Over the past few years co-working spaces have become a lot more popular across Asia. No more so than in Singapore and Hong Kong where traditional office space is regarded as some of the most expensive in the world to rent office space.

In this month’s edition of #IgniteInsights we analyze the organic visibility of Co-working spaces and Virtual & Serviced offices websites on Google in Singapore and Hong Kong.

With the help of SEM Rush we can see which companies are in the best position to refer organic traffic to their websites. In both countries we have graded each website analysed into tiers of performance.

Tier 1: The Happening Spaces

Tier 2: Not Yet at Full Capacity

Tier 3: The Empty Spaces

Singapore

Co-working spaces and alternative office space such as shared offices and virtual offices continues to be a growing sector in Singapore.

Tier 1: The Happening Spaces

Virtual and Serviced offices

a1corp logoservcorp regus

SG Virtual Offices SEO Visibility Tier 1

The first 5 domains in the top tier are big players in the industry. Virtual and serviced offices drive much more the organic traffic and organic visibility compared to the co-working space websites we analyzed. Most domains in the graph rank on the first page for important keywords in this niche.

There has been an increase in organic traffic over the last few months by Regus (an international player) which services several countries worldwide and has a position of dominance in Singapore. Competitors VOffice and Servcorp stand strong with good organic visibility and we see A1corp significantly growing its online presence over the past 2 quarters.

Co-working spaces

work centraljust cospacemobthe hivethe co

 

SG Co-working Spaces SEO Visibility Tier 1

Comparing to the previous graph, the organic traffic for co-working spaces is much lower but these are the websites ranking on the first page for the main keywords in the niche. The Co is one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial communities in South East Asia and its organic visibility seems to be a reflection of its solid presence in Singapore.

Strengths

  • With a couple exceptions, most of the domains in the top tier understand the importance of having mobile friendly websites, this may also be key as Google rolls out it’s mobile first index next year.
  • In most cases, the URL structures are SEO friendly and make use of short keyword focused URLs
  • META tags are generally well structured with target keywords and SEO optimized for Click Through Rate as well.
  • Some of the top players in this tier make good use of their main landing pages with Call To Action buttons being smartly used in the prominent places.

Opportunities to Improve

  • Most of the websites have some work to do when it comes to page load speed. Easy to achieve fixes can make for much better speed performance such as optimizing images.
  • Some websites’ URL structures could be a little more in this tier.
  • It’s surprising to see that around half of the websites in the top tier still have non-secure http versions of their website. This could impact their conversion if users start to receive warning errors via Chrome when they are using an enquiry form on a http non-secure site. Some sites can be accessed through both https and http meaning a full https migration has not been performed correctly and could impact future organic search performance.

 

Tier 2: Not Yet at Full Capacity

Virtual and Serviced offices

jjegreenhubjust officemodetti virtualoffice.com.sg

SG Virtual Offices SEO Visibility Tier 2

The second tier shows the websites that have a lot of potential to grow their organic visibility and improve their ranking. GreenHub and Justofficeglobal show some big fluctuations from the last quarter of last year but eventually their traffic stabilized at solid levels over the past couple of months. These domains are not competing with the best performing sites in tier 1 but they have future potential to gain similar visibility levels as the websites in tier 1 in future.

Co-working spaces

workhouseplus conceptcollision 8co sg

 

SG Co-working Spaces SEO Visibility Tier 2

When reviewing the co-working space sites in Singapore, most of the websites in tier 2 have much lower visibility compared to tier 1. These websites are able to rank reasonably well for some keywords in their niche but are not ranking for as large a range as those sites in tier 1.

Strengths

  • Most of the companies in tier 2 have well designed websites. They keep it simple, visually appealing and easy to use.
  • URLs are generally short and to the point with the right keywords being included.
  • Although they generally rank lower than the websites on tier 1, this set of domains still ranks fairly well for the main keywords in their niche.
  • According to Google’s Mobile Friendly Test , most of the websites that we analyzed in this tier are mobile friendly.
  • Sites such as Spacemob.co are utilising good quality editorial articles that may help the site to earn link endorsements on the site with other sites recommending their content or sharing the content on social media platforms.

