spend about 6 hours 23 minutes a day online, and a cool 1 hour 47 minutes browsing through social media. The most popular social media platform in Hong Kong is Facebook (at 85%), with YouTube and WhatsApp following closely (at 83% and 82% respectively).

Social Media Penetration in Hong Kong

  • Facebook: 85%
  • YouTube: 83%
  • WhatsApp: 82%
  • Instagram: 57%
  • WeChat: 53%
  • FB Messenger: 50%
  • Line: 29%
  • Twitter: 26%

Despite Hong Kong’s high internet penetration and well-developed infrastructure, its local digital landscape lags behind compared to its neighbouring cities – the primary reason being that businesses in the region are showing little to no regard for search engine optimization and the digital industry by extension. In fact, businesses in Hong Kong still consider SEO as a relatively new concept, with many hung up on traditional mindsets. Compared to Singapore – one of Hong Kong’s closest rivals – businesses in Hong Kong are 3 times less likely to adopt internet marketing. Hence, implementing SEO for your site will give you a first-mover’s advantage in the Hong Kong landscape. You can also seek the services of our digital agency in Hong Kong for SEO support.

Key Takeaways

To run an effective digital marketing campaign in Hong Kong, the first thing you’ll need to do is to adapt it to the market, notwithstanding whichever channel you choose to focus on.

  • With SEO, your focus should be on the various search engines – not just one. Google may be the primary search engine in Hong Kong, but other search engines still control a significant amount of search engine traffic.
  • For PPC, your budget should be dispatched across all the available platforms, especially Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, and Yandex Ru.
  • For social media, your focus should be on relevant social media channels.
  • Run a multilingual website. In other words, you have to translate your content into the three languages that are spoken in Hong Kong to capture the largest audience.
  • Consider using a local payment solution such as Ali Pay and WeChat Pay to facilitate transactions with customers.
  • For ecommerce, have detailed product page dedicated to the Chinese market – like Taobao. Also consider selling your products in the available Chinese marketplaces.

Important SEO Ranking Factors in Hong Kong

Ranking factor 1: Backlinks

Backlinks still stand as one of the most important ranking elements to focus on. They’re what search engines use to determine the quality of your website as explained earlier. That explains why Google prioritizes the quality of backlinks over quantity. In other words, you’re better off with a few high-quality backlinks than a significant volume of low-quality ones.

Producing content that your audience are likely to read, as well as consistently promoting your content are some organic ways to gain high value backlinks quickly. The more authoritative sites link back to you, the more Google and other search engines perceive your site as one that’s worth ranking. Backlinks are one of the most crucial ranking factors because they make it hard to manipulate search engines through other bad practices, ensuring that your website will remain at the top of the SERP.

How Does Google Judge your Backlink?

Google judges your backlinks by looking at three key areas:

  1. The number of links a page has attracted
  2. The authority of the sites the links are from
  3. Backlink diversity

Two Things that Directly Impact Your Link-building Campaign

Link Score

Google developed a great link scoring system that no longer look at backlinks on a surface level. Link score is arrived at based on the quality score of the link, and the quantity of the links.

A higher link score improves your place in the search engine ladder.

Google is also concerned about the diversity of the backlinks, which means that having multiple links from one site or the same domain name won’t increase your link score. You’ll have to work on generating these backlinks from a diverse range of domains or website to appeal to the good graces of Google.

Having someone on your team to focus on lead generation is a good start to finding the lead targets and approaching them to link back to your resources, thus creating the link juice flow that will improve your SERP rank.

Relevant Anchor Text

The anchor text of the incoming link to your website matters a great deal and you should prioritize this in your link building strategy if you haven’t already. An anchor text is also the link label – basically what your reader will see before they decide to click your hyperlink attached.

Google wants the anchor texts to feel natural and diverse. For this case, branded texts rank a lot better than naked URLs, with the latter being links that lack anchor texts completely. Generally, you should avoid texts that match exactly and steer clear of having too many anchor texts to not trigger Google’s spam filter.

Ranking Factor 2: Content Length

A casual look across the web shows that long-form posts tend to rank much better compared to their short form-match. There aren’t many long-form articles floating around because they take a much longer time to produce. Unless you have a dedicated content-creator or you’re working with a content creation agency, it’s almost impossible to generate long form content consistently. However, those that commit to doing it get to reap it big with Google and other search engines.

Google isn’t just interested in lengthy posts – they want in-depth content that’s relevant to what a user is interested in. Speaking of which, they’re interested in:

  • Engaging content that delivers great value: They’re interested in content that gives more details instead of dabbling on information.
  • Highly shareable content: When more people share your posts, it shows that they find it useful and worthy for those in their social networks to know of.
  • Relevancy matters too: Google is interested in content that feeds directly into the needs of online users.

Bear in mind that Google isn’t just interested in bloated content; your content actually has to value-add instead of regurgitating information from another site, that makes readers want to engage and continue reading other articles on your website or blog. Of course, the next thing you’d want to do is promote your content heavily. Make sure you share it around on social media as well as your lead prospects to increase the number of backlinks to your website.

Ranking Factor 3: Website URL, Domain Aage, and Domain Authority

Google will penalise any site it suspects to be spammy. First, Google looks at sites whose domain names consist of their target keywords with suspicion. A site with thin content will quickly be marked down as spam and penalised.

