The world’s technological advancements change the way people deliver information. Instead of reading the newspapers and magazines to look up the latest news, find the meaning of an unfamiliar word in a dictionary, or learn various topics from encyclopaedias, people nowadays use the internet to find answers to everything. After all, figuring out the answers to their concerns is now a search away. They only need to type the words or phrases about the things they want to know, and several web pages will appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
But have you ever wondered how search engines like Google show results after you type and submit your inquiry? One of the factors involved is SEO. This process is not limited to Google alone. Other search engines also implement SEO in their search formulas so results will become more relevant and helpful to users.
What Is SEO?
The acronym SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It is the optimisation process of a website to rank higher on search engines such as Google, Yahoo! or Bing by using specific and relevant keywords, which help to acquire more organic (unpaid) traffic.
Acquiring more traffic means more people are visiting and browsing through the web pages of a website. But you should be aware that SEO does not include SEM (search engine marketing), and SEO exclusively focuses on organic search results.
How Do SEO And Search Engines Work?
SEO and search engines work hand in hand. Search engines like the ones mentioned above let their search engine bot crawl to web pages, which is the discovering process that helps them figure out what content each web page has.
Once the search engine bots understand the content and determine their quality and relevance, they will index the web pages. The indexed web pages will appear on SERPs as long as they are relevant to the users’ search intent.
Afterwards, the search engines will analyse the value of each web page, from the quality of backlinks, relevant content, and popularity. These factors help determine which page on SERPs they should place and position the web pages.
Part I: Importance Of SEO
Even though the existence of SEO is relatively new, the same as the internet, both have become an integral part of everyone’s life. As soon as they wake up and before going to bed, people nowadays will always find them to check their mobile devices and go online.
The answer to the question ‘Why is SEO important today’, as stated in the image, is simple. Given that a total of 5 billion people can use the internet, which is equivalent to 63% of the world’s population, to do various things such as finding information, watching videos, and making purchases, SEO is the solution to increasing your internet visibility to potential customers.
The Brief History And Evolution Of SEO
If you look at history, you will notice that the birth of SEO is nearly as old as the internet. Search Engine Land stated the first signs of SEO began in 1991 when Tim Berners-Lee launched the first website in the world.
Even though SEO was not quite a thing that many people know of, a content linking strategist named Eric Ward popularised the idea of finding individuals to link to based on relevance and connections. Later his idea developed and is now a significant ranking element for Google.
Since then, numerous events have transformed how people, businesses, and organisations deliver and find information. Take a look at this infographic for a brief history and evolution of SEO.
While the timeline of SEO in this infographic ends in 2019, SEO continues to evolve. Business owners who want to raise brand awareness and increase the online presence of their website should utilise SEO.
Types Of SEO & Usage
Even though there are numerous types of SEO, it is advisable to complement all of them for next results. If done right, you can market your products or services more effectively. As you enhance your online presence and brand awareness, you will draw in more customers and increase conversions in the long run.
The types of SEO you should be aware of and how to apply them are listed below.
1. Keyword Research
As stated above, using precise and pertinent keywords is crucial to SEO. To determine the words or phrases you should include in your content, you will need to conduct keyword research. It is a practice that SEO experts do to figure out the most search terms that people are searching online.
Once done, they will cluster the keywords into groups and formulate topics to create content, which they will publish on their website and social media platforms. The best and easiest way to determine which words or phrases to include is to use keyword research tools such as:
2. On-Page Optimisation
On-page optimisation refers to the practice of optimising a website on-site. That is where it gets its alternative name, ‘On-site SEO’ since it has been helping the website gain more organic traffic within the platform. Because it makes a website more relevant and helps it rank higher on search engines, on-page optimisation is crucial.
On-page elements have a significant influence on a website’s ranking. Optimising the following helps search engines like Google understand your website better.
- Content quality
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Keyword usage
3. Off-Page Optimisation
Unlike on-page optimisation, off-page optimisation is a practice of optimising a website outside the platform. That means all the activities that can help improve a website’s ranking are done on other websites.
The primary purpose of off-page optimisation is to provide indirect help to a website so it will rank higher on SERPs. Link building and social media platforms are the two effective off-page optimisation techniques.
When it comes to link building, it refers to earning backlinks from other websites and redirecting the traffic to your website. If done right, you can establish credibility, create high-quality content, and share valuable information all at once.
On the other hand, social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and many more are platforms that offer a large user base. You can attract more web traffic, gain leads, and make the conversion if you publish a video or share a blog post on these platforms and show your potential customers the human side of your business.
