Every business’ goal is to have an extensive reach toward its customers and potential clients. Consumer targeting has always been of the highest priority when it comes to every business’ marketing and advertising strategy. In this era where most of the consumers are using the Internet to make purchases, every business, whether big or small, has to build their online presence.
From search engine optimization (SEO) to social media advertising, digital marketing is at its peak of existence. It is no secret that many businesses are looking for the best SEO services to stay relevant. In Singapore, search marketing has played a big role in targeting customers and in boosting their brand’s advertising.
Table Of Contents
- Part 1: SEO 101 In Singapore
- Part 2: Facing Reality: SEO Pricing In Singapore
- Part 3: Starting your SEO Campaign
Part 1: SEO 101 In Singapore
What Is SEO?
In layman’s terms, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process to get traffic or exposure from search engine results pages (SERP) in a free and organic way. It is what your online contents need to be visible on all search engine websites such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing through various strategies including keyword research and content creation such as blog articles, infographics, videos, dedicated web pages, and others.
Every search engine displays results and listings in their SERPs based on what they consider as relevant. The goal of every business is to rank their websites to be on the first page of SERPs.
What Are The Types Of SEO?
There are two types of SEO practices in which many marketers are familiar with: White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO. By its names, it’s easier to identify which is the good side and which one is the bad side. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
1. White Hat SEO
It covers strategies and techniques that abide by the rules and regulations of search engines. It’s easy to identify White Hat strategies. If your SEO company is providing services such as content creation, web design Optimization, and keyword researching, then you are on the right path. White Hat SEO is the best way to penetrate SERPs without getting banned or penalized by the search engine sites.
2. Black Hat SEO
These are the types of techniques that go beyond what is allowed by search engine websites. Black hat SEO is a tactic that deceits search engine sites to have more visibility online without following its terms and conditions. An example of Black Hat SEO is purchasing links or creating websites with duplicate content. Yes, these can definitely boost the traffic of your page but it is not allowed. Black hat is a risky strategy that can create a negative impact on your website and business.
Digital Marketing In Singapore
In Singapore, SEO is one of the strongest means of digital marketing. In our previous blog, we look into how Singapore fairs in the digital marketing arena. With its population of more than 5 million, Singapore is known to be one of the top online users in the world. 91% of its population access the Internet to search for information online. With this number, there is no doubt that businesses, small and big, need to dive into the digital marketing trend.
Aside from the basic SEO services in Singapore, SMEs are also embracing the rise of social media marketing. This opens a lot of doors for digital marketing agencies in the country to expand its services beyond search engine Optimization and search engine marketing.
In totality, digital marketing in Singapore is still in its toddler phase—learning and discovering new things along the way. But this is a great opportunity for both businesses and SEO companies in Singapore to explore, experiment, and launch new marketing initiatives. It is timely to hop on the ride as brands and businesses are still in the midst of realising the importance of having a digital presence.
What Are The Different SEO Services In Singapore?
Generally, there are two parts to search engine optimization: On-Page and Off-Page. Aside from these two, SEO comes with effective keyword analysis and in-depth reporting of the campaign’s progress and metrics. Let’s take a look at these factors more closely.
1. The Most Important Aspect: Keyword
Every SEO campaign starts with effective keyword selection. All SEO services, not just in Singapore, begin with careful keyword research and analysis. Effective keywords mean effective SEO campaigns. The ability of an SEO company to provide relevant and effective keywords says a lot about their strength as SEO professionals.
2. On-Page Optimization
Simply put, on-page initiatives are SEO strategies that are executed and implemented on your business’ own website. Apart from the keyword, it usually starts with a technical audit to identify which part of your site needs improvement in terms of search engine optimization. Also, part of the Onpage Optimization is reviewing the contents of your website and making sure that the keywords are used effectively.
3. Off-Page Optimization
To reach a wider range of users, off-page initiatives are essential to SEO. It refers to any activities initiated outside a business’ website to boost its rankings and build its web authority. Although link building is one, there’s more to do for off-page SEO. Competitor backlink analysis, for instance, is a method where the competition in a business’ industry is assessed in order to build a digital strategy of its own.
4. Reporting Methods
Putting together a great SEO report on a regular basis is one way for SEO agencies to build trust and keep their clients happy. But, it isn’t enough that it shows them what work has been done. It should also summarise key data and present actionable insights in a way that the clients will actually read and understand.
SEO Trends In 2021
Search engine algorithms evolve all the time. You need to improve your SEO strategies based on the latest changes and trends.
