It’s hard to imagine that it has already been 3 years. We started Annelle Digital as a means to improve our craft for SEO – learn and earn at the same time. Being in the SEO industry for almost 8 years at the time, starting a small agency would be another feather in our cap.
My husband and I, together with a very close friend, all with an SEO professional background, started Annelle Digital, a digital marketing agency in the Philippines. We talked to friends and family to ask for referrals to find clients for our small business.
3 years later here we are, 8 employees strong, with international and local clients under our belt. We started with SEO, link building, and web development services, and now Annelle Digital handles social media management. It is fun to think that it started as a side hustle.
Every company event during our initial year was special. It was our first in everything. From our first meeting as an agency to our very first company outing. Every second was savored and cherished, it was sheer bliss..
On our 1st year anniversary, the whole Annelle Digital team traveled to Singapore. We spent 4 days and 3 nights taking in all the tourist spots Singapore has to offer – Little India, Chinatown, the iconic Bugis Street, and Gardens by the bay. Universal Studios Singapore was a whole day affair, to be honest, a whole day is not enough to go on all the rides.
And it is not a vacation in Singapore without a photo at the Merlion, Singapore’s Merlion is known to be the official mascot of Singapore, showcasing a mythical creature with a lion’s head and fish’s body.
We planned our next anniversary celebration to be as fun as the first, but faith has something else in mind.
2020 kicked off rough, with the Coronavirus pandemic and all. We had to cancel any travel celebrations due to Covid restrictions. But it didn’t stop the team from celebrating. Yes, we celebrated still, virtually that is. Be it the 2nd anniversary, or the Christmas party later that year, video conferencing bridged the gap for us to have fun.
Even though the year started not as planned, we are still blessed. Our families are still healthy. We helped a couple of businesses with their SEO. We also gained a new team member.
This year’s third-anniversary celebration will be no different, the pandemic has not yet passed, travel restrictions are still imposed, gatherings are narrowed to a minimum. But we will still have fun and celebrate virtually. And with the distribution of the vaccines, we are optimistic that the future will be brighter for all.
We at Annelle Digital would like to thank everyone who has been a part of our journey. We are always striving to create better services and help more businesses to reach their goal. Our grit and dedication are reflected in our appreciation for quality service. We look forward to working more with you!
Have you ever changed your website’s domain then all of a sudden, there is a drop in site traffic? Or added or removed a page from your site, or changed your site’s structure and wonder why you’re getting low website visits after?
Well, if that’s the case, you haven’t migrated your website correctly.
A website migration is a term used to describe any event whereby a website undergoes substantial changes to the site’s location, platform, structure, content, design or UX.
If done improperly, these changes may affect the traffic that your website receives thereafter. For most people, they would not care, thinking traffic will return eventually. But for us SEOs, this can be bad for business.
And this is the topic that Growth Marketer Academy in Hong Kong wants to discuss with its community of professional marketers. On the eve of January 26, 2021, GMA invited Annelle Digital’s co-founder, Rhea Teves, to share her expertise on the matter.
In a webinar entitled “The Role of SEO to website migration – How to keep your organic search performance post-website migration”, Rhea shares the essential factors of the entire site migration process – from strategy, optimizing, through to improving performance post-migration, and explains why you can stand 100% chance to execute a site migration without suffering significant losses.
Rhea Teves is not new to the digital marketing scene. Aside from being the co-founder of Annelle Digital, a digital marketing agency based in the Philippines, she also is a well-rounded SEO professional with over 10 years of experience managing global and APAC region SEO projects, both from in-house and agency roles. Along with this, she has experience managing regional website migration projects.
“When you’re migrating a website, you must make sure it (the website) is crawlable or indexable. You must think of the technical SEO elements. And technical part is the foundation of any SEO project” was Rhea’s opening statement.
“If you don’t want to incur a huge cost or expense post site migration, you must consider SEO at the beginning (of site migration).” She then added.
This is true in so many ways. In an article in BBC last 2019, they ran a story of how ASOS, a British online fashion and cosmetic retailer, reported an 87% decline in profits since 2018, with SEO and organic traffic partly to blame.
“To stay competitive, the retailer launched 200 versions of its website depending on which country the customer is in, which had a negative effect on ASOS’ search engine rankings.” according to the BBC article.
The 200 versions of the ASOS website that the BBC is referring to here are 200 different regional domains used to rank for different languages and regions around the world. ASOS suffered from this, thus the 87% decline in profit.
Any site launch, domain change, or large site change should have an SEO strategy in place to ensure that organic performance is protected.
So why do we need to have a website migration?
Here is a list of the main reasons why.