Opportunities to Improve

  • In some cases the landing pages on the websites in tier 2 could be improved. Most are not very appealing and have too many distractions, making it hard for themselves to funnel visitors and generate leads.
  • URL structures are mostly flat and miss the opportunity to show search engines that some pages are more important than others to help them rank better.
  • The META tags we’ve analyzed show a lot of space for improvement. Duplicated META descriptions and keyword stuffing won’t make seen in some instances may hold a site’s organic visibility back.
  • Again https inclusion is not in place for some of the websites in tier 2, therefore migrating to https websites should be seen as a priority for these websites.
  • Website load speeds for mobile are quite low and could be improved significantly.

Tier 3: The Empty Spaces

Virtual Offices

compass officesone biz hub

ceo suite park avenue

SG Virtual Offices SEO Visibility Tier 3

In this last set of virtual and serviced office websites we see very little variation in traffic, the numbers are low but we saw some good practices that if explored can definitely result in much better positioning in SERPs.

Strengths

  • Surprisingly, in this tier we saw the largest presence of HTTPS secure websites.
  • Mobile friendliness is also a positive point among this set of websites. Most websites in this group have solid mobile versions of their desktop websites.
  • Good quality websites using simple yet visually appealing designs and themes.
  • Some of the players in this list, such as campfire.work and alliancevirtualoffices.com, put excellent effort into their blogs.

Opportunities to Improve

  • URL structures are somewhat poor. Most URLs we have seen are not well constructed, and need to use more target keywords in their URLs.
  • META tags and other on page SEO factors could be improved significantly as well.
  • Both mobile and desktop versions of the websites analyzed have quite low website speed.
  • Creating specific target keyword theme landing pages should be considered so that these websites can target a broader range of keywords in their target industry.

 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong offers an array of Co-working spaces and Virtual and Serviced offices. In a city where rent prices are notoriously high and living spaces can be quite cramped, the demand for quality office spaces and co-working facilities is high.

In this section we will show you how the organic traffic is being divided between the most visible players on the web and how they could continue to improve their visibility in the organic search results

Tier 1: The Happening Spaces

Virtual and Serviced offices

compass officesjumpstartregusbridgesVirtual Offices SEO Visibility Tier 1

Hong Kong’s top players are shown above in terms of the estimated organic traffic they are driving. Compass Offices and Jumpstart Offices are leading the way and have both been improving gradually over the past few months.

Co-working spaces

paperclip hk garage society the loft

Co-Working Spaces SEO Visibility Tier 1

These are the top players in the co-working niche, most of them rank quite well although several key positions are being taken by non-competitors such as editorial article focused websites.

Strengths

  • Overall these websites are well structured and designed to keep it simple and visually appealing.
  • Mainly in the Virtual and Serviced offices niche, META tags are optimized for Click Through Rate.
  • The international players are making good use of URL structures that optimize for visibility both locally and worldwide.
  • Thehive.com.hk have developed and engaging social media strategy, and making a clever use of social influencers in relation to their social media accounts.
  • The few companies that are investing in having a blog are posting regular content to help social media and SEO efforts.

Opportunities to Improve

  • Particularly in the co-working space websites we have seen some poor URL structures that could be improved
  • Also for the co-working space sites, META tags are not being optimised properly, with a lot of duplicates and some keyword stuffing that could negatively impact organic rankings
  • Most of the websites in tier 1 are not HTTPS secure, so migrating to a https website should be a priority for these websites.
  • The target landing pages on many of the site can be improved to target additional keyword variations and also to improve call to action in some cases
  • Mobile load speed for pages are quite low according to the numbers provided by Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool, so looking at ways to optimize image sizes is a good starting point to reduce mobile page load speed
  • Few websites in tier 1 are creating and promoting enough content on their blogs so this could be an area to improve.