Ahrefs provides some really interesting data on this. About 60% of websites appearing on the top 10 Google search results are at least 3 years old, and that only a few sites that are less than 1 year old have managed to claim a spot in the top 10 search results. We can thus conclude that a domain’s age influences the ranking on the SERP.

Lastly, domain authority is one of the ranking factors Google looks into. They have a way of calculating it by looking at the quality of your content and combining it with off-page SEO.

Ranking Factor 4: User Experience

To outrank your competitors, one of the things you should be concerned with is the experience that your website generates to users who interact with it on mobile. Google even created the infamous RankBrain algorithm with the intention to de-rank sites that failed to offer users great mobile experience. In 2016, Google started showing more importance to mobile-first indexing, with mobile versions of websites being highly preferred over their desktop counterparts.

To improve your visitors’ experience with your website and consequently your brand, you should consider working on the following factors:

Page Speed

It’s only great with users when they don’t have to wait for long as your site loads up. The faster your website loads, the better it is for you. For mobile, it’s recommended that your site loads in fewer than 2 seconds, and not more than 3 seconds for desktop users. Remember, Google has a crawl budget that it allocates to sites. So, if your site loads too slowly, then the odds are that Google won’t be able to crawl all pages. With fewer of your pages crawled, visitors won’t be able to know that your website exists based on the SERPs. Moreover, sites that load slow will only result in visitors leaving and subsequently higher bounce rates that will affect your quality score.

Mobile Responsiveness

If you can’t get your site to load properly on mobile, then forget about securing it a top spot on Google. With so many users accessing the Internet via their mobile phones, serving website visitors a web link that doesn’t load up on mobile would be a hassle and inconvenience.

To improve the mobile responsiveness of your website, you can practise the following:

  • Use Google Search Console’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool to understand your site and find out if it’s complying with Google’s standards for mobile.
  • Use the same structural markup you used on desktop for mobile. Using anything different will only confuse search engine crawlers.
  • Test your site using txt testing tool to find out if Googlebot can access it.
  • Use PageSpeed Insight Tool to check your site speed and how to improve on it.

Ranking Factor 5: Click Through Rate

Google has been consistent with rolling new updates – always improving their algorithms and making sure that there are no loopholes for people to manipulate on its search engine. Hence, much of Google’s algorithm remains secretive. Recently, however, Google has opened up about the Click Through Rate (CTR), and even admitted that it does impact how they rank sites.

CTR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks your site is getting by the number of impressions or views, and the results multiplied by 100. A site with a high CTR can be interpreted to mean it’s captivating enough to capture the attention of online users.


5 Things that Every SEO Strategy Needs

You need a well thought-out and comprehensive SEO strategy to stay on top of search engines. In other words, a surface level SEO strategy isn’t enough to propel your site up the search engine ranks. A higher rank means your customers and prospects will have an easy time finding your site online.

However, in order to come up with a strategy that ensures your site is able to claim a top slot in the SERPs, there are 5 critical elements that you shouldn’t fail to include in your SEO strategy, and these elements include:

Performing an SEO Audit

Before you even think about doing anything to your website, you need to perform an SEO audit. An SEO audit opens you up to the current state of your website, so you can know what needs to be improved and what direction to take. Here are a few things an SEO audit will help you understand:

  • If your website is user-friendly, reliable, and easy to navigate.
  • If there are issues that are making your site sluggish.
  • Your current performance in the SERPs for a list of keywords you chose.
  • If your site is optimised for conversion. It’s not just about driving traffic, but ensuring your website inspires your website visitors to take action.

An SEO audit also ensures that all the links on your website are functioning properly and directing users to the right pages.

Setting Expectations

Expectations can be compared to the goals you set for yourself or business, and simple logic dictates that these goals be realistic enough. Setting your expectations gives you a rough idea of the future that awaits you. That means you should choose metrics that reflect your journey. This could be organic search traffic, domain authority, links, and so on. The point is to agree on a metric that makes sense and for what reason. A better alternative would be to come up with task-oriented goals (instead of KPI-oriented goals).

Visual Representation

A strategy is nothing more than a plan. This plan is based off the goals you have. You attach tasks to these goals, with some of the tasks coming before others. Some of the tasks are recurring, with lots of subtasks in between. With every strategy you come up with, you should be able to present it to both your team and the client in question.

It’s important that you present your strategy in a format that can easily be understood and edited (where necessary). You have the option of using Trello, Workzone, Google Sheets, Basecamp or any other visual presentation tool that floats your boat. Everything has to be clear and straightforward:

  • You have to know the tasks you have and whom exactly have they been assigned to
  • Which of the tasks come first?
  • Which of the tasks are recurring, can be automated, in progress, or complete?

Measuring the performance of your SEO campaign would be dependent on the metrics that you’ve selected. Here are some of the metrics you may use:

  • Visibility
  • Moz domain authority
  • Backlinks
  • Number of crawl errors
  • Number of pages that have been indexed
  • Organic conversions
  • Pageviews
  • Engagement metrics

Having a plan to document the improvements on your website pre- and post- SEO implementation will not only help you see how far you’ve come, but identify areas that you can work on in the future as well.

Final Thoughts

Search engine optimization is just the tip of the iceberg to the digital marketing world. There’s more to learn and new discoveries to be made than we can afford to cover in a single article. However, this should be enough to set you on the right track. To receive valuable, strategic, and in-depth advice on SEO, talk to us at MediaOne or use our 24/7 live chat feature to get a free consultation.