Watch out for these SEO trends that will dominate the digital marketing industry in 2021.
1. CORE WEB VITALS
Optimising your website’s user experience (UX) is crucial to success. You have to consider ranking signals such as mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, and HTTPS-security when improving your SEO ranking.
In that case, use Google’s Core Web Vitals as a guide for your search engine optimisation strategy. Google introduced Core Web Vitals in 2020. Since then, Core Web Vitals remain to be an essential aspect of SEO services.
Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that directly affect your SEO ranking. It consists of three categories: loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
- Loading – covers a ranking signal called “largest content paint” (LCP). It is the amount of time it takes for a web page’s content to load. The ideal loading time should be 2.5 seconds or less.
- Interactivity – refers to “first input delay” (FID), a ranking factor that indicates the time it takes for a page to become fully interactive. Your web page should take less than 100 ms for it to become interactive for users.
- Visual stability – includes “cumulative layout shift” (CLS), the unexpected layout shift of visual content. Achieve a CLS score below 0.1 as much as possible.
Focus on your Core Web Vitals this year to improve your SEO ranking. You can use Google Search Console to measure your website’s Core Web Vitals.
2. GOOGLE PASSAGE RANKING
In February 2021, Google announced that Passage Ranking has a direct impact on SEO. That means marketers and professionals should continue to do a great job of curating quality content. Instead of only considering the relevance of an entire page, Google will also examine a particular section of that page to evaluate its overall ranking and quality.
Google’s Passage Ranking update will make it even more essential to create long-form content for SEO. The passage indexing update lets Google take a section off a web page to showcase a portion of its content on a Google search engine results page (SERP).
Google Passage Ranking will consider a small section of content on your web page when evaluating its quality. Nonetheless, backlinks, on-page elements, and UX signals are still significant ranking factors. The difference with Passage Ranking is that a single web page has more chances to rank higher on Google.
3. VISUAL SEARCH
2021 is the year that will make visual search an SEO trend that you should consider. More people are using visual search, so expect it to grow in the following months to come.
It started when Google used visual search technology with the Google Lens app. It lets users take a photo to scan and search for other similar pictures. The app can identify 1 billion objects, which is an impressive feat for Google as a search engine.
Consider optimising your website for visual search. Visual search will also help your website to be mobile-friendly. It can even help consumers when it comes to shopping, looking for landmarks, reading reviews, translating languages, and many more.
According to Cisco, online videos will cover 82% of all web traffic in 2022, which is only one year away from today. More people want quality video content, so start a successful video marketing strategy in 2021 to reach more consumers.
Try optimising your videos for Google’s Video Featured Snippets, a form of snippets that shows a brief portion of a video. To make your videos appear on Video Featured Snippets, you can follow some effective video marketing techniques.
For starters, when creating a YouTube video, you can organise your content by dissecting it into different sections. Name these sections based on their main subject matters and topics. Doing so should help Google understand your video content better.
KNOW MORE: 4 Benefits of Video Marketing
Also, remember to optimise your video content for SEO. Insert relevant keywords into your title tags and descriptions to make your videos more searchable on Google.
5. SEARCH INTENT
Search intent has always been an integral part of SEO services. However, search intent will become even more relevant in 2021. You need to ensure that your content will match the user’s search intent. Failure to do so will result in a lacklustre SEO ranking.
Create high-quality content that consumers want and need the most. For instance, most people searching for “how-to” articles on Google want listicles. In that case, when writing “how-to” articles, remember to write the content in a list form with bullet points.
Another excellent optimisation strategy for search intent is to repurpose old content. For old blog posts with a high traffic, boost their on-page SEO and improve the user experience (UX). Doing so should make your old content brand new and rank higher based on Google’s latest search engine algorithms.
SEO Pricing: What To expect?
Similar to any other digital marketing initiatives, SEO is an investment that can take a significant chunk of a business budget. Weigh the pros and cons of each service and each package, leverage the price between agencies or freelancers, if you must.
Treat search engine optimization as a crucial part of launching a business, SEO can help you make your roots locally and internationally. As a part of it, SEO prices in Singapore can vary in between local SEO agencies and international ones, even more so with freelancers.
If you’re looking to boost website traffic, reach more audience, and increase conversions, you should allocate a sufficient budget for it right from the beginning. But, how much should you pay for SEO?
A good tip to remember is that some local SEO agencies (READ: Local SEO in Singapore) charge per service and some might charge per package. Decide on what factors you should focus on first and start from there.
