Mar 2011

Rachit Dayal is our Principal Consultant who has been working on SEO projects since 2004 and is one of Singapore’s leading voices for Enterprise SEO, including having constant search engine optimization as part of the marketing mix for large projects like corporate sites, directories, portals etc. This article is part of his SEO in 2011 series.


Why SEO is more important than Social Media, Mobile and SEM today

In mature web companies and projects, Search engine optimization is considered more important than social media, mobile and SEM because it mainly deals with getting better visibility for your site on search engines in the long run and uses various methods apart from on-site optimization. Social Media and SEM are great tools for drawing large amounts of traffic over short periods of time  but are not as cost effective in the long run compared to SEO.

Of late however, Search Engine Optimization in Singapore and Social media marketing in Singapore are being merged to produce a form of hybrid SEO technique. This is because search engines don’t put only standard web results on their first pages but also include news results, blog results, video results and sometimes even real time results from social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. This media can therefore also be used as an avenue for attaining better site visibility instead of only depending on the conventional web results that SEO concentrates on.

Another way to look at it is the potential to tap into the high PageRanks that most social media sites have. Links from such sites to your websites could help you achieve a higher PageRank which would eventually mean more traffic to your site.

However, since most traffic from social networking sites is from social surfers, one has to introduce incentives in their site in order to lead to conversion through purchases or subscription for various services or products. To find out how to best maximize your SEO campaigns by tapping into the immense power of social media, talk to your SEO Company Singapore to come up with the best mix of the two.

Submit your XML sitemap to get some instant traction

XML sitemaps are tools used to instruct search engines of the page structure of your website, how often content is updated on the site and when new content is added to the site. This enables the search engine to crawl and index all your existing pages and increases the speeds with which new pages are indexed. Also sites that are frequently updated get crawled more often by the search engines.

This is a very fundamental tool for improving PageRank but is greatly overlooked by many. XML sitemaps improve the indexing and crawling of your pages by search engines since they act as a map to show the engine where to concentrate on (where changes are made on the site).

When you submit an XML sitemap to a search engine (using a tool like Google Webmaster Tools), you are in effect providing it with a central place where all URLs to your various pages can be found. This page is usually written using the XML protocol and it is from here that the sitemap draws its name (i.e. XML sitemap). The sitemap acts as a guide to the search engines letting them know which pages you want indexed in your website.

XML sitemaps also ensure that search engines find pages that would regularly be difficult to get indexed by the engines. An example is flash pages whose content cannot be easily found by crawlers.

Submitting your XML sitemap could lead to instant feedback directly from the search engines in terms of robot index-ability. SEO Companies in Singapore could create and submit your XML sitemap as part of their SEO services.

Rewriting Content and Site Architecture is critical to Search Engine Optimization

For search engine optimization to be successful, two factors are very vital. These are content and the site architecture. For the content on a page to be optimized, it has to be rewritten around a keyword or keyword phrase so that it is highly ranked by the search engine crawlers. Content is also important because it is what brings visitors to your page and therefore must always be of the highest quality possible.

However, before we can add any content to a web page, we must first build the site in a fashion that’s easy to navigate for both users and search robots. This makes the design or architecture of the site a very important element in any SEO campaign. The site architecture must allow for the addition of permanent and temporary content on the page, as well as for the entry and editing of unique title tags and Meta tags behind the page.

In addition to this, the style sheets used to create site hierarchy must also allow for optimal use of header tags in the page. Lastly, before links can be directed into the site, internal linkage throughout the site must first be efficient to allow for easy crawling by search engines.

Good site architecture makes it easier to carry out other SEO activities such as SEO copywriting and link building and also allows for site owners to make page markups to further increase the potential of their sites. To ensure a flexible site architecture that will guarantee allowances for future optimization, you are advised to enlist the services of a SEO Company Singapore since they have the necessary expertise in web design and SEO services.

Web Usability is important to keep search engine visitors on your site

The priority of any online business is to make the visitor’s experience on their site an enjoyable and perhaps unforgettable one. Usability refers to making the website in such a way that users have the ability to find what they are searching for quickly and efficiently (without having to strain). It is a known fact that web usability redesign greatly increases the conversion rate of a given web page.

A website with a good usability index allows the visitors and potential visitors the ability to find the right information, get excellent customer support and find the products and services they are looking for with relative ease.

A great deal of website usability is enabled by using a good site architecture which ensures effective design and implementation of functional content. To make content easy to read, bulleted lists and bold lettering can be used since these are likely to hold a readers concentration more than a whole page on flowing prose. Graphics can also increase the usability of the site by invoking the visitor’s creative side and drawing their attention to the content on the page.

Apart from content, other factors that could affect the usability of your site include the navigation of your site, which should be easy and enjoyable and should use layouts that many are likely to be accustomed to, and the download speeds of your pages. On average, a page should take at most 8.6 seconds to load since research has shown this to the average amount of time a surfer is likely to wait before losing interest on the page.

The best SEO Companies in Singapore have expertise to ensure the design of your webpage maximizes its usability. Web Usability as a field is still not very mature in Singapore, but many companies offer Landing Page Optimization services with their search advertising campaigns – these in effect, work on the usability and content of specific pages.

Rachit Dayal

Is the Managing Partner at Happy Marketer, and handles clients with needs in Web Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Google AdWords, Website Design and Conversion Consulting.

As Singapore’s first Qualified AdWords Professional and one of the first Analytics Qualified Professionals in the region, Rachit has been on the forefront of search marketing in Singapore since 2004.

But as this industry comes into maturity, he believes now is when the fun is starting – when clients dare to dream of exciting campaigns, and we can finally show tangible positive ROI from all marketing campaigns.