Introduction to Modern SEO (Updated 2018): Manager’s Guide

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Search engine optimisation is one of the fastest changing fields in digital marketing. That’s saying a lot when you consider how fast digital marketing as an industry moves.

The challenge with SEO is that not only does it change very quickly, but the impact of each change can be quite drastic. One policy or algorithmic change from Google can render an entire SEO strategy obsolete. But SEO is still one of the most cost-effective marketing tactics and managers need to be able to take advantage of this channel.

This is not meant to be an in-depth how-to guide. We assume that you have a lot on your plate and are too busy to spend hundreds of hours understanding the nuances of search engine optimisation to the extent that you can competently execute a campaign yourself.

The purpose of this article is to introduce marketing and business managers to SEO and educate them to a level where they are comfortable enough to choose, manage and advise competent SEO teams in Singapore.

Why Embark on an SEO Campaign in Singapore?

While SEO is a great marketing tactic, we would be the first to admit that it may not be suitable for every business out there. Here are some situations where you should probably think twice before investing in an SEO campaign.

  • You are offering a new-to-the-world product or service.
  • Your company is not yet financially mature.
  • You have no control over your website.
  • There is no buy-in from upper management.

Benefits of SEO

  • Higher brand credibility. Whether rightly or wrongly, companies that show up at the top of Google’s search engines are perceived to be more credible.
  • SEO results are enduring. SEO results, provided that they were done right, could last a long time. Unlike marketing tactics such as PPC campaigns, you are not going to lose your rankings when you stop paying. Your rankings will erode, but it takes some time.
  • SEO traffic converts better. Traffic from organic searches usually has very high buying intent so they tend to convert better than other channels such as social media.
  • SEO is a virtuous cycle. One of the goals of an SEO campaign is to increase your website’s authority and trust (more on this later). When Google perceives you to be a trusted and authoritative source, you will find it much easier to rank for a wider range of keywords, even those that you may not be actively targeting.

Drawbacks of SEO

  • Good SEO takes time. Don’t invest in SEO expecting results overnight. Good SEO takes time, usually months. If you need results much faster, then consider embarking on an AdWords campaign instead.
  • Good SEO is not free or cheap. There is a lot of work that needs to be done when it comes to modern SEO, and these don’t usually come cheap (if you’re working with a reputable agency, anyway).
  • Good SEO requires a holistic strategy. Your SEO needs to be able to connect with the rest of your digital marketing team or agencies in order to properly execute their campaigns. SEO experts need to create content, build social signals, and ensure that your website is Google-friendly, among other things.

Key Elements of SEO

It might seem that a lot is happening during a search engine optimisation campaign. To a large extent, that’s true. However, we believe that everything that is done during an SEO campaign is to:

introduction to seo

Increase Site Relevance

Google wants to ensure that the search results it shows answers each searchers’ queries. In order to do that, Google needs to understand (1) the intent behind the search and (2) best web page to show to this searcher.

Google has an army of scientists to make sure that they get better at understanding (1). As SEOs, we’re more concerned about (2).

Each month, Google crawls 30 trillion websites and stores them inside its database. Whenever someone googles something, it has to search this database, analyse it and show the most relevant web pages to the searcher. On our part, we help our clients by making it as easy as possible for Google to crawl our sites, index them in its database, and provide context to our web pages to help ensure that our pages show up when someone is searching for our targeted keywords.

Increase Site Authority

Just because Google knows that our website is related to a particular search query, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to display our site. There could be thousands or millions of other sites that have relevant answers to that query. For example, when someone searches for ‘Italian restaurant in Bukit Timah Road’, there could be tens or hundreds of search results or restaurants that could answer this query satisfactorily.

So how does Google know which ones to show first? Or in other words, which search result does Google think would best answer this query?

This is based on a particular site’s and page’s authority. Google ranks search results based on how authoritative it thinks the site and the pages are. This is why you see Wikipedia showing up for so many search results. Google believes that it is an authoritative site.

Next: Managing Modern SEO Campaigns in Singapore

Let’s assume that you have chosen to find a suitable SEO agency to help you in your first search engine optimisation campaign. You now need to have a better understanding of how an SEO campaign works and what you should be expecting from your SEO team. We will go into that in our next article titled, ‘Managing Modern SEO Campaigns in Singapore‘.

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Fairuze Shahari

Fairuze Shahari is a principal consultant at CloudRock. When he's not furiously downing G&T's, Fairuze Shahari writes for CloudRock, an inbound marketing agency.