SEO Singapore 2019 – Overview
Did you know there are more than 1.5 billion websites right now?
That’s how vast the internet is.
Each website houses information made available to internet users all over the world. And these sites race to sit on top of the search results under their respective keywords.
Do you have what it takes to rank no. 1?
In this guide, we are going to lay down the fundamentals of SEO Singapore, its current status, things to avoid, and an easy-to-follow procedure which you can apply on your page.
Are you ready?
- SEO in Numbers
- History of Search Engine Optimization
- Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird
- Worst Old Practices and Common SEO Problems
- How to Optimize for Rankbrain
- How to Optimize for Possum
- Your Ultimate SEO Campaign Checklist
SEO in Numbers
93% of everything done online starts with a query using a search engine.
This means people all over the world depend on search results for what they need: from complex problems to simple ones, whether it is looking for the best tourist spots in the country or comparing baby bottles manufactured by different brands.
81% of those who purchase goods on the internet conduct research first, making online presence invaluable for a lot of businesses.
Why is it very important to do SEO right?
Why do you need a SEO Singapore consultant? Isn’t it enough to put your content out there? The internet may be vast but one way or another, someone is bound to stumble upon it.
Sorry to burst your bubble but that’s just not how it works.
If your content is in places other than the first page of search results, you might as well believe it doesn’t exist. To your audience, at least.
Page one of search results receives around 95% of traffic. This means almost no one goes to page 2. If ever they do, it’s usually out of desperation.
How many times have you actually clicked page 2 when doing a search? If you’re like me, I’m guessing less than five. Or maybe never.
So aim for top 10, that’s clear.
But you wouldn’t want to stop there; you’d want to go straight for the top.
Why? Because top 5 results receive 67% of clicks.
These numbers are astonishing considering there are millions and millions of content out there. Does this mean only 5 or less get notice for every keyword?
To put it bluntly, yes.
This is why you need to bullseye every aspect involved in SEO to RANK in Singapore
History of Search Engine Optimization – SEO Singapore
Talking about the history of SEO won’t be possible without mentioning Google. It is, after all, mainly the reason SEO continues to exist today.
But let’s back it up first before talking more about this internet giant.
The history of SEO can be traced back in mid‘90s when search engines started to popularise.
We had Hotbot, Webcrawler, Looksmart, Yahoo!, and so many others.
Search engine algorithms weren’t, if any, as sophisticated. Page rankings are only based on meta tags, keywords, and links. These bred a wave of unethical yet effective SEO practices that we can still spot until today.
This is the old world of SEO.
Obviously, it was very easy to do. You could rank number one on the search engines by simply mentioning keywords in your meta description, title, etc.
People even got away with using the same keyword in more than 90% of the whole content.
It was painful to the eyes but it fit the criteria early search engines set upon content creators and marketers.
This was a problem. Search engines have to be more effective in providing the information users need.
Then enter Google.
It started out as a research project and was initially called BackRub by its founders.
Two things set Google apart from the others: 1) it’s founded on a principle occurring in real life and 2) it utilised PageRank, a key factor that paved the way to the different algorithms that define the search engine today.
PageRank: Real Life as Model
It’s simple. Just like what’s actually happening in society, a site will be popular if it is linked to by relevant, trust-worthy others.
In real life, your credibility goes up if people in authority backs you up.
PageRank basically sifted results based on high quality links. The more websites are linking to your site and the higher their quality is, the higher your page’s rank will be.
But despite the system on which it runs, many still found ways to go around Google.
A SEO professional wouldn’t find it hard to still rank number 1. They just had to create a lot of sites and link to the one they were optimising.
This is what we call mass link building.
The technique worked.
It wasn’t as easy as stuffing your article with keywords, no matter how nonsensical it can become, but it was still fairly doable, especially with the rise of Web 2.0 and social media.
Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird – SEO Singapore
To refine search results, Google launched Panda in 2011. Until now, it remains one of the most important updates that support Google’s continued effort in battling black hat SEO.
