Essentials of SEO Content in the Singapore Context

SEO content

 

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, which refers to the process of getting organic traffic from search engines to your website. With SEO, you do not have to pay to get more traffic to your website, as is the case with paid search. This explains why many websites are investing in SEO in Singapore.

How Search Engines Work

The primary objective of search engines is to provide the most relevant information to their users. They do this by analyzing, understanding and organizing the content they find in websites.

Your website must be discoverable to search engines for internet users to see it on search results. It takes three processes for a site to appear on search results; crawling, indexing, and ranking.

Crawling is the process by which search engines discover the content on your website. There are several types of on-site content, including webpages, images, video, and so on. After the search robots crawl a website, the content is added to the search engine index.

A search engine index is an enormous database that contains information from the internet. When a searcher keys in a keyword, the search engine finds content that matches the search query from the index. This means that a site that appears high on search results has the most relevant information.

You can block search engine crawlers from indexing some of the pages on your website. However, this means that the content on the non-indexed pages will not appear on search results. If you want to prevent search engines from crawling certain sections of your website, make sure that you specify it on the robot.txt file.

Indexing the process where search engines store the content from your website on their database.  It is worth noting that crawling does not guarantee indexing. Since the index database gets regular updates, it is possible to get your content removed from the index.

There are four main reasons behind the removal of a webpage from the search engine index.

  • Errors – if a URL returns ‘not found’ or server errors, Google will remove it from its index.
  • Presence of a ‘no-index’ Meta tag – this tag directs the search engine to mint a URL from its index.
  • Penalties – Google can penalize your website from going against their best practices and webmaster guidelines.
  • Blocks – the website might use blockers to prevent search engines from crawling without providing a password.

By default, search engine robots crawl and index every site on the internet. If you want to exclude a particular webpage from search results, you must use the ‘no-index’ tag.

Ranking is the process by which search engines order search results according to relevance. When you type it a keyword, the search engine checks the index and leverages its algorithms to return the most relevant results. These algorithms change regularly to ensure that searcher gets the bests results possible.

The Most Important SEO Ranking Factors

According to Google’s search quality rankings, the search engine checks the purpose, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness of a website and its owner during the indexing process. These factors work with the algorithms to determine the ranking of a webpage on search results.

The following are the most crucial ranking factors for SEO in 2019.

Content

Content is perhaps one of the most crucial ranking factors on Google, along with user experience and links.

In the past, the quality of content primarily depended on keywords.  This has since changed, as Google now focuses on relevance over other factors when assessing the content on your website. Studies indicate that only 53% of the top 20 search results use keywords in their title tag.  This, however, does not mean that you should neglect keyword research for your SEO in Singapore.

When integrating keywords, you should not entirely focus on individual words. Remember to include terms that are related to what users are searching, also known as latent semantic keywords (LSI). These are useful in assisting Google to know the results they should display, particularly where a website uses ambiguous keywords such as Apple (could refer to the tech corporation or the fruit). For instance, a website about SEO in Singapore could include related keywords such as on-page optimization, link building, organic traffic, and so forth. 

With 20% of queries on the Google App being voice searches, it makes more sense to use LSI keywords in your content. This is because voice searches have longer queries, more question phrases, and more importantly, a higher intent.

When optimising your SEO content, it is vital to pay attention to search intent. That means that you understand what people are after when they use a search engine.

For instance, if Singapore SEO services is your primary keyword, you should create content centred on that topic. This, however, is a gamble, since you are not certain of the aspect of the topic they were interested in. in some cases, your keyword phrase might include high intent terms such as ‘buy,’ ‘best,’ and ‘compare,’ and so on. 

Content length also has a significant impact on your SEO in Singapore. Long-form articles usually cover a topic comprehensively, which means that a user id likely to get satisfied after reading such content. As a result, Google usually ranks pages with long articles higher than those with short articles. Also, comprehensive pieces get more links and social shares, both of which improve search rank significantly.

Source: backlinko.com

Lastly, videos should form part of your content marketing strategy. They are not only popular, but they also get more engagements than on other forms of content.

The following table shows the frequency at which Singaporeans watch online videos, according to statista.com

 

 

Frequency of watching

Percentage of respondents

Daily

54%

Weekly

25%

Monthly

5%

Less than once per month

1%

Never

15%

Do not know

1%

 


User Experience

Google relies on an artificial intelligence signal called RankBrain to ensure that searchers get the most accurate and relevant results. It uses machine learning to return the best match to your query when Google is unsure of what the query means. 

When gauging user experience, Google checks three ranking signals – click-through rate, bounce rate, and dwell time.

Click-through rate refers to the percentage of internet users who click on your site after it appears on search results. 

Bounce rate is the rate at which people leave your site without spending meaningful time. If a website has a high bounce rate, Google assumes that it has irrelevant content.

