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A Guide to SEO in the Philippines

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A Guide to SEO in the Philippines


Going digital is inevitable. Businesses that used to be purely brick-and-mortar are now migrating online and payments are moving from purely cash to digital. This is expected as the pandemic has pushed customers to utilize online shopping more than ever due to health and safety concerns and convenience. To dominate this landscape, you need to understand the state of SEO 2022.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), there is a “…strong uptake of e-commerce across regions, with consumers in emerging economies making the greatest shift to online shopping.” For example, their report shows that China’s e-commerce rose from 19.4%to 24.6% between August 2019 and 2020, and shopping apps in Thailand had a jump of 60% in downloads in March 2020.

However, even as the UN General Assembly President Volkan Bokzir said that “…the trend towards e-commerce is likely to continue throughout the recovery from COVID-19,” some countries are still coping with the change as barriers to effective e-commerce are still present.

Now the question is, will it be wise for you and your business to shift to e-commerce? In this article on the state of SEO 2022, you will see the search landscape the Philippines has, the performance of possible SEO agency partners, and the digital trends you should be preparing for.

  1. Search and e-commerce landscape in the Philippines
  2. State of SEO 2022 in the Philippines
  3. Digital trends to prepare for
  4. Key takeaway

Search and e-commerce landscape in the Philippines

According to DataReportal, 67% of Filipinos were internet users by January last year, with an increase of 6.1% between 2020 and 2021. Statista has projected that by 2022, there will be approximately 84.75 million Filipinos who are internet users.

Most of our time is also spent on Google and Facebook, with the Philippines clocking 750 million total visits on Google and 258 million total visits on Facebook. It makes sense then that stores have created social media accounts to further promote their businesses.

Another study published by Statista last December has shown that the Filipino consumers have accessed e-commerce websites for their products or services which undoubtedly contributed to the 3.55 billion US dollars in e-commerce revenue in the country.

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These figures show that digital migration of businesses and creation of online businesses are in the position to flourish this coming year. In fact, even the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez predicted that by 2022, registered online businesses are expected to reach one million.

When it comes to websites, there are 32,117 Philippine websites according to Woorank.* However, not all of these are from MSMEs or large corporations.

*When our report was published, there were 32,073 websites. That means between the publishing of the report and of this article, 44 new websites have been created.

Why we recommend that a business serious in digital migration create a website

There are a couple of reasons why any business looking to dominate the search landscape should have their own website.

Credibility

By having a website, you get to show your leads and customers that you have the information they need. You get to set up a blog and provide answers to their questions, you get to set yourself apart from other business in the same niche as yours (especially if they don’t have a website or they have one that is poorly done), and you get to control the information about your business that is shown to your customers.

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Digital marketing

Your website also gives you more options when it comes to digital marketing. First is you get to utilize SEO to show up on the first page of the SERPs. Any customer that is looking for a product or service in your niche will find your website and get to know you and what you offer.

You can also build an email list through your website, utilize retargeting marketing, get cited by people promoting or discussing your offerings, and many more.

Brand

Since you get to put the necessary information about your business and your products or services in your website, you get to control the UX, and you also get to put client testimonials in your website, then that means you get to build your brand.

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When your customers look up your products or services on the search engines, they will know that you’re trustworthy (go back to our first point, credibility) because they see who you are, the work you’ve done, and what you stand for. Compare that to just having your products on Shopee or Lazada, where people are also less likely to take a chance on you especially if your products are premium because they are (understandably) scared to purchase from a business they have no complete information on.

Leads

When people search for a question that is related to your niche and they find an answer because you’ve written something about it, then they become more interested in what you have to offer. This also goes for those who found your website because they were looking for products in your niche. They can head on to the Contact page of your website and become your leads, or the people you can send emails to or market your products and services to even more.

State of SEO 2022 in the Philippines

In this section, I want to discuss the state of SEO 2022 in the country. That means discussing pricing and the performance of different SEO agencies in the country.

Why does the state of SEO matter when we’re talking about digitalization? As mentioned earlier, it is highly recommended that your digital migration involves the creation of a website. Thing is, not everyone knows how to create a website or how to make a good one.

Plus, when you migrate your business online or start a new online business and you create a website, you need to make sure it’s searchable. Simply put, your website is pointless if people can’t even find it.

Hence, it’s important for you and your business that you know SEO performance in this country. Because you will most likely be paying for that service.

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SEO pricing

When it comes to pricing, there is no standardized cost. This is because different businesses have different needs. For example, here are our clients:

SEO Hacker clients

And here is our package for SEO:

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SEO package

As you can see, we have a range of $2,500-$5,500 instead of just offering either-or. This is because we recognize that even within the same package, our partners will lean towards the utilization of some services within that package more than others.

