The Paradox of Teaching SEO
As an associate trainer with the Singapore Institute Of Retail Studies, I’ve been teaching a beginner’s SEO class for the past 7 years, averaging once every three months. I find it paradoxical that while my primary objective as an SEO agency in Singapore is to encourage clients to invest in our services, I simultaneously teach my students at SIRS how to get started on SEO independently. Some even manage to make notable progress on their own.
The Core of SEO: Understanding Its Mechanism
The burning question: Can you do SEO on your own without involving an SEO agency? To truly grasp this, you need to first decode how SEO functions.
The Main Objective: Leads, Sales, and Revenue
Above all, the core objective of everyone venturing into SEO is to boost leads, increase sales, and, in short, make more money. However, it’s crucial to realize that SEO isn’t a direct money-making machine. That is to say, while it optimizes your website around specific keywords, making search engines favor you and rank you higher, its main function ends there. Full stop.
Everything else—how SEO can lead to more leads, more sales, and consequently more money—is an interpretation of its potential. For instance, when your website ranks higher, it certainly means there’s a greater likelihood of people visiting it. Moreover, this could translate to more inquiries, leading to more business opportunities and sales.
Unexpected Pitfalls: Not All That Glitters is Gold
But here’s a twist. In my 9 years of journeying through the labyrinth of SEO as an SEO agency in Singapore , I’ve stumbled upon cases where websites that stood proudly at rank 1 on Google plummeted in their business objectives. They had a surge of traffic, a flood of inquiries, and yet, they faltered. Such instances were, to put it mildly, unexpected surprises, moments that made me question the status quo. However, the detailed exploration of these cases and how to sidestep such pitfalls is a narrative for another day.
In other words, while search engine optimisation can potentially pave the way for business growth, it’s not always the magic wand we envision it to be. Success in the digital realm requires a blend of strategy, understanding, and consistent effort.
Understanding Google’s Perspective: Relevance and Credibility
Putting everything about leads and money aside, and just dealing with how SEO works and what it does, let’s go deeper. Google, in super layman terms, evaluates sites based on two pillars: relevance and credibility.
Breaking Down Relevance: Making Sense to Google
Imagine drafting an essay without a title. It’d be perplexing for the reader, wouldn’t it? Similarly, for Google to comprehend the essence of your website, it needs markers of relevance. For instance, the inclusion of your targeted keywords in titles acts as a beacon for Google to understand your site’s context. That’s just one facet of establishing relevance.
Credibility: Earning Google’s Trust