Don’t hesitate to ask for basic pricing quotes from different Singapore-based or international SEO agencies to really know what services you’re going to pay for.
While the purpose of SEO is clear, the cost of implementing an SEO strategy can vary greatly depending on the goals you are looking to achieve and the type of strategies being implemented. It also boils down to several other factors such as:
- How big your website is
- How fierce the competition is
- How fast you want to make progress
- How many pages require optimization
- How many technical issues have to be fixed
- How many backlinks are needed to build a strong link profile
You can scout for an SEO professional or agency who can assess the needs of your website, draft a strategy, and help you achieve your goals with SEO.
It won’t hurt to make a few new connections with SEO freelancers or SEO agencies, you might not need their services right away but it’s good to be in touch with the local SEO industry.
Part 2: Facing Reality: SEO Pricing In Singapore
SEO Cost In A Nutshell
In addition to the factors mentioned above, the cost of SEO services in Singapore depends on the company you are hiring as well. Because they offer different packages at different price points, it’s up to you to determine which one is most likely to meet your goals within your budget.
Preferably, however, it’s better for you to start off with basic services such as:
- keyword research
- website audit
- content optimization
- link building
If your marketing budget allows, you can then invest in more services to bolster your campaign.
Maximize your newfound investment. Create more content that is relevant to your business. Keep your SEO localized (READ: What is SEO Copywriting and why is it important?) and centralized to the industry you are penetrating. SEO agencies know just about everything, in and out, about local and international industries.
What to Expect: Campaign Budget And SEO Pricing
Most SEO agencies these days follow a monthly charge for SEO packages. It is a preferred option among businesses when they need to outsource their SEO completely.
It is by far the most promising way to achieve meaningful results with your SEO efforts. As such, it requires commitment from both ends—hence, it’s essential to find a digital marketing agency that you can work well with, and effectively too.
It’s safe to say that the price of SEO packages in Singapore can be anywhere from $300 to $3000 per month or more based on the scope of work. For instance, if you’re looking to have more keywords, more content submissions, and more technical issues to fix, then you might need to sign up for a comprehensive package than a standard one.
In addition, depending on your current rankings and competition, an SEO agency may also recommend you to include more keywords and strategies to your package to better optimise your website—and these come at a higher cost.
Furthermore, if you are in a rushed timeline and you want to see results in a shorter period of time, then you should be willing to pay more. But, even with the top-up, you should keep in mind that SEO takes time to take results—three to five months, on average.
Average SEO Pricing Models
Many SEO agencies in Singapore offer different pricing models. What follows is an estimate of SEO charges in Singapore and the services included in the packages.
1. Freelance SEO Package – Starting Cost: From $200 to $400 per month.
If you do a quick search online, you can easily find freelancers offering SEO services with very competitive prices. If you are on a shoe-string budget, going to a freelancer is definitely a choice to consider.
2. Basic SEO Package From An Agency – Starting Cost: $400 to $700 per month
If you’re a small business with little competition, then a basic SEO package can be recommended for you. In the first month, the SEO agency will typically focus on conducting a website audit, optimising the top priority pages, and start addressing issues. Content development and link building strategies will then follow in the succeeding months.
- Preliminary Assessment: website audit, competition analysis, backlink analysis
- Keyword Research: identifying a set number of keywords to be targeted using keyword research tools and/or Google Analytics
- Existing Content Optimization & SEO Copywriting
- Content Development and Distribution
- On-Site Page Optimization
- External Inbound Linking
- Internal Linking
- SEO Reporting
3. Advanced SEO Package – Starting Cost: from $700 per month onwards
On the other hand, a small business with the low-medium competition and less complex website can generally get by with signing up for an advanced package. Often, it takes into account more variables than a standard package and addresses more problems and improvements both on-page and off-page. It can be far more complex and technical than the other.
In addition to the upgraded version of services included in the basic SEO package, you can also get the following when signing up for an advanced SEO service:
- Social media management
- Blogger outreach
- Website design analysis
SEO requires consistent efforts in creating content, building high-quality links as well as a strong focus on optimising usability, boosting performance, and driving conversion. It’s difficult to find this kind of service at a cheaper price unless you’re working with an agency that has been in the industry for quite some time and has mastered the art of producing quality at scale.
Hiring a company that offers cheap but low-quality service can affect not only your rankings but hurt your reputation as well. So, it pays to remember that while you may save some cost by subscribing to cheap SEO packages, it’s not always the best decision to go.
