SEO Guide for 2022
One of the most versatile aspects of digital marketing is search engine optimisation (SEO) in Singapore. SEO is ever changing as Google constantly updates and introduces new mechanisms and implementations that may affect SEO performance. As a new year brings with it new SEO practices, it is important for us to integrate new practices with old ones, keeping our digital marketing strategies future-proofed and flexible. Here’s a guide of what you can expect in 2022 to help you best optimise these upcoming SEO practices.
On-page SEO, or on-site SEO, is the process of optimising web pages for specific keywords in order to improve visibility and traffic in search results. In on-site SEO, page elements like title tags, headings, content, and internal links are aligned with keywords. Since on-page SEO is heavily focused on content and searches, we will explore the importance of content, voice search and video search in the next portion of this article.
Importance of Quality Content
Content and SEO are always intertwined. A page without content will not be properly indexed and ranked by search engines. Relevant and useful content drives traffic to your site, encourages visitors to stay for a longer period of time, which increases your search engine ranking and adds real value to your business’ bottom line, benefitting it in a variety of ways.
Quality content generates higher click-through rates (CTRs). This is because people can find answers to their queries, making them more likely to click on your links. As CTR is an important factor that Google takes into consideration when ranking your site, a higher CTR translates to better rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). Quality content also generates backlinks (links from another website to yours). Google perceives backlinks as an indication of credibility and trust, which means the more backlinks, especially quality ones you have, the higher you rank.
While quality content delivers many benefits, crafting it takes time and effort. Typically, it is recommended to engage an SEO company to help. Nevertheless if you would like to try your hand at it, here are some useful tips to get you started.
Create lengthier, quality content
Comprehensive content allows for more keywords and backlinks – elements that Google perceives to be highly important. At the same time, it also allows viewers to remain on your site longer and get the information they require in one place.
Think about your keyword selection
Keywords help search engines understand what your content is about and provide inspiration for content topics. Maintain a reasonable keyword density in your content as Google penalises overuse of keywords. When crawling your site, tags and meta descriptions help Google rank your content properly. Ensure that these are enriched with strategic keywords and use alt tags to describe images.
Optimising SEO with Voice Search
Voice SEO will remain relevant as more people use mobile devices for web searches.
Voice SEO is the process of optimising keywords and keyword phrases for searches with voice assistants. Voice searches accounted for 20% of Google searches, 25% of Bing searches, and 10% of Baidu searches in 2018. Voice SEO will remain relevant as more people use mobile devices for web searches. It is ideal for small businesses to capitalise on this by registering Google My Business (GMB), to manage their presence on Google Search and maps. This is because location-based searches (e.g. restaurants near me) are one of the most common voice searches.
There are many benefits of voice search.
Queries are answered quickly
No longer will customers have to go through the slow processes of opening a browser, typing in a query and waiting for results to load. In addition, many devices provide hands-free voice search, allowing users to multitask.
Increase the credibility of your brand
Brands with high voice search rankings are perceived to be more trustworthy. Afterall, Google is known for delivering relevant and credible search results. Voice search also improves your local SEO campaigns. By taking into account the way people talk in their region and utilising keywords and phrases that match, boost in rankings and visibility is made possible.
It is becoming increasingly important for all brands to optimise voice search and remain relevant in their digital marketing efforts.
- Use ‘why’, ‘who’, ‘where’, ‘what’, and ‘how’ statements to target your customers more easily. As voice search only gives one answer, narrowing it down accurately ensures that your result is the one that appears. This can be done by evaluating common questions asked and optimising your content with the right question-based keywords.
- Since users leverage voice search in a conversational manner, create conversational content. Avoid big words and do away with the professional, corporate tone. Just be straightforward and simple.
- Remember to also maximise your Google My Business (GMB) page. With GMB, there is a high chance your result will show up whenever a relevant ‘near me’ query is asked.
