SEO Friendly Website Design Tips For Singapore Businesses

SEO Friendly website design tips Singapore

 

No matter what industry you’re in, your online presence is an essential part of your marketing strategy. This is especially the case if you’re interested in generating organic traffic. However, there are still many Singapore businesses that don’t give much thought to their search engine optimization strategy until they have completely finished their website design. Their website may look great, but ultimately, it’s unable to compete with other businesses in the industry. And this results in a significant loss in time and money.

To be honest, the reason why businesses tend to overlook the search engine optimisation process is because it can be somewhat complex. In this article, we’ll discuss how search engine optimisation should fit into your design, ways in which you can make your site more friendly to social marketing and lead generation, as well as how Singapore businesses can keep both Google and users happy. We’ll also take a close look at some of the most common mistakes businesses tend to make.

Table of Contents

The Most Common Scenarios

In many instances, Singapore business owners will get in touch with SEO agencies after their website has been built or redesigned. They will express that they have had a recent loss of traffic and that they are not ranking for the keywords that they used to rank for. These sites often notice that they’re getting little to no inquiries.

What these sites fail to realise is that SEO is not a quick fix solution. It needs to be something that websites consider while they are creating their design, not after the fact. In fact, SEO should be considered a fundamental part of web design.

Creating A SEO-Friendly Website

At its most basic level, a site that is SEO-friendly, is one that makes it easy for the search engines to crawl and read. This is the first step to being more visible online. The search engines use web crawlers and it’s the business’ job to work with them instead of against them. What makes this task challenging is that there are many ways in which you can create a website and not all of these methods are best suited for optimisation.

If you want to build a site that is SEO friendly, then you must plan very carefully so that your approach is structured. And this means that you need to ensure that your marketing plan is built on a solid foundation–one that includes a value proposition and business plan. So start by investigation this aspect of your business and make changes accordingly.  

The Basics

There are certain elements that help you to create the perfectly optimised site. And each had its own inner workings. Let’s discuss them:

Domains

One of the first steps to ensuring that your site it well optimised is considering your domain. Most Singapore businesses have a domain with the following structure: example.com.

However, many of these businesses have other domains and subdomains that point to this one. So when creating additional domains, it’s crucial that they are related and make sense. Not only that, but all of your domains should ideally point to your main site so that they have a single canonical version to refer to. Many Singapore businesses are under the impression that includes dashes in their domains will help with their ranking. This may work for local business, but for most others it just looks odd. When creating a domain, it needs to be short and sweet–something people don’t have to try to read.  In others words, you need to be very sensible.

Hosting

Not only is your domain important, but your host is as well. You see, when your website loads slowly, it makes users very unhappy. A good way to avoid this is to make sure that your host is located where your target audience is. It needs to be fast and, in some cases, platform-specific. WP Engine is a great example of a host that provides quality service and products.  It’s specifically tailored to WordPress sites.

CMS

Your content management system, or CMS, is also an important part of your business. It can have a big impact on the success of your business. WordPress can be very helpful in this case as well, but there are several other quality options to choose from. However, it can be considered a great starting point. No matter which CMS you choose, just make sure that it suits your specific goals and preferences. Each company is different. 

Crawling and Accessibility

As discussed earlier, a site that is SEO friendly is one that can be easily crawled by the search engines. So this means that you need to do your best to ensure that your site can be understood. It needs to know what you do and where you do it.

Indexation

The most important part of indexation is making sure that your content is readable. Your content needs to be text-based, especially behind the scenes. So avoid using images, flash, and video as your main source of content. While, videos, images, and PDFs can still be incredibly helpful they are not as discoverable and indexable as text. Web fonts is a great tool that can ensure that your site is well-branded, but you need to put much of your focus on speaking clearly about who you are.  

Link Structure

If you want to make sure that your homepage isn’t the only page that’s indexed, then you need to create internal links–something else that the search engines can crawl. Search engines need all the help they can get and this includes great navigation, directives, and XML sitemaps. These elements will make it easier for your new pages to be discovered. Try using tools such as Screaming Frog which can help to ensure that your site is easily crawlable.

Structure and Information Architecture

When it comes to the structure of your website, you can think of it like a file cabinet. All of your main categories can be considered as the drawers and your subcategories can be considered as the folders. Not only can the site itself offer context, but also the information on that site.

Viewing your site in this way gives you the ability to stay organised. And it will make you more conscious about the structure. All of your articles, blog posts, services, FAQ content, and locations will be seen as an entity within your company. Though how infinitely you structure your content will depend on your personal preference and niche. However, keep in mind, that the less your visitors have the click, the more easily the site is to navigate. Ideally, you should keep the clicks down to about four.

URLs

Another thing that gives your site context for both humans and search engines is the URL. The more simple the URLs are, the better. This means that they should make it clear what the pages are about. They shouldn’t include any random numbers or symbols. Create URLs that are easily identifiable.

Navigation

Navigation helps to further reinforce what each page is about. It works hand and hand with your structure, URLs XML sitemaps, and other crucial elements. Navigation is much more than a menu, it’s actually the signpost that directs users to your most relevant content as well as additional services.

Unfortunately, this is an element of a website that is one of the easiest to get wrong. So Singapore businesses owner should be especially careful and thoughtful about how they structure this menu. Consider the wants and needs of your target audience. Users shouldn’t have to think when reading your navigation. If your wording is too tricky, this could cause users to leave. 

Common issues

When it comes to your content, there are several things that could end up working against you. Among them are orphaned content that cannot be found, content that can only be found through search, content that is split into subdomains rather than into actual sub-folders, embedded content from other websites, Java programs, Flash files, audio files, video files, and AJAX* site effects. Google has gotten significantly better at reading AJAX pages, however, pointless effects can still have a negative impact on your site.

Mobile Friendly Website Design

When it comes to conducting online searches, one of the most popular devices on which to do it is the mobile phone. The truth is, we’re living in an age that is mobile-first. So if you want to ensure that your business is a success, then you need to make sure that your site is optimised for the phones. And this means that it needs to be more than simply responsive.