4. Technical SEO
Another type of SEO is technical SEO, which is related to on-page optimisation but focuses on more complex aspects of a website.
Enhancing the performance and quality of a website on all types of screens is the goal of technical SEO. The only way to achieve this is to make a website responsive to mobile devices: smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
Besides that, below are other technical SEO factors you should also optimise on your website.
- Increasing website speed
- Secure a website with SSL certificate
- Making each web page’s content unique
- Taking down faulty links
- Enhance image
5. E-Commerce SEO
E-Commerce SEO is another type of SEO that e-commerce businesses use to optimise their website so their web pages will appear more on SERPs.
Due to various products being sold on your e-commerce website, e-commerce SEO is a bit different from traditional SEO. It uses more keywords to optimise a product page to get found by potential customers online.
To learn the best e-commerce SEO practices, read this blog article: E-Commerce SEO 2022: Best Practices & Checklist [FREE CHECKLIST]
6. Local SEO
If your concern is to increase your visibility to the potential customers nearby your business’s location, you should consider implementing local SEO. It is a type of SEO that focuses on raising brand awareness and online presence in a particular place.
Since more people are now searching for local businesses every day, you must increase your website’s local search visibility if you want local clients to find your business. According to PRNewswire, 45% of consumers will most likely visit the physical location after searching for it online.
7. International SEO
International SEO is like local SEO. The only difference is that it does not target local places but places of other countries. An SEO agency that offers this type of SEO to clients will help them improve their international presence to attract more potential customers and sales.
If you are an e-commerce business owner, you should implement international SEO on your website. Doing so will expand your customer base on a global scale.
8. Video SEO
Another type of SEO that you need to know is video SEO. It is the practice of optimising a video to drive more traffic. If done right, a video will get indexed by search engines and rank higher on SERPs for relevant keywords that most people are searching for online. The optimised video can also appear on related videos within the video sharing platform like YouTube and TikTok.
When optimising a video, the content of the clip is not the only thing you should consider but also its description. Providing a brief caption of what the video is about will help the viewers and search engines understand its content.
Part II: Understanding SEO
The secret to successful SEO campaigns is to understand SEO not only by knowing its definition but also knowing how long it takes to work, including the differences that exist in SEO. By being able to grasp all of this, you can put your SEO knowledge to practice and implement SEO strategies. Remember that a broad perspective would contribute to creating more compelling SEO campaigns that may nudge potential customers to take action.
Here are some of the answers to the frequently asked questions.
6 Frequently Asked Questions, Answered
1. What is the most significant SEO factor?
All SEO factors matter, and there is not one that outranks the rest. Links and keywords are significant, the same as content length and many more.
If you want your business’s website to become more visible on search engines, you have to consider optimising all of them. Doing so will help you reap more than what you sow.
2. How long does SEO take to work?
The answer to this question always remains the same—it depends. But ideally, it should take three to six months before you can see any result with SEO strategies that you implement.
If you hate waiting for SEO to work, SEM is an alternative strategy you can implement. With this, your web pages can appear right in front of your target audience, and every time they click on your SEM campaign, you will have to pay for it. That is where it gets its alternative name, pay-per-click or PPC marketing.
3. What is the difference between black hat and white hat SEO?
Black hat and white hat are two sides of SEO.
The former is an unfair and devious technique that search engines like Google despise since it violates search engine guidelines. If you follow the black hat SEO strategies, you should know that you are putting your search engine rankings at risk. The worst thing that can happen is your website will get delisted on search engines. That means no one else can access your website on the internet.
You are practically doing white hat SEO if you follow the search engine guidelines. You will appear more frequently on SERPs and enjoy the long-term benefits of white hat SEO.
In summary, here is the difference between black hat and white hat SEO.
4. Can you buy links?
Even though you could, you should not buy links since this can be considered black hat SEO. In most cases, Google may penalise you if they find out you are buying links.
If you need help acquiring quality backlinks, you should engage with an SEO agency. With their years of experience and expertise in SEO, you can guarantee they will help you implement white hat SEO that can help improve your search engine rankings.
5. Is Implementing SEO once enough to rank higher on SERPs?
No! You should know that there is no assurance that your website will rank and even stay at the top of SERPs if you only implement SEO once.
Since search engines often update their algorithm to improve their search formula, you have to practise SEO continually. Otherwise, you cannot maintain and increase your website’s current ranking.
