If you’re a Singapore business owner who wants to get more visibility for your website, then it’s important to keep in mind that there are literally hundreds of Ranking Factors. However, there are those that hold a little more weight than others. Here are a few of the top SEO ranking factors for Google Singapore.
On-page SEO takes care of keyword research, meta description, title, URL structure, image optimisation, and much more – or as some would say, it takes care of all the things that search engines need to understand your website better.
On-page SEO caters to a dual audience: regular users looking for useful content and search engine crawlers trawling the World Wide Web looking for relevant webpages to index and link to.
Good on-page SEO is all about striking the perfect balance between optimising your website for the human folk and helping search engine bots to better read and understand it. Ergo, it cannot be ignored, regardless of how small your business is.
On-page SEO sits at the heart of every successful SEO campaign. Before you even think of all the external factors that contribute to your SEO success, you must first make sure your website is SEO-ready.
Make sure all your on-page SEO factors are well taken off. Luckily for you, all these factors are completely in your control. In other words, search engines have no control over your on-page SEO.
Your site visitors don’t affect it. Nor is its effectiveness dependent on your competition.
Without it, your website would become invisible.
You’ve invested in your website. So, it’s only natural that you’d want to do everything to ensure it’s visible to search engine bots.
You want to make sure Google’s spiders can collect as much information as possible about your website. That’s the secret behind on-page SEO.
While still juggling on-page SEO, your mind must be also set on your site visitors. You’re not to over-optimise your website for search engines at the expense of user experience.
Media One is the No. 1 ranked SEO agency in Singapore with over a decade of experience in on-page SEO (as well as off-page SEO). Our on-page SEO specialists are here to provide you with sound advice and guide your every step of the way.
What are the On-page SEO Ranking Factors?
On-page SEO ranking factors tell Google all there’s to know about your website and the value it provides to your visitors and customers.
Without onsite SEO ranking factors, your website will remain invisible to search engines.
Why the name on-page SEO?
It’s on-page SEO because the tweaks and changes you make to your website while optimising it can be seen right there on the page – unlike off-page (which happens externally) and technical SEO (which happens under the hood).
Why are On-page SEO Ranking Factors Important?
Merely creating a website and publishing it online isn’t enough. The site must be optimised for search engines. Failure of which the site will remain invisible and non-crawlable.
Remember: you’re not just optimising the site for search engines, but also the human user.
Every aspect of on-page SEO is completely under your control, which is why you have to make sure everything is done correctly.
Why Should You Do On-page SEO?
There’s no SEO without on-page SEO. That’s where it all begins.
Before you even think of technical and off-page SEO, you must first ensure your on-page SEO is up to snuff.
Google makes it clear:
The most basic signal that they use to determine whether or not the information on your webpage is relevant is when it contains the same keywords used in the search query.
If the keywords appear on your webpage, and in your heading, titles, and the body of your text, then that’s enough indicator that the information served is relevant.
Google, through its super-complex algorithm, is better at doing the following:
- Understanding what an online user intends to find when they run a search query
- Delivering the exact results that the user intended to find when they typed that search query (shopping, navigational, informational)
Your website needs to adapt to this development. And it’s through on-page SEO that they’re able to do it.
It’s your job to ensure your website content is visible to both users and search engines.
Keep in mind that there are two types of content on your website.
- The content that’s visible to the user (texts, images, audio, video, pdfs, and so on)
- Elements that are only visible to search engines (structured data, HTML tags, and so on)
Search engines demand that your content be optimised according to the recommended industry standards, while users are all about good user experience.
Your role in this is to create that perfect balance between these two types of content on your website.
Off-page SEO is what search engines use to find out how other people perceive your website. If everyone ignores you, then search engines will automatically conclude your content isn’t that great – which translates to you’re not offering great value to users.
Similarly, when you have so many links pointing to your site – in the eyes of Google and other search engines, yours is a high-value website (with great content and so much value to offer to the user).
So, to define, off-page SEO refers to all the SEO-related activities that occur outside your website.
And it’s not just about link-building. Off-page SEO encompasses so many other activities that are not directly tied to link building.
In summary: while on-page SEO refers to all the activities that happen within your website, off-page SEO refers to external activities or all the activities that happen outside the website.
For example, if you publish a post on your website and optimise it for search engines, you’re indulging in on-page SEO. However, if you publish a post on someone else’s blog, comment on someone else’s social media post, or engage with your audience on a public forum, then that’s off-page SEO.
Think of off-page SEO as the references your website is getting from other websites. It’s common sense: for other websites to reference your content, then they must consider it high-quality.