You see, while the responsive design was enough five years ago, it just won’t cut it right now, especially since Google has moved to mobile-first indexing. Mobile networks have advanced tremendously so many customers will never see your site outside of their phones. So consider the needs and wants of your target audience. What will users do on their phone differently that than would on their desktops?  Even if most of your conversions come from the desktop, you should still make sure that your mobile setup is perfect.

Page Speed

Page speed is one of the most important elements of your web design. Most of the time, users are incredibly impatient. And even if they do have the time to wait for your site to load, their own data connection may be a bit slow. So you need to work on your speed.Start by performing a speed test on Google’s mobile friendly test. This tool offers some valuable feedback on how mobile-friendly your site is, how fast the mobile speed is as well as how quickly your site loads on the desktop. And it presents all of this information in the form of a report so that you know what you need to spend your time working on. The speed of your site will often be dependant on how well-built the site is and the quality of your host. 

Usability

Web usability involves several different factors. There’s the page speed, device-specific design, design conventions and intuitiveness of your approach. And all of these elements should come together to create something with the end user in mind.  

Consider things such as the layout of your page and which elements are the most prominent. Think about visual hierarchy. Take into account your home page and website navigation, ensuring that each element is easy to read. Is your site search option visible? Your forms should be as lightweight and easy to fill out as possible.

These are just a few of the elements that you should be on the lookout for. In most cases, usability is simply a matter of using common sense. So keep this in mind when customising your site.

Content Marketing Funnel

Your website has a tremendous amount of responsibility. Not only should it help your brand to achieve the maximum visibility, but it should also engage and then convert your target audience.  And what makes each of these stages easier is the content that you add to your site. The right combination of SEO and content can be the key ingredients that you need to get in front of your ideal audience.

The best way to figure out what type of content your website needs is to create a marketing funnel. Ideally, awareness should be at the top of your funnel. Awareness content will usually be your informational articles and blog posts. It helps your prospective customer to better understand all of the problems that they are facing and illustrates your level of experience and credibility with solving these types of issues. Awareness content can also come in the form of webinars, FAQs, and comprehensive guides.

The next phase of your funnel is consideration. This happens in the middle. This is the stage at which all of your prospective customers will compare you to the rest of your competition. This type of content is the most practical. It will give your customers the ability to make a decision. This content can come in the form of case studies, service or product information, product demo videos, and user guides.

The last phase of your funnel is conversion. This happens at the bottom. This is the stage at which the content starts to drive conversions and gently encourages sales or leads. This type of content comes in the form of reviews, free trials, testimonials, and free consultations. Keep in mind that customers are searching across this entire spectrum of content. So it’s very important that all of these areas are completely covered as this will help both users and search engines to discover your page.

The Nuts and Bolts of SEO

As you can see, there are several things that you need to think about before you even begin to work on the most basic parts of optimisation. You need only to consider keywords and the other fundamental elements of SEO after you have created a solid foundation for your website. If you’ve structured everything properly, then you’ll notice that optimisation is pretty straightforward.

Keyword targeting

It’s easier to execute a winning keyword strategy when your structure is solid and without duplication. As previously mentioned, your site needs a certain hierarchy to it. And part of this reasons is because it makes it easier to add on your keywords. The more structured your site is, the more defined your keyword strategy.  However, you still need to perform research and write great copy.

HTML title tags

One of the best examples of a behind the scenes element that can make a big difference in your rankings is the title tag. In fact, your title tag is the only tag that will have a direct effect on your search engine visibility. This is why it’s a good idea to follow best practice.

For instance, you should always place your keywords at the very beginning of your tag. You need to make sure that its length is no less than 50 characters and does not exceed 60 characters. Your keywords and keyword phrases should be used in a natural manner. Consider using dividers in order to separate elements like brand and category. Focus on your click-through as well as the end user.

The main thing to remember is consistency. Sure, you should use your keywords in the title tags, but never sacrifice human readability. Yes, the search engines will rank the content, but the humans are the ones who must actually read and understand it. So consider your click-through rate.

Meta description tags

Unlike title tags, Meta descriptions don’t have a direct effect on your rankings. However, what you must keep in mind when crafting your meta descriptions is that this is what people will read in the search engines results. This description will essentially act as an advertisement for this particular page. It’s what compels people to click and learn more about the page. And ultimately, its what gets you more visibility.


When crafting a meta description, there are several things you need to do. Make sure that the description is truthful and that the page will actually deliver what it’s promising. Make sure that it reads somewhat like as an advertisement. Take time to think about your user’s thought process and the reason that they will likely click on the page. Only add keywords when they are most relevant.

There are a few things to remember when it comes to meta descriptions. First, the search engines will highlight all of the search terms in your title and meta description which will help the user to scan the page. You should never use this as an excuse to spam the description because it’s very likely that Google will ignore it. Second, there are times in which it will make sense not to include a meta description and just allow the search engines to pull content from your page to form its own description that is more accurate to the user’s search. This is particularly the case with long-form content.

Heading tags

Heading tags can add a bit of structure and indicate hierarchy within the content: H1, H2, H3 and etc. You can improve your rankings by including text in your heading tags.  Granted, this improvement may not be huge, but it helps with overall behind the scenes optimisation just as is the case with titles and meta descriptions.


Your header tags should be aligned with the visual hierarchy of your site. This means that the most important headers on the page (usually the <h1>) need to feature the largest text element on your page. The content needs to be visually easy to understand. Design and content work hand and hand.

Page content

The most important element of any page is the actual content. But still, there are some Singapore businesses that insist on using old black hat tricks such as keyword stuffing. Their goal is to bump up the keyword density but the copy suffers. And the worst part is that it makes for a bad user experience.

You need to make sure that your page is understandable and has a lot of context. Sure, your URLS, navigation, headers, and page titles can be useful, but you still need to write naturally and use synonyms. Keep the user in mind when creating your content. Add keywords into your copy, but try not to overdo it.When creating content, be mindful of your keyword density. Think about the structure of your page. Consider the position of your keywords; the earlier they appear in your copy the better. Add synonyms and other alternatives.

