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Brent Payne

Four ways Hong Kong firms can optimize their websites

BY BRENT PAYNE

Getting ahead in Hong Kong business used to be about who you knew.

Now, it’s about if a search engine thinks it knows you.

A web page for a business is only the first step. It must be publicized correctly using the top search engine optimization practices so a business gets the most exposure possible in the online market.

Search engines rank sites on certain criteria because they want to provide the best possible results to consumers to keep them coming back. So work with the rules, not against them. It’s a long climb to the top of a search results page, but the benefits will quickly become tangible to a business.

1. Go For Google

Google is used by nearly 70 percent of all Internet users. The other major search engines, Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask, don’t even come close to comparing. Although other search engines look for many of the same attributes when ranking a site, it is best to cater to Google’s preferences given its overwhelming majority hold on users. Google has released guidelines about the specifics it looks for, including making each page link back to the homepage, creating quality content that is relevant and making a sitemap.

2. Keywords Are Key

What is the point you want to get across with each page of your site? Each page should be summed up into one or two keywords or keyphrases. A website dedicated to Hong Kong title insurance should mention the phrase ‘Hong Kong title insurance’ several times. This will help Google recognize that is what your site is about and display it in the search results when someone queries the phrase.

Ideally, the keywords or keyphrases should be mentioned once in the title tag, once in the H1 tag and a related term in the H2 tag. The keyphrase should then be peppered throughout the rest of the copy on the page. But don’t go overboard. Too many uses of keywords and phrases send a red flag to Google and draw negative speculation to your site.

3. Links, Links, Links

Google wants a site to prove its popularity, authority and relevance. A great way to achieve this is through links; the more the better. Almost all links are good, with the exception of spam links or those from bad neighborhoods, but even better are aged links from relevant sites.

Sure, a link posted this morning on John Smith’s Twitter is a link nonetheless, but it carries less weight than if the New York Times has had a link posted for three years. Research sites that are related to yours or have an authoritative voice, and then send them a personalized email or phone call to request a link from their site. Offer to give them a link from your site and make the situation a win-win.

4. Spread It Out

Don’t put all of your effort into one strategy. There’s only so much that can be done before one tactic fails to produce improved results. When link building no longer shows progress, pause and switch to keywords.

When keywords no longer help, switch to another approach. Don’t neglect these important aspects forever, just leave them alone for a while and focus energies elsewhere. Other methods for obtaining traffic include utilizing social media (Twitter has the strongest SEO value while LinkedIn has the strongest ROI), consolidating duplicate content or removing Flash and JavaScript from a site.

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Hongkong Business. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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Brent Payne

Brent Payne

Brent Payne is CEO at Loud Interactive, an SEO Consulting Firm.

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