At Media One, we rely on proven off-page SEO techniques to improve your search engine visibility. We offer to help you put together an effective off-page SEO strategy to boost your site ranking and consistently maintain the position.
You have to understand that off-page SEO is a proactive process requiring a lot of patience, effort, and invested time.
To boost your online visibility and direct a fair share of organic search traffic your way, then you must be prepared to fire on all cylinders.
Rivalling websites are already doing it. And by shilly-shallying, you’re only losing your upper-hand to your competitors.
Simply put, your SEO strategy must include all three SEO divisions.
Search engines favour user-friendly websites. Be it Google, Bing, or Yahoo, they all have an algorithm that will crawl your website and assess for a range of ranking factors to denote relevancy and usability.
Search engines don’t just assess your site content for relevancy and useful. They also look at other aspects that go into user-experience – like how quickly the site loads, how easy it is to navigate it, its security, and so on.
At Media One, we offer to do a thorough technical SEO audit of your website. By that we mean, checking out all the areas of your website that could use some improvement with the end goal of improving your site traffic, conversion, and online visibility.
Each webpage must be thoroughly assessed, and the collected information brought tether to provide a more holistic picture of your website’s impact on sales, growth, and profitability.
At Media One, we consider SEO a multi-disciplined and multi-faceted service whose success relies heavily on how well you nail down the individual SEO components.
We’re committed to helping our clients take their businesses to the next level. For over a decade, we’ve been doing this by investing in tested and proven white-hat SEO strategies that deliver long-lasting results.
Upon hiring us for SEO services, you’ll be assigned a dedicated SEO account manager that you’ll be working with during the course of your project. Working under the close supervision and direction of your account manager will be our in-house team of dedicated SEO specialists, copywriters, and analysts.
30 Essential On-page SEO Ranking Factors You Need to Work on
As we said, Google has an excess of 200 ranking elements that they use. But only a few dozens of them really matter.
We’d like to focus on only 30 on-page SEO ranking factors that matter, and reserve the rest for future posts:
Factor #1: Website Design
When it comes to getting visibility for your website, web design is extremely important. And this is because it can have a huge impact on the quality of user experience. The more easily your visitors can navigate your website, the more they trust you. A great web design also helps you to build authority in your community.
Factor #2: Content
Content is an important SEO factor because this is what attracts users to your site. So it’s crucial that Singapore business owners create valuable content. And valuable content has two key qualities: it’s in demand and linkable.
No matter what industry you’re in, supply and demand will always be the driving force behind your business. The same theory applies to the content that you offer. The best content is able to supply the largest demand. Perhaps your content takes the form of how-tos or infographics. Maybe your content is offered in the form of videos, images, or sounds. Whatever format you choose, make sure that it is something that people are actively looking for as this will show the search engine that what you offer is valuable.
Not only should the content you create be in demand, but it should also be easy to share. Even if you write one of the most valuable pieces of content in your industry, if people can’t share it, then the value does not matter. Image slide shows that are powered by AJAX and content that can only be accessed when the visitor is logged will only make it difficult for people to share. And this will have a devastating effect on your traffic. The fewer people link to your page, the less likely Google is to rank it on its first page.
Factor #3: URL
Another key SEO ranking factor is the URL. The search engines use the URL you create in order to determine how relevant your page is. In fact, the search engine can tell a lot about your page just by looking at this particular link. What this means is that you need to make sure that your URL is properly formatted.
URLs should be short and give a quick description of what the page is about. Also, you should be sure to include your keyword. This ensures that both the search engine and your audience can read it.
Factor #4: Title Tag
The title tag is another important on-page SEO ranking factor. Just as is the case with the URL, both search engines and humans rely heavily on them in order to understand the content that appears on your page. When creating a title tag, you need to include keywords that help you to summarise the content on the page. Make sure your title tag is less than 55 characters. Think of this tag as an advertisement. It’s also important to create unique title tags for every page.
Factor #5: Mobile-First
There has recently been a shift in the way that Google indexes pages. Instead of ranking pages according to how they appear on the desktop, they are ranking them according to how they appear on mobile phones. In other words, Google has finally announced that it is mobile-first indexing. What this means is that Singapore business owners should make mobile optimisation their first priority. According to research, the top 100 domains are all mobile-friendly.
So the next time you work with your SEO consultant, make sure that you discuss how responsive your site is. Ideally, the mobile version of your site should be identical to the desktop version. Over 85% of all sites meet Google’s criteria for mobile-friendliness. So if you want to compete with other brands in your industry, this is a crucial step.