Rich snippets

If you want to ensure a high click-through rate, then consider rich snippets. Users are drawn to search engine listings that stand out. So focus on improving your click-through rates. Try to increase engagement. Use schema.org to create snippets that relevant to your business and the products and services you offer.

Image Optimisation

Another great way to drive traffic to your website is with the use of image SEO. Of course, Google can’t “see” images, so what this means is that you’re going to have to give the images on your page a little context so that your page is fully optimised. Not only should you do this for the search engines, but also for the users as well. There are many users who use image results in order to drive them to the best website. So it’s a good idea to optimise your images and improve your visibility in the results.

Image optimisation is pretty simple. Make sure that your image has a name that clearly describes it. Use alt text that is descriptive enough to be able to help someone who can’t see the image. Add on Twitter Cards as well as OpenGraph so your image can be used in social shares. Make sure that your image is not too large so that it downloads quickly. Optimise the file size of your image and add it to an XML sitemap. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it on the use of keywords.

Common Issues

Every business and niche is different. And this means that each of them will operate in a different fashion. However, when it comes to SEO, many businesses do make some of the same mistakes. Let’s discuss a few.

Duplicate content

There are two types of duplicate content. One is true duplicate content and the other is near duplicate content. True duplicates describe content that exists in several different places. Near-duplicates describes content that is thin or extremely similar to other content. For example, a t-shirt website may have unique product pages but in different sizes.

Keyword  Cannibalisation

Keyword Cannibalisation is a term that refers to a situation in which there are multiple pages that target the exact same keywords. This will have a significant impact on the ability of your website to have a page that targets a certain term. It’s best of this is eliminated from the very beginning–namely in the planning stages.

Domains, protocols, and subdomains

Duplicate content is also an issue when your website is accessible on several domains, protocols, and subdomains. For example, this can happen when a business name has two domains. In some cases, this site may have as many as eight variations. The good news is that this is an easy fix. You solve it with URL redirect. However, design agencies need to carefully consider this.

Flawed canonical URLs

Another problem that Singapore businesses tend to face the incorrect implementation of their canonical URLs. In most cases, the individual who is building the site views the canonical URLs as apart of their SEO checklist. So they’re typically implemented by dynamically inserting URLs into the address bar into canonical URLs.

The problem is that your site could run on various URLs, each with canonical URLs claiming that they are the one that has the most authority. This is why they should be used wisely and with a lot of forethought.


How To Make Sure Your Website Images Are SEO-Optimised

Gone were the days when images required almost a half of your data use to load fully. During the pre-social media era, websites were characterised by low pagespeed and boring doc texts. The basic HTML features made it strenuous to read and offered no additional visual information to supplement the data in a text.

The advance in technology has seen a widespread need for enhancing your chances of garnering visibility for your online content by optimising all your web content. The material includes phrases and keywords.

The current crop of internet businesses has taken the use of images for website optimisation to another level. With the help of good software, it is possible to resize your images so that they are optimised for your page. As you read on, you will see the importance of images for SEO and tips for ensuring your website is SEO-optimised.

Importance of Images To SEO

  • Images enhances users’ experience. Images are known to draw attention and capture imaginations. Hence, packing your site with quality but rescaled image enables your users to use less time to load your image for an enhanced onsite browsing. Thus, it helps reduce bounce rates to increase your bottom-line in your online business.
  • Help in high grading on search engines. Google use some reference data like bounce rates to determine how high they grade you on search engines. Optimised images are popular thus the higher the quality of images on your site, higher your grading on search engines and vice versa.

It is evident that image-optimisation is as essential as optimisation of other parts of your website. It is a part of search engine optimisation that has been forgotten. However, you do not have to worry anymore. Below are seven tips for optimising your image on search engines.

 


7 Guidelines for Improving Your Images For SEO

  1. Use Appropriate and Quality Images

Images are the epicentre of online content. The importance of images is due to how they supplement your texts. Therefore, it is important to use images that resonate with your context and is of excellent quality.

However, it is essential to distinguish between copyrighted and non-copyrighted pictures so that you do not use patented images on your site.

Plagiarism can make you lose credibility on the eyes of your customers. Purpose to search for quality, non-copyrighted material.

  1. Modify Filename

It is a wonder why many websites do not undertake this step for optimising their image. Before inserting an image on your site, lace it with a unique keyword that echoes with your site’s content.

To the untrained eye, spotting a keyword on an image is not easy. However, it furnishes search engines with information about the content on your page so that it can be further optimised.

  1. Make use of Alt Tags

Alt tags are not popular with the average internet user. However, it is vital to your search engine provider because it gives more information regarding product on your website.

An alt tag appears in place of an image in case an image fails to deploy on your website entirely.

It is essential to upgrade your image alt tags by inserting your main keyword to make it more illustrative to SEO.

WordPress has an alt tag field to update alt text on your images

  1. Balance Quality to Size Ratio

Striking the right stability between the quality and size of your images is always the most challenging task. The complication arises when you want a presentable image in small quantity. Many images are still very massive, and rescaling risks losing its quality.

Quality but simple images ensure fast page speed for your website in all devices including mobile-friendly devices like mobile phones. Images on websites are sometimes so big that they become a nuisance to your clients. It is essential to strike a perfect balance between the size of the image and its quality to help in retaining traffic.

A sure way of optimising your image is by rescaling it while still maintaining its quality by using handy programs like Adobe Photoshop.

Another way of optimising your image without tampering with its quality is compressing using platforms such as TinyPNG or Gzip.

The compressing tools allow you to display large volumes of data in reduced sizes.

  1. Identify the Best Type of File

There are three kinds of image file and understanding their disparities is essential for picking the ideal file type.

JPG. It is popular for its widespread use of minute files to store content. It is compatible with many devices making it popular among several types of devices.

However, there are some downsides for what JPG files can do. Most notable disadvantages of JPG file formats are its poor image quality and limited use in the dark or opaque backdrop. Thus, there are contexts where JPG is not ideal to use.