6. Are generic keywords ideal for SEO?
Using generic keywords on your content is great since a lot more people are searching for them online. Due to the competitive nature of generic keywords, you have to compete against several businesses that use the same words or phrases.
Consider using long-tail keywords instead. According to BrightEdge, over 70% of search queries nowadays are long phrases because more and more people use voice search when searching for something online.
Part III: SEO Pricing: How Much Does SEO Cost In 2022?
Three options come to mind when it comes to SEO pricing: implement SEO yourself, outsource your SEO services needs or hire SEO experts and create an in-house SEO team.
The most cost-effective option between these three is doing SEO yourself. But the question is, do you have sufficient SEO knowledge, experience, and expertise to support you in achieving your SEO goal? If you fall short in those three areas, your company can choose to outsource its SEO or develop an in-house SEO.
Outsource SEO Vs In-House SEO
What Is Outsourcing SEO?
Outsourcing SEO means you will be engaging with an SEO company. Your collaboration will help create compelling SEO campaigns that can attract your potential customers and nudge them to take action.
Here are the pros and cons of outsourcing SEO.
When outsourcing SEO, there are two options: to hire a freelancer or an SEO agency.
The difference between the two is that a freelancer is only an individual, and the starting SEO cost is around S$200 to S$400 a month. You can also expect them not to have not anyone to help them when it comes to implementing SEO strategies and monitoring the progress of SEO campaigns.
In some cases, an SEO freelancer also handles several clients at once. That means they most likely have to divide their time between all of you.
If you outsource your SEO needs to an SEO agency, you can expect them to have teams of SEO experts. Each has its SEO speciality that can improve and create better SEO campaigns. You can also expect your chosen SEO agency to assign an SEO account manager to whom you can reach out whenever you have questions or concerns about your SEO campaigns.
Due to all of the SEO services that an SEO company offers, the starting cost of their basic SEO package is S$400 to S$700 per month, and the advanced can start from S$700 a month onwards.
What Is In-House SEO?
As mentioned above, you will be hiring SEO experts and creating an SEO team of your own. Whenever you wish to promote something related to your niche or rank one of your web pages, your in-house SEO team will be the ones to develop your SEO campaigns. That means you will have much more control with everything.
Here are the pros and cons of creating an in-house SEO team.
What Does An SEO Agency Do?
Every SEO agency in Singapore has a unique process of its own, but they have the same goal—to help their client’s website rank higher on SERPs and get more found by its potential customers online.
Apart from increasing online presence, here are the other benefits you will gain if you engage with an SEO agency.
- Drive more organic traffic to your website
- Acquire more leads
- Increase conversion rates
- Better ROI
However, before you can enjoy all of these benefits, you should remember that SEO takes some time. There is less likely a chance you will see a difference overnight. Consider giving your chosen SEO agency more time to implement SEO strategies and to see results.
Part IV: How To Choose The Best SEO Agency For Your Business?
Given there are various SEO agencies available in Singapore, choosing the best one for your company will require further research and more time to weigh your options before making an informed decision.
Here are some tips that can help you find the right one if this is your first time hiring an SEO agency.
1. Browse Their Website
By browsing their website, you will know whether or not they follow the best SEO practices. You can also determine if they can produce compelling SEO campaigns by reading the content published on their website.
2. Look At Their Portfolio
An SEO agency’s portfolio contains all the projects that they have done. Looking at their works also helps you evaluate their level of expertise and whether or not they can help you with your SEO needs.
3. Read Customer Reviews
Another way to know if your chosen SEO agency is the right one for your business is to read the customer reviews. They are feedback that past and present customers have written about the things they have experienced while working with the said SEO agency.
4. Check Any Awards
Since achievements are proof of excellence, consider checking if your chosen SEO agency has won any awards in the past months or years. The more awards and recent ones they have, the better.
That means they are capable of meeting your SEO goal, and you can guarantee the quality of the SEO campaigns they will produce.
Conclusion: SEO Is Ever-Evolving
As more and more people are using search engines to find things that they want online, SEO is here to stay. It evolves as consumer behaviour changes, which is why you need to keep yourself updated with the latest trends and techniques to implement better SEO campaigns.
Get in touch with an award-winning SEO agency like OOm at +65 6690 4049, or leave a message on our website if you want to raise brand awareness and strengthen your online presence.
Jack Sylvester is a freelance writer, He is extremely fond of anything that is related to ghostwriting, copywriting, and blogging services. He works closely with B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention. His aim to reach his goals one step at a time and He believes in doing everything with a smile.