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Are you thinking of hiring an SEO services company to help rank your website on Google? Your final choice has a massive impact on your business.
It is crucial to choose carefully. Here are some questions that will help you make the right choice when hiring an SEO services company.
How long have you been doing this?
It is advisable to go for an experienced SEO company. Google periodically updates its ranking algorithms, and you need someone aware who is aware of such developments. The company should provide a portfolio of former clients alongside a list of completed projects. This allows you to gauge whether they are experienced enough to handle your task.
How will you improve my SEO ranking?
If you want to rank high on Google, you need an effective SEO strategy. Lazy tactics such as integrating random keywords and using low-quality backlinks can generate sporadic traffic, but consistency and client retention will remain unattainable.
A good SEO consultant will elaborate on the strategies they implement to improve the visibility of client websites. If they refuse to elaborate on this front, move on to the next company. You want a provider that promotes transparency.
Do you follow Google’s Recommended SEO Practices?
Complying with Google’s (and other search engines) best practices is mandatory if you want to build regular traffic to your website. Google works to optimize search results by applying up to 500 changes to its algorithm every year.
Some companies use underhand methods to rank high on Google. This is against Google’s best practices. The consequence of such violations is lowering your ranking on search engine result pages. Reduced visibility on Google means less traffic, which translates into lower revenue.
What is your pricing model?
The majority of SEO service providers charge according to the complexity of the project at hand. For example, a personal blog will cost you less money than an e-commerce website.
When discussing the pricing, remember to ask about the modes of payment.
How will we contact you?
It is advisable to have contact with your SEO company in case something goes wrong. Ensure that you know the agency’s preferred communication channel, and also provide them with your contact. Lastly, inquire on how to reach them during emergencies.
How do you gauge progress?
The objective of hiring an SEO agency is to increase the traffic, leads, conversions, and revenue generated by your business website. The process is itself an investment that must have positive results.
This particular question aims to discover how your potential SEO provider will know that their strategies are working. Ideally, they should mention conversions and a higher ROI as the critical metrics for gauging the success of your business.
Can you adapt your strategy to my industry?
The majority of SMEs in Singapore are hesitant to invest in SEO, as they are uncertain if it will work for their industry. The truth is, some SEO strategies may work in one niche, and fail in another.
That said, an experienced SEO company knows how to adapt its strategies to work across several industries. If you pose this question, they should respond comfortably.
How do you handle penalized sites?
It is almost impossible to restore the stature of a website after penalization. There are, hover, some SEO companies that are capable of doing this near-impossible task.
Do you offer other services?
Working with a single marketing agency is more convenient than enlisting the services of multiple service providers. Before signing an agreement, ensure that you know any other services on offer, such as search engine marketing, website design, PPC advertising, social media marketing, and so forth. A company that offers such services will save them time and resources that would have otherwise been used searching for others.
Can you ‘guarantee’ #1 ranking on Google Singapore?
Asking this question is the best way of telling apart legitimate SEO marketing companies from SEO salespeople. If an agency is after your money, they will ‘guarantee’ you the #1 spot on Google’s search results.
In reality, not even the best SEO company can guarantee you the coveted top spot on search engine result pages. Instead, a company should pledge to increase your search traffic consistently over time, and if possible, rank #1 for an easy term.
What happens if I terminate the contract?
You should know the implications of terminating the contract before the completion of the project. Most SEO companies in Singapore require the client to sign an agreement that covers a minimum period (a few months). This is understandable, as SEO takes time to have a noteworthy impact on your business.
If circumstances force you to break the contract, you should know the potential consequences. Such circumstances include poor results, improper conduct, lack of funds (rare), and many others.
Why should we hire you over other SEO companies?
Similar to other open-ended questions, this one doesn’t have a perfect answer. Instead, it is intended to bring out red flags.
Answers such as we offer cheap services, we ‘guarantee’ results, we will build many backlinks, and so forth, are sufficient proof that you shouldn’t hire that particular company.
On the contrary, you should hire a company that responds by showing you their past successes, current and past clients, and their reputation in the SEO marketing industry.
Key SEO Tactics to Focus on to Promote Website Performance
With Google unpredictably changing its algorithm focus on the following 11 hacks, and you will soon notice a significant improvement in web traffic and conversion rate.
Focus on User Experience (UI)
If you haven’t been paying attention to your website UI, you need to start doing so to ensure your site reigns supreme. The Core Web Vitals update in June 2021 focused on user experience and not content like most of the other previous algorithm updates.
