Search Engine Optimisation (also known as “SEO”) is a vital component of a Digital Internet Marketing strategy that is designed to place, or “rank” your website to the top of the search engine results (“SERP”).
Jargon Buster | SEO: Search Engine Optimisation (UK Spelling)
Jargon Buster | SERP: Search Engine Results Page
What Is This Post?
This post serves two purposes:
- To Summarize Important SEO Concepts;
- Discuss Hong Kong SEO Strategies
The Hong Kong SEO Services and techniques that I outline in this post are the result of what’s worked for me, and that should also work for you too!
Short Of Time? Just Want The Good Bit?
If you’re really pushed for time and want the summary of this post then the key takeaway is this: you’ve got to be relevant. Google and its’ users have no time for time wasters or irrelevancy. If your content is crap then you’ll get no love. Period.
Your content MUST either answer a question that has NOT been asked or, that has been answered badly and you know that you can do better.
Sure, I am generalizing but you get my point: be relevant!
If you have more time then read on! It’s only a 3-4 minute read.
What Are “SEO Services”?
SEO services are really “features” that either need to be implemented on your site or improved.
These are the six main SEO Service Categories that you’d have to do to rank your site. Each of these categories can be further broken down, but for the purposes of this resource, we will just discuss these fundamental six services.
The Six SEO Services:
|Content Marketing||Natural Link Building||Clean Fast Code|
|On/OffPage SEO||Social Media Signals||Hong Kong Localization|
I will be referring to these SEO features throughout this resource.
So, What Makes Me The Hong Kong SEO Expert?
I’m not an SEO-Guru -God and nor am I “the” SEO “Hong Kong Marketing Expert”, but rather, I’m an SEO Specialist.
I’ve been at this game since 2001, yup, that long. I regularly meet kids doing SEO in Hong Kong who was born in 2001! The Search Engine Optimisation world has changed dramatically since then, and in some ways, its become more difficult (“competitive”) whilst in other ways, it has become easier.
What’s Changed In SEO From 2002 to 2020?
It’s become more difficult because there are more humans online but is has become easier to rank if you’re legit. Back in 2002, it was the wild west and you could literally through money and blackhat SEO and you’d rank overnight.
What’s My Experience?
I’ve ranked everything from pharmaceuticals to food to certifications to prams. If you’d like to see my experience please watch my promo video on my SEO Services page here.
I’ve got a ton to share regarding SEO tips ‘n tricks and now that I’ve gone 100% freelancer in Hong Kong I thought I’d write my experiences because they’ll likely also work for you.
So, in summary, if you want real-life factual and helpful advice on how to get your SEO going in Hong Kong then stick around and let’s dive in.
Why Is SEO Important?
The short answer is that you get “free” exposure, which, if managed correctly can result in leads, conversions, and sales.
The slightly longer answer is that having a well-thought SEO Plan, especially in a highly-competitive market like Hong Kong, will help your brand and business in multiple ways.
Hong Kong SEO tactics and services are especially important because compared to other markets,
google.com.hk is highly competitive.
Think of there as being two significant benefits with ranking high on the search engines:
- Firstly, you receive Free Traffic;
- and Secondly, it adds a ton of credibility to your online presence
Who Needs SEO Services In Hong Kong?
The answer is…not everyone!
Seriously, if you’re an established old-school Hong Kong diversified conglomerate like Swire or Jardine Matheson then you hardly need SEO, or if you’re Harrods in London then you’re good to go.
For SME’s, Startups and everything in between, SEO is a must.
There are hundreds of factors involved in having (and maintaining) a successful business.
It’s expensive trying to start a business and there’s no doubt that having first-class SEO consulting and services will improve your rankings.
A good SEO Consultancy should be connecting your brand with targeted people searching for your services and products online.
Table Of Contents
|Tip #1 Link Building|
|Tip #2 It’s All About Keywords, Then Content|
|Tip #3 Growth Hacking Your Way In SEO|
|Tip #4 Hong Kong SEO Strategies|
|Tip#5 …If You Only Had To Do One Thing|
Tip #1: Stop Wasting Time Asking For Links
Please. If there is ONE Thing you must STOP doing is asking for links.
Just stop it. Now. Use your time better….
I’d rather be chilling on Shek O Beach 宋崗 rather than wasting my time or my team’s time reaching out to some random dude on the other side of the planet asking for a link.
It’s life-sucking to fire off 1,000’s of auto-generated
spam emails to prospects in your niche asking for a link and getting zero replies, and why the hell should they link to your site? What’s in it for them?
If you’re confused with my brazen statement then read this question:
Why Should They Link To You?
Asking for a link is like asking to be someone’s friend. It looks lame and it reeks of unprofessionalism and SEO-n00bism to ask for links.
Yes, yes, yes, there are some proven ways to get links such as the Moving Man, or Wikipedia missing Citations or simply informing webmasters of 404’s but ultimately these all take time and you’re really not getting a decent ROI for the time you commit.
There’s another way.
Don’t ask, instead, let the links come to you.
If your content is crap then they won’t come…but…if your content is good then they will link to you
and you’ll be vindicated and Google will love you.
So, Exactly How Do We Naturally Attract Links? Especially in Hong Kong?
There are five ways I’d suggest getting natural inbound links:
- Publish Excellent Content!
