Today, an increasing number of businesses and individuals create websites for better business outcomes. However, just being online doesn’t make much of a difference. There are millions of websites on Google and all of them compete for the few spots on the first page for popular terms specific to their niche. How does Google go through all these websites and decide which ones are worth being on the first page? More importantly, what can you do to be on the first page of Google in Singapore? The answer is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and a plan.
Google’s algorithms work in a complex way to retrieve data and then make the decision to rank a website on the first page. Experts have identified certain optimization techniques that, when implemented, help websites rank. This is why, when you have a basic understanding of how SEO works, you can work systematically and follow a proven set of SEO strategy instead of taking a shot in the dark. Here’s everything you need to know about basic SEO strategies and how to go about it.
Now that you have a rough idea as to what SEO is, let’s move on to discuss what is SEO strategy and the various elements that constitute a well-thought-out SEO website strategy. An SEO strategy is a proper plan of action that involves all the essential elements of SEO to help a website rank. The following are the elements that are supposed to be a part of your SEO planning.
Content is the soul of websites. The popularity of your website depends to a great extent on how convincing and impactful your content is. Whether you own a service or product-based website or an informational website, the content that you have on your website performs way better when it is optimized.
When you combine content planning, content marketing, and a good SEO strategy, the result is only success. Whether you add products and service descriptions, blogs, or other kinds of content, make sure that the content is reader-friendly and there’s something innovative or new about your content.
While many people try to stay away from technical SEO, assuming it would be all complex and hard to comprehend, knowing a few terms will actually help you use certain SEO tools in a more efficient manner. Several terms related to technical SEO like crawling, indexing, mobile-friendly pages, bounce rate, etc. are thrown around quite often when we talk about SEO marketing strategies. The following are some of the common terms that are best for beginners to know.
Crawling and indexing mean that the search engine goes through the content and decides that it is eligible to be in the search results.
Your website is mobile-friendly when the website looks uncomplicated and is easy-to-use on smaller devices as well.
Bounce rate is when people visit your website and instantly exit, which can affect your website's rankings.
A site is responsive when it is designed such that users can navigate through it easily; and the website loads in a couple of seconds, thus not making the audience wait for it to load.
On-site SEO or on-page SEO means optimizing each of your content pages so that it qualifies for being ranked well by the search engine. This is generally a concept that is quite easy for beginners who acquaint themselves with a search engine optimization strategy. An effective on-site SEO strategy includes proper keyword research, content optimization, and many other factors that we have elaborated in the further section about an effective SEO strategies.
Off-site SEO largely deals with building authority, which indicates that your website is authentic, reliable, and provides relevant information to its audience. The off-site SEO plan involves building links. Pretty much like having links with influential people gives you a powerful image, when your website links to or gets links from high authority websites, its authority increases as well.
While link-building is a complex concept that needs a whole blog for itself to do justice to the SEO website strategy, we can talk about the basics here. One of the most crucial things to remember while building links is that it should be as natural as it could be. Forced linking or building low-quality links can do more harm than any good. If you are looking for an effective link-building SEO planning, we have discussed it at length in the upcoming section.
If you have just started learning what SEO planning is and how to work with the most basic SEO strategies, it is crucial to stick to the most useful SEO factors. There are a few overrated SEO factors that seem quite lucrative but hardly make much of a difference. With that being the case, it is better for you to dedicate your valuable time to SEO factors that have the potential to enhance your rankings. Following are a few SEO tactics that you can take reference to but don't have to put all your efforts in them.
Voice search is still one of those features that are ahead of their time and are not trending yet. Yes, an increasing number of people use voice search these days, but it is still not significantly one of the primary ways of looking for information. Moreover, the popularity of voice search hasn't yet gained momentum. The search engines are yet to make this a valuable factor in determining your websites’ success but not right now. However, if you are to focus on the current SEO trends that matter, you can keep voice search out of your current SEO strategy without your rankings being impacted.
Keyword tracking is essential to diagnose a drop in ranks and to identify what works best to improve your rankings. While keyword tracking should be an important part of your SEO plan, you might be wasting your effort if you are tracking every little keyword on your website. It is best to track several important keywords that rank high, have search intent, have the potential to drive more traffic and are representative of your niche. If you are tracking every other keyword, you might as well direct that amount of time to other important SEO factors.
User experience is an important factor to positively impact users so that they revisit your website. However, obsessing over user experience might not be a good idea. Working on a number of aspects of the website to make it look better may challenge your rankings. For example, if you are changing the URL structure from what it previously was, Google will consider it to be a new page. This is why, when you’re making changes, it is best for you to get expert SEO assistance to ensure that you’re not changing anything that could impact your rankings negatively. However, if not from SEO-point of view, some of the UX factors like page loading speed, how conveniently people find the info they look for, and how easy it is to navigate through the website are still important and you could work on them.