If a partner is starting from scratch, then it would get more expensive as we have to build their online presence for them from zero.

But that’s just us. The range of prices for SEO services in different agencies can range from $1,000 to a whopping $20,000. This is why some businesses opt to go for some agencies or individuals who offer cheaper SEO services that use black hat tactics. Unfortunately, what that means is that the business ends up getting penalties from search engines like Google.

Maybe you’re wondering why SEO is expensive. That’s because when we offer our services, we’re offering to put you on the map (especially if you’re a relatively new business), outrank your competitors online, and build your brand. We do those things with an entire team that takes care of your blog, link building efforts, guest posting, and of course—your website.

You can check out our SEO services package here.

Performance of top SEO agencies

Next, to make the best choice of who to partner with in your digital migration, you need to see the comparison of the performance of top SEO agencies in the country. These comparisons are done through Semrush and Ahrefs.

I consider these agencies to be the top agencies in the country because they are the ones that showed up on the first page of Google when I searched for “SEO Philippines.” A good indicator of an SEO agency’s performance is if they rank for their own keywords in the first place.

That said, this is Semrush:

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State of SEO 2022 SEO Hacker comparison

Our domain authority score is higher than our competitors, meaning our site is the most trustworthy out of the agencies. We also have the most organic keywords and referring domains. Referring domains are the external websites that link back to our website (think of it as word-of-mouth; we have about 4.88K people citing our website).

Compare that to the competitor right below us. They have a massive amount of backlinks, but they only come from the same 614 domains.

Here is our organic traffic comparison. Organic traffic refers to the users who found our website from unpaid sources such as search engines.

SEO Hacker traffic comparison

As you can see, our organic traffic can only really be slightly comparable to one other competitor. We are actively working on improving our traffic which took a hit around June, most likely due to employee hiring and promotion.

Now, for Ahrefs. Here is our referring domains graph:

Ahrefs referring domains

As you can see, we have the most referring domains out of the top SEO agencies in the Philippines.

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And lastly, here is our profile from the same tool:

Ahrefs state of SEO 2022 SEO Hacker

Our domain rating here is 75—which is really high—and you can see we are pretty consistently topping our competitors.

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Last but not the least, here we are on the SERPs:

SEO Philippines

And that is how I can confidently say that what we do works.

Digital trends to prepare for

Lastly, there are three digital trends that we at SEO Hacker believe should be the focus of any business.

Google MUM Rollout

I have already written twice about Google MUM, and that’s because I sincerely believe that any business that has a website should be preparing for the rollout. Google will start to become a lot more visual and their level of user comprehension will get even deeper than how it is today.

For SEO Hacker and our partners, we prepare for the rollout by focusing on semantic search and segmentation, and ensuring that our images always have alt texts. The point is to ensure that we get outside of our own shoes and think and behave the way our users do so that we can give them what they really need, not what we think they need.

Voice Search

Next, voice shopping is anticipated to be a $40 billion channel by 2022. I don’t suggest pouring all your resources on voice search, but I do recommend optimizing for semantic search and for ensuring that your website is always mobile-friendly.

After all, the rise of voice search tells us that more and more people are searching and shopping using mobile.

Going Digital

Lastly, businesses need a digital marketing strategy. But first you have to actually take the leap and migrate your business online. If you don’t have a digital strategy this 2022, you will have difficulty keeping your business afloat.

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For one, Google won’t be going away. As I wrote in the search landscape section, search in the Philippines alone clocks about 750 million total visits on Google. So when your target audience is looking for answers, it would be in your best interest to ensure that you’re there providing them answers.

And of course, since going digital is inevitable, then SEO is inevitable.

Key takeaway

As businesses migrate online this year, competing in the search landscape is predictably about to get more challenging. To ensure that you make the best decisions for your business then, you need to be as informed as you can be so you can create a good digital strategy and have a smart transition online.

That said, one of the most important things you can do is to find a top agency to partner up with so you can dominate the search landscape and build the kind of presence you want online. If you want to know more about the work we’ve done for our partners and understand the state of SEO 2022 even better, download the complete State of SEO in the Philippines 2022 report by clicking the image below.

State of SEO 2022 report



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SEO

How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer’s Landscape

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How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer's Landscape

There is a new data revolution happening, and it’s sweeping across the industry so quickly that many SEO and digital marketers are struggling to make sense of the insights and intelligence at their disposal.

To utilize this opportunity, marketers need to evolve their mindsets and use technology to analyze multiple data formats and understand the new opportunities it can bring.

SEO marketers of today and digital marketers of tomorrow will need to extract, structure quickly, and manipulate data to drive the most critical business outcomes.

Data has always been mission-critical to digital decision-making.

The Economist, back in 2017, declared it the world’s most valuable resource.

Fast forward to today and the future, and we can see that the exponential growth of data fuelling this revolution is staggering.

