Small businesses wishing to increase their visibility in search engines can be reluctant to launch an SEO campaign. Whether it’s a matter of budget or resources to look after it, there can be various challenges, especially if the company competes with important competitors in search results. However, there are easy ways to start building an SEO strategy on a budget.
Run a keyword research
Keywords is the foundation of any SEO strategy since the goal is to make sure that you know the terms your pages will target and you will have to tweak your pages to improve your keyword targeting strategy so that Google can rank the page higher. In short, Google needs to understand the topic of your pages and running a keyword research can help you find relevant terms as well to set a priority for each one of them.
Here are some tips to help you running a powerful keyword research:
- Use Google Keyword Planner to highlight the relevant terms for each page that could potentially get traffic from search engines. For instance, there is no need to look for keywords for your “Terms & Conditions” or for your “Contact” pages but analyzing your homepage, categories, products, services and articles will lead to interesting terms you might want to target.
- The most powerful pages such as the homepage and the categories should target the most researched and competitive terms. The reason is that these pages tend to be more linked internally, because they are part of your menu, and they also acquire more links from third-party websites. As a consequence, they get more “weight” from Google and they will rank in an easier way. However, your articles and products should target “Long-Tail Keywords”, which are more specific queries with less competition.
- Focus on a given set of keywords for each page, that should be part of a given semantic field rather than adding the same keywords in different pages. The goal is to drive users to the right pages not to mislead them by sending them to irrelevant pages.
Note that Google Keyword Planner allows you to filter by regions and districts. Therefore, it is advised to make sure that you are searching for keywords with “Hong Kong” as default location. This tool works fine with Cantonese (Traditional Chinese) and Mandarin (Simplified Chinese), which is useful if you propose content for these different languages.
While a keyword research is useful to find the terms, it can also be used to identify new articles you should write and this can be a way tool to also improve your content marketing strategy. For instance, if you are in the “Travel” or “Lifestyle” industry, searching for “what to visit Hong Kong” will trigger two features: “People Also Ask” and “Related Searches”.
Related Searches feature
People Also Ask feature
These features are based on user’s data which implies that there is a demand for that kind of content. Creating new pages to tackle these topics will help to increase your organic traffic.
Target long tail keywords first
Optimizing long tail keywords for small businesses is a great SEO strategy. Long tail keywords are terms that are less researched but that will lead to high conversions because they are quite specific, such has “buy ankle boots online” or “ankle boots Hong Kong”.
If you target this query, rather than “ankle boot”, it will be easier to rank and you will improve your sales since the query contains the intent of the user.
It is strongly advised to proceed that way when you start your business because your pages won’t be powerful enough, at the beginning of your strategy, to compete for more competitive keywords. It’s a way to start selling on a short-term. Then, when your SEO strategy becomes more mature, you will be able to target keywords that are more researched.
Improve your Title Tags to match the relevant keywords
The Title Tag is the element that sum-ups the content of your page and most CMS allow you to change it in a quite easy way. Note that this information is displayed in two different locations:
- In the browser, at the top of your screen.
- Directly in search results.
While it’s an important SEO signal, note that:
- A Title Tag should include keywords that are researched by Internet users.
- A Title Tag must summarize what users will find in your page.
- A Title Tag should be CTR-oriented and be catchy enough to make users click.
- A Title Tag must be unique across your website and should be short enough so that search engines will properly display them in search results.
Improving your Title Tags can be seen as an easy fix and it’s still powerful to rank higher.
As a user, if you search online using Google.com.hk in English, you might have noticed that Google returns a lot of results from websites that are not necessarily based in Hong Kong.
Most likely, you will refine your search by adding “Hong Kong” and the search results will be more accurate. Therefore, if you are a brand targeting Hong Kong, it is advised to add “Hong Kong” at the end of your Title Tags, as follow: [Page’s Title] – [Brand] Hong Kong.
Internal links are links that will allow your visitors to jump from a page to another and while it’s helpful to improve the user-experience, it’s also one of the main signal search engines take into consideration to improve the rankings of your pages.
- They must link pages that are related.
- Google will use the clickable piece of text to understand the topic of the linked page.
- Most of the CMS allow you to amend the internal links using the text editor.
- There are no limits in terms of number of links you can create between your pages as long as it makes sense for search engines and users.
The link above on “Ankle Boots” from the blog will increase the rankings of the category and will help visitors to find the page that lists the products that they can purchase.
To improve your site popularity, get links from third-party website to your platform.
- Links from related domains will help search engines to understand your niche and it is recommended to get links from your targeted market, as much as possible.
- External links increase site’s trust which is vital for your SEO.
- Avoid link farms and low-quality websites such as generic SEO and article directories.
- Avoid having too many links with the same “Anchor Text” (clickable piece of text), since it can trigger a penalty and your rankings can drop.
- To boost the quality of your external links, build a business blog, create inspiring and viral content which is valuable, informative and entertaining for natural linking.
Here, the link on “Ankle Booties” will help the category from Nordstorm.com to rank higher for the whole set of keywords targeted by the page. Developing a powerful link building strategy by establishing editorial partnerships and getting featured in websites that are close to your industry will skyrocket your rankings.
Use Google Maps if you provide local services
Google Maps is powerful to get exposure in Hong Kong and just requires a few minutes to set up:
- Verify your business in Google My Business.
- Fill the requested information such as:
- Your address.
- The opening hours of your business.
- Your phone number and website address.
- The industry your business belongs to.
- Your appointment URL, if applicable.
- Your zone, if applicable.
- Ask your clients to write reviews.
According to the maturity of your industry and the competitiveness of your keywords, SEO can take few months to show satisfying results but there are quite few techniques that can help your web-pages to rank higher. Moreover, note that the larger your website is, the more effort you will need to improve the visibility of the whole set of pages in search results. In that case, SEO might require more investments and hiring a SEO company like Get Clicks Hong Kong can be a good move to save time and benefit from professional advice. While SEO campaigns generally last for few months, it’s one of the most profitable traffic sources since you will not have to pay for each click you receive from Google, unlike Pay-Per-Clicks campaigns like Google Adwords.
Killian Kostiha started to work in SEO in 2008, in France. He has more than 10 years experience in digital marketing and has worked in various countries (France, Spain, Bulgaria, Hong Kong). He works in Hong Kong since 2014 and was SEO manager at iProspect Hong Kong (digital marketing agency) and at Lane Crawford before starting in own agency, Get Clicks, where he offers customised SEO and content marketing solutions for SMB, start-ups and larger groups in France and in Hong Kong.