Your Ultimate Guide to SEO and SEM in APAC

This guide explains how technology companies can leverage SEO and SEM to attain sales and marketing success in APAC.

The Asia Pacific (APAC) region consists of Asian countries, New Zealand, and Australia. Despite the differences in language and culture, the region has become a digital marketing fortress with a generous pool of media agencies, publishers, and freelance workers emerging from the region. It’s not surprising why technology companies in APAC are highly receptive to digital marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).

What Is SEO?

SEO pertains to the different methods that aim to increase website traffic by boosting its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO includes the following efforts:

  • Improving content quality
  • Using rich, relevant keywords
  • Organizing content by using subheadings and bullet points
  • Optimizing a site’s HTML for search engines
  • Using metadata, such as title tags and meta descriptions
  • Link building strategies
  • Making a user-friendly and mobile-responsive website

What Is SEM?

SEM refers to internet-based marketing, broader than SEO, which involves research and website positioning in search engines to attain maximum visibility and boost unpaid (organic) and paid traffic referrals. SEO is under SEM.

SEM includes the following efforts:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Competitive analysis
  • Paid listings
  • Other search engine services to increase search traffic

The SEO Software Market

North America has the largest SEO software market, followed by APAC. China and India are the strongest SEO software market supporters in the region because of the high demand for optimizing and automating businesses and economic development.

The largest segment in SEO software involves desktop Internet access with the rising mobile user segment. Because of tough competition, SEO marketing agencies and digital businesses use SEO software to be more competitive. The target clients of SEO software vendors include IT-support users who use a desktop platform to do their professional SEO job.

When it comes to the latest SEO software trends, artificial intelligence or AI-powered chatbots are on the top to promote and automate conversational marketing and accelerate sales. Machine learning (ML), virtual reality (VR), and the Internet of Things IoT) allow optimal optimization and building of superior algorithms, which paves the way for new-age SEO software.

APAC SEO Is Not Mere Translation

Don Shin (CEO at 1-StopAsia) and Gergana Toleva (Global Marketing Manager) published a comprehensive blog about the role of language service providers (LSPs) in optimizing APAC business websites. The authors stated that SEO is a translation, editing, and proofreading task for any country. However, the best way to deal with APAC SEO is knowing where customers are and local knowledge.

“A successful SEO strategy requires you to be a local, sound local, and know where locals are, all this while being a foreigner. The amazing part being the necessity to appear human and communicating all this in a digital environment. Having in mind the diversity of Asia, this requires careful planning, analysis and cultural knowledge. There is no magic pill here. Only hard, well-planned and precise work!” says Gergana Toleva.

Tech companies targeting APAC clients should employ effective SEO strategies based on local knowledge. The role of LSPs involves filling the gaps in the region to improve the online user experience when searching for tech products and services, especially for C-suites, IT managers, and other business decision-makers.

Performance- And Data-Driven SEM Strategy

According to the latest statistical report, Baidu is China’s internet giant at 79.49%, followed by Bing (8.77%), Sogou (4.22%), and Google (3.02%). The data shows how powerful Asia-specific search engines are in the digital era. Businesses with more brand exposure to these search engines have greater opportunities to gain more potential leads and clients. And this is when SEM comes into play.

SEM campaigns must be performance- and data-driven by choosing the right keywords, precise targeting, and winning ad copies. Technology companies can leverage SEM by understanding potential customers’ behaviors and creating ad text and blog articles through sophisticated data analysis. Such a tactic generates more customers and better ROI.

It’s crucial to extract extensive data and generate reports using keyword planner and data analytic tools to continuously create, track and optimize SEM campaigns to gain more insightful sales and marketing ideas and better outcomes. Retargeting and remarketing are also valuable in tailoring SEM campaigns to entice and convert previous website visitors. Moreover, SEM experts also ensure building attractive and user-friendly landing pages for a higher conversion rate.

SEO and SEM implementation in the APAC region must involve a deeper understanding of the cultural, behavior, language, and digital channels where the target audiences belong and engage most of the time. In that way, technology companies can leverage SEO and SEM to the highest velocity to attain sales and marketing success.