To establish a successful online business in Singapore, you need to seek professional corporate SEO services from an accredited agency. Search engine optimization (SEO) will give your website the muscle it requires to rank high on search engines and convert regular visitors into customers.
Google and other popular search engines such as Bing are continuously changing their algorithm to offer the most accurate results to internet users. Keeping tabs on these changes can be a daunting task especially if you have other obligations. By hiring a Singapore corporate SEO services agency you do not have to worry as they will work behind the curtains and ensure that your website conforms to the current and new Google SEO best practices.
Today, we will look at how to select a reliable Singapore corporate SEO services agency. Make sure that you put into consideration each of the seven factors we will discuss to avoid spending money on poor-quality SEO services.
1: Ask for a List of Past and Current Clients
The best SEO companies in Singapore is transparent and always willing to share unclassified information about their past projects. It is prudent to ask for a list of past and current clients that the agency has rendered SEO services to gauge their level of expertise and the quality of the services they offer.
Use the information provided to contact the references to gauge the effectiveness of the SEO agency before putting the pen into paper. Verify all the information such as SEO marketing posted on the website. Go the extra mile to look at the current ranking of the references and compare your results with the reports provided by the agency. The two should tally if indeed the company is legitimate.
2: Methods of Improving Search Engine Rankings
How will you improve my Singapore website search engine ranking? This is one of the most important questions that you should ask during the selection process. Most of the agencies assign every project to an SEO consultant who ensures that the goals and objectives are achieved. It is imperative to know the specific steps or strategies that the agency is going to use to improve your rankings on search engines right from the word go.
Insist on white hat SEO strategies to avoid been penalized by Google. Note, violation of Google rules can result in your website being “un-indexed”. The proposal presented by the SEO agency should include an initial technical assessment of your website to identify flaws that may be affecting your ranking negatively. In addition, the agency should recommend several off-page SEO strategies to complement your brand awareness efforts. For example, distribution of content on authority blogs, social media networks, and press releases.
3: Adherence to Search Engines’ Webmaster Guidelines
As mentioned earlier, violation of Google webmaster SEO guidelines can result in severe penalties that will compromise the growth of your business. Make sure that the Singapore corporate SEO services agency you hire strictly adheres to the webmaster best practices to avoid challenges down the road.
Some of the blackhat SEO strategies that can land you in trouble include generating spammy content and adding bogus hidden links and text. Application of any of these banned strategies can result in your Singapore business site being relegated to dismally low search results ranking. It could also be banned altogether from search results thereby making it invisible to the target customers.
4: Can you Guarantee Number One Ranking on Bing, Yahoo, and Google
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is very dynamic and no SEO agency in Singapore or abroad can guarantee a number one ranking on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Most of the agencies that make sure promises and guarantees are unethical and unprofessional. Consider such a guarantee as a red flag. Some agencies will go to the extreme extent of stating they have insider relationships with some of the search engines.
The bottom line is that only Yahoo, Bing, and Google have control over how low or high a website is ranked on SERPs. The Singapore corporate SEO agency can only increase the chances of your website been ranked better than the competitors by applying the approved webmaster SEO practices.
5: Experience in Local SEO
The first thing that you need to note is that appearing at the top local search engine results is of paramount importance to small businesses that target customers residing within their location. For example, a cleaning company that operates in Changi Bay will benefit if its website is displayed at the top whenever someone residing in this region searches for cleaning services using the target keywords used to optimise their website.
Based on this fact, it is recommended to make sure that the Singapore corporate SEO agency you hire has proven local SEO expertise. Again, the references provided will help you gauge the agency’s level of expertise. One local SEO strategy that works like magic is adding the business state or city on the site title tags and meta descriptions. Online directories also have a major impact on local SEO.
6: How Do You Measure Success of a SEO Campaign
Continuously monitoring the performance of an SEO campaign will help you to know if you are getting value for money from the SEO services provided by the agency. During the selection process, ask for details of the tools and processes that the agency use to measure the success of an SEO campaign.
Google analytics and Google webmaster tools are very effective in tracking website search engine ranking as well as a number of external and internal links. Ask the SEO consultant assigned your project how often he/she will send you a report of the progress. The reports will help you to know if the strategies implemented are delivering the expected results.
7: Fees and Payment Terms
You need to include the cost of outsourcing SEO tasks to the agency in your monthly or yearly budget to avoid plunging your business into financial turmoil. Once you have narrowed it down to two or three agencies who have what it takes to help your Singapore site rank better, ask them about fees and payment terms.
Most of the agencies prefer project-based payments and the prices vary depending on the complexity and size of the project. Compare the prices in relation to the quality of services to be offered to make the right decision. Ideally, the cost should be directly proportional to the quality of the SEO service.