But what is it and what does it do?
Panda focused on the quality of the content.
It addressed things like keyword stuffing, content relevance, content duplication, usefulness, errors, ads, link quality, topics, etc.
But as you can notice, link building wasn’t one of the things it was intended to fix. It sure affected a lot of sites, including major ones, but it didn’t quite do the job.
So Google set out its next update, Penguin, in April 24, 2012 to target sites that built up their ranking through manipulated links.
Professionals knew how big this update was because it affected 3.1% of queries the first time it rolled out. It was initially a separate body that filters search results. However, in 2016, Penguin became part of Google’s core algorithm.
There are two things that makes Penguin different from Panda.
First, it operates real-time and second, it affects the whole site.
If Penguin detects mass link building or keyword stuffing in just one of your pages, it will rank down not only that particular page but it could also have dire consequences on your whole website.
Then Hummingbird was rolled out in 2013.
Compared to others that came before and after it, Hummingbird is unique because it’s developed to understand search queries.
That means it can understand intent. Even if two articles aren’t using the same keywords, if their content is essentially the same, Hummingbird would know.
Worst Old Practices and Common SEO Problems
Before we can get to the business of how to specifically optimize your content, let’s see first the bad SEO practices you should avoid.
Keyword stuffing and variants
One time it was the most effective strategy. A lot of sites composed articles that essentially mean the same thing. There was even the rise of spun articles, the thought of it today could send shivers down our spines.
Spun articles are simply rewrites to avoid duplication. But the thing is, they don’t really add any value, their sole purpose being able to create links for one content.
With Google’s algorithm constantly retrenching bad content from SERPs, this one should be avoided.
And come on, you really are so much better than that.
You may be tempted to buy links to improve your site’s authority but this might not be the right course of action. Again, Google makes it a lot harder to get away with that trick. You might even receive an email like the one below that offers you to purchase links from them.
My advice is to stay out. They are cheap compared to an SEO agency in Singapore. However, they will do more damage to your SEO campaign rather than improving.
Creating Lots of Low Quality Contents
You may have heard from SEO Singapore “experts” that consistency is key in terms of producing fresh content.
One of the old SEO practices that many people are still doing today is to produce a lot of articles regularly. Take note that it doesn’t say anything about its quality.
Websites used to produce tens and hundreds of contents as an SEO strategy, hoping that one day one of them will shoot up to the top.
But does it ever work?
We don’t think so. Effective providers of SEO services in Singapore will not encourage you to do this.
With Google’s efforts in providing only useful information to searchers, there’s just no place for mediocre content.
If you want to create a content that tops search results and stays there, you have to avoid producing low quality content.
Focus on creating content on topics that you can say a lot of useful things about.
Anchor Text Over-Optimization
We all know that anchor texts play a major role in SEO. They’re a great way to tell Google that your content matters because a number of authority sites are linking to it.
But just like in everything else, too much optimization can be bad for your website’s health.
Let’s say for example there are a lot of links pointing to your page. At face value, that’s good right?
But what if the way those websites are linking doesn’t make sense? Or if there are way too many that it occurs unnatural?
These points could send Google a signal that your links may have been manipulated. As a result, your site gets penalised. And you don’t want that to happen.
So what you should do is avoid over-optimizing your anchor texts. If you fear that your site may be undergoing such issues, there are tools that you can use to detect them.
Not Optimizing for Mobile
Did you know that 52% of the world’s traffic is attributed to mobile? This means more and more people are using smartphones and tablets. Data also tells us that 60% of the searches done in Google are made through these devices.
This tells us one thing: it’s silly not to pay attention to mobile SEO.
What are the other bad SEO practices you have to avoid? Here, we laid them out for you
So now that we’ve covered the things to avoid, let’s move on to the things that you should be doing.
2 Ways to Improve Your Ranking in Local Searches
Optimize for RankBrain
There are several things that make RankBrain more special than the other signals that Google is using to refine search results.
For one, it’s self-learning while all the other signals are purely engineered by Google through experimentations.
