If you’re looking for SEO consultant, agency, or services in Singapore, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are the things we’ll be discussing:
- What Is SEO?
- What Can SEO Bring To My Business?
- 1. The Singapore SEO Agency Needs To Have A Strategy In Place
- 2. Communication Of Strategy
- 3. They Need To Set Clear KPI’s
- 4. Make Sure They Get Results
- 5. Do They Have Testimonials From Singapore Businesses and Companies?
- 6. Can They Name Their Clients They Have Worked For?
- 7. Do They Offer SEO Training Courses In Singapore?
- 8. Do They Have Google Partner Status?
- 9. Are They Upholding Best Practices?
- 10. Look Out For The Classic Scam Agencies
- 11. They Should Offer Other Digital Marketing Services
- 12. No Lock-In Contracts
- 13. Are They All In-House?
- Next Steps
Did you know that there are more than 3.5 billion Google searches every day? With the sheer magnitude of this many potential customers searching for products and services, some of which you can provide, it’s a no-brainer that ranking better in the Google organic search engine results pages (SERPs) can help your business thrive.
This ranking and exposure can be achieved through SEO (or “search engine optimization” which is the process of optimizing your website), will allow you to not only rank in the 1st page of Google but also rank higher for search terms that people who want your products or services.
Doing SEO for keywords that your potential customers or clients search for is one of the most powerful marketing tools available in today’s day and age.
What Is SEO?
To be put in simple terms, SEO is providing a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing all the information that is relevant and required for the terms you want to rank for. They need to know this information to justify ranking you as #1 compared to the millions of other listings out there.
This information relay includes:
- “On-page SEO factors” like your site’s content and its meta tags
- “Off-page SEO factors” such as how many backlinks your site has (link building from other websites to yours), social media signals, listings of your business and the perceived domain authority of your website (the trust flow your website holds)
- “Technical SEO factors” like how quick your page load speed is and whether your site is mobile-friendly for starters
What Can SEO Bring To My Business?
Improving your search engine optimization will allow you to get in front of customers right when they are ready to make their purchase – instead of having to find them and sell them yourself before they have made their minds up. You can target customers not only in regard to the kinds of searches that have high intent for what you are selling, but you can also target customers all around the world (not only Singapore), expanding your reach way beyond that of traditional marketing mediums and channels.
If you’re thinking of expanding your marketing efforts, and want the kind of results that search engine optimisation can offer, whether it be for your own business, or for a company you work for, then it’s integral that you find the right agency who can provide the best SEO service to you and knows how to deliver in a competitive online landscape like Singapore’s.
We are going to cover what you need to know when you are deciding on an SEO agency to hire in Singapore to make sure you get the best results for your business.
1. The Singapore SEO Agency Needs To Have A Strategy In Place
One of the first things you need to keep in mind is their search engine optimization strategy. This is important because in order to reach the top in the current competitive landscape of search engines, it’s imperative that you have SEO professionals with in-depth knowledge working for you, not cut-and-paste agencies that will simply outsource you to other countries with sub-par specialists taking control of your digital marketing campaigns.
The agency you choose needs to implement the basic groundwork of good SEO, being keyword research and competitor research, but they then need to have the technical skills to be able to come up with a unique strategy that fits your industry, your Singapore locality, your business and, most importantly, your customers.
2. Communication Of Strategy
You must have clear communication with the agency you are working with to determine that they understand your goals, your industry and truly know what your customers want. As a result, they should be able to come up with an in-depth SEO strategies and plan that make sense for your business and you should be able to see directly how their efforts will lead to increasing your bottom line.
Also, another important aspect of this whole process is that they should be able to effectively communicate to you in a language you will understand. This is important to make sure they aren’t simply using big words they know you won’t understand so they can offer a sub-par service without you realizing it, which takes us to our next point – KPI’s.
3. They Need To Set Clear KPI’s
Quite similar to the communication points we were making previously, setting clear KPI’s (a.k.a. “key performance indicators”) is another big part of ensuring that the agency you are working with is a legitimate one and deserves your money. Many local Singapore agencies will try to be looser around the setting of KPI’s due to the nature of SEO. Search engine optimization generally has a lag time between implementation and results relative to paid traffic which is instant.
SEO efforts take longer to kick in as Google has to index your website again and re-set its position within the algorithm. But this does not mean that KPI’s shouldn’t be set and that the agency should not be held accountable to them. They should be held accountable.
Setting fair and reasonable KPI’s that take into account the nature of search engines is important. As long as you have pre-agreed indicators that need to be fulfilled, you will know whether or not the agency is delivering upon their promise. And your money is going to good use.