Simply put, Core Web Vitals are basically signals that Google collects from the site pages to determine the degree of user experience the offer visitors. It focusses on three primary factors, namely:
- Responsiveness and interactive
- Website loading speed
The main reason why Google focuses on the three is that this its primary focus is to provide the best engagement and experience to users across multiple devices. Mobile signals are more critical today, following the 100% mobile-first indexing launched in March 2021.
The bottom line is to focus on the three signals to enhance your website ranking. Test the pages using Google Search Analytics and other third-party tools to stay in the know.
Shift to Entity-Based SEO
What is entity-based SEO? Entity-based SEO is a term that describes your brand or industry contextually. Unlike conventional SEO, this focuses on broader concepts and topics that enable search engines to provide searchers with accurate results.
The picture below shows that some phrases and keywords have different meanings. Capri is a drink while Capri Sun is an island in Italy. Therefore, content optimised for this keyword may be displayed to the wrong audience.
Google has an advanced semantic search feature that decipher the search intent based on keywords and user’s previous browsing history.
As an SEO expert, you should help Google correctly interpret your site by including words relevant to your niche in the content.
Achieve this goal by using domain authority and internal links so that Google successfully adds your website to the highly valuable E-A-T knowledge graphs. E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
Google’s main objective is to rank website pages from authoritative sources at the top of SERPs. In the eyes of this major search engine, the more expertise you have on a particular niche, the more qualified your website is for a top stop in search results.
Carry out extensive keyword research to find words and phrases that should be in the content.
Polish Your Website Internal Linking
We recently discussed the best internal linking practices for a better ranking on Google.
Internal linking creates a network of all the pages on your site using relevant keywords. It’s essential for SEO because the pages don’t get equal traffic. Some of them are orphaned and need to be revamped to match the performance of the rest.
A few months ago, Spencer Haws did an experiment on his website, and the primary objective was to get a clearer understanding of the benefit of internal links. He added internal links to 47 blog posts without changing their content. The ranking of 76.6% of those blog posts improved significantly.
Photo Credit: NichePursuits
Similar results were achieved from other experiments. The results are clear proof that proper internal linking helps Google better understand websites. The links are also used to determine the value of a particular web page.
Be different from the competitors by adding the “Related Article” to direct readers to other articles on your website that contain additional information.
However, John Mueller recently stated that including too many internal links on each page can harm site SEO. He explained that such actions make it difficult for search engines to know the relevance of a website page to another and the site structure.
Leverage Google Discover
Google relies on a user’s previous browsing history and patterns to determine which content to display in the news feed. In a nutshell, it’s a query-less search meant to help users find information much faster – they no longer have to conduct the normal search.
How the user engages with your content determines whether it will be displayed in their news feed.
Unfortunately, the content is often fetched from news-related websites and not commercial websites. A recent experiment that involved more than 11,000 URLs shows that 99% of all clicks were to news websites. There other niches that are highly favoured are;
- Hobbies & Activities
- Sports & Entertainment
Arguably, this feature doesn’t favour other websites, but all is not lost. To increase the chances of your blog post being featured in this news feed, it must be highly engaging. Including a Max Image Preview meta tag can also help you get more traffic from Google Discover. The meta tag directs Google to display your blog post with a large image.
How do you insert the meta tag in an article? Copy-paste the following tag in your blog post HTML source code.
It’s important to note that articles posted on Google Discover often generates maximum traffic the first three days after posting. Therefore, this strategy should only be used to supplement the primary website SEO strategy.
Update Existing Content
Your website content needs to be regularly updated to continue ranking well. This hack is informed by the fact that Google and other search engines prioritise pages with the most recent content.
Numerous sites have reported a sharp increase in ranking and organic traffic after updating old blog posts. Check the screenshot below.
Changing the publishing date won’t cut it though, you need to add fresh content that enhances the existing one or discusses the topics differently. Do extensive research to find new data and information to add to the existing articles.
Go the extra mile to create infographics and charts, and post them on your website and social media channels. You will get backlinks from other authority sites if they both contain recent information.
As you create fresh content, don’t forget to update the images. In the screenshot below, the 2015 screenshot looks stale even though some of its content is still relevant.
An in-depth page-level analysis will help uncover content gaps. Use the results to know which topics you should include in the posts to make them relevant to your modern-day customers.
Look at the keywords that a post no longer ranks for and either incorporate them into existing articles or write fresh blogs.