Going Beyond Search
SEO is a continuous process that should be at the core of your digital marketing campaign. The ability of your website to consistently rank in the search engine depends largely on how you maintain your SEO activities.
As mentioned above, depending on the competition and industry, it might take more than 6 months or so to see the results of SEO. Hence, you should budget for a minimum 6-month commitment to the SEO contract with the agency.
The Reality of SEO Pricing In Singapore
- Most SEO companies charge a monthly maintenance or retainer fee from $300-$3,000 a month. Some even go as high as $5,000 a month.
- Many SEO providers offer different packages as well as various pricing models such as hourly or per-project pricing.
- The most popular pricing tier for monthly fees is $500-$1,000 per month. Hourly rates, on the other hand, cost $100-$150 per hour on average.
- More experienced SEO agencies charge significantly more than less experienced companies.
Is SEO Worth Spending?
We can’t stress further how SEO is a great investment for your business. While it takes quite some time to see results, you can rest assured that every dollar that you spend on SEO will deliver long-term improvements that you’ll reap as long as your company lasts.
So, now that it’s established that SEO is indeed an investment—the question now is how much you should invest in SEO.
Of course, it can still depend on what your goals are as well as how you are currently spending your digital marketing budget.
So, When Should You Start SEO?
If your marketing budget allows, SEO is an investment that should start sooner rather than later. Time is a valuable asset in SEO, and the longer you delay investing in a thriving SEO campaign, the longer it will take to garner the free traffic.
If you’re a small, one-person shop, then SEO is still a very important investment, but it may make more sense to perform SEO on your own than to hire an agency to handle it for you.
Part 3: Starting Your SEO Campaign
Is SEO Important For Your Business?
Why do you want to rank at the top search results? The answer is simple.
About 75% of people who search online don’t look past the first page of the first results. This means that if you want more customers to find and contact your business, you need to rank in top search results for keywords and phrases related to your business.
Research shows that the first page of organic search results has a 71% click-through rate (CTR), while pages two and three have a combined CTR of only 6% — a drastic decline.
Moral of the story? The higher you rank in search results, the more people will find and visit your site. This means that you can reach more customers and earn more revenue for your business.
Finding Your Best Match
Choosing an SEO company which truly understands what your business is about and the needs of your business is paramount to the success of your SEO campaign. It is important to ensure that your SEO company is asking the right questions about your business including questions about your experiences with online marketing, your expectations, and your company’s priorities in terms of marketing.
Whether you are starting out or a veteran in the industry, revving up your ranking using SEO should be a priority. With the market trends going up and down, you should be on your toes whilst managing other priorities. Keep in mind that SEO companies, whether local or international, should help you reach out to more people, prospective customers and clients alike.
Remind yourself about your priorities; are you planning to expand your business internationally? Launch a new product for another demographic? Ask your SEO agency about what’s the best course of action for each plan and don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion from another SEO agency.
SEO agencies should also help you look for areas of strengths and areas for improvement. They may offer search engine optimization packages with social media management services if they find your social media presence lacking. Make sure that they tailor their packages and services to the things you need the most.
Frequently Asked Questions
SEO is expensive and for 3 good reasons: It takes time to deliver results, it requires resources to build and maintain, and you are paying for the expertise of an SEO specialist to develop a strategy that’s customised for you.
While it takes quite some investment to see results, you can rest assured that every dollar spent on SEO will deliver ROIs for your business.
Every business is different and will have different SEO requirements. Sure, you can do SEO yourself but you should know that there will be a lot of work ahead and sooner or later, you will have to hire an SEO agency.
Outsourcing your SEO to an agency will give you access to the latest technology, resources, and a dedicated team of SEO specialists that will oversee your campaigns and strategies.
SEO drives quality traffic to your website which in return improves your organic rankings, boosts conversions, raises brand awareness, establishes brand authority, and ultimately increases your ROIs. Plus, with SEO, you don’t have to pay for ads.
SEO link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to your website. By doing this, it increases your website’s domain authority and helps to get your website on page 1 of Google.
There are many factors that Google will take into consideration when it comes to ranking your website. One of the most important factors is content relevancy. Having relevant and strong content puts you in a better position to score page 1 rankings for your website.
A good SEO strategy is essential to the success of your business and there are some best practises that you should focus on more than the others to stay competitive and maintain strong rankings:
Optimise for mobile, use secure HTTP, optimise page speed, create quality and relevant content, establish links, etc.