First of all, we should clarify here that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for APAC SEO! Every country is potentially different in special ways, right down to the most prominent search engine in use and the way to say the type of product you’re selling. The following 8 APAC SEO tips are a general checklist to make sure you cover all the stages required before launch. And as you may already know, 8 is a commonly considered to be a lucky number throughout most of Asia!
For instance, “mainland” China, and South Korea are wildly divergent from other APAC countries, due to S.K.’s unique, super-fast internet infrastructure and backstory and China’s very particular censorship laws and the way that web hosts self-censor their hosted content. Additionally, all APAC countries require diverging languages to be employed (even those that speak and write a form of Mandarin sometimes have differing characters sets and phrases in use). China’s search engine of note is Baidu, while South Korea’s is Naver and Russia’s is Yandex (Did you think it would be Google, Yahoo or Bing?). SEO is thus bound to be different in each APAC country you target, including, among other things, content localization.
8 Quick APAC SEO Tips
- Host your site in that country (for legal and speed reasons).
- Offer main content in the local language.
- Research the key national search engine(s).
- Research local history & geopolitical relations.
- Adhere to local censorship laws.
- Make Hreflang tags consistent w/target region’s language & dialect.
- Use the key social media tools of the target country.
- Research country-friendly content marketing approaches & select from those.
Getting your target region content strategy up to speed is essential before writing. Keep in mind the above 8 tips to make sure you not only are speaking their language, but that you come off as culturally authentic and knowledgeable in your industry.
It’s worth noting that brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald’s, Walmart, and countless other hot-selling brands in Asian countries typically register and use a local-language brand name. It eases adoption by taking the tongue-twister phenomenon out of local word-of-mouth. That goes double for SEO. How do you search for a brand you can’t even say, much less spell?
If you have additional questions or comments on these APAC SEO tips, feel free to leave a comment below. All comment questions get free answers! But if you are thinking of trying it out soon, you can contact us for consulting help, too.
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- Mark Brimm is founder and Marketing Director @ 123interface.com and author of AdWords University and The SEO Instinct.