Factor #6: Page Speed
Page speed is a huge on-page ranking factor for Google. This is another element that greatly influences user experience. Users tend to leave the page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Ideally, desktop websites should load in less than 3 seconds and mobile sites should load in less than 2 seconds. How to optimise: Make use of Google Search Console and verify the mobile version of your site. Use the Structured Data Testing Tool so that you can be that the same markup exists on both your mobile and desktop site. Make sure that the mobile version of your website is accessible to the bot by using a text testing tool. Test the speed of your page by using PageSpeed Insights. Also, if your site is slow, use your auditing tool in order to find and repair content that is uncompressed, page errors, as well as other elements that could be slowing your site down.
Factor #7: H1, H2, H3 Header Tags
Header tags are also an important on-page SEO factor because they can be used to communicate to Google what your site is all about. In fact, the search engine will recognise the copy in these tags as more important than all of the rest of your content. And this all begins with the h1.
When crafting your H1, H2, and H3 tags, you need to make sure that you include your most important keywords, whether they are long or short-tail. This will help with the crawling process. The search engines will be able to pick up on the headers and recognise the words that are most important to your brand.
Factor #8 EAT
EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. And it’s the framework that web owners use to assess webpages, content creators, and your website as a whole.
Google lives for high-quality content. They’re always quick to put a premium on any site that produces high-quality content.
They’re always quick to reward any site that produces premium-quality content with a prime ranking, the same way they wouldn’t hesitate to penalised or de-rank any site that produces low-quality content.
Everything Google does or the reason they’re always updating their algorithm is to ensure high-quality content feature at the top in their search results.
In as much as Google would want you to optimise your website content with relevant keywords and all that, they’re most interested in quality content. We can therefore conclude by saying EAT plays a direct role in how search engines rank websites, by chance or correlation.
Factor #9 Meta Description
Although widely ignored, meta descriptions have, for the longest time, been at the centre of on-page optimisation.
For the uninitiated, meta descriptions summarise your page content. They tell both the user and search engines what a particular webpage is all about.
They’re the descriptions that show up in the SERPs, underneath the page title with every result that shows up.
They’re widely ignored because search engines can somehow autogenerate them based on the content you have.
But that’s not the way to go.
While Google has long maintained that meta descriptions don’t affect your ranking, there are a few anecdotal pieces of evidence that indirectly suggest that a better-written meta description does help a lot.
Optimising your meta description correctly will help you improve the following:
- Your click-through rate (CTR)
- Perception of high-quality results
- Perception of high-value offer
Factor #10 Headlines
The headline you choose for your site content matters a lot.
It’s simple: if you want your content to perform in the SERPs, then start writing compelling article titles.
Many people don’t take headlines seriously. They’ll spend hours writing a great article and only spare a few seconds to whip up the headline.
You have to be strategic with the headline you create. The point is to make sure the headline sparks interest. Better, that it can stand out from the other headlines on the search engine result pages.
You also want to make sure it entices the reader to want to read the entire article.
Factor #11 TF-IDF
TF-IDF is a statistical term for frequency-inverse document frequency. It’s often used to evaluate the importance of a particular word to a document.
In marketing, it determines how often a particular word is used in a given piece of content.
The more the word appears, the more likely the page or article is about the said word.
Google uses a more sophisticated TF-IDF strategy in determining content relevancy.
Factor #12 Content-Length
The speculation floating around is that Google favours lengthy content over shorter, superficial ones.
That’s because lengthy articles cover a greater breadth of content compared to shorter ones. They tend to cover topics in great depth.
A recent study also concluded that content length directly correlates with SERP position. Just make sure your content word count is on the excess of 2000 and there’s a fair chance of it landing on the good graces of Google.
Factor #13 Table of Content
You must have noticed that many articles on the web are now featuring a table of content. This is meant to help search engines understand your content better. It also helps with generating site links.
Factor #14 Keyword Density
Keyword density still counts, just not quite as much as it once did.
Google still uses it to determine page topics. However, Google expects you to use them naturally. Keep in mind that they wouldn’t hesitate to penalise or de-rank you should they find out that you’re overusing them.
Factor #14 Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords
LSI keywords are the words that correlate with your target keywords. Search engines use them to extract meaning from your keywords — for example, when talking about Apple computer company, which can be easily mistaken for the apple fruit.
Search engines have to look into the surrounding words to understand the actual meaning of your text.
The presence and absence of LSI can also be used as a quality signal.
Factor #15 In-depth Coverage
Google will favour any page that covers a topic in great depth.
In other words, there’s a direct correlation between topic coverage and ranking.
You’re likely to rank by covering a topic from every possible angle instead of taking a partial approach.
In 2021, you should go slow on targeting random keywords and instead direct much of your focus on appearing on featured snippets.
