SCMP’s MasterClass reveals best ways to use SEO and content to build brands

June 16, 2020
SCMP Updates
Morning Studio, the dedicated branded content arm of the South China Morning Post, revealed ways search engine optimisation (SEO) and content can be combined to build brands during its first digital online MasterClass.

The webinar on June 10, titled “The Zero Moment of Truth: How to Leverage Content and SEO to Build Your Brand”, was aimed at brand owners and growth and audience engagement managers.

The informative session saw SCMP experts highlight the different ways that marketers can integrate SEO and innovative content to educate and guide clients through the cycle of online decision-making and buying.

Johnny Ng, SCMP’s marketing solutions director, outlined the typical customer journey in the digital age and provided brands with insights and tips to help them increase SEO success.

Vienna Lee, the digital marketing director, revealed how SCMP approaches SEO and shared the methods and tools that can be used to design and execute an effective strategy.

“If you can put yourself into the users’ shoes, you’re already halfway there.” she said.

Key takeaways

“Content and SEO are not linear processes,” Ng said, adding that marketing development has to be continuously tested, monitored, and adapted.

To help build up brand recognition, Ng and Lee offered a number of recommendations during the webinar:

Fix technical issues

  • Make sure your website is accessible, easy to navigate and mobile-friendly
  • Optimise site structure and links between pages
  • Identify images and multimedia elements that could affect site loading time
  • Remove broken links and solve indexing problems

Make your content work

  • Produce content for every segment of the consumer journey. Offer evergreen and less time-sensitive content at the start of it, product features driven at the evaluation stage and, finally, call-to-action items focused on converting traffic into sales or subscriptions
  • Ensure content is relevant, trustworthy and up-to-date
  • Research and employ short- and long-tail keywords in the copy
  • Apply multimedia and interactive elements, using tags, captions, and alternative and title text
  • Write meta titles and meta descriptions for every page, to help search engines understand the content
  • Format content to improve its readability and use appropriate font sizes, colours, headlines and bullet points


Ng ended the session by presenting a case study focused on Hua Medicine. The Chinese drug development company teamed up with SCMP to publish content that educated consumers about diabetes, a disease that occurs when a person’s blood sugar levels are too high.

“We’ve created an evergreen written piece and video, which raised Hua Medicine’s brand awareness,” Ng said.

The video has thus far generated nearly 30,000 views on YouTube, a channel which also attracts the most relevant search results via keyword queries.

Hua Medicine also benefited from SCMP’s impressive domain authority (DA) score – a search-engine ranking based on a website’s credibility relative to others in the industry – which helped the drug development company’s content to be highly ranked.

“SCMP has a DA of 91,” Ng said. A DA score, calculated using an algorithm created by Moz, is ranked on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the best.

‘SCMP Asks’ series

Contact Morning Studio’s team at [email protected] to learn more about the “SCMP Asks” series. The initiative focuses on producing evergreen content by highlighting a broad topic in each episode, using an explainer format that generates wide audience reach and awareness for brands.

Working with the South China Morning Post, which is a member of The Trust Project – an international consortium of news organisations building standards of transparency and reliable journalism – will ensure increased visibility of your brand as it will be featured on a trusted, third-party platform with a high DA ranking.

Click here to access the webinar recording and slides.

About South China Morning Post

The South China Morning Post is a leading global news company that has reported on China and Asia for more than a century. Founded in 1903, SCMP is headquartered in Hong Kong, where it is the city’s newspaper of record, with a growing correspondent staff across Asia and the United States. SCMP's vision is to “Elevate Thought” and our mission is to “Lead the global conversation about China”. Additionally, SCMP publishes a portfolio of premium lifestyle and fashion titles in Hong Kong including CosmopolitanELLEEsquire and, Harper’s BAZAAR. SCMP is also home to Abacus, a digital news brand focused on China's tech industry; Inkstone, a daily news brief for those curious about China's growing impact around the world; and Goldthread, a content platform with a focus on food, travel and culture in China. In 2020, SCMP became the first news organisation in Asia to join the Trust Project, a consortium of top news companies developing global transparency standards for credible journalism.

About Morning Studio 

Morning Studio is a dedicated branded content team at SCMP that is leading the evolution of marketing in the region by more strategically connecting advertisers with readers through enhanced content solutions offerings. Morning Studio combines world class branding strategists, multimedia designers, and audio/video producers with editorial experts who have a deep understanding of SCMP’s readers. Crafted with SCMP’s high editorial standards, branded content is presented with the unique voice of the particular SCMP platform on which it is featured, whether, Abacus, Inkstone or Goldthread. Morning Studio’s online content can be complemented by integrated offline offerings such as sponsored supplements, bespoke publications and customised events. For further information, contact us today.