Dwell time s measure of the time people take browsing your website. More dwell time signals Google that your site has relevant content.

The best way of increasing click-through rates and dwell time while keeping the bounce rates is by investing in SEO in Singapore. This way, you will optimize the titles, descriptions and content in your website.

Links

Links are among the top-three ranking signals on Google.  There are three types of links; inbound links, outbound links, and internal links.

Google uses inbound links, also known as backlinks, to determine the authority of the content on your website. For instance, if an authoritative website such as the Content Marketing Institute links to your article on content marketing strategy, Google will regard it as relevant than an article with low-quality backlinks.

Your website should have few or no backlinks from low-quality sources. At the same time, your content should include outbound links to authority sites in your niche. This shows that you are creating quality content.

Lastly, using internal links is an excellent way of tiring your webpages together for Google and your traffic, which increase the value of each page. If you link an authoritative page to another page on your site, the second page will benefit and is likely to rank higher on search results.

Security and Accessibility

The URL of your website should be secure and accessible such that search engine crawlers can access it easily. Besides an excellent structure and a robots.txt file, you need to have a sitemap to make your website more accessible to search engine bots.

Security also contributes to a higher ranking on search results. Generally, users spend more time on websites that have SSL encryption, and Google rewards them by ranking them higher on SERPs.

Page Loading Speeds

Page speed is one of Google’s most critical ranking factors. This is because Google wants to give the best possible user experience to users.

In July 2018, Google introduced an algorithm update that compels websites to have fast mobile page loading speeds. Failure to adhere to these regulations results in a lower ranking for your website.

Responsiveness

Over the past year, 52% of users in Singapore accessed the internet using mobile phones. Desktops came in second with 43%, and the remaining 5% used tablets. The situation is the same worldwide, which is why Google considers responsiveness as one of its key ranking factors.

mobile web traffic graph

 

Source: Browserstack

Also, Google introduced the mobile-first index, an update that prioritizes content on sites optimized for mobile over desktop platforms. Mobile SEO makes sure that a site adapts itself regardless of screen size, has fonts and images that are readable in small screens, and is easy to navigate on handheld devices.

Domain Age and Authority

Almost 60% of the websites that appear of the first ten pages of Google’s search results are more than three years old. If your website is new, you must be patient before you start ranking high.

domain age and authority

Source: ahrefs.com

A smart way of improving your ranking is by using an exact-match domain, which refers to sites that have the target keyword in their URL. Page authority, which is a combination of quality content and off-page optimization, is also an essential ranking factor.

Technical SEO

You must optimize your website’s code if you want to succeed in SEO in Singapore. Make sure that you integrate keywords in the title, as this is the first place that Google looks to determine the relevance of content.  You should also structure your content correctly using headings and subheadings to show hierarchy.

The Meta description you use has an enormous impact on the click-through rate, which indirectly affects the performance of your SEO campaign. Ensure that your description is short, concise, compelling, and more importantly, contains a keyword phrase.

Also, you should use keywords in the alt text for images. This shows that the photos are related to the main content on the page. Integrating keywords in the alt text also increases their visibility in Google’s image search.

Where applicable, use schema markup to tell Google the kind of content on your website. Using this strategy boosts your SEO in Singapore by helping you appear in featured snippets and other answer boxes.

Social Signals

If many people share your content to social media platforms, Google considers it as valuable and relevant. After studying 23 million social shares, Cognitive SEO discovered a correlation between social shares and search engine ranking.

That said, Google does not consider social shares as a direct ranking factor. Links from social media websites are not as influential as links from authority sites.

Regardless, the majority of webpages at the top of search results usually have millions of shares. This is because shared content is visible to many people, increasing its click-through rate as a result. This shows that having more social shares indirectly improves your search rank.

If you want to make the most of social shares, having a social account should be part of your content marketing strategy.

Real Business Information

If you are targeting a local audience, it is crucial to include real business information as part of our SEO strategy. Having a Google My Business (GMB) enables people to find you faster, especially if you have a brick-and-mortar store.  

The following are the most important bits of information that your GMB profile should have.

  • NAP – name, address and phone number.
  • Reviews from previous clients.
  • A short description of your service, including relevant keywords.

What to Avoid When Implementing SEO

When implementing SEO in Singapore, some people get tempted to use underhand tactics to get ranked higher on search results. While it is possible to get to the top of search results, it will be short-lived, and you will get hefty penalties from Google.

You should avoid the following practices when optimizing your website.

Keyword Stuffing

In the past, keyword stuffing could get you to the top of search results. Nowadays, Google focuses on semantic search and how keywords are relevant to a particular context. If you fill your content with keywords, Google will regard it as low-quality and lower your ranking as a result.