Add or remove pages
Rebranding or domain change
Site hierarchy change
SEO driven changes
http to https
mobile first indexing
introduction of accelerated mobile pages
Rhea then shared that there are 4 factors to consider when optimizing your website for SEO during website migration
4 factors to consider when optimizing your website for SEO during website migration
Factor 1: Audit the website and discuss Technical requirements to developers
In website migration, you need first to audit the existing website to see what’s working well or not working well in terms of SEO.
.After gathering audited data, you need now to come up with technical SEO requirements with the given findings that you will then give to your developer.
The objective of the technical SEO requirements is to make sure that the website is crawlable, indexable, and equipped to rank.
Technical SEO requirements
Infrastructure and Components
Status Code and Redirects
Robots file and XML sitemap
CMS Functionality for on-page SEO
Factor 2: Make sure you have the right tools
Here are the essential tools that an SEO specialist must be familiar with in order to perform our roles.
1. Crawling Tool
We need to know the current and on-page SEO elements. Examples are Screaming Frog / DeepCrawl / OnCrawl
It shows us the website performance i.e., the pages with traffic and conversions, and what channels are being used. Examples are Google Analytics / Adobe Analytics
3. Google Search Console
This is a free Google tool that provides reports that can help measure your site’s search traffic and performance.
4. Backlink Tool
This shows what are the landing pages of your website’s backlink. Examples are Ahrefs/ Majestic
5. Ranking Tool
Tools that show what pages have migrated and how they are performing pre and post-migration in terms of ranking for important keywords. Examples are BrightEdge / Accuranker / Advanced Web Ranking
Factor 3: Gather and Analyze data
Use the SEO tools to gather and analyze data needed for website migration.
First, gather a list of active pages and determine what are the must-have pages to migrate.
Second, determine what pages not included in the must-have list that are receiving the most traffic or bringing the most conversions.
Third, create a list of the old URLs including HTML, pages, PDF, images, and paid media landing pages
Lastly, extract the keywords driving traffic to the site and pages receiving organic traffic and then track them.
Factor 4: Retain existing website authority
Probably one of the most important factors in site migration. You need to redirect pages to keep link equity.
Link equity is a search engine ranking factor based on the idea that certain links pass value and authority from one page to another. Links that pass equity are one of many signals that Google and other search engines use to determine a page’s rankings in the SERPs.
So, it is important that if you have existing link equities, to redirect them to your new site via a 301 permanent redirect or a 302 temporary redirect.
Steps to take to keep and further improve your SEO performance
The four factors mentioned earlier is just to ensure that the existing website’s performance is retained. But your SEO effort must not end there. It is a continuous effort here on out, to better improve your website’s SEO performance. You need to consider additional strategies to increase SEO performance.
Track SEO performance
Prepare a pre-launch performance report and a post-launch performance report in order to compare the data and see how you are doing after site migration.
Check the ranking, organic search traffic, page loading speed, Google search console queries and pages, and if there are any 404 pages or broken pages.
Conduct quarterly website health check.
You should conduct a quarterly website health check in order to see if there are any irregularities in your site. By using the crawling tool like Screaming Frog, you can see if your site’s internal links can be crawl.
You can check if there are missing, duplicate, too long/too short tittle tag, meta description, and H1. If you have broken links, missing canonical tags, and no-index and no-follow directives.
Analyze data and determine growth opportunity
By using the Google data studio dash board, you can determine opportunities for your website’s SEO performance to grow.
You can optimize your content or on-page SEO as a quick-win strategy. Or create a new page and target new relevant keywords. You can also collaborate with publishers or synergize your SEO and SEM efforts.
Move on to off-page SEO
Off page SEO refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages.
Think about off-page SEO as building your site’s authority, and without this, your site won’t outrank those that already have higher authority. It is important for businesses to build citations for the brand to be recognized.
Google tend to give preferential treatment to recognizable brands leading to the website to rank easier, generate better click rates and less likely suffer from SEO penalties.
Link building is often considered to be the main off-page tactic, but this also includes tactics such as content marketing, social media, appearing on podcasts, landing reviews, building local citations, and more.
Don’t stop optimizing your website for SEO
Optimizing the SEO of your site is a continuous process. Just follow the SEO cycle. Keep yourself updated with the algorithm updates. And adjust your SEO strategy accordingly to changes in the algorithm.
And with that ends the webinar of Growth Marketer Academy. Present marketers learned valuable insights regarding the migration process, and the importance of SEO in site migration.
Visit this link to see the deck that we have used in the webinar:
Gone are the days of the classic company Christmas party. We Filipinos welcome Christmas uniquely among any other nation. We boast the longest celebration for the yuletide season. As early as the “Ber” months start, as far as the celebration of the Epiphany, Feast of the Three Kings, which is 12 days after Christmas. Now that’s four months of Philippine Christmas mania.