PNG. PNG is recommended when you want images with superior resolution. It makes it excellent for optimised images. It is also good for images laced with words. The notable disadvantages of PNG files are that they require large files to work correctly and that they are only ideal for large file sizes.

GIF. GIFs are brilliant when dealing with short, content that does not require a lot of resolution and sharpness. Its ability to develop short but precise images has made it dear to the online space to create short, funny video for breaking the state of boredom wherever you are.

  1. Insert Images To Your Sitemap

A sitemap is like a digital blueprint for your website that you give to your search engine provider to enable them access your site easily. Sitemaps also help your website be listed by the search engine provider to reflect the various pages that might not have been captured by your website hosting platform.

WordPress has plugins you can use to paint the picture of the general sitemap. The plugins include Google XML Sitemap for a picture.

Furnishing Google with a virtual blueprint of your website help you enhance your chances of boosting your online visibility on Google Image Searches.

  1. Accommodate Images on Your Website

Many businesses prefer outsourcing their hosting services. The tendency is attributed to the need to minimise on the RAM your website would consume at its peak. Another reason for preferring third-party web host is the busy schedule professionals have and the need to delegate duties for expeditious execution.

You also risk reducing the speed of your website because third party hosts accommodate numerous accounts and in case of traffic, your images will not load. The picture it gives your clients is not ideal putting you at risk of losing clients.

Internet usage statistics in Singapore indicate that 65 per cent of mobile users search the internet for product information. The first thing that captures the interest of your users is the images you have on your site. Images often determine whether a potential customer will look at the product content you have provided.  

While hi-resolution and crisp images will attract more traffic, these images come in huge files. Huge images can make it hard for users to navigate your site. This means that you could be losing customers as well. Your objective should be to find a way to optimise images without compromising on the quality, and here’s how.  

Save Images Correctly 

Generally, huge images will take more time to load. Image loading timeframe is important because most internet users expect web pages to load in less than 2 seconds. Any delays, and these people will shift to the next site. It is imperative therefore, that you ensure the images you use are the right size for your site to operate smoothly. One of the ways to ensure this is to save images in proper dimensions. When uploading images, you can open it using Photoshop so as to see how big it is. Viewing helps you adjust the size before uploading it.  

Use Web Functions to Save Images 

One of the ways to ensure that you do not mess with the quality of images is to save the images using the “save for web” option. To do this, open the image you want to save using Photoshop, proceed to ‘File’, click on ‘Export’ and then Save for Web. At this point you should also choose the ‘Export’ quality of your liking. If you select 60, the file size will reduce to a size below a megabyte and this is ideal because the quality is not affected.  

Compress Images  

Compressing images is another fast way to reduce the size. Compressing images helps to de-clutter the photo. Hidden data, metadata and unnecessary colour profiles are removed.  

Consider Replacing or Eliminating Images 

When using images to optimise your site, you need to ask yourself what you want to achieve and if images are the best way to do that. This is not meant to underscore the importance of using images. However, in some cases, a simple design can help you achieve more than what an image can do. When you have to use images, you can also remove unnecessary image resources. You can also make use of web fonts as opposed to encoding texts on the images. The strategy is to find a balance and eliminate what you do not need.  

Choose Image File Type Options Carefully 

File type options will have an impact on the quality and size of your images. In most cases, you have to choose between PNG, GIF and JPG. Each of these options come with their strengths and weaknesses. JPG is mostly ideal for photographs or busy images that contain complex pattern, a variety of colours, gradients and shadows. PNG is more limited on colour pallets, it is therefore not suitable for complex photographs and images. GIF is slowly using popularity mainly because of its limited colour options. It can be used when you have simple photographs.  

As evidenced, image optimisation is both an art and a science. There is no formula or definitive answer on how to optimise images. The strategy is to get what works for you based on your needs and what you wish to communicate. The strategy is to play around with different settings and find an ideal. The above will act as a guideline. 

At this point, you must be adept with making your website SEO-friendly. However, it will be imprudent not to tell you time investment and unwavering patience are the key ingredients for ensuring images on your site are SEO-friendly. Therefore, apart from filename modification and all the other tips for optimising your images on SEO, it is essential to invest more time and dedication to your site to enhance the quality of your content.


9 Best Practices For Image Alt Texts

1. Image SEO

Alt texts help search crawlers identify your image. This, in turn, adds to the implicit and explicit benefits you earn from image SEO.

2. Accessibility

Alt texts describe images to visitors who are unable to view them. Such visitors may include visually-challenged users as well as prospects using certain browsers and screen blockers. Alt texts ensure all users view the images and this helps them appreciate your content.

What Defines the Best practice in Writing Alt Texts?

1. Deliberate Use of the keywords

Keywords are important in signalling SEO of the relevance of your page to the searches done. It then follows that using your keywords in the alt texts helps search engines link the search results to your site.

2. Avoiding Keyword Stuffing

It is critical to ensure the keywords you use to remain relevant within the alt tags. The keywords should give context to the image. This improves the user experience since they will find the image’s relevance in your content.

3. Keeping the Alt Descriptions Short

The ideal word count is 125 characters. Popular screen readers cut off descriptions past the 125 character mark.

4. Offering a Specific Description of the Image

Alt tags offer explanations to visitors who are unable to view them as alluded to earlier. Therefore, the description in the tags should be specific to the content on your site.

5. Avoid Substituting Images for Texts

Search engines are unable to read texts within images. It is best practice to avoid using images in place of words. If it is unavoidable, be sure to offer a description of what your photo is all about within your alt tags.

6. Stay Clear of Certain Phrases in your alt texts

Phrases such as ‘picture of’ or ‘image of’ should be avoided. The assumption is that the alt tags explain the information related to the image. Such phrases do not add value and may affect the ideal 125-character count.

7. Use Form Buttons

Image buttons on your site should have alt attributes. The attributes will give a description of their function such as, subscribe, apply, search, submit, pay, and sign up among others.