According to the IDC, the amount of digital data created over the next five years will be greater than twice the amount of data made since the advent of digital storage.

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Think about that for a second!

Flash drives, for example, were introduced in 2000.

This means that in the next five years, marketers will have to analyze and make sense of 2x the data created in the last 22 years!

The Data Revolution Means More Sources & Complexity For SEO

The data revolution has gone on for some time now, and it’s changed our concept of what counts as “data,” rightfully so.

In the past, we thought only numbers mattered.

But, in this new digital world where everything is converted into ones and zeros, data is broader and contains text, audio, and visual information – all bits waiting to be processed!

  • Machine-based and human-generated data are growing at a rate of 10x faster than conventional business data.
  • Machine-created data is increasing exponentially at a 50x the growth rate. This data revolution is primarily marketing-driven and consumer-oriented who are “always on.”
  • In just the last 18 months, the volume of site processing data we have been generating at BrightEdge has increased by 11x!
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As a result of these increasingly demanding trends, SEO and digital marketers need to adapt and become more like data analysts and scientists in approaching the extraction of structured data insights and business intelligence – without adding more manual work.

Fortunately, SEO is well-positioned to take advantage of this new data revolution.

  • Increasing your keyword universe – More keywords mean more data points to look at with reporting and fuelling insights. While focusing on conversion rate metrics is very important, it wouldn’t be possible without opening the scope of your audience and getting more people in the door. SEO has drifted away from writing for a primary dedicated keyword and is now way more advanced with advancements in search engines like Google’s understanding of intent of searches through RankBrain and BERT.
  • Increasing your search footprint – will also help you discover unexplored of informing your future content strategy or ideate new keyword ideas. However, sometimes you might miss the boat, like the transition of Content Management Systems slowly turning into “Experience Platforms” as they offer more functionality to meet the needs of today’s webmaster or marketer.

Read More On SEJ

Data Is The Currency Of An Accelerated SEO & Digital Age

By 2025, Worldwide data will reach 175 zettabytes.

But unfortunately, the human brain can’t process, structure, and analyze all that data.

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So technology engines have to help, and digital marketers should be the driver.

There is a massive opportunity for companies that can utilize data to create more engaging experiences.

A recent study showed that 95% of business leaders recognize this as their biggest growth lever over the next three years, which means there’s plenty at stake here!

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Robust data analysis ensures decisions are evidence-based and have more accountability.

Drawing on existing and new data sources to fully integrate business acumen and analytical skills into decision making, sourcing, managing, and analyzing large amounts of unstructured data will ensure continued use and success.

SEO began with data and has evolved.

From the introduction of real-time SEO in 2019 and Page Experience Updates in 2021, SEO’s future lies again with data and the creation of intelligent systems. Here marketers can leverage combined data sources that structures data for them.

As a result, they can achieve business objectives and stay ahead during all data and digital transformation stages.

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Read More On SEJ

Technology & AI Are Helping SEO Evolve

Advancements in technology and, in particular, AI and Natural Language Processing has meant that SEO and digital marketers can become data analysts without having to become an actual data scientist.

This is key to unlocking structured insights from your company’s big data to make more precise predictions about what is coming next based on existing information.

Digital marketers can evolve, understand key trends, and learn in new areas such as:

  • Predictive modeling of future trends and forecasting based on multiple types of data.
  • Real-time identification of opportunities and intelligence.
  • Digital research at scale with both historical and real-time data.
  • Leveraging automated visualizations for various stakeholders.
  • Improved data security and compliance.
  • Market and business intelligence at a macro level.
  • Consumer behavior at the most granular level.

SEO and digital marketers can learn critical skills such as statistics, data analysis, data visualization, and strategy.

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AI, NLP, and machine learning are helping them do this without needing expertise in computer programming and software applications.

What digital marketers must do is combine their communication skills and analytics skills with stakeholders who cannot think outside of the advertising box.

Read More On SEJ

Data Analysis & Intelligence As Competitive Advantage

The application of technology will be the driving force behind the next generation of data analysis technology.

Therefore, SEO and digital marketers of today should learn how to better utilize insights from data analysis.

It’s becoming more apparent that the marketing platforms of tomorrow will require the capabilities of data analysis and science infrastructure at their core.

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The future of marketing will blend technological know-how, business sense, and an understanding of data analysis.

The next generation of SEO will touch all components of marketing, from video, email, and voice, to digital performance of content.

SEO and data science will converge into one evolved discipline that drives omnichannel acquisition and democratizes data.

Marketers who embrace this new era of SEO will be well-positioned to succeed in the years to come.

Data is reconfirming its role as the new competitive advantage, and as SEO and digital marketers, you must evolve if you want to be part of the future.

More resources:


Featured Image: ra2 studio/Shutterstock

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