The Christmas of old
Imagine entering the mall on September 1st and hear the echo of Christmas songs played on the mall speakers. Jose Mari Chan’s “Christmas in our hearts” and Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you” graze the ears of mall-goers. Christmas flash sales pop up every week.
We head to the streets and marvel at larger-than-life Christmas decorations on building facades, lamp posts, and homes. From Christmas trees, inflatable Santa, parols, and unending Christmas lights, Christmas is truly more fun in the Philippines.
And now we come to the office Christmas party. Office Christmas parties are a tradition to every adult Filipino. It is time we get to relax after a year of hard work. The time we strengthen the office camaraderie by exchanging gifts with work friends, the office salo-salo, playing games, and the Christmas raffle. And above all else, the office Christmas party is the time new hires go up the stage and perform a dance or song number. Some say it is tradition, others, initiation. A coming of age if you will, “If hindi ka pa sumayaw sa Christmas party, hindi ka pa officially empleyado”(If you haven’t danced at a Christmas party, you are not yet officially an employee) a buddy of mine jokingly uttered in the past.
The pandemic killed the office Christmas party
At the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, everything went haywire. The world stopped. Lockdowns after lockdowns in order to curve the spread of the virus. Restrictions have been placed in order to limit the number of people that may gather in certain places. And just recently, one of those restrictions was that companies cannot celebrate their annual Christmas parties.
How technology saves Christmas
As the world adapts to the new normal, we too slowly change the way we interact with others. Gone are the days of physical contact. The accustomed social norms are shifting to virtual. Virtual meetings, virtual hangouts with friends, online classes, it seems the internet paved the way for people to still be connected though not in arms reach. With the restrictions of not more than 10 people allowed to gather for Christmas, the internet becomes the spark to still celebrate the yuletide season.
Annelle Digital hops on the virtual Christmas frenzy
Annelle Digital too did not back down from the pandemic. The Manila-based marketing agency recently held its virtual office Christmas party via Google Meet.
Annelle Digital’s new hire social media marketer – Paolo Limpiado was introduced to the agency. The agency’s Employee of the Year award was presented to the agency’s Link Developer, Joe Cabriana.
To lighten up the Saturday afternoon, the team played “The price is right” where they figured out the price of various products, in this case, toiletries. Unlike the U.S. game show with the same name, they don’t get to bring the item home if we got it correct. The next game played was the “Bring Me” game where, as the title suggests, bring certain items required by the host. The fastest one wins. These games may be simple, but we had fun and surely our comradeship grew.
We went virtual, but we still have food!
The office Christmas party salo-salo is the much-awaited part of the celebration. Not knowing what food the company will serve, experiencing new flavors, fighting for that last crispy lechon skin. And knowing the fact you can go back to the buffet station and refill your plate.
Annelle Digital’s virtual Christmas party too had food. The agency surprised their employees with delicious meals delivered to their homes.
Hotties Gourmet Sausages is a gem located in Marcos Highway, Antipolo. They serve 8-inch sausages in a bun (or with rice), served with the toppings of your choice, together with fries or onion rings. Another must-try from their establishment is their famous Hungarian Sisig and Flaming Wings.
Big Boy Shawarma is a local favorite hangout spot in Deparo, Caloocan. They serve mouthwatering 100% beef shawarmas, either served in pita bread or rice. A crowd favorite are the nachos and cheese sticks. And if you happen to visit them, try their sizzling meals, for sure it will sizzle your food cravings.
Shamtea is the King of Teas located also in Deparo, Caloocan. From mozzarella sticks to their saucy chicken bites, their unique take on finger foods will surely satisfy your cravings. Best paired with their specialty milk teas, and you have a winning combination.
Goldenarc Food Business is an establishment in Deparo, Caloocan that sells frozen packed foods. But that’s just one of their repertoire. They also serve quality and affordable cooked meals to customers.
Capping the event with a photo, or in this case, a screenshot of all the people that make Annelle Digital a successful digital marketing agency. Life may throw a stone at you. But nothing can dampen the human spirit. Strong, relentless, and adaptive to any situation. We will come out of this pandemic stronger. Merry Christmas to everyone! Wishing you a fruitful New year!
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused an increase in internet usage. While this is a good thing for some, some businesses are not optimized to gain from this increase. With the lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions in place, the digital scene is quickly changing its shape.
That is why Kaplan Hong Kong, one of Hong Kong’s largest educational institution with over 140 expert professionals and dedicated staff, decided to make a series of webinars – Kaplan Discover 2020. It aims to help individuals and businesses embrace the new normal digitally. Each webinar will be guested by industry leaders, along with in-house Kaplan professionals.