8. Use longdesc=””

For complex images that require longer descriptions, be sure to use the longdesc=”” tag.

Relevance of the alt text to the images

Not all images on your site relate to the content. Certain images are decorative or social icons meant to improve the site’s appearance. Therefore, not all images require an alt tag. Be deliberate on the images that you provide alt tags for. The images should be related to the site’s content.

Global statistics on internet use shows that 3, 885,567,619 individuals were active users by June 30th, 2017. Out of this demographic, Asia represents 49.7 per cent. This translates to about 1,931,1227,107 users. Out of this, 8. 5 per cent have difficulty accessing online content. They require aids such screen readers to access the content. This demographic includes online users from Singapore. Therefore, the statistics solidify the need to make your content easily accessible as well as improve the user experience on your site.


SEO Tip: What is Image Optimization

Image optimisation is one of the most important steps under SEO umbrella yet most businesses and web designers pay little or no attention to it. A comprehensive SEO campaign in Singapore should include a strategic plan for curating images that are relevant to the content and target audience.

Today, we will look at seven important image SEO tips that you should start applying to improve your business website in Singapore. Before we proceed, if you recently hired an SEO agency, make sure that they have image optimisation expertise to get value for money.

Google Recommended Image Optimisation Best Practices

1: Go for Unique Images

Just like unique content, it is imperative to make sure that the images you use in your website pages and blog articles are unique. Most likely, users will react to the images even before they start reading the post. It is also human nature to focus attention on images than blocks of text. Therefore, using an appealing image that is relevant to the topic is a novel way of encourage the target audience from not only reading but also sharing your content.

Take the time to search for images that illustrate the topic or message you want to put across with drama, romance, humour or any other emotion that you want to elicit. For example, the old royalty free images that potential customers are already accustomed to will not cut it.

If you can hire, a professional photographer to take pictures of the product or people using the product instead of generic images that your competitors are probably also using.

2: Highest Quality Format Possible

Google and other search engines prefer high-resolution images that are unique and relevant to the content. Websites that have poor quality images find it difficult to rank high as compared to website whose designers take time to ensure that the images are of high quality and display well on tablet, desktop, and mobile screens.

Below are three tips that you should keep in mind when selecting image formats.

  • JPEGs are ideal for Singapore ecommerce websites as they provide the best quality and the file size is ideal
  • GIFs should not be used for large product images. This is because the file size is usually huge and a majority of the online image compressor tools cannot reduce it well. GIFs are only ideal for decorative images and thumbnails
  • PNGs can be used as an alternative to both GIFs and JPEGs

3: Consider Reducing the Size of the Images

Nowadays, most people use mobile devices to lookup information online. Therefore, as you work on image optimisation, consider reducing the size of the images to ensure they are displayed well on websites and mobile screens.

Google is aware of the huge number of people who use mobile devices to view websites and have gone as far as creating a mobile-first index. Scaling down the large image files on your website will not only make your site mobile-friendly but also boost page speed, which is essential for mobile viewing. Note that pages that take more than 3-4 seconds to load record a high bounce rate.

Some of the best image compressor tools online are:

4: Every Image Should Have a Concise Caption

This is probably one of the most important image optimisation recommendations that you should never forget. Captions such as URLs can be easily crawled by Google and other search engines. As a result, users who use the target keyword in the URLs will find your page listed in the SERPs. The most important thing to remember as you add a caption to the images is maintain image relevance and page relevance.

Images with misleading captions will increase your site bounce rate. Such poor signals will inform Google that your content does not match the searchers intent thereby resulting in a drop in website rankings. A new research done by KissMetrics revealed that on average, captions placed under images are led 300% more than the copy itself. Based on this fact, leaving the caption space black will hurt your site SEO and user experience.

5: Maximise Accessibility by Using Alt Text

ALT text (alternative text) field is meant to help web designers do image optimisation better. Unfortunately, a good number of them do not bother to fill this field. The main essence of ALT text is to describe the image to users if the image is not displayed.

Providing accurate ALT text will help the target audience to understand your website content better. The descriptions also add relevance of your site and enable search engine bots to crawl your site page. Just like captions, alt text is an opportunity to boost your site content in the context of search optimisation and user experience.

6: Use Responsive Images

As mentioned earlier, it is imperative to make sure that all your Singapore website images are displayed well on both desktop and mobile. The target audience should be able to view them clearly on all devices regardless of the screen size.

Therefore, make use of responsive images always to continue offering the best user experience to prospects. If your website is powered by WordPress CMS version 4.4, you do not have to do it manually, as the system is designed to make all images responsive automatically. If not, make sure that all the images have the srcset attribute that adjust the image size depending on the screen width.

7: Consider Reducing File Size

The size of images and other graphics have a major impact on your website load speed. As you work on your Singapore site image optimisation, make sure that the scaled images are compressed to the smallest file size possible.

Given the popularity of retina and similar screen sizes, it is recommended to use 100% quality images on all web pages and blog articles that you publish. There are online tools that are designed to compress images without compromising the quality. Use them for this purpose but also check the quality of the final website images before uploading.

Summary

Image optimisation will give your Singapore website an upper hand in the market. Our website designers can optimise all your website images and carry out A/B tests to check if all other components are properly optimised. Get in touch with us at +65 6789 9852 for a free and no obligation consultation session about web design and image optimisation. We also offer SEO and digital marketing services in Singapore.


How To Make Sure Your Website Is SEO Friendly

You can’t just build a website and expect consumers to flock to it. Over the last decade, search engine optimisation has become a necessity, not an option.  This is especially the case if you own a new Singapore website and are interested in experiencing the benefits of organic search.

Developing an expert-like, thorough devised websites is not a guarantee for your website to get more traffic or broaden your target market. The entire secret of a relatable website lies in the high premium a website owner places on search engine optimisation. Search engine optimisation is the methods employed to increase a webpage’s prominence on the internet and consequently, the website’s rating on search engines.

