By Vu Lan Dung
HA NOI (VNS)– Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) played an important role in digital marketing and would experience an increase this year.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of putting businesses' products and services at the top of search engine results, and helping them to increase their conversion rate at a lower cost.
According to Vinalink, it first appeared in Viet Nam during the 1999-2003 period with the establishment of www.quangbaweb.com. At that time, companies that specialised in travel and import/export paid attention to SEO but other businesses did not. The SEO Viet Nam Club was founded in 2009 and has become a leading organisation that provides training on SEO.
Vinalink also reported that SEO has been on the rise since 2010, three to five years later than the rest of the world.
The statement was made by Nguyen Lam Thanh, general secretary of the Viet Nam Digital Media Association under the Ministry of Information and Communications, at the SEO Congress 2013 held in Ha Noi on Sunday.
The congress, themed SEO Integrated-Digital Marketing, gathered more than 500 experts and business representatives. It provided participants updated information on the SEO sector in Viet Nam and methods for businesses to apply SEO-marketing. SEO workers at the conference urged the establishment of the SEO Viet Nam Association under the management of the Viet Nam Digital Media Association.
Giving a general view of SEO activities in 2012, Vinalink CEO and SEO Viet Nam Club president Ha Anh Tuan showed an image of a rollercoaster, implying that workers were taking part in an adventurous game. "As you can see, Google updated its algorithm 37 times last year and there is also a website called Mozcast to monitor search activities weather," he said.
Tuan added that 2012 saw eight changes on Google that included content and influence, privacy and terms, SEO jobs (the growth of in-house SEO) and devices (the rise of smartphones).
Statistics from online market research company Vinalink showed that around 20,000 staff worked in the domestic SEO sector with a monthly salary of VND5-10 million (US$240-480), and 30 enterprises provided SEO services.
"There were three main positions defined clearly in Viet Nam last year, comprising of SEO manager (in charge of outlining strategies), SEO copywriter (public relations) and SEO technical (information technology). The SEO community has looked at specialised topics on strategies and copywriting," Tuan said.
In a survey of internet users' behaviour (attention-interest-search-action-share), SEO lies in the three last steps. Companies had to focus on ensuring they came out on top of any search results related to their business.
Guest speakers also pointed out the potential for SEO on social media and mobile phones.
Tran Tuan Viet, CEO of V&A, emphasised the importance of social media optimisation (SMO), a method to display images of products or brands on social media. He said that the population of Viet Nam had reached nearly 90 million people, and 11 million of them had a Facebook account. "If you want to know how much social media affects SEO, just search on Google with the key words ‘Vietnam Travel'. The first result is its fan page on Facebook," he said. Viet then listed some successes of international brands such as English football club Manchester United, with more than 120,000 people using the ‘Join ManUtd' application on Facebook.
With more than half of mobile users accessing the internet via their devices, the market is prime for SEO development. According to a report published by the Ministry of Information and Communications last July, the number of 3G subscribers doubled from 2010 to 16 million in 2012, accounting for 18 per cent of the population. Attending the congress, marketing expert Tran Anh Tu gave a product model with four units: product development (coder, designer), content development (content creator, copywriter), marketing/ PR branding and development community.
"To have a good product strategy, you should have the latest unique content. Remember that content is king. People are an important part of success so it's vital to identify your customer." — VNS