Last 26 November 2020, Rhea Teves, co-founder of Annelle Digital hosted a webinar for Kaplan as part of Kaplan Discover 2020: Embracing the New Normal. Her webinar titled “How SEO became the essential marketing channel post-covid” Rhea discussed the important role SEO or Search Engine Optimization will play post-covid. Rhea focused on four main topics: introduction to SEO, search engine listing types, 2021 SEO trends, and benefits of SEO to businesses post-covid.
In the introduction to SEO, Rhea defined what is Search Engine Optimization, explained what is the search engine process and what are the 3 main SEO strategies.
Rhea enumerated and explained what are the various search engine listing types, namely Regular web listing to Universal Search, Google Images, Videos, News and Top Stories, Maps and Local 3-Pack, Zero-click search results.
Rhea also shared in her talk about the 5 SEO trends that will emerge in 2021. These are Machine Learning, Core Web Vitals, Mobile-friendliness, Voice Search SEO, and E-A-T.
And finally, Rhea shared the benefits of SEO to businesses post-covid. There is a dramatic shift on how people shop and do business online, and businesses need to adapt to the change. SEO is a cost-effective way to bring in organic and legitimate traffic into business’ websites. SEO can help businesses to become more visible on searches being performed now, and also to set themselves up for success once search behavior normalizes.
Visit this link to see the deck that we have used in the webinar:
Established in 2018, Annelle Digital has opened its doors to clients from around the world. In the spirit of global competence, our company celebrated its first year anniversary with a trip to Singapore. The team spent 4 days and 3 nights in Singapore from August 30 to September 2, staying at the Imperial Fragrance Hotel in Kallang.
The company sponsored the Universal Studios Singapore tickets, flight tickets, and accommodations for the team members. Our employees had the option to take their family with them, and they brought their children with them to share the experience.
Let’s take a look at their time in Singapore!
3-Day MRT Tourist Pass
To save time from lining up and buying tickets or topping up cards, the Annelle Digital team opted for the Singapore Tourist Pass Plus. It’s a baby blue card that allows you to ride an unlimited number of times for 3 days. They bought the passes because they wanted to rush in and out without lining up or running out of credits midway.
Imperial Fragrance Hotel
The first stop was the Imperial Fragrance Hotel in Penhas Road. From Changi Airport, they took an MRT to Lavender (green route) and walked from the station to the hotel. They stayed in a family suite.
They had dinner at the food place near the MRT station. There were no pictures of the food because the place had a strict no photography policy.
Little India is a place where the food and culture of India are celebrated. It is found in the heart of Singapore and can be easily accessed through the Little India MRT station (green route). Little India is a colorful place that has murals and a lot of other photo-worthy locations. The Annelle Digital team got the chance to buy souvenirs, and experience the delight of Indian food.
Chinatown is another cultural place that includes Chinatown Food Street and has restaurants that serve traditional food staples like noodles, satay, and Hainanese chicken rice. There were also souvenir shops sprawling around the area. The team took pictures of the food tasting.
Bugis Street is said to be Singapore’s most iconic place and has a lot of significant history to boast. This area used to be the Red District before WWII. You can also find the famous Bugis Street Market here and is said to be the largest, cheapest and best places to go shopping in Singapore. They bought souvenirs there and a lot of other affordable products.
A Merlion is known to be the official mascot of Singapore, showcasing a mythical creature with a lion’s head and fish’s body. The huge Merlion statue is a tourist attraction and can be found in front of Marina Bay. The team enjoyed the beautiful sunset view of Marina Bay, eating ice cream while watching the Merlion fountain.
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is a nature park and spans over 250 acres. They are also known as one of Singapore’s top attractions. It includes a Cloud Forest, Flower Dome and often depicts a mini-city filled with lush botanical.
The team visited the Gardens by the Bay that Saturday night, chancing upon the Mid-Autumn celebration and display. Aside from the colorful sculptures and lanterns, there were presentations, plays, songs, and dance. They also watched the lights and sounds display.
Universal Studios Singapore
Sunday morning, the team headed to Sentosa for the USS. Universal Studios Singapore is on the topmost floor of the Resorts World Singapore in Sentosa. USS had themed parts of the area like Hollywood, New York City, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, The Lost World, Far Far Away and Madagascar. The team purchased the unlimited photo booth ticket for memories.
After spending the weekend in Singapore, the team members prepare to go home to their respective cities. They had the chance to see the HSBC lights and sounds show at the Jewel in Changi Airport before boarding. It was a magical end to a fun-filled weekend.
Our company would formally like to thank everyone who has been a part of our journey. We are always striving to create better services and help more businesses to reach their goal. Our grit and dedication are reflected in our appreciation for quality service. We look forward to working more with you!