However, interestingly enough, there are still a lot of Singapore businesses, both large and small, who put very little time and effort into their SEO strategy. What this means is that you can actually beat out your competition if your website is well-optimised. We’ve created a checklist to make your job easier. In fact, you can address many of the elements mentioned right now. Let’s discuss them in terms of technical, on-page, and external.

SEO is an integral aspect of any business’ online existence. The ability to employ SEO well ensures your website has unlimited traffic while at the same time consolidating your search engine. By improving these two aspects of your website, you are positioning your webpage to be popular regarding the specific business you have specialised on. With advancement in technology all over the world, especially in Singapore and, its aim to make itself a digital hub has seen a rise in digital marketing as a go-to in case an individual wants to advertise a particular product. Thus, business owners should employ these criteria to ensure their websites are SEO friendly for the customers.

Technical SEO

When most people think of SEO, one of the first things that tend to come to mind is content and ranking. However, before you can focus on the content and ranking in the search engines, you need to make sure that your website can be both indexed and crawled. And this happens to fall under the category of technical SEO.

Reporting Platforms

First, there are a few things that you need to tie into your site. Link your site to Google Analytics, Bing Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console, and Google Tag Manager.  The benefit of each of these tools is that they offer excellent diagnostic information and data. And this can be of great help along the way.

XML Sitemap

This XML Sitemap acts as a table of contents for your site. In fact, your sitemap file is how you can “submit” your pages to all of the search engines. Most platforms have maps built in or at least have plugins and add-ons which can help you to create a dynamic sitemap that can stay in sync with the pages of the site. Ideally, you should at least have a map that is static.

Robots.txt

The robots.txt file offers instructions to the search engines on which of your site pages should not be indexed. This can be helpful because by default, the search engines look at all of your content. Even if you have no plans to restrict the search engines from indexing pages on your website, you still need to make sure that this file is accurate, that it validates in Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Search Console, and that it doesn’t accidentally block any of your important content.

Domains

You may own more than just your primary domain name. In this case, you need to make sure that you know what each of your additional names are doing. The only exception is if they are parked and not being used. If your domain names redirect to your site, then make sure that they 301 redirect to the site rather than mirror it or 302 redirect. This can help cut down on any confusion or duplicate content.

Site Architecture

It’s a good idea to build hierarchy and structure into the navigation of your site. In fact, the more hierarchy and structure, the better. This helps to benefit users as well as the search engines because your content will be well-organised. Try to get your directory structure and your URLs to match your literal page as well as the file structure of your content. By mapping out your website in this way, will be forced to prioritise your site, and how you would like to funnel your users through it.

Speed

With each passing day, there are more and more stats that stress the importance of speed. This is especially the case when it comes to how it relates to bounce rates. People are spending less and less time on websites before they leave. And that’s why speed is such a big factor in Google’s ranking system.

So search for ways to minimise your use of JavaScript as well as other heavy loading elements. Try to find a way to load elements externally or cache. There are a lot of developer tools that can assist you in finding out which areas need to be optimised on your site.

Mobile-Friendly

Most Singapore business owners understand the importance of their website being mobile-friendly. However, many fail to test their website by Google’s standards. More specifically, they don’t use Google’s mobile-friendly test. So make sure that you pay attention to user experience and quality assurance so that you know that your website works seamlessly on any device.

404 Pages

You should always create a custom 404 page which contains helpful information. You never want to lose a visitor due to a default error page coming up. Your 404 page should include links, search functionality, as well as contact options.

SSL

Just as is the case with site speeds and mobile-friendliness, site security is also a crucial factor. If your site is not under an SSL, then you risk losing users before they even have a chance to see your site. And that’s because a security warning in Chrome, as well as other browsers, will pop up. So if you want to gain your audience’s trust, then implement an SSL certification on the site.

Plugins, Extensions, or Add-ons

If you are using a content management system, then there is a good chance that you’re already using plugins or code extensions. Most platforms offer tools that you can add to your website which can help provide more control over your SEO and analytics. Just make sure that the plugins you choose are trusted and offer the maximum amount of control and functionality.

Previous Issues

You may find that you have outdated SEO tactics on your previous website. Or perhaps there are legitimate reasons for your having duplicate content on your old site. It’s important that you are aware of all issues before you start working on your on-page SEO optimisation. Consider using a canonical strategy.

On-Page SEO 

You can’t just optimise single parts of your website anymore. The search engines are now concerned with context. And this means that you have to think beyond keywords, meta tags, and body copy. You should instead use every on-page element to build context. Think about how each page relates to the other.

Topics & Keywords

In order to properly build context, you need to know what you’re building it for.  You need to invest time into doing keyword research or broader research on your specific target audience. Which topics and phrases will the audience use in order to locate your site? You can find this information with the use of SEO tools. Once you have found your list of keywords, drill them down into individual words so that you can apply them within your website architecture.

Content

The best way to show relevance is with content. The less content your site has, the more difficult it will be to compete with sites that have more. This isn’t to say that more content is always better. The key is to ensure that you have a lot of quality content on your site. Create content that resonates with your audience and clearly demonstrates your strengths to the search engine. Stay away from outdated tactics that could have a negative effect on user experience, such as keyword stuffing.

URL

Though the URL is the first element of your page, it often one that is the most overlooked by Singapore businesses. While your URL can be indexed no matter what it looks like, However, you should think of your URL is an opportunity to give your page context and tell users and the search engines what it’s all about. Customise your URLs.

Title

While the title tag won’t do much for you, it needs to be relevant and unique to each page. Make sure that you are familiar with the best practices when it comes to the length and keywords. Create tags that are relevant to the topic of your page.

Meta Description

Just as is the case with title tags, meta descriptions need to be relevant. They should be unique to each page. The key is to make it helpful to the user. Ideally, it should contain keywords that are relevant to the content and add context to the page.

Headings

There is great debate when it comes to how important heading tags are to SEO. However, again, the goal is to make sure that every element works together to add context to your page. Just make sure that you use your headings tags in an organised fashion. Include relevant keywords.

