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A Guide to SEO in the Philippines

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A Guide to SEO in the Philippines

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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.

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.

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.

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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Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile Search

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Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile Search

At today’s Google’s Search On conference, the company announced it’s rolling out five significant changes to how people search on mobile.

Starting today on the Google app for iOS, you’ll see shortcuts to various actions you can perform other than typing in a traditional search query.

In the coming months, Google is upgrading the mobile search bar with features that will help users find more relevant resultHowway Google displays results on mobile is about to change, becoming more visual with a greater focus on images and video.

Here’s more information on the updates rolling out today and in the near future.

1. Google Search Shortcuts

There are many ways to search Google beyond typing in a text query.

You can find products by uploading screenshots, translate text with Google Lens, or even find songs by humming into the microphone.

Now, on the Google app for iOS, all the advanced methods of searching Google will be more apparent with tappable shortcuts.

See an example below of what they look like:

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2. Results In The Search Bar

Google is making finding things in mobile search even faster by displaying links to results in the search bar.

When you start typing, Google will begin populating results before you submit the query

In the example below, you can see Google displaying a link to a location page in the search bar:

Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile SearchScreenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.

This feature is scheduled to roll out in the coming months.

3. Enhanced Query Refinements

Google is making it easier to find the most relevant results by displaying an assortment of query refinements.

As you type a query into the mobile search bar, Google will offer ideas to make your question more specific.

In the example below, you can see Google suggesting different ways to expand on the query “best Mexico cities”:

Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile SearchScreenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.

4. Google Web Stories

Google is making mobile search more visual with deeper integration of Google Web Stories

Google states in an announcement:

“So we’re also making it easier to explore a subject by highlighting the most relevant and helpful information, including content from creators on the open web. For topics like cities, you may see visual stories and short videos from people who have visited, tips on how to explore the city, things to do, how to get there and other important aspects you might want to know about as you plan your travels.”

Here’s an example of what the new layout will look like.

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Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile SearchScreenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.

The way content is displayed almost looks like iOS widgets.

You can tap on the story to open it in full-screen mode.

Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile SearchScreenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.

5. Combining Text, Images, & Video

Google is turning mobile search results pages into an endless feed of discovery.

You’ll no longer have to toggle between the Web, Images, and Video tabs, as Google will display it all on the front page.

Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile SearchScreenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.

Google describes this combination of text, images, and video on the same page as a “reimagining” of the way it delivers search results:

“We’re also reimagining the way we display results to better reflect the ways people explore topics. You’ll see the most relevant content, from a variety of sources, no matter what format the information comes in — whether that’s text, images or video.”

Additionally, you’ll have the option to continue scrolling to explore related queries.

The example below shows the bottom of a search page where you can choose to get more results for your query by tapping “More search results.” Or you explore the query “historic sites in Oaxaca” by scrolling vertically.

Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile SearchScreenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.

These new ways to explore information in mobile search are rolling out in the next few months.


Source: Google

Featured Image: Thaspol Sangsee/Shutterstock

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