“SEO is not a Marathon it’s a Race”
Being familiar with the changing conditions of Google's weather is very crucial for a successful SEO plan. People who have been optimizing their website for search engines know pretty well how Google keeps updating its algorithm, which is why it is right to call SEO a fickle business. However, if you keep an eye on updates from time to time, it shouldn’t be hard for you.
Therefore, if you wonder “where do I start my SEO strategy from?”, you can start off by subscribing to an SEO guide published by SEO experts. When you do that, you are sure to find great methods to craft SEO strategies that work for your website. Without any further ado, let’s discuss how to implement an SEO strategy for your website.
This latest update by Google is considered to be the most consequential as of today. It is targeting websites/pages that have thin content or have content directly or indirectly referring to subjects that are not relatable to their niche. If you are not a believer in updating content on your site from time to time, well, it's time you start as Google seems to be penalizing pages that are stagnant. This regular process of updating content is also termed as content refresh.
Creating impactful content that attracts more readers is the first crucial step that precedes a well-thought SEO plan. However, that’s not it. On-page SEO happens when you have content, and to craft relevant content, you need to research and find topics that are related to your niche. Look for trending issues, relate it to your brand, and create a content plan for the month.
Purchasing a good SEO tool like Ahrefs might help a great deal in looking for topics. Start off by writing down several words related to your service or product. When you type these words and look for topics on Ahrefs or a similar tool, you’ll find a bunch of questions that you can develop into topics for content creation.
Yet another basic way of coming up with a topic is to type the word on Google. You’d find a series of related questions for the topic that people commonly ask. You can use these cues as well.
When using keywords in your content, you can target two types of keywords to make your content more SEO-friendly- short keywords or focus keywords (like procrastination) and LSI or long-tail keywords (like how to overcome procrastination). Short-tail keywords have a high search volume but are not very targeted and specific. However, LSI keywords are more targeted. LSI keywords don’t have much high competition when compared to short tail keywords. So, they have to be used based on how you plan to target your audience. Using a range of LSI keywords in combination with the relevant short-tail keywords can be a deadly combination that can work in your favor.
You should try to use the focus keyword in the title, meta-description, headers, and evenly spread them throughout the content. However, make sure that the keywords look natural and strictly avoid keyword stuffing and spamming.
The easiest way to look for relevant keywords is to type words related to your topic and take ideas from the drop-down search results that suggest the most popular words and phrases that are searched. Besides this, you can use tools like Keywords Everywhere. Ahrefs, SEMrush, keyword planner, etc. for your keyword research.
With thousands of websites competing for the same bunch of keywords, it is very useful to see how several other websites use the keywords in their content. You can take inspiration from some of the top-ranking pages while also looking for pages that share similar domain authority as yours. The reason why competitor analysis is important is that it helps you frame content in a better way and helps you outdo your competitors, which is not exactly possible unless you have a certain amount of insight as to how your competitors craft content.
Competitor analysis is something that it's recommended to perform for each topic that you select. Take note of all the headings and subtopics that a couple of your top competitors have covered. This will give you a fair idea about what you can add to make your content stand out from that of your competitor’s content. Relevant and unique images, proper headings, high readability are all the ingredients that you will need to craft a perfect content that keeps your readers engaged while also ranking on Google. To top it up, quote opinions, or present current data and reports if relevant.
This is what a poorly written content with less substantial information and keyword stuffing looks like.
This is what a well-written content with optimum number of keywords looks like.
One of the new trends when it comes to content creation such that your blogs are as informative as your audience would like them to be is to create pillar-cluster content. The basic idea is that you identify a broad topic, for instance, procrastination and build an introductory content around it, which is known as pillar content. You can then identify subtopics for the pillar-content, like what is procrastination, causes of procrastination, how to overcome procrastination, etc. and craft detailed content for these subtopics.
You can list out these cluster content topics below the pillar content and link them to the headers so that your readers can conveniently click on the subtopic that they’re more interested in. This helps in adding a wide range of keywords, working around diverse sub-topics, and creating informative content for your audience.
We have already talked about on-site SEO and how it is an important part of an SEO strategy plan in the previous section. Elaborating on that, there are a few on-site SEO factors that you are supposed to focus on, which are as follows:
Title of the Page - The title of the page is supposed to be of maximum 65 characters. If you exceed this number, your title will not be completely visible in search results, which could be a disadvantage.
Meta Description - Meta description is the short description that you see below the title in search results. Make sure that your meta-description precisely describes your content (even if it is product description) and does not exceed 160 characters.
Headers - Have H1, H2, and H3 header tags to categorize your content into sensible headings and subheadings to make your content reader-friendly. You should also add bullet points when needed.