Another reason is that if the agency you are thinking of working with agrees to set KPI’s from the get-go, it is likely that they can deliver on them and are used to being held accountable. This is a very good trait which can help leave your mind at ease when allocating budget for this online marketing campaign.
4. Make Sure They Get Results
This is a big one and the most important section of this whole guide by far. Having an agency that serves Singapore and that gets results is something that you absolutely must ensure when choosing one to work with. The SEO industry is growing every year at a rapid pace and as a result, the market is becoming flooded with mediocre or even downright bad agencies, so you need to make sure yours is a winner.
Just as any good agency will usually offer you a complementary audit. They will also normally display some of the SEO results they have gotten for clients somewhere in their website. This is important when choosing an agency as you need to know that they are performance-based and not simply making vague promises.
If an agency has results they have achieved for clients displayed on their website showing increases in SEO rankings for specific keywords (or data regarding how many visitors or new leads they achieved for a client), chances are they track those metrics and are performance-based. This is what you need if you want to get the most out of your marketing spend.
5. Do They Have Testimonials From Singapore Businesses and Companies?
If the company’s website provides testimonials from real people, then that’s a great sign. If these people are actually real business owners that have gone out of their way to write a positive review and vouch for the agency, chances are they gave this client a good experience and that they could provide the same to you.
6. Can They Name Their Clients They Have Worked For?
Another big sign of a legitimate agency is to check what clients they have worked for. If they can display working with some great companies, you can trust them with your money as well. Also, depending on what industry you are in, it would be good to check if they are working with other companies that are very similar to yours.
7. Do They Offer SEO Training Courses In Singapore?
Training is big business nowadays. Doing it properly requires skill and a good reputation. For this reason, if the agency you are looking at offers training courses, workshops and seminars in Singapore, there is a good chance that they have a great standing in the internet marketing industry and know what they are talking about.
8. Do They Have Google Partner Status?
When looking for a digital agency to deliver your business results, whether they be in the form of direct sales or lead generation to grow your potential client base, using a Google Partner is important. Google Partners are web advertising agencies that have passed a stringent set of requirements in order to claim the status and badge.
These requirements are about performance and amount of digital spend managed. It also involves upholding certain Google best practices that prove that they are a genuine agency that does not involve themselves with illegal or shady practices. It also shows that they are relatively up-to-date with all of Google’s algorithm changes and best practice changes. These changes happen all the time in case you didn’t know. Your advertising efforts are likely to always be best-practice and up-to-date with the current standards as the company will want to keep their Partner Badge status.
9. Are They Upholding Best Practices?
When it comes to search engine optimization, there is “white hat” and “black hat” SEO. White hat refers to those strategies and tactics that fit within Google’s legal and best practice guidelines. Black hat, on the other hand, refers to all those practices that are not best practice or legal, and are simply manipulating the search engine algorithms in order to gain traction.
You don’t want your agency to use black hat techniques. If caught (which happens in most cases), your website will be penalized by Google – sometimes for long periods of time and crippling your search engine marketing efforts. Having an agency with a Google Partner badge ensures that they implement white hat techniques and are of a high-caliber of professionalism.
10. Look Out For The Classic Scam Agencies
Although SEO is an extremely powerful way to get your business in front of thousands, if not millions of people, it can also cause damage to your website if it is done incorrectly or by someone who is not taking proper care and caution – or simply is not educated or competent enough to implement SEO effectively. There are many Singaporean agencies online that take advantage of business owners with shady tactics, manipulation and not delivering on results. So here are some things to look out for.
- Firstly be cautious about agencies that do not deliver, and use the excuse that search engine optimization takes a long time and is extremely complicated to justify their poor performance.
- Secondly, be aware as mentioned earlier, of agencies that will use black hat tactics to boost your rankings – things such as bought backlinks or using link farms are a big misconduct in Google’s guidelines. So if you come in contact with an agency in Singapore that suggests any of these practices, it is best to take your business elsewhere.
Be careful of all the previously mentioned red flags and make sure you do your research on a company before reaching out and getting in contact with them… because it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.
Get A Free Audit
Most of the time if you are new to SEO, you will not understand the many concepts and technical factors that come into play when ranking your website. It might look pretty, but it isn’t optimized correctly. To find out all the flaws your website has, and all the areas you could improve upon, get a free analysis from an agency so that they can show you the many places in which you will be able to improve your site, and as a result, its ranking on the web.
Good agencies will offer free audits that are detailed and descriptive, giving you an overview of your site’s current standing with Google. It will also give you insights into all the areas that will improve that standing – such as changing up your content, tagging implementation, technical SEO requirements and much more. Then you will have a clearer understanding of how these changes will lead to you getting more targeted traffic and more clients.
So if you are struggling to see exactly what needs to be changed about your company’s website, or don’t understand how hiring an SEO company to work for you will bring you extra business then it’s best to get an audit done to find out everything you need to know, and understand the relation between improving your site, and driving more exposure and customers.