Things Not to Do When Hiring A Singapore Corporate SEO Services Agency
Mistake #1: Using Google Search as your filter
It makes logical sense to search “best corporate SEO Singapore” whenever you’re looking for the best corporate SEO agency in Singapore. And surely the best-optimized SEO agency’s website will show up at the top of your search results. But that’s just the best-ranked vendor and not necessarily the best in delivering quality services. The best SEO agencies with a good reputation and high demand wouldn’t bother boosting their rankings on Google – they tend to let their good reputation market their brand. So you’re more likely to be seeing average dregs of the industry at the top of your search results. Very often, smaller corporate SEO vendors resort to boosting their ranking as a result of low customer turnout, so they’ll boost their rankings to lure more clients.
Mistake #2: Putting all your trust in “Top SEO lists.”
Don’t fall for aggregators. You’d be surprised by the number of people who would search for “best SEO consultants in Singapore” or just “best SEO Singapore” and get such results as topSEOs.com.sg or bestSEOs.com – these are aggregators and are worth no one’s time because do they look not only phony but also too ambiguous to win the consideration of a serious buyer. Most of these aggregators don’t even provide SEO services, they’re just named so to rank for those terms, and when visitors click on them, the visitors are shown a list of other SEO service providers.
Mistake #3: Thinking that there is a “secret trick.”
The third mistake many people do is to believe in the misleading sales pitch from, unfortunately, the not-so-reputable SEO consultants which go like this, “Google works like this blah blah, but we have a secret trick I won’t reveal to you, but it works really well most of the time,” that’s nothing but yippy yappy baloney. If you realize that the SEO consultant is overly rigid with their “propriety methodologies” that they can’t even explain how they work, proceed to option two on your potential vendors’ list.
Mistake #4: Expecting fast results
SEO is both an art and a science. Effective optimisation takes a long time to achieve. And if you go about looking for a vendor who would do it fast, the vendor might actually do so but through unorthodox methods such as employing plenty of black hat techniques. Google doesn’t like this sneaky way of achieving high rankings and will certainly drop your business in the penalty box.
Questions you need to ask before hiring any SEO agency
Service Delivery Questions
- What are the vendor’s specific services planned to be delivered monthly as per the agreed strategy?
- What’s the number of hours that will be dedicated monthly for every service?
- What are the website’s technical aspects will you fix and audit?
- What’s the number of pages of the site will you optimise every month?
- What’s the number of pages that will be initially optimised?
- What’s the number of new landing pages that are going to be established per month?
- How much time will you dedicate to analysing and reporting the success of the campaign?
- What’s the number of external and internal articles will you supply monthly?
- How many backlinks are expected per month?
Content optimisation questions
- Will you create fresh content or work with existing content
- Will you create new landing pages or you’ll separate this activity from the main contract?
- How will you optimise the content, when, and what’s the importance?
- What kind of backlinks will you build and how?
- Do you understand the Google Penguin algorithm and what will you do to ensure the quality of backlinks?
- Do you keep a database of all relevant placement opportunities?
- How many links are you going to supply every month? (This is going to be an estimate)
- What are the strategies you will employ to improve the search engine ranking of our website?
- How will you inform us of changes you will make to our site?
- Can you share any information with us concerning some of the past clients you have dealt with and the results you achieved?
- Do you observe Google’s rules and best practices?
- Which tools will you use?
- What optimisation work will you do?
- Can you guarantee us that the website will rank among the top results for a significant keyword?
- How often do you intend to give us reports concerning the progress of the SEO work?
- What is your preferred payment structure?
- How do you want us to contact you?
- How will the SEO work relate to other marketing efforts in our organisation?
- What will happen in the event we terminate your contract?
- Have you worked on penalised websites? If yes, how and what strategies did you use to fix them?
- Are you conversant with the latest changes to Google’s algorithm?
- How will you adapt your strategies to meet my industry specifications?
- Why should my organisation hire you over others?
Step by Step Process for Choosing a Corporate SEO agency
Step 1: Establish and define your SEO goals
As a marketing leader in your organisation, you’ll need to sit down with your marketing team, the CEO, and other relevant parties and establish your organisation’s SEO goals. Ask yourselves such questions as Why does the organisation need SEO? Why does the organisation want organic ranking for the selected list of keywords? Thereafter, make decisions on how the organisation will measure success and judge success vs. failure. This process entails both good and bad goals:
- We want to be visible to people who are searching about these terms, and for that reason, we need to harness the traffic created by those people
- We want to boost our organisation’s revenues, and we are trying to do so by creating new sales opportunities through SEO
- We are trying to increase the number of free trials, sign-ups, or download
- We want to boost the reputation of our business because some of the terms associated by our business bring up older bad reviews or news coverage about our business
- Our biggest goal is to achieve the highest ranking we can ever achieve and nothing else
- We want to beat one of our competitors out of specific phrases and keywords
- We are just interested in traffic and more traffic, nothing else
- We are in this purely for vanity metrics, nothing else
Step 2: Select three to five SEO consultants or agencies
You have established the goals, but the only person still missing is the SEO firm who will help your organisation meet those goals.