 

Tier 2: Not Yet at Full Capacity

Virtual and Serviced offices

uno servcorp urban serviced voffice

Virtual Offices SEO Visibility Tier 2

In the second tier we see a clear alignment of organic traffic for all the players in the Virtual and Serviced offices niche.

Co-working spaces

wynd wework the hive the crafties

 

Co-working Spaces SEO Visibility Tier 2

Coworking spaces in this tier are getting lower numbers of visitors. The thecrafties.hk workspace, catering a particular audience interested in hand crafts was quite well positioned later last year but its traffic has dropped according to SEM Rush data.

Strengths

  • Each site has a mobile friendly website.
  • Sites like Wework create well optimized landing pages to target specific global locations as their site targets more locations around the world

Opportunities to Improve

  • Overall we saw quite a few poor URL structures that could be impacting the organic visibility of these sites
  • Most META tags are not very SEO friendly META titles and META descriptions used by pretty much all the websites in this tier.
  • Website speed is quite low for most of the domains in the list. This is a good opportunity to improve your SEO as website speed is an important ranking factor.

 

Tier 3: The Empty Spaces

Coworking spaces

the deskcampfire central park

the wave

 

Co-working Spaces SEO Visibility Tier 3

In this last set of co-working spaces websites we observed some fluctuations in the graph above which is related to the fact that these sites rank for a small amount of keywords that their site fluctuates in ranking for. campfire.work and thewave.com.hk show a lot of potential to move into tier 2 if they improve certain areas of their websites.

Strengths

  • Half of the websites in this tier have HTTPS secure websites.
  • Mobile friendliness is also a positive point among this set of websites. Most websites in this group have solid mobile versions of their desktop websites.
  • Good quality websites using simple yet visually appealing designs and themes.
  • Some of the players in this list, such as campfire.work and alliancevirtualoffices.com, put a visible effort into their blogs. There’s some space for improvement but both blogs cover a good range of interesting topics in their niche.

Opportunities to Improve

  • META tags and other on page SEO factors can be improved significantly by included more keywords that are regular use to search in this industry
  • Some landing pages in this tier are lacking Call To Action features and so more conversion rate optimisation tactics could be used.
  • Both for mobile and desktop versions of the websites we analyzed have quite low website speed, so these websites can look to improve their page load speed by analysing the elements the Google PageSpeed tool recommends to optimize on their site.

 

Conclusion

As more co-working spaces and shared / virtual office companies become available to people in Hong Kong and Singapore, the search engine results will become increasingly competitive, so it’s important to get the key elements of your website optimized if you want to compete in this growing industry.

Some key areas to focus SEO efforts on for co-working spaces and virtual offices are:

  • Optimizing meta data, which is an absolute basic necessity if you want to rank for competitive search keywords
  • Ensuring you have dedicated pages for each of your locations and key features
  • Ensure you have a clear navigation structure that links to as many deeper pages as possible from your main navigation menu
  • Ensuring your website is in https, which is now crucial to ensure you do not risk poor user conversion from browser warning messages in Google Chrome
  • Having an optimised Google Maps listing is a crucial element if you have physical venues, as is the case in this industry. Your Google map listing can appear alongside your website for brand search and also for generic non-brand searches that are made in specific locations
  • Adding new content regularly on a blog section can also be effective, as it can help your site to earn new links back to post that other websites endorse and also can help you rank for new keyword variations. Editorial list based articles and blog posts appear frequently in the search results in the co-working and office space verticals on the search engine results so creating blog content can help you gain new extra rankings.

 

Disclaimer: IgniteDigital.io does not work with any of the websites at the time of writing this article. This analysis and insight is based on the organic traffic information provided by SEM Rush’s keyword databases from December 2016 to October 2017 in each local country.   

If you’d like us to analyse a specific industry online in Asia or look at who are performing best for organic search in your sector then please get in touch at contact@ignitedigital.io

Alternatively if you’d like to know how we could help boost the organic search visibility of your website in your marketplace, please visit our seo services page or contact us on the email address listed above.

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