- List Data, Visitors Love Data Comparisons
- Offer A Tool To Help People
- Be Controversial
- Offer Something Unique or For Free
Tip #2: It’s All About Keywords, Then Content
SEO Fundamentals dictate that we discover keywords even before we put pen to paper or word to hard drive.
The worst thing you can do is launch a site and immediately go after competitive keywords. The reason for that is because you’re wasting time because Google will simply ignore your site upon launch for at least several months.
To expect to compete for competitive keywords occupied by incumbents that have done a great job is naive. It WILL take time, but if done properly you can expect to see results within a few months, and not years.
There’s another way that I’m going to explain how. Instead of using expensive keyword discovery tools simply use the world’s best one which just so happens to be free and is made by the very people you are trying to rank with: Google.
That’s right. Google auto-prompt which appears on every single Google Homepage is your friend. ALL THE ANSWERS ARE THERE!
Google is telling you exactly what previous searchers have typed in. Remember, Google is in the advertising business, they WANT you to stay to continue using their search indexing platform hence the reason they prompt you to click on one of their suggestions.
A-Z Google Auto-Prompt
Let’s say you wanted to publish content relating to Hong Kong and the South Side. Trying to find content that you can rank for is the start of the challenge. To do this, type in your see keyword, so let’s say: Shek O Beach and then append “a”, then “b”, then “c” and so on and Google will list out the Top Ten most searched items.
So, like I said before, rather than competing for those incredibly difficult and competitive keywords find something using this A-Z method that hasn’t been answered correctly or something that you could improve on.
From doing the above experiment I found a nice post you could write about: Shek O Sharks! So, it turns out that “Shek O Sharks” are indeed searched by users as you can see here:
And, when we click on the “Shek O Beach Sharks” suggestion we get this article at the top of the results (‘SERP’):
Now, the article that shows up mentions a Shark Sighting in Sheko O Beach in 2019 but the article can be improved in multiple ways:
- The Content Is VERY Thin (only 250 words)
- There’s Only A Stock Photo
- Dozens of Sub-Titles And Other Content Has Not Been Covererd
You could improve this post by writing a list of the types of sharks in the South China Sea, list out the most deadly attacks, snippets of interviews, more interesting phots, the survival rates of shark attacks and the “safest beaches on the South Side” according to your research and list those beaches with data.
So, in summary, this could be a good entry point to get your site noticed by Google. Fight for the lower to rank “less competitive” keywords and Google will start to respect and rank you.
The more Google respects you the more it will visit you and start to rank you for the more competitive keywords.
Tip #3 Growth Hacking Your Way In SEO
Growth Hacking is all about working smart, not hard.
There are three types of content that you need to write:
- Pillar Posts
- Response Posts
- Staple Posts
The Pillar Post
A Pillar Post is like the one you are reading, i.e. it is a central bit of content to this site. I’m a Digital Marketer working in SEO in Hong Kong so a resource like this is vital to my site.
Typically the Pillar Post would be about 2-3,000 words of well written, useful and actionable content. Images, social media and other resources would all need to be woven into the Pillar Content to make it interesting for both visitors and the search engines.
To Growth Hack SEO you’d need to ensure that the bounce rate, dwell time and scroll depth of the content are all addressed, so make sure, for example, that the visitor scrolls as deep as possible down the page. To achieve this you’d need to think about UI/UX as well as the content.
The Response Post
The Response Post answers a question. The Internet is packed full of questions that have gone unanswered, or have been answered badly. Find something that you can improve and make sure that you answer that question as relevantly and accurately as possible.
The Staple Post
The Staple Post is the “run-of-the-mill” well written, interesting weekly content posts that are churned out. Examples includes: lists (‘Top Tens”), “How-To’s”, “Recommended Posts”, and “Reviews”
There are dozens of ways to Growth Hack your content marketing, and if you need help with this let me know.
Tip #4 Hong Kong SEO Strategies
Hong Kong SEO is the same as it is anywhere else.
Google is looking for sites that provide relevancy to their users and they’ll rank the site that they feel does the best job at answering that question.
Here are three ways (examples) I’d deploy to get a clients’ site to rank in Hong Kong.
Building a Social Following Locally
Social Media is “a must” with SEO. It’s not difficult to find the most visited and most popular media channels in Hong Kong relating to your niche and to ingratiate yourself with them.
Facebook, Google My Business, LinkedIn and other platforms all allow links to your site which will help to localize your site in the search engines eyes.
Local SEO can be enhanced by local citations. The Hong Kong Civil Service, Legislative Council and District Councils all have departments and resources that you can attain links from, it will require some creativity but if you offer true value then you’ll get a link in return.
An example here would be to organize an event aimed at Government employees or a free marketing event to help clients with their SEO, in exchange for offering a service like that the links and traffic ought to start to flow in.
The Local Review Ecosystem
Google loves reviews. The absolutely send a positive signal to Google about the authority and trust that a domain holds.
It’s therefore important to try and get as many reviews as possible regarding your services in Hong Kong as possible.
Tip#5 …If You Only Had To Do One Thing
If I had to do one thing, or offer one piece of advice, it would be to not give up.
90% of the sites that fail, fail because the owner gave up too early.
If takes time to rank a website but if you stick at it, and you’re consistent then you’ll gain Google’s trust and you’ll start to see results.
Never do anything Blackhat and keep it totally legit.