This means it conducts changes by itself by looking at how we interact with search results.
Let’s take a look at how RankBrain works.
Before RankBrain, there were a lot of queries Google didn’t understand. Its algorithm works in a way that it scans its index for the exact same keywords and most of the time, people type in words Google hasn’t encountered before.
So RankBrain was formed to figure out how different words are related through analysing how users interact with the results provided for them.
For example, Keyword A yields SERP A. But a considerable number of searchers use Keyword B and click on the results found on SERP A. So that tells RankBrain that Keyword A and B must be related, similar even.
Aside from understanding contents this way, RankBrain also has a very clever way of ranking page results. Or two, actually.
Click-through rates have always been a part of online advertising efforts. Whether it is through email or website ads, your goal is the same: to get the audience to click on your link.
What does CTR have to do with ranking?
It’s simple really. The higher your CTR is, the higher you go up the SERP.
This is because the amount of people clicking through your content tells Google (although partially) how useful it is.
If a lot of people are clicking on it, that only means it’s useful for the keywords used. Hence, increasing its value.
How can you increase your click-through rate?
Use the Right Words
Despite the advancements of search algorithms, keyword search will always remain important. That’s why this is the first step in improving your CTR.
But for this particular purpose, you should do just any other keyword research.
For instance, you have created content for a particular topic. Unless you’re the first
one to tackle it, there’s bound to be competitors. Pay attention to the words used by those that appear in the first page of search results.
What do they have in common? Can you incorporate the same idea in your content?
Most of the time, these contents are using what we call power words.
All you have to do is use them in your title and meta description and you can expect an improvement in your page’s performance.
However, CTR is not the only thing you have to pay attention to if you want to optimize for RankBrain.
RankBrain also takes into account how long searchers dwell on your content.
It isn’t enough that they click on your link.
The amount of time they spend on your content sends the message to RankBrain that your content is what they’re looking for.
If you’re wondering what the ideal dwell time is, think around 3 minutes.
That means if you want to be on top of SERPs, you’d want to create a content that will hold the reader’s attention that long.
If RankBrain notices that more and more people are loving clicking your result and staying on them, its algorithm will decide to show it more often.
So how will you do this?
Simple, create useful and high quality content. There’s simply no shortcut around it. If you people to love your content, you have to make sure it is lovable.
2. Optimize for Possum
As mobile consumption continues to increase, local searches prove to be more useful.
However, business owners had one problem.
Those that were not in the city proper would find it so hard to rank locally, regardless of how near it actually is.
For example, your business is located near Queenstown, Singapore. Searches are being made on a product you’re offering. Take note that you’re very near the location. But when a searcher did a query on [product] in Queensland, Singapore, your business would have too little chance to appear on the first or even second page results.
Possum changed that. After it was rolled out, a lot of websites noticed a difference in their pages’ performance. There are those that improved their ranks while others suffered.
Possum is the name dubbed to Google’s next relevant update after Penguin. It addresses the problem we laid out above.
How do you do this?
Create Content that’s More Local-oriented
This means you should be researching more local keywords. Your content can also feature local news or happenings.
Set up your Google My Business Account
If you haven’t taken care of this yet, it’s time you should. It’s free and highly beneficial.
Emphasize your Location on your pages
Don’t forget to provide your contact information and address so people can find you more easily. To take it up a notch, you can also add Google Maps on your page.
Encourage reviews from your customers
You’d be surprised to know how powerful reviews are. Did you know that 95% of online buyers read reviews first before purchasing items? Maybe you do that too.
In the local scene, 93% of consumers depend on reviews to decide whether an establishment is worth to try or not.
Your Ultimate SEO Campaign Checklist
If you check out Google’s resources, you will discover that they are actually teaching
content creators how to optimize their pages. One example is their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide.
It teaches you everything you can find in our checklist above and what’s more is it’s coming from a reliable source.
This is all we can tell you about Singapore SEO guide and how you can master it. If you have anything to add to the discussion, feel free to leave us a comment.