If you are looking for a professional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) service you may want to know more about Notion Age Pte Ltd. The Singapore based digital marketing agency is extremely committed to developing innovative digital ideas and platforms that enable businesses to optimize and strengthen their online presence and effectively reach out to their existing and potential customers. Specialized in customized SEO services, online marketing campaigns and solutions like viral campaigns, social media marketing, EDMs, link-building, website design/development and more, the company has successfully worked with established MNCs and international companies from diverse industries, including Trend Micro Singapore, Toshiba Singapore, Microsoft’s Xbox, Mitsubishi Electric Asia, Discovery Networks Asia, MediaCorp’s Okto, Sony Ericsson, Zuji Travel and Resorts World at Sentosa.

According to Notion Age’s co-founder and managing director, Mr. Jack Wong, he has always been too busy with work and building up the company and this is actually the very first interview he has given since starting his business in 2001. All the more am  I  honored to present you with this versatile company and its visionary leader.

Jack has more than 14 years experience in the creative and digital media industry, having worked as Head of Creative in Lycos Asia Ltd, and Senior Creative Producer for ARC Worldwide Singapore, the interactive arm of Leo Burnett Singapore.

According to Jack, SEO is a process that requires regular maintenance over a period of time for optimum results and benefits. To further enhance the clients’ Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP), Notion Age provides customized SEO services usually in 2 ways, namely on-site and off-site optimization. For onsite optimization, all efforts are done on the website itself, including meta tagging, content, navigation link structure, etc. For off-site optimization, they perform link building efforts and social media marketing to achieve the best results for their clients.

Notion Age’s team is very passionate about its work, knowing that their client’s success and theirs go hand in hand, and sets a high value on having a good reputation in the industry. Thus, adopting professional and ethical SEO methodologies in all their project work or conducting weekly sharing sessions to keep themselves updated on industry developments have become the norm at their office. The boutique agency’s main goal is to offer quality, professionalism and commitment to all their clients, on a very personal and fair level.

Asked in what areas of SEO his company is strongest, Jack said: “We take a holistic approach to SEO, whether it is on-site or off-site optimization. Hence, we don’t build our strength on any specific area. We strive to be good in the entire SEO process”. Emphasizing that dedicated efforts at off-site optimization may bring results beyond expectations he told me more about his recent project with Evolve MMA, Singapore’s first mixed martial arts gym. The task was to create a first online presence for the client with a new website and online marketing platform including social media marketing. Proudly he told me that the website was an instant success with more than 34,000 page views and nearly 5,000 unique visitors within the first month of its launch. “Now, 4 months after the launch, a Google search for “MMA gyms Singapore” results in a #1 Search Engine Results Page (SERP) listing”, Jack added.

Having such an expert at hand, I couldn’t resist asking him for his top three recommendations that could push a Website up in the search ranking and here they are:

  1. Content is king.
    Unique and quality content is always the key to bring in visitor traffic and increase the popularity of a web page on the search engine. Content does not only mean text, it can also be any picture/videos/games, etc.
  2. Social media networking.
    Participate in social media networks to bring relevant traffic and inbound links to your website. You can also consider blogging about your products and services, although this requires a good amount of effort and time.
  3. Professional SEO services.
    When possible, consider engaging a professional SEO consultant as part of the marketing budget. The consultant will ensure that you adopt the most effective and ethical SEO methodologies, such as strategic off site optimization, link building process and advice on how you can leverage on social media marketing to improve your search ranking.

Encouraging him to share more secrets of his best practice repertoire, he came up with advice like:

  • Design your website in well-written code, using semantic mark-up coding language compliant to W3C web standards
  • Avoid using a full Flash website for your corporate website as even though Google has improved its
  • Web crawling on Flash based websites, it is still at a disadvantage compared to non full flash website. Notably, the top 10 ranking websites are usually not full Flash based websites.
  • When preparing your text content, always weave in intended search keywords into body content, title tag and description tag.
  • Use a combination of inbound and outbound marketing, with SEO as inbound marketing and email marketing as outbound marketing.

Open to putting all his cards on the table and answering all my questions, Jack even talked about Notion Age’s current engagement with top clients like Microsoft and Toshiba in Singapore. His company supports Microsoft’s Xbox Singapore web presence, which means re-vamping the old website, maintenance of the site, online promotions, EDMs and SEO. Notion Age managed to help Xperts.com.sg to achieve a top ranking on Google for many competitive search terms such as “xbox 360”, “xbox singapore”, etc. and increased the website traffic significantly by an average of 150% to 200% within 3 months. For Toshiba, they worked for the last couple of years on mainly developing microsites for all their product launch campaigns, accompanied by comprehensive online marketing components like viral games, etc. Just recently, they even re-designed their Toshiba-asia.com website.

That such effective search engine optimization usually doesn’t come cheap is understandable, especially if a minimum spend of 6 to 12 months’ effort to show good SEO results is recommended. According to Jack “clients’ investment in SEO projects can range from S$8,000 to S$30,000 depending on the competiveness of search keywords and total scope of work.”

When asked how he expects the Search Engine Optimization market in the Asia Pacific to evolve over the next three years Jack responded immediately that it is definitely a growth area especially in Asia”, describing his vision by saying: “In the next 3 years, more people will realize that they cannot afford to ignore digital marketing. Internet usage in the Asia Pacific is increasing rapidly, and 90% of Internet users draw on search engines to look for more information before they decide to purchase. So whether you are selling a $50 gadget or $50,000 consulting services, you will need good search engine results to bring in potential customers. And that’s why I foresee rapidly increasing demand of SEO consulting services in the next 3 years”.

For this year, Jack assumes 3 key scenarios that may pan out:

  • The financial crisis has forced businesses to seek more innovative and cost effective ways to promote and market their products/services, and in this respect digital marketing platforms are gaining traction.
  • Many companies are now cutting their advertising and traditional marketing budgets and look to digital marketing solutions to plug the gap.
  • During these tough times, companies are turning to boutique agencies like Notion Age for their competitive pricing and flexibilities compared to large international agencies.

Whichever scenario, all pass the ball to Jack Wong, who ends the session modestly with saying: “There are no special secrets about SEO. It is all only about experience and effort”, emphasizing his business attitude that is characterized by hard work, conscientiousness and a sea of consolidated knowledge.

By Daniela La Marca