Factor #16 The Use of AMP
AMP isn’t a direct search engine ranking factor. But it’s one of the requirements for ranking on the mobile version of Google’s News Carousel.
Factor #17 Duplicate content
Having the same content on more than one webpage on your site can negatively impact how search engines rank you.
Although Google appears to suggest otherwise, we suggest you fix any issue to do with duplicate content on your site to avoid finding yourself on the wrong side of Google or any other search engine for that matter.
Factor #18 Rel=Canonical
Learn to use this tag if there’s no way your website can do without duplicate content. Use it correctly and Google will not penalise you for having duplicate content on your site.
Factor #19 Image Optimisation
Search engines can’t directly index images. They have no way of reading and understanding them other than looking at the surrounding text and tags.
Google can only analyse them using relevancy signals such as file name, title, alt text, captions, and description. The only way to get your images ranked is to make sure they’re all optimised for all of these elements.
Factor #20 Content Recency
Remember the Caffeine update?
Well, Google has made it clear that it favours recently updated and published content, especially for the time-sensitive searches they get.
For certain page, Google will even show the last time that particular page was updated.
Factor #21 Historical Page Updates
Google wants more than you updating your content every once in a long while. They want you to make it a habit.
For this, they also look into your page update history to find out how often you update the content. Is it weekly, monthly, or after five years?
In which case, the more regular you update your page content the more you’re likely to rank for it.
Factor #22 Outbound Links
It’s believed that linking out to authority websites and blogs sends out trust signals to search engines that will see to it that you’re ranked favourably.
This is supported by a recent study as covered by Search Engine Journal.
Factor #23 Grammar and Spelling
Proper grammar is one of the quality signals that search engines use to rank websites.
People have been giving mixed messages on this, but much of the pieces of evidence gathered seem to suggest that you have a better chance of ranking by perfecting on grammar.
Factor #25 Mobile Usability
Google’s mobile-first index meant Googles was to start prioritising website with the best mobile experience.
It also meant that mobile experience was to take precedence over desktop experience, or any other device for that matter.
In the past, people would direct much of their focus on the desktop web, with mobile design coming as an afterthought. But then it happened that more people were accessing the internet via their phones as opposed to those accessing it via desktop.
In a bid to get web owners to start considering mobile users, search engines shifted to mobile-first indexing – which is to say, they now act in favour of websites that are more friendly to mobile users.
Factor #26 Hiding Content Behind Tabs
What happens to the content that’s hidden behind a tab?
The only way users can read it is to click on the tab to access it?
Well, Google has made it clear that it will not be indexing such content.
Nor will they be indexing any content that requires the users to click on a link or button to expand it.
Factor #27 So Many Outbound Links
Having so many outbound links on your website will leak page rank, thus hurting your search engine ranking.
Plus, search engines have been programmed to treat any website with so many outbound links as spammy.
It goes without mentioning that too many external links on your website will distract your readers and give them even more reasons to go away.
That means you have to be really careful when dealing with external links on your site by limiting them to only two per page, unless otherwise.
Factor #28 Multimedia
Videos, images, graphs, tables, and other multimedia elements are often looked at by search engine as quality signals.
A few recent studies seem to suggest there’s a direct correlation between multimedia elements and Google search ranking.
Factor #29 Broken Links
Too many broken links are a sign of an abandoned or neglected site. Google has made it clear that it uses broken links to assess the quality of the websites they rank.
In their document, they mention broken links as one of their search quality raters. Any website with so many broken links will live to see its ranking suffer.
Factor #30 Reading Level
It’s no hard science to figure out that Google has a way of estimating the reading level of individual webpages.
In fact, they used to release stats on this.
What we’re yet to figure out is what they do with the information they collect. Some web experts have been quick to point out that content with basic reading level tends to rank better compared to their intermediary and advanced counterparts, while some are quick to dismiss it by associating basic level articles with content mills.
Singapore business owners should never underestimate how powerful on-page SEO can be. And this is especially the case when it comes to Google. The more you follow this search engine’s guidelines, the more visibility your website will achieve.
While it’s very difficult to succeed at all of the search engine’s ranking factors, you can instead focus on those that carry the most weight. And in the case of on-page SEO, you need to work on your website design, content, URL, title tags, mobile-friendliness, page speed, and header tags.
Once these factors have been optimised, you can then improve the factors that don’t carry as much weight. When done well, on-page optimisation helps you to build a strong foundation for the rest of your digital marketing strategy. It may take a time investment, but it all pays off in the end. It’s a good idea to work with an SEO agency so as to ensure that you rank to your highest potential.