Buying and Exchanging Links

Since linking is one of the top ranking factors, some websites opt to purchase them to boost their SEO. You should avoid this practice because it goes against Google’s webmaster guidelines. The most valuable links are the ones that come from authority sites in your niche.

Intrusive Adverts

As mentioned above, user experience is a critical ranking factor. A site that has several ads distracts the visitor from reading the content they are after. Even worse, adverts significantly slow down your page loading speeds.

Mobile App Interstitials

Google works to ensure that mobile users get an optimal browsing experience. If your mobile site has full-screen adverts, Google will consider it as non-optimized for mobiles.

Duplicated Content

When Google finds two or more identical pieces of content, it will only index one. You should be aware of sites that steal your content and republish it as their own. If you have duplicated content on your site, make sure that you use canonical tags. The tag tells search engines the content that they should index when there are several identical copies.

Hidden Text and Links

There are some strategies employed by Singapore SEO services that are invisible to the user, but Google will penalize them. Such tactics include hiding white text in white backgrounds, placing text off-screen, hiding characters and reducing font size to zero.

The Importance of SEO to Your Business

The most obvious benefit of having SEO content is more visibility on search results. That said, SEO has several other advantages to your business.

The following are the top benefits of implementing SEO in Singapore.

Increased Website Traffic

Getting traffic from organic search is an integral component of the sales funnel. There is a correlation between the number of visitors on a website and its conversion rate. Generally, popular websites have high conversion rates. Google is the most popular search engine, meaning that you should base you SEO around it.

Better Trust and Credibility

Most companies that offer Singapore SEO services aim to develop websites that people consider as credible and trustworthy. When you invest in SEO, your website gains more prominence on Google and people consider you as an authority in your niche. Over time, internet users start trusting your brand.

Improved User Experience

Your website must offer an optimal user experience to succeed in SEO in Singapore. As mentioned earlier, Google leverages AI to identify websites that provide a positive user experience.  The objective is to ensure searchers get results that are relevant, accurate, and valuable.

Better Engagement Rates

The increased use of mobile devices means that local search is important for SMEs. Local SEO is useful in targeting a specific audience, mainly because it focuses on small areas.

Companies that specialize in local SEO in Singapore optimize their content such that it contains backlinks, citations, and listings that are relevant to locals. They also optimize Google My Business listings and social media accounts.

SEO Impacts the Buying Cycle

Consumers research online before purchasing a product. SEO increases the visibility of your website, meaning that more prospective buyers can see your website. If done correctly, it can impact on your buying cycle positively.

Your website needs to be visible to your target audience. When you implement local SEO, your site becomes visible and becomes an invaluable resource to your intended audience.

SEO Changes Regularly

Although SEO increases the visibility of your website, you have to update your strategies regularly to ensure that you keep your position at the top of SERPs. The easiest way of ensuring that you maintain your search rank is by keeping a close eye on the algorithm updates released by Google.

If you hire professionals who offer Singapore SO services, you are always guaranteed of conforming to the latest algorithm updates. This ensures that your site is visible to your target audience at all times.

It Helps You Understand the Dynamism of the Internet

The internet is always evolving, and it can be challenging to say updated. Investing in SEO is an excellent way of ensuring that you are always up to date with the changes taking place in search.

SEO ensures that you always know the tactics employed by competing businesses, which is useful to maintain a competitive edge.

Cost-effectiveness

Although it is a significant investment, SEO repays your businesses by bringing in several benefits. If implemented correctly, the impact of SEO can improve your bottom line for years. This is because once your site establishes authority, you will get a constant stream of traffic from search engines.

It is a Long-term Strategy

As mentioned above, the effects of SEO last for many years. Unlike other marketing strategies, SEO has a sense of performance in that it makes your website visible at the top of search results for extended periods.

It is worth noting that the more time and resources you invest in SEO in Singapore, the more competitive you become in your niche.

It is Measurable

Although measuring the ROI of SEO is not as straightforward as is the case with paid search, you can quantify it with proper tracking and analytics. The only significant challenge is trying to connect the various metrics involved because there is no defined method of correlating actions such as conversions, increase in traffic, and so forth.

If you hire a competent company offering Singapore SEO services, correlating the metrics mentioned above should not be a problem. With time, you should notice an increase in traffic, and better conversion rates as well.

It Brings New Opportunities

High-quality SEO gives brands opportunities to enhance their visibility and make them more recognizable. A company that is easy to recognize markets itself better and gets more sales and revenue.

How to Measure the Impact of SEO

Similar to any other content marketing strategy, it is crucial to measure the impact of SEO. Measuring allows you to know if the strategy is working or not, and more importantly, whether it is worth the investment.

Before you start measuring, you must set goals for your website. You will then compare the effects of SEO on the goals to see if you are making any meaningful progress. Your goals must be specific, measurable and realistic.