Body Copy

Body copy is one of the most important factors in on-page optimisation because it is the largest body of indexable content. While there is no longer any formula for keyword placement, Singapore businesses should still make sure that they focus on the use of keywords. They need to make sure that they create context and tie the page together. However, you should never obsess over the number of times that you use a certain keyword. Just make sure that the content flows naturally.

Image Alt Attributes

One mistake that a lot of Singapore websites tend to make is that they don’t include alt text. And this is unfortunate because alt text helps the search engines understand what images are all about. This is a great place to insert your keywords. Keep in mind that a portion of your audience may be using a screen reader which means they need as much accessibility as possible.

Structured Data

Though structured data isn’t a direct ranking factor, Schema.org markup is still a huge part of building context. By using a structured data markup for your content can give the search engines an idea of which category or segment your subject matter falls under. In some cases, your website platform may not have an easy way to add this information and it may be a huge line item in terms of time or cost. In this case, you could put it towards the back of the line behind all of the items that are noted above. Just remember to keep in on your radar.

External

When we say external factors, we are referring to things that are beyond your control on your website. These things may not necessarily fall into the checklist but SEO is about more than indexing and on-page optimisation. You see, while on-page factors can help you to build relevance and trust, external factors can help you to build authority and status which further helps to validate your website and your role as an expert.

Links

Inbound links, also referred to as backlinks, to your site from authoritative and credible websites can play a significant role in search engine optimisation. Unlinked brand mentions, also referred to as citations, are also important because they show you exactly how much your site is being talked about online. This is why it’s essential that you focus on creating content that people will naturally like linking to. So build relationships within your industry. Obtain accreditation.  Avoid paying for links as this violates the guidelines of the search engines.

Local Search

Do you own a brick and mortar business in Singapore? Well, you can make use of local directories as well as search site citations. You need to claim and own your listing, because this helps to protect your brand at the most basic level. Make sure that your name, address, and phone number, or NAP, are all accurate and consistent across each and every directory.

Social Media

Another key to enhancing your SEO is to use social media. This may not impact your rankings directly, but having active social media accounts can help with engagement. It will also help you to better understand the needs of your audience and the strategies of your competition.

What simplicity of your web design achieves for your website

Ensuring your website is concise and clear in the information it relays is essential for attracting and maintaining leads for your website. Web users do not have the luxury to linger for long on your website because they are busy people, and hence their use of your website to acquire a product, rather than visit the physical location of your business. Should they fail to get what they are searching for on your site, they migrate to another website that provides the necessary product or services, with simple semantics and processes. A website that loads slowly to open due to overcrowding with whistles could irritate a user to the extent that they leave without getting the gist of your webpage.

Therefore, the design of a website matters because the first impression of your website is what either makes or break a client’s relationship with your website.

How to make your website customer-friendly by optimising keywords

Category pages are vital for a digital marketing platform because they take precedence over your pages. It is critical to optimize your category page over specific product pages, to limit competition for the keyword. To navigate around this obstacle, it is vital to optimize particular sites with distinct design and to conjoin them with your product page.

The category page can rate for the specific product while the merchandise site rates specific aspects of the product, including the specs and the cost of a variety of products listed on a page.

What Publishing Unique Contents Achieves for Your Website

Search engines gravitate toward rare materials. Rare content is easy to associate with because they provide new and up to date information that provides the latest information concerning a product of interest. It is vital to develop your subject matter while employing the proficiency you possess on your product. Thorough development of your website allows offering more insight into your product.

Employing the help of expert writers to generate web content for your website also provides an excellent opportunity for your site to be designed using specialist insight and skills. It allows you to center on your content, making it more significant to the end users.

How Backlinks Are Building Blocks for Quality SEO

Backlinks or Inbound Links are connections that are aimed towards your site. The quantity and quality of backlinks presented on your website is a hint of the prominence of your website. Inbound links are essential for SEO because they will rank some sites higher because of their excellent backlinks on the website necessary in displaying information for searches.

Search engines rate the substance of a website to discern the quality of a backlink. When a link leads to your site from other web pages, containing info relevant to your website, the backlink is classified as significant to your site, while those with irrelevant info, are regarded as immaterial to the search.

How to Make A Website Mobile Phone Capable

The advance in technology in this century has also seen an equal advancement in the manufacturing of mobile phone and improved their accessibility. It is not like in yesteryears, where to access a mobile phone, you had to travel several kilometres to a neighbour to acquire a mobile phone, and several more kilometres to get an internet connection.

The accessibility of mobile phones has made them a critical part in digital marketing in Singapore and everywhere on the globe. The importance of search engine optimisation is unprecedented. Therefore, there is a regulation by webmasters to make your website mobile-phone friendly because it is the mode which is predominantly used to buy products online. Making your website mobile friendly enable you to reach the broad base of mobile phone users and shoppers.

How Image Optimisation Makes Your Website SEO Friendly

Image SEO is not seen by search engine providers. Thus, it must get reinforced through texts for full optimisation. Optimisation, in this case, is done both for the website and for the client. This because some clients depend on images alone to direct them to the most appropriate site. To advance the image presented on the internet for your website, you require the image to have a title that aptly defines the image. Employ alt text that is legible and links your image to Twitter Cards so that your image is accessible on the social share to enhance your presence on social media.

How Pre-Testing Your Website Makes Your Website Friendly

Before a website gets launched, it is paramount to implore friends or colleagues to give it a test ride to determine its suitability for the use you intended for it. It is not easy to revise your work because you may not discern wrongs on your site. Thus, it is essential to employ the help of friends or colleagues to assist you to edit your website.

In a nutshell, an SEO friendly website is a vital cog for fuelling unassailable online presence for your merchandise and ensuring your business is on another level. Singapore businesses have been afforded the opportunity to optimise their web pages, and if executed properly to fit your specific business, it is possible to usurp your competition.

Summary

It’s no secret, optimising your site is not something that can be quickly done. And in most cases, it’s not an easy task. It’s something that has to be done consistently and over an extended course of time. But every Singapore business has to start somewhere. By mastering technical SEO, on-page SEO, and external factors, you can ensure the online success of your business.


What Is SEO And How It Works for New Businesses

One of the biggest questions that Singapore business owners tend  to ask is, “what is SEO and how does it work?” This is especially the case for new businesses that are concerned about their SEO ranking. The entire process tends to be somewhat intimidating for startups and small business.

 

The good news is that SEO is not as difficult as many assume it is. Even if you have no in-house team, there are still a few things you can do on your own to optimise your website.  In this article, we will offer a simple guide to SEO and how it works.

SEO and How It Works

When you consider all of the different factors that can have an impact on your rankings, things can get rather complex. However, the basic process is pretty easy to understand. The main goal of the search engines is to offer the best results for the users. They prefer content that is high quality and relevant to what the user is searching for.  

To do this, the search engines will crawl websites to get a better idea of what they are all about. In this way, they can deliver the most relevant results to searchers. They will also determine how easily the site can be navigated, read, and ensure that it offers a user-friendly experience.

SEO, better known as search engine optimisation, is the process of optimising your website to get unpaid traffic from the search engine results. In other words, SEO refers to the changes that you make to your content and website design so that it is more attractive to the search engines. This way, you rank higher in the search engine results. The benefits of SEO is that you can save yourself the expense of paid marketing because your traffic will be organic.  

Factors That Affect SEO

Now that you are more familiar with what SEO is and how it works, you need to know which factors have an effect on your ranking. Though Google has never revealed it’s exact algorithm, it does recommend that website owners concentrate on certain factors.  These include factors that are both on-page and off-page.

Content Marketing

Before we discuss on-page and off-page SEO, let’s talk about the importance of content. One of the best ways to gain favour with the search engines as well as make a connection with your visitors is with solid content. The higher the quality of your content and the more relevant it is, the more likely the search engines will give you a higher ranking in the search results. Also, the more engaging your content is, the more time your visitors will likely spend on your site and make a purchase.

The secret to great SEO copywriting is creating different types of content. This means you need to create blog posts, e-books, tutorials, infographics, and videos. Also, you need to make sure that this content is well-written and something that your audience will be interested in reading.

Another important factor in creating content is making sure that you’re using the right keywords. These are words and phrases that users are most likely to type into the search engines when looking for your topic, products, or services. When you include these keywords in your content, you can improve your chances of getting a high ranking. Just make sure that you avoid overusing keywords or keyword stuffing.  

Your content should also be fresh. This means that you should regularly add new content to your website. In some case, this may simply mean updating or rewriting your old posts. Perhaps you have more information or statistics to share.

On-Page SEO

Everything that happens on your website is considered to be apart of your on-page SEO. These are the elements that you have control over. And this means that you can work to improve these factors over time by using SEO best practices. On-page SEO includes more than just your content.

You must consider your title tag. The title tag lets the search engines know what your page is all about. The title tag must be 70 characters or less. It should ideally include relevant keywords.

You should consider your meta description. Just as is the case with the title tag, the meta description gives the search engines a better idea of what each page is about. However, it’s more detailed. It should also include relevant keywords. The meta description can also be helpful in letting humans know what the page is about.

Take your sub-headings into account. Sub-headings make it easier for visitors to read your content. It can also have a big impact on your SEO. Use H1, H2, and H3 tags so that search engines can better understand what the content is about.

Use internal links. Whenever you build internal links, or hyperlinks, to other pieces of content on your website, it helps the search engines learn more about your website. For instance, if you’re writing a blog post about the value of certain products or services, you can link to your product or service page in that post.

Use alt tags. If you’re using an image on your site, then you need to include keywords in the image’s alt tag. This ensures that search engines will index your images, which will appear whenever users perform image searches for specific keywords.

You should also consider the structure of your website. It’s extremely important that your website is mobile-friendly. This means that no matter what device users are viewing your website on, your website adapts to it. Users can easily read and navigate your site.

Off-Page SEO

Not only can the elements on your website make a huge difference in your SEO, the elements outside of your webpage can make a difference as well. This is referred to as your off-page SEO. Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot of control over your off-page factors. However, there are a few tactics that you can use to make things work in your favour.

For instance, trust is a big off-page SEO factor. If you want to secure a great ranking in Google, then you need to show your visitors that you are trustworthy. One of the best ways to do this is with quality backlinks. Specifically, you should work to earn backlinks from authoritative websites. This requires building relationships with influencers in your industry.

Another off-page factor is social signals. This refers to shares and likes. It’s a good idea to encourage influencers to share or like your posts on their social media platforms. The key to getting shares and likes to create content that is of high quality.

Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO

It’s important to keep in mind that there are two distinct approaches when it comes to SEO. One of black hat and the other is white hat.  In some case instances, organisations may only be interested in ranking their content quickly and making a quick buck. They are only concerned about the short-term. This is what leads to their use of black hat SEO. These tactics usually cater to the search engines and don’t take the human visitors into consideration at all. They must bend, or even break, the rules in order to improve their rankings. These websites usually come across as spammy and are very difficult for the users to read. Also, black hat techniques result in penalisations.

Conversely, organisations that are focused on long-term results use white hat SEO. This approach requires that businesses focus on the human visitors. The main goal is to produce SEO is to produce valuable, relevant and helpful content. They also want to ensure that visitors can easily navigate the website.


Final Thoughts

SEO may be an involved process, but the basics are more simple that most Singapore business owners realise. There are a lot of factors involved, but the key is to provide content that is relevant and valuable. Make it easy for the search engines to understand what you offer so that they can better serve your audience. Also, keep in mind that the benefits of SEO will not kick in overnight. It’s a process that takes time. However, the benefits far outweigh the wait.

Every Singapore business can have a beautiful website. That’s easy. The hard part of operating a great looking site that is actually optimised. So before starting your new website or redesigning an old one, you need to first consider your SEO strategy.

Get in touch with MediaOne for professional SEO services in Singapore. We will do everything possible to ensure you get ahead of the competition and achieve your goals. 

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.
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June 26, 2018

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