Search Engine Optimisation: The Definitive Guide

Search Engine Optimisation is the key to the success of your business. Google has put in place a number of SEO guidelines that websites should comply with to boost their rankings. Failing to follow the guidelines and resolving to use Black Hat SEO strategies is equivalent to taking the wind out your sail.

Here is a comprehensive SEO in Hong Kong guide to help you know exactly what you should do to scale up your business. We will discuss the various factors in chapters namely:

  • Chapter 1: Domain Authority
  • Chapter 2: The Rise of Visual Search
  • Chapter 3: Video Continues to Surge
  • Chapter 4: Voice Search Optimisation
  • Chapter 5: Optimise Content for Featured Snippets
  • Chapter 6: Master Search Intent
  • Chapter 7: Combat Decreasing CTRs
  • Chapter 8: Backlinks

Chapter 1: Domain Authority

In the recent past, domain authority was determined by the number of outbound and inbound links a website accrues. Not any more, Google now evaluates websites based on Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).

Google Quality Rater Guidelines that was introduced last year focussed on E-A-T.

E-A-T is not a new concept, but it has increasingly become one of the primary ranking factors Google uses to evaluate websites. In the recent Google “How Search Works” report, it is indicated that the search engine is committed to rank reliable sources of information.

The report also mentions that E-A-T is one of the key ranking factors:

One of the surest ways of boost your website’s E-A-T is by hiring an expert to write content for you. This content needs to be accurate, packed with valuable information, and insights that resonate with the readers. Google wants the content to be written by experts in the field and not just random content creators. For example, medical blog posts should be written by medical professionals

Some SEO experts are of the idea that we might start to see Google Authorship being used to determine the credibility and expertise of the author.

Google also relies on off-site signals to determine a site’s E-A-T. Rater guidelines are used to determine the site’s transparency.

Show Google that your website is transparent by:

  1. Having a thorough About Us Page
  2. Easy to find Contact Page
  3. Terms of Service and Privacy policy
  4. Each article should have author bylines
  5. References and external links to sources

You also need to get cited by other sites that are in your niche. This off-site signal will show Google that you are an expert in your field and the content is legit.

Chapter 2: The Rise of Visual Search

Visual search is still not yet an SEO game changer but we expect it to become very prominent in the coming years. More people are conducting visual search than ever before.

Research shows that PINTEREST enjoys 600 million visual searches per month.

36% of American online customers have already used visual search to find information.

The technology that powers visual search is really well. Don’t take my word for it – open Google lens on your smartphone and scan items in your room. You will be surprised that it can identify ALMOST everything as it is powered by AI (Artificial intelligence). Reports indicate that Google Lens has the capability to detect more than 1 billion objects.

Another study revealed that 62% of young shoppers prefer visual search and are interested in it.

Optimise your web content for visual search by embracing image SEO. Just like the normal SEO that you have been using to rank in SERPs, every image needs to have a descriptive file name and alt text.

Google recently revealed that they want to feature Google Image results from websites that they consider an authority.

Keep the content fresh by regularly updating it.

Be sure to add a featured image at the top of the post.

Chapter 3: Video Continues to Surge

Online video consumption is exploding at the moment. In a recent report by Cisco, online video will account for 80% of all online traffic by the year 2021.

Another study by HubSpot revealed that 43% of people who rely on internet as the main source of information want more video content.

Based on this fact, you need to make sure that your digital marketing strategy includes the use of videos to convey the intended message to the target audience. Video featured snippets have also become very common thanks to the reintroduction of featured snippets by Google.

Here are tips on how to win a featured snippet for your video content.

  1. Make sure that your content is organised into discrete sections
  2. Optimise your video for SEO
  3. Provide a transcript

Growing your YouTube channel is also a great way of leverage the video wave. Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google?

Upload SEO optimised videos on YouTube on a regularly basis to spur engagement with existing and potential customers. You can use the videos for Q&A session, product description, behind the scenes footage, and the list is endless.

Go an extra mile and embed the videos in the relevant blog posts to reduce bounce rate and engage the reader more.

Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation

Chapter 4: Voice Search Optimisation

Voice search is the next big thing in the SEO and digital marketing sphere. More and more people are using this feature to lookup information on search engines instead of typing keywords in the search bar.

Here are some statistics about voice search that you should keep in mind when creating SEO content.

One way of optimise your content for voice search is by working smart to ensure our site is ranked at the top. Research shows that Google is inclined to get voice search answers from the top 3 sites.

Another tip is that since most voice searches are question-based – make sure that your content includes questions and answers. FAQ are great if you want to quality for a voice search result.

Also strive to win as many featured snippets as possible as Google as prefers them for voice search.

Chapter 5: Optimise the Content for Featured Snippets

A report by SEMRush indicates that only 11.52% of all search results have a featured snippet.

Featured snippet position is commonly referred to as rank #0 and it receives more clicks than rank #1. Here are tested and proven tips on how to ensure that your content gets a featured snippet.

The first thing that you need to do is find featured snippet opportunities by doing keyword research. The research will help you to know which keywords you are already ranking well for and which keywords have a featured snippet.

99.58% of all featured snippets come from pages that are ranked on the first page for the specified keyword.

The next thing that you need to is add a snippet bait to your posts and pages. The bait is a 40-60 words block of content that is tailored for a snippet. After analysing more than 7 million featured snippets, SEMRush realised that a majority of them had 40 to 60 words.

You also need to make sure that your content if formatted well for featured snippets.

Chapter 6: Master Search Intent

Search intent gained massive traction and was a point of discussion throughout 2019. If the content you are publishing on your site does not match search intent, it will not rank as Google is highly committed to provide the exact information they are looking for.

Here are simple ways of mastering search intent.

  • Understand the intent of each keyword
  • Create content that match the intent and is keyword optimised
  • Consider re-organising and updating old content to match current readers search intent

Chapter 7: Combat Decreasing CTR

Organic click-through-rate is very low nowadays in a majority of industries.

One industry found that organic CTR on mobile search dropped by 41.4% since 2015. This is the main reason why Google is filling organic search results with Ads, Answer Boxes, Carousels, and People also Ask sections.

Here are ways of increasing CTRs.

  • Include your target keyword in the URL
  • Create emotional titles but don’t overdo it
  • Ensure every page has a meta description
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation

Chapter 8: Backlinks

Link building remains one of the most powerful SEO factors. Without quality content that is evergreen and relevant to the readers, you will not get links. And without links, your chances of being listed on the first page are low.

Google recently announced that links is one of the factors they consider when ranking sites.

Another study by Perficient Digital showed that backlinks have the same potent SEO power as they did back in 2016.

So, focus on churning out high-quality content that is packed with facts and detailed explanations to win backlinks. Guest posting can also help you get links from authority sites in your niche.

Conclusion

Follow the tips and guidelines we have highlighted in the 8 chapters to increase the performance of your website. SEO HERO is a legit and accredited SEO firm in Hong Kong that specialises in providing best SEO services to businesses and organisations. Reach out to us for more information on how to do SEO in Hong Kong.