Video SEO optimises your videos, allowing them to appear in SERPs for relevant keywords. Google introduced two new changes to Google search that would help videos reach a broader audience – clip markup and seek markup.
Clip markup manually marks important segments in your video with timestamps and labels to help users quickly navigate to specific points in a video.
Seek markup requires indication of important segments in the URL structure so that Google can automatically and directly link users to those segments that are relevant to their searches.
Clip markup and seek markup allows different segments of your video to appear as search results, which is more intuitive for users to find what they are looking for. It differentiates your video and sets it apart from competitors with unique segments and labelling. Should your video contain content that is relevant to popular queries being asked, your chances of appearing on Google’s SERP is significantly enhanced. The higher your rank on Google’s SERP, the more people will click on your video, boosting your CTR. Ultimately, this translates to improved SEO and online visibility and presence.
So, how do we leverage these systems effectively?
Well, start with creating an engaging thumbnail. Thumbnails are the first thing a searcher will see, thus it has a major impact on clicks. Video SEO metrics and CTRs increase through captivating thumbnails. Ensure that your thumbnail is also relevant to the topic discussed in the video.
After the thumbnail comes your video’s title and description. Your title and description should be engaging with the appropriate keywords targeted at users. Apart from video elements, take the time to also evaluate the content of your website. Make sure it is relevant to the video and optimised for SEO. At the end of the day. When both your written content and video are of good quality, you can boost rankings and search engine visibility.
Technical SEO involves optimising your website and server, making it easier for search engine spiders to crawl and index your site. This helps to improve your organic search results. By optimising technical SEO, a website is assured to have certain technical characteristics such as a fast loading time, secure connection and responsive design, which search engines prefer. Aspects including UI and UX, core web vitals, the E-A-T system and mobile optimisation also influence technical SEO performance.
UI and UX
User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are common terms in web design and development.
User Interface (UI)
It measures the user-friendliness of a webpage, taking into consideration elements like ease of navigation and placement of buttons.
User Experience (UX)
UX accounts for factors such as website load time, potential technical issues and user satisfaction. Search engines are rewarding web pages that incorporate
UI and UX elements with higher rankings. Therefore, brands should ensure that their website meets the needs of users. They can outsource web design and development to SEO companies in Singapore that offer UI, UX and SEO services.
A webpage with a good UI and UX will attract more customers. An aesthetically pleasing design with intuitive features encourages user engagement and enables customers to navigate the site easily and obtain the information they require. Not only does this seamless experience quicken the customer journey buying process by guiding visitors to take specific actions, it also creates the perception of professionalism and competence, which increases trust and credibility. Good UI and UX keep users on your site longer and helps with overall customer retention. Users are more inclined to stay and explore their options. This creates a positive brand experience and improves your SEO.
Often, brands tend to focus solely on the appearance of their website and neglect UI and UX. Here are some ways to improve the UI and UX of a website.
- Optimise your content. Create informative, relevant content with the appropriate keywords, title and meta tags. In this way, users get answers to their queries and domain authority and webpage reliability increases.
- Make your call-to-action (CTA) buttons visible and intuitive to enhance conversions.
- Optimise for mobile. This caters to a large audience, increases website responsiveness and improves page load times – important aspects of UX and UI.
Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are part of Google’s strategy to improve the UX of websites. It consists of three components: loading times, interactivity, and visual stability, all of which impact your site’s SEO ranking. Core Web Vitals features unique benchmarks, including page loading speed and CLS score, that influence UX significantly.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
The first component is known as largest contentful paint (LCP), which revolves around the time spent for a website to load. Ideally, it should take a page 2.5 seconds or less to load.
First Input Delay (FID)
The second component is referred to as First Input Delay (FID), taking into consideration how long your website becomes fully interactive. It should take at least 100ms for a webpage to become interactive for users.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
The third component is known as Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which is related to your site’s visual stability – movement of a visible element from one frame to another. Focus on achieving a score below 0.1 as much as possible.