How To Get A Free Audit?
Most good companies will offer an easy section on part of their site to offer you a free website audit. It will prompt you to enter your website’s URL, which will then be used by whatever auditing software they have to find all the errors and areas to be improved on your site.
They will usually ask for some contact details so they can get back to you about the results and potentially set up a meeting to go over them. Usually, email will suffice. But entering in your phone number so they can talk you through the results over the phone is a good idea.
11. They Should Offer Other Digital Marketing Services
In addition to SEO, it’s important for an agency to also have a knowledge of related digital marketing skillsets. Under the umbrella of digital marketing, there are other services such as SEM (search engine marketing), SMM (social media marketing), web design, copywriting and content writing. All of these subsets under the umbrella of digital marketing relate and complement each other when used in conjunction. Having a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO is great, but it’s even better if they also have knowledge on these other key areas.
If they also know about SEM, they will be able to complement your search engine ranking with paid Google Ads. There have been studies to show that these two working together works better with the algorithm than just having one.
Or, if they have knowledge of copywriting, they will be able to write better search engine listing descriptions, so that even when you are ranked on page 1, your listing looks more enticing than all the others.
The last example we will use is the scenario that they also have knowledge of SMM, in which case there has been links to show that traffic coming from social media could also help in the way the Google algorithm ranks your site. Therefore, it’s still a valuable skill nonetheless.
Even if you only want to start with SEO, later down the track if the opportunity arises, you may want to complement it with some of these other marketing channels to get even better results, and chances are you will want to do it all through the same agency.
12. No Lock-In Contracts
The lock-in contract is commonplace in a lot of Singapore’s SEO agencies, and it might be best to find one that doesn’t engage in this policy. Keep in mind, if you find a great agency who ticks all the boxes mentioned here, but they have a lock-in contract policy in place, don’t give up on the opportunity to work with them. It is simply an added bonus if they don’t have one. Many good agencies will offer a no lock-in contract or starter period to try out their services, this is a great sign that they are committed to serving you first before you make any commitments.
At the end of the day you want someone who gets you results, not just SEO work, if they can’t deliver in the initial period set out, why should you have to stay paying their monthly management fee? Find an agency that is confident you will choose to continue working with them as you will find value in the results they deliver, not one that tries to lock you in with no promise of results.
13. Are They All In-House?
The way an agency’s team is structured is also a critical factor in the kind of service you will end up receiving. Make sure that the SEO agency you plan on working with has a solid in-house team that is dedicated to seeing your campaigns through to success. On the other hand, if you go for an agency that doesn’t have a solid internal team or doesn’t give you a dedicated account manager, it’s likely that they are simply outsourcing the work elsewhere, leading to less care being taken for your account, and a higher likelihood of lackluster results.
Find a company with a dedicated team and ensure you are happy with the account manager you are assigned with, they should make you feel very confident in their ability to increase your search engine presence and always update you with interesting insights and new opportunities.
Signs Of Good Team Members
A good SEO team will display certain qualities when interacting with you and your business. The first one is professionalism, scheduled meetings will always be on time, email updates will always be sent whenever there is an issue with your account or an update rolling out with the algorithm that requires action.
The second is that and they will always be looking for new ways to help your business grow, showing you important insights that link to new potential opportunities, and taking care and pride in your business instead of just doing the bare minimum without being committed to growing your business long term.
As mentioned before, the digital arena is growing at a rapid pace, and anyone who doesn’t start investing their time and money into growing their company’s digital presence will surely be left at a disadvantage, maybe not right now, but in the next 10 years. It will be a no-brainer to have a digital presence for every business. To get ahead of the competition, you will need to hire the right SEO professionals to get the job done properly and effectively.
The steps laid out in this article should be the checklist you use to determine what agency you want to work with. Singapore has many SEO agencies and consultants, but through using these steps as filters, you should be able to see the legitimate professionals from the rest of the crowd. Make sure when you are making a decision on who to work with you don’t simply choose based on pricing. SEO is a higly-specialized service, so expect to pay a fair fee to get it done properly. Done properly, it will deliver results that make it well worth the investment. A good professional service will come at a price, and there is nothing wrong with paying that cost.
The first step is to make the leap. Whether you already know a little about digital marketing and SEO, or if this is the first time you have heard about it, the hardest part is getting started. Once you have found a great agency to work with, they will go through the whole process for you, explaining all the strategies, techniques and technical requirements to get your website and business where it needs to be online.
A whole world full of customers await. They are searching for you. You just haven’t been found yet. So get in contact with some SEO agencies. Get an audit done and take the leap to a better online presence and all the benefits it brings for your business today.