So you have done your research, pitched the campaign to your management, picked a competent SEO agency and are now chomping at the bit, getting ready to get started on improving your website’s organic traffic. But managing SEO campaigns in Singapore may not be as hands-off as you think it might be. It’s not as simple as just paying someone and sitting back and watch your rankings increase.
Well, at least not if you have engaged a good SEO.
Let’s go through what you, the manager or business owner, need to know so that you can successfully manage your SEO campaigns.
Important SEO Considerations
Before we get started on the various phases of an SEO campaign, let’s go through some of the more important SEO considerations or concepts that you will encounter along the way.
Modern SEO is Holistic
Traditionally, SEO can be summed up as (a) putting target keywords on your page and (b) pointing links to it. Rinse and repeat, and you will have yourself a website that’s killing it in Google.
Modern search engine optimisation is now a more holistic process. This means that Google will look at many different factors, over 200 of them, to determine how well your web page should rank in their search engine results page (SERPs). This includes factors such as site speed, HTTPs, mobile responsiveness, grammar and spelling, link diversity, content freshness and so on.
Your SEO should know this and must be able to advise you on how you can improve these factors so that you can achieve enduring results.
This may mean you have to invest in a website redesign to improve your SEO since pointing high authority links to a badly built site is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
Or you may need to start a content marketing initiative to make your website more valuable and visible in the SERPs. Google hates websites with thin pages, so don’t think your website is going to rank with 100-word pages in competitive verticals.
Or, you may need to start building social signals back to your site to help increase its level of trust.
Modern SEO is holistic in nature and touches almost every aspect of your digital marketing strategy. You may or may not have strategies in place for social media or content marketing. If you do, then you need to inform your SEO and find out how they can leverage those existing plans to improve your SEO at the same time. If you don’t, then it’s time to seriously look into them (but your SEO campaign should already have some sort of content creation element to it, right?!?).
Negative SEO is the process of using black hat SEO on another site in order to get them penalised in the SERPs.
If you are operating in a particularly competitive field, then you may be the target of negative SEO attacks as your ranking increases. Similar to regular SEO, how negative SEO is done changes over time, which means that how you defend against it also changes. Your SEO should be monitoring this and they should know how to react to any attempts to attack you.
Quality Content Creation
A modern SEO campaign needs to have a content creation element. Be very wary if your SEO company does not bring up content creation during your campaign.
SEOs like to call it unique, quality content, but don’t get your hopes up too high. The content will normally be good enough, but it definitely won’t be similar to what you read in The New York Times. What they mean by quality content creation is that your content will be unique (no plagiarism), free of any grammatical or spelling errors, will be about 500 words in length, and most importantly, will incorporate SEO copywriting best practices. The better writers will conduct secondary and competitive research and will attempt to keep your content on brand.
Phases of an SEO Campaign
Discovery & Research
The first phase of an SEO campaign (actually, for most digital marketing campaigns), the Discovery & Research phase is about understanding your company better to determine your SEO strategy. Each company has different strengths and weaknesses, and your SEO needs to be able to use those to your advantage. The SEO company will also need to take a deep dive into your competitors and their performance and tactics in the SERPs in order to come up with a viable strategy for you.
- When: First month
- Duration: Between 14 to 30 days
Typical Activities During Discovery & Research
Each company will have a different Discovery & Research phase, but most would have one or all of the following:
- Onboarding: This usually takes up an afternoon. The SEO specialist will have a questionnaire to go through with you that will have questions regarding your business, offers, expectations, competitors and marketing activities.
- Website Audit: This involves an in-depth audit examining the on-page factors of your website.
- Keyword Research: Your SEO will also need to conduct their own keyword research to determine which ones you should target. Your target keyword needs to be attainable and must also have sufficient search volume.
This involves fixing or optimising the on-page factors of your website so that Google can better crawl and index it. There are many different factors that need to be looked at during this phase including optimising your site architecture, writing your meta titles, internal linking and so on. What you need to know is that this is about fixing the issues on your website itself. Depending on your arrangement, you may need them to liaise with your web development team.
- When: Second month onwards
- Duration: The bulk of it is done in the first two months but on-page optimisation is typically an on-going process
Typical Activities During On-Page Optimisation
The on-page optimisation phase can encompass a huge list of activities. In general, those can be placed in the following categories:
- Fixing Crawling & Indexing Issues: Maximising your crawl budget and ensuring that there is enough information for Google to better understand your site
- Relevancy Signals: This may include improving your page content or optimising your internal link structure
- Optimising Link Equity: Ensuring that your link equity flows to the most important pages in your website
Modern SEO campaigns require that you create quality content and post them regularly on your website. Your SEO will need to ideate and create content that will appeal to both your human readers and Google’s search engine crawlers. From your end, you will need to provide your SEO company with as much relevant material as you can get to make their job easier.
- When: After on-page optimisation phase
- Duration: On-going, but may reduce in quantity in the later months or in subsequent years
Typical Activities During Content Creation
- Content Ideation & Creation: Your SEO should be providing you with a list of content ideas each month for your approval before they begin writing.
- Content Uploading & Scheduling: Your website should already have a blog, or your SEO should have created one for you in the on-page optimisation phase. The content needs to be uploaded with the correct markups and meta tags and scheduled for publication.
- Content Promotion: Better SEO companies will also create your social media posts that are to be scheduled for release at the same time as your blog posts.
- Content Outreach (Depends): If your campaign involved the creation of a linkable asset, there should be an outreach element as well. This involves reaching out to various other websites to promote your content and to get them to link to your site.
As a manager, these are the main areas you need to be concerned about when managing SEO campaigns in Singapore in 2018. Of course, the glaring omission here is the Link Building Phase. The reason it’s not included here is that there isn’t that much ‘managing’ to be done, and we also believe that link building deserves its own article. We’ll let you know here once that article is ready. In the meantime, let us know in the comments below if you have any questions about managing SEO campaigns in Singapore in 2018.