Core Web Vitals serve as a guide to how well your website’s SEO performance is. It indicates the importance of fast load times, responsive interactivity without delays and stable visuals.
So, how do we optimise these factors?
Measure your site’s Core Web Vitals with Google Core Web Vitals report, and obtain information about your site’s performance based on status, metric type, and URL group. Knowing where you stand allows you to make the necessary improvements needed.
Next, consider integrating lazy loading. Lazy loading loads the most critical elements of your site first for easy navigation, which improves your LCP and FID. No doubt, almost every site contains images. Compressing such images (without compromising on quality) improves loading time to boost your LCP score while proper dimensions for images and embeds positively impacts your CLS score.
All these combined enhance your SEO rankings and web visibility.
Learn more: A Guide To Google Core Web Vitals In 2021
Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness
Expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T) influence SEO, determining the overall quality of a webpage. E-A-T ensures that Google returns accurate, truthful, and useful information to its users. When a content is deemed to have E-A-T by Google, it ranks higher. This then begets the question – how does Google constitute expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness?
When it comes to expertise, it is all about having a high level of knowledge or skill in a particular area.
Profession can play a part in expertise, for instance, an accountant writing about finances. Experience also accounts for expertise like a cancer patient writing about their experience with cancer.
Authoritativeness is determined by reputation and credibility. Reviews, references and recommendations by experts are factors of authoritativeness. When others perceive your brand as the go-to for their queries, authoritativeness is established.
For trustworthiness, legitimacy, transparency and accuracy comes into play. Content must be accurate and factual. Citing trustworthy sources also leads to high trustworthiness.
With a better grasp of how E-A-T is determined, certain steps can be taken to ensure all E-A-T requirements are met for a boost in SEO rankings, visibility, and customer loyalty. Building backlinks and having multiple sites, especially credible ones that lead back to you, establishes strong credibility. In addition, keeping your content accurate and up to date is important to take note of too. Outdated or inaccurate information will lower your E-A-T and will not perform well in SEO rankings. As mentioned above, reviews contribute to your brand’s perceived trustworthiness. Therefore, it is recommended to generate reviews and respond to them. Having many reviews, particularly positive ones demonstrates to Google and consumers that you are of high E-A-T.
Optimising content for mobile devices means tailoring your website to provide the best experience possible for visitors accessing the site on their mobile devices. Mobile usage has increased dramatically in recent years. Google reports that mobile device searches are now more common than desktop searches. In fact, 57% of websites are accessed using mobile devices.
Apart from the growing number of mobile users, mobile optimisation should be a core digital marketing strategy due to the benefits it delivers. It provides improved user experience by ensuring faster download speed and website load speed. This is possible because the code for a mobile ready website is structured in a way that makes it compatible with mobile. In this way, users’ time spent on a site is also extended with less technical issues. Mobile ready websites enhance mobile SEO, ranking higher in mobile-friendly search engines. Currently, out of 200 retailers surveyed, 1 in 3 have not incorporated mobile optimisation. As such integrating mobile optimisation early gives you a competitive edge.
There is no denying the advantages mobile optimisation brings, however, there are some important aspects to take note of.
Always ensure that your content is readable by using larger and legible fonts. Since mobile screens are smaller, readability can be a common issue. Users should not have to pinch and zoom in order to read your content. Make your interface actions easy as well by incorporating easily spotted universal action buttons. Viewing a page on a phone provides the opportunity for plenty of actions that can drive conversions including visiting socials or maps.
Enable scrollable content
Scrollable content offers uninterrupted reading, making it easy to absorb information for the best experience.
Off-page SEO or off-site SEO refers to actions taken outside of your website to increase your ranking in SERPs such as social media and local SEO. It is all about improving user perception, popularity, relevance, trustworthiness and authority beyond leveraging your website.