Once you have defined goals, you can start measuring the following metrics to discover the impact of SEO on your website.

Conversion Rates

Conversion rate refers to the number of desired actions completed divided by the number of unique visitors to your website. You can use this metric to measure the success of anything, including signing up mailing lists and purchasing your products. Knowing your conversion rate is important in gauging the ROI you should expect from your website traffic.

Dwell Time

The time visitors spend on your website is an essential SEO metric. If you have a long-form article on your website and most people are spending less than a minute, it is highly likely that the content is irrelevant. That said, some pages such as the ‘contact us’ usually have a low dwell time.

Pages per Visit

If the primary objective of your webpage is to prompt users to perform an action that takes them to the next page, you should measures pages per visit.  Otherwise, this metric is not essential.

Bounce Rate

 A bounced session refers to a situation where a visitor leaves your site a without browsing many webpages. A high bounce rate is an indicator that many users do not find any value in your content.

However, some users might ‘bounce’ from your site because they are interested in visiting your business in person. In such cases, you should measure scroll depth.

Scroll Depth

As the name suggests, this is a measure of how further down your visitors scroll individual pages in your site. If visitors are not reaching the important content, you should move it higher up the page. You should

Another way of increasing scroll depth is by improving the quality of your content. Omit unnecessary content so that you entice the reader to read down the page.  

Search Traffic

While the main objective of SEO in Singapore is to rank high on search results, it is not enough. Ranking high is not always a guarantee that you will get more traffic to your website. The best way of knowing if your high rank is earning you traffic is by using Google Analytics. With this tool, you can isolate organic traffic; track the number of people visiting your website in a specific time, and the number of visits per page.

Google Algorithm Updates and How they Affect SEO in Singapore

Google regularly updates its algorithm to ensure that users get relevant and accurate results. Some changes are minor tweaks, while others have a significant impact on search rankings.

The following table is a detailed overview of the most crucial algorithm updates in recent years.

 

Name

Launch Date

Hazards

How it Works

How to Adjust

Panda

February 2011

Duplicate content, keyword stuffing, spam, plagiarism and thin content

It assigns a quality score that it uses to rank webpages.

Avoid keyword stuffing and content duplication. Always write comprehensive content.

Penguin

April 2012

Irrelevant and spammy links and excessive use of anchor text.

This algorithm lowers the rank of websites with manipulative links. It works in real-time.

Conduct regular audits to check the authenticity of your links.

Hummingbird

August 2013

Keyword stuffing and low-quality content.

It helps Google to interpret user queries and return results that match searcher intent. It has natural language processing that leverages latent semantic indexing, synonyms and co-occurring phrases.

Invest in keyword research and focus on how keywords fit in the context of your content.

Pigeon

July 2014

Poor on-page and off-page SEO

It uses traditional SEO factors to rank local search results.

Invest in off-page and on-page SEO. With off-page optimization, make sure that you list your business in relevant directories.

Mobile

April 2015

Poor mobile usability and lack of mobile optimization.

It ranks mobile-optimized pages higher than non-optimized pages on search results.

Optimize your website for mobile, and focus primarily on page loading speed and usability.

RankBrain

October 2015

Shallow content, poor user experience and irrelevant content.

It helps Google to understand new queries and deliver the most relevant results. It relies on AI-based machine learning.

Focus on creating a relevant and in-depth content on your website.

Possum

September 2016

Severe competition in your target location

Possum ensures that users see the businesses that are nearest to their location during local searches.

Optimize your website for local search and including relevant keywords.

Fred

March 2017

Thin content with excessive ads and affiliate links

It targets websites that go against Google’s webmaster guidelines. It mostly affects websites with low-quality content.

Make sure that your site follows Google’s best practices. Your page should have relevant and valuable content that has a few ads and affiliate links.

 

Source: searchengineland.com

Conclusion

When a company implements SEO in Singapore, the primary objective is to gain more visibility on search engines, especially Google. A higher ranking on Google comes with several other benefits, such as increased brand exposure, more trust and credibility, and more importantly, increased conversion and boosted revenue.

That said, you have to ensure that the SEO content optimization strategies you implement follow Google’s best practices. This ensures that you avoid penalties such as de-ranking or potential de-indexing from the search engine.

Lastly, it is vital to pay attention to the updates made on Google ranking algorithms. Failure to stay updated might result in you losing your current position on search engine result pages.

Call us today on +65 6789 9852 or send us an email for professional SEO services in Singapore.

 

Author Bio

Tom Koh is the CEO of MediaOne, a leading Asia digital agency. He comes packed with 2 decades of international digital marketing experience. In his spare time of maybe 20 minutes a day, he loves coaching, blogging about all things digital and trying to figure out how to make his dog do the roll.
Google+

November 04, 2019

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