Gemma Houghton

Adobe: Standardize SEO Practices Globally, Adapt Locally

Mobile web growth is highest in Asia, Asia will lead the global e-commerce market, China has the world’s most internet users: The headlines focusing on the growth and potential for online businesses in Asia are never ending. More and more Western organisations are choosing to target users in the region, and as a result are having to develop and adapt their online marketing strategies.

Global software giant Adobe, unsurprisingly, has a significant presence across Asia, and a team dedicated to managing its SEO efforts there. Motoko Hunt leads the in-house SEO team for Adobe in Japan and the rest of APAC, and will be speaking at the upcoming International Search Summit New York on the company’s SEO tactics in that part of the world.

Ahead of ISS, she gives some valuable insights for global businesses looking to successfully optimise their presense in Asia.

Motoko, you’re managing Adobe’s SEO in Asia-Pacific. What are the biggest differences between doing SEO in that region, compared with the US?

There aren’t many differences with the SEO best practices, but the resources for APAC are smaller even though we cover multiple geo sites and languages. We also have to deal with the challenge of piracy with a few markets in APAC.

The search user’s behavior is different, and people tend to convert offline once they made the purchase decision based on the information they saw online. This means that just because Asia has smaller revenue, doesn’t mean that the SEO is failing in Asia. We just need to use different success metrics there.

How does a large global business like Adobe deal with the organizational challenges of managing global search campaigns?

We standardize the SEO practices corporate wide globally across all properties and brands. We look at the entire site as one, rather than to treat different brands and geo sites separately. We optimize the site structures and web templates centrally, which are then used by global sites. This way, we don’t need to optimize the same thing multiple times.

Also, we work closely with the other teams including Web, Social Media, and Analytics teams, to provide the SEO influences early and often at the global level. The SEO team is also well aligned with the paid search and the site search team globally. At Adobe, we are focusing on the planning and training to make the company SEO ready so that we don’t have to react to problems.

If you could give just one tip to marketers targeting Asia, what would it be? 

Start with your SEO best practice that you have first, and adjust what’s needed based on the performance data. Best practices like hosting ccTLDs and hosting the site in each country are great and definitely encouraged, but may not be applied to everyone. It doesn’t mean that you will fail with SEO in Asia.

Since we all need to work with a limited resources and budget, prioritize the SEO items. To me, the process of local keyword research is one of those action items that are on top of the list.

And finally, why attend the International Search Summit?

While there are many search conferences held around the world, few of them are specialized in the area of international search like ISS. It’s a great opportunity to meet, network, and learn from the experts who practice international search on daily basis.

Early Bird rates for the International Search Summit and SMX East expire on Friday August 31st. Other speakers include Tim Gill from Shopbop, Andy Atkins-Krüger from WebCertain and Preston Carey of Russian search engine Yandex.

Gemma Houghton

Gemma Houghton

Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Gemma has been working in international search for 6 years and leads Webcertain's marketing team. As well as managing Webcertain’s global online and offline marketing activities, she also organises and programs WebCertain's International Search Summit, a search marketing conference focusing on international and multilingual online marketing and contributes regularly to the Webcertain blog. She has also spoken at conferences such as SES and SasCon and writes regularly for State of Digital. Gemma holds a Professional Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a BA Joint Honors Degree in French and German.
Gemma Houghton

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3 Responses to Adobe: Standardize SEO Practices Globally, Adapt Locally

  1. Archie Ward says:

    Well, as a continent, Asia definitely seems to be the most fragmented Search Engine wise. Japan’s number #1 is Yahoo! Korea’s is Naver, China is of course Baidu and Hong Kong is .com Google, followed by .com.hk Google and Baidu. It’s a really weird mix and I think SEO’s need a multiple approach.

  2. Pingback: Latest Seo Training News | SEO News

  3. Luis says:

    In some Asian countries, close to half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. In fact, Asia has one of the highest mobile device usages on the planet – overtaking desktops usage. That said, SEO best practices should also include knowledge about local search behavior such as devices and content consumption. That way, you can truly adapt your SEO strategy locally.

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