Today, social media is omnipresent. Almost everyone uses social media to stay informed, entertain themselves, and communicate with others. Social media platforms enable businesses to reach a wider audience and target diverse segments of the population. Despite its non-direct contribution to SEO and ranking, social media certainly has an effect on it. By sharing content and links, brands gain exposure, which positively impacts CTR and eventually SEO.
As of 2019 and 2020, the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounted to 145 minutes a day
Social media allows for extensive content distribution. Not only is your brand sharing the content, but anyone who comes across the post and is interested might share it. When your consumers do the sharing for you, your brand reaches all sorts of people with different demographics. This habit of sharing gives you the opportunity to gain backlinks, a huge part of SEO. People tend to overly depend on SEO to get traffic, forgetting that social media is efficient in that aspect too! Staying active and posting new content everyday gets people interested in your business with a higher chance of them clicking to your website. With the amount of people on socials, getting traffic to your website through social media should be effortless. As of 2019 and 2020, the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounted to 145 minutes a day. This also means you get greater visibility on your brand.
Though brands are increasingly implementing social media into their SEO strategy, simply creating a social media profile and posting is not enough. Certain approaches are required to fully reap the benefits of social media. Here are some ways to optimise your social media presence.
Content must be shareable
Afterall, sharing is the heart of social media. Sharing can be made easy with social share buttons, compelling and persuasive CTAs and valuable content that users might deem useful.
Include all relevant information
Another core of social media is ‘stalking’. It is the norm for consumers to ‘stalk’ brands on social media. Your profile influences how customers perceive you. Thus, do have your business title, description and brand message ready in your social profile.
Visuals are highly relevant to social media where attention spans are shorter and most are seeking entertainment. When it comes to images, optimise them for social and SEO by sharing high resolution files that are not pixelated or using relevant file names with keywords for SEO.
Local SEO: Google My Business, Reviews and Ranking
Local SEO in Singapore is the process of optimising how and where the results of your website appear in search engines. The results of your searches for products and services may vary depending on where you are located. This is the work of local SEO. Companies that invest in this area of marketing are shown repeatedly on maps and in SERPs. Therefore, many SEO agencies in Singapore deliver local SEO services as part of their SEO package.
Local SEO helps you gain greater visibility among locals as your business is targeted at users who are near you. In fact, 72% of local searches resulted in an in-person visit within 5 miles of the user. Moreover, local SEO optimises your website to rank higher in Google Maps and attracts more customers through your GMB profile. Without local SEO, you are competing for space in the search results with other businesses from all over the world. Consumers could potentially miss you out completely in such a competitive and over saturated landscape.
After implementing local SEO into your digital marketing strategy, the next thing you need to do is understand how to use it in the best possible way to achieve the best results.
Firstly, optimise your Google listing (Business Profile) by entering all of the information requested on your GMB account dashboard. The information will appear in the Google Search Knowledge Panel, Google Maps, and Google Search local results for greater online presence.
Source: Search Engine Land
Secondly, get your customers to leave positive reviews for your business and reply to them. This optimises your GMB listing and encourages more local clients to purchase from you. 85% of customers believe online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Thirdly, leverage Google Keyword Planner to filter out popular keywords based on your location. This creates greater relevance with local customers.
Last but not least, maximise the use of social media. It is free, accessible and convenient, with everything you need to kickstart your campaign. Facebook even has a recommendations and reviews system that encourages more local customer reviews to improve local SEO. For starters, strive to fill in as much information as possible within your page’s “About” section.
These are some of the essential trends and guides on how you can navigate SEO in Singapore effectively. They bring plenty of opportunities for your business, and are sure to revolutionise digital marketing. With the start of the new year, there is no better time than now to start planning and strategising. Try integrating these techniques into your campaigns to kickstart digital marketing in 2022 the right way!
At OOm we are a full-fledged digital marketing agency offering a suite of solutions including SEO services in Singapore. Contact us today and we will start optimising your digital marketing strategy and SEO for the better!