Precise and Concise URLs - Make sure that your URL is short and crisp and has the focus/ target keyword in it. When the URL of the page has the focus keyword, it adds more relevance to your content and helps it rank.
Internal Linking - Adding links of the other relevant blogs or web pages within your site to the content that you write would lead your readers to visit other blogs which can be useful, thus increasing the number of sessions, reduce bounce rate and of course, improve engagement.
Content Word Limit - Blogs with around 1000 to 2000 words rank better as this range of word limit gives Google the impression that the content is informative. However, make sure that the content makes sense, adds value to your reader’s time, efforts and doesn't just beat around the bush.
We have already talked about how link building is an essential off-site SEO tactic. When other websites link your content, it indicates to Google that your website is authentic and reliable. Furthermore, your page has more chances of a ranking if the website that links back to you has higher authority.
What is important is to understand how you can build links so that your SEO plan improves your rankings. There are several ways of building links. You can write guest posts for other influential websites and link back to your site. For this, you can reach the webmaster of the target website, communicate your guest blog idea, seek approval, and send them the blog.
Other ways to build useful links that are trending is to reach out to local websites for links in exchange for a link back to their website, and approaching influencers. This method is particularly useful for local SEO.
You’d never know if your SEO plan is working out unless you spend some time and effort in measuring and tracking the outcome of your SEO efforts. There are a variety of tools that can help you track organic traffic (unless you’re not running paid campaigns) like SEMrush, Ahrefs, Google Analytics, Moz, etc.
There are a number of metrics that you can track in order to understand how your SEO plan performs.
Organic Traffic- People who come to your website through your blogs or pages on search engines are referred to as organic traffic. You can check your organic traffic on Google Analytics.
Time spent on pages/sessions- The reason why you should measure this metric is that when people spend more time on a page or a session, it indicates that they find your content useful. This will help you plan content strategies for your site.
Mobile traffic- Mobile traffic suggests the number of people who consume your content through their smartphones. The volume and demographics of mobile traffic can help you optimize your website for mobile only.
Click Through Rate- CTR is an important metric when you put up ads. With the number of clicks on the ad, you will know if or not people find your ads relevant.
Keyword Rankings- When you analyze keyword rankings, you can find out if you’re targeting the right keywords and how you rank for a specific set of keywords so that you can plan your content and pick keywords accordingly.
Backlinks quality & quantity- The number of backlinks coming from relevant websites indicate the popularity of your site. Comparing the quality and quantity of the backlinks with your competitor gives you an idea as to whether or not you outperform them.
Domain and Page authority- As your domain and page authority increase, it suggests that your SEO plan is taking you towards the success you’ve been working for.
Returning & direct visitors- When you measure the number of people who have previously visited your website and return, or people who directly type your URL to visit your website, it again indicates the popularity of your website and helps in coming up with strategies to engage and retain such visitors.
Bounce rate- It is very important to measure bounce rate as it helps to understand if or not your blogs are engaging enough. It is a problem, especially when you have a high bounce rate for pages with elaborate content.
You can systematically track your results by analyzing your metrics on a daily or weekly basis. For this, you can create Google sheets, record metrics, and analyze the data for accurate tracking. You can check where most of your organic traffic comes from, how your keywords perform and much more using the tools we’ve mentioned.
While tracking your results can help you understand how your SEO plan performs, it also provides you with useful insights as to how you can improve your search engine optimization strategy. Analyzing your SEO plan will help you optimize your content by adding more relevant LSI keywords so that you can rank better for the target keywords that don’t perform as effectively as you expect.
One of the most common questions that people ask when they start implementing their search engine optimization strategy is- how much time would it take for the SEO plan to produce evident outcomes? There is no exact timeline that SEO strategies follow when it comes to achieving a certain outcome. This is because there are so many factors that work together to generate the outcome. It also depends on what is the outcome that you plan to achieve.
To give an estimated range, for new websites that belong to a competitive niche, you’d have to be more patient as results might not be visible for the first couple of months. However, if you are an already established website with a significant domain score, keyword rankings and organic traffic, you may not have to wait for a year to end to see solid tractions on your site.
Tip: If your website targets keywords that have less competition yet good search volume, chances are that you may see results quickly within a span of a few months.
Now that we’ve discussed what are the best SEO strategies, you can start building a plan that suits your goals as to what you expect out of your website. The key ingredients for a successful and effective SEO strategy (in addition to the SEO factors) are dedication, patience, and consistency.
However, if you’re too occupied with your core operations, you can reach out to us for assistance. We have the finest SEO consultants from Heroes of Digital who are proficient in building SEO strategy in Singapore as well as help your brand rank globally, based on your target audience. All in all, we ensure that any investment in your website delivers the desired output to you. Get started with a free SEO audit for your website today!