It is always prudent to limit your selection to a small number of companies, preferably between three and five. To find out more about their criteria and other things, consider having a comprehensive conversation with them together with your marketing team. How or where do you source these companies?
- Similarly sized but non-competitive companies
- Your professional and personal networks and friends
- SEO industry insiders
- Your competitors
- Google search
Step 3: Choose your eventual SEO agency based on Four Key Things
The trust you have built with the SEO agency: This is can be through reliable references or through conversations you have had with people in your networks
Price and the structure of the contract: A significant number of SEO companies – most of them, actually – tend to present a contract structure that would run month-to-month over a given period. You’ll be asked to pay an upfront fee and complete the remainder in equal monthly payments. The contract will likely renew, and which point your payments will have to recur. That’s perfectly normal and okay. If you see non-standard demands from the SEO vendor, it could be an indicator that you’re not dealing with the best corporate SEO agency.
Pro tips about corporate SEO
- In case your organisation would like to run the SEO as its core competency, it would be a good idea to make the whole SEO an in-house venture. An in-house SEO team can remarkably outperform the best SEO consultant or agency on the same resources. Besides, you want the unity of strategies and not having to switch between agencies or consultants over the entire time your SEO will be in operation
- If the best and most qualified SEO folks you intend to hire turns out to be too pricey, you can find a better way of working with them without really working with them. For instance, you can ask them to play the consultation and give you the necessary advice which you’ll use with your in-house SEO team. This thoughtful plan can save the organisation a lot of money.
- You need to understand that SEO is incredibly competitive. It is also not for everyone. Unless you’re financially ready to embark on it seriously, it could reach a point you’d regret having started the whole thing. Therefore, you should only commit to your organisation when a robust budget is in place to see the project completed and maintained.
Five Features of an Excellent Corporate SEO Agency in Singapore
To hire only the best SEO consultant or agency, you need to understand how good such an organisation looks. Here are the five features of a great SEO firm:
Realistic offerings – The deal offered by the agency should neither be too exorbitant nor ridiculously cheap. SEO is a continuous process whose success is never 100 percent because of the frequent changes made to the algorithm. Charges that fall out of reasonable margins are enough to make you look for an alternative.
Experience – the period the agency has been in the industry can be a good indicator of the experience of its SEO team. Agencies that have dealt with many clients have wide experience in a variety of industries.
Case studies – A corporate SEO services provider worth its salt should have a case study readily available and should be more than willing to share it with you. Through the case study, the agency should be able to showcase its work and validate the skill and experience of its team with concrete examples.
Certifications – Although there is no such thing as “SEO certification,” there are plenty of other legitimate certifications that a successful corporate SEO services provider should possess. For example, PPC and Analytics certifications highlight an agency’s excellence in respective areas.
White-Hat Practises – You need to ask the agency about the kind of strategies they employ for optimisation. Any optimisation strategies that seem unethical or manipulative should pose a concern
15 Steps to Prepare your Website for Optimisation
So you’ve successfully hired the best corporate SEO services provider available, and their team is about to begin the assessment, what are the preparations you should make on your website?
- Go through your website page by page to ensure that everything is functioning properly. If the site is too big, consider using automatic tools to check for problems.
- Fix your site’s design problems if there are any. This can be in terms of image quality, layout, intuitiveness, themes, and positioning logos
- Fix responsive issues on your mobile site, if any. Ensure that your mobile site’s “Call” button is functioning properly. The most important content should be given the top priority because of the limited size of the smartphone’s screen.
- Get your content right, and ready
- Put emphasis on conversion
- Announce your presence on social networks
- Link your site to other sites with similarly relevant content
- Write for your audience, the search engine should come second
- Encourage other trustworthy websites and blogs to link to your site
- Ensure that the web analytics are in order from the very start
- Prepare relevant and unique META descriptions for each page
- Only use meaningful and useful URLs
- Create momentum using social signals
- Ensure that your images feature the right keywords
- Know what sets your site apart from others
These seven factors are important and will help you select the best Singapore corporate SEO services agency. Over the years, MediaOne has proved to be the most reliable SEO consultancy agency in Singapore. Call us today at +65 6789 9852 for a free and no-obligation consultation session.