Convert High-Performing Blog Posts into Videos
99% of digital marketers say they will continue using it in 2022 and beyond. It’s one of the most preferred content types today as it’s more engaging than text and other formats.
Sure, creating brand videos is a good idea, but consider converting high-performing blog posts into videos. Research shows that webmasters with video content on their sites record a 41% increase in traffic than sites with only written content.
It’s also important to note that video increases organic traffic by 157% from search result pages for target keywords.
Apart from more exposure in the Google results pages, you boost the video’s chances of winning a featured or rich snippet.
Photo Credit: Setupad.com
In addition, you need to perform YouTube SEO. Note that this form of SEO is different from Google SEO. In the latter, an article can take weeks to rank on the first page, while on YouTube, video has to get maximum exposure in the first 24 hours after posting to rank higher than the existing videos.
Voice Search Content Optimisation
A recent poll conducted in the United Kingdom in 2021 showed that 55% of people aged between 16 and 24 years old had a smart speaker.
Photo Credit: Statista
Make your website more discoverable by optimising the content for voice search. This is achieved by researching to identify questions that the target audience uses to conduct voice search queries.
Definitely, the questions will be natural-sounding, so long-tail keywords should be used more often. Concisely, the long-tail keywords should complement the short-tail keywords.
Save time by starting with Google auto-fill, people also ask, and related searches.
Photo Credit: Setupad.com
Over time, the keywords may change, so it’s recommendable to conduct keyword research frequently. Update the content with identified new keywords to improve ranking.
Analyse Search Intent
How well do you know the kind of content your users want to see when they use a target keyword? Search intent is all about the type of information that the users want to see in SERPs when they search.
Your keywords should be grouped into four categories and based on search intent.
Use the map below as a guide when grouping the keywords.
Photo Credit: SemRush.com
The keywords will give you an idea of what your ideal customer expects to find in a blog post or web page. It will be instrumental in your content creation process as you will know which topics to discuss.
For example, if most of the keywords are in the commercial category, you should write more product reviews to convince the customers that it’s OK to go ahead and place an order. Do the same for other keyword groups to get the best results.
Regularly Audit Your Site
A site audit will uncover errors that have been holding you back from realising your brand’s full potential. It will pinpoint the exact blog posts that should be improved, pages whose speed needs to be cranked up, which pages generates the most sales, and more.
All this information will help you continue ranking at the top and generate sales. It will also improve your technical SEO by identifying broken images, broken links, canonical points to redirect, and more.
It’s not possible to do a complete site audit manually. Use renowned tools such as Ahrefs Site Audit to check all the website pages and get a report quickly. The tool requires users to confirm they own the website domain before it starts crawling the pages.
Photo Credit: Setupad.com
Use the report to start fixing your website instead of blinding expecting that the edits will improve the site. Some of the recommendations may be too technical, so it would be wise to send the report to your SEO team or outsource the tasks to a reputable SEO agency instead of trying to wing it all yourself.
Apply Technical On-Page SEO
Hence, you should ensure that all the elements are optimised to offer customers the best user experience. Immediately they land on your website, they should know that they are in the right website and you have the solutions to their problems.
Some of the technical on-page SEO areas you should focus on include;
- Check internal links
- Optimise content for readability
- Confirm the images are optimised (have alt-text and compressed to promote page load speed)
- Create a short and descriptive URL and include the target keyword
- Add the target keyword in the title
- Write compelling meta descriptions to boost CTR
- Use PageSpeed Insights to detect other technical issues
Do A Content Gap Analysis
A content gap analysis will enable you locate common keywords competing for an audience with your competitors. It also goes deeper to offer new topic ideas for your blog. For the report to be comprehensive, you need to add URLs and domains of all your main competitors.
Tools like Ahrefs will scan all the pages in the competitor websites and list keywords that your website should also be ranking for, but it’s not currently.
With this information, you will create better content. Rest assured, you will notice a sharp increase in organic traffic and site ranking if you optimise content with these keywords.
Photo Credit: Setupad.com
If you have run out of ideas, use the keyword report for inspiration. Make sure that the content you create matches your target audience search intent.
A lack of preparation increases your vulnerability to companies that use shady and dishonest strategies to offer their SEO services.
The presence of many SEO companies in Singapore makes it difficult to separate legitimate SEO agencies from shady ones. The questions mentioned above offer a good starting point and can help you narrow down on genuine SEO companies.
After the questions, consider other methods such as reading online reviews and checking the portfolio of each of the candidates. Get in touch with us for the best SEO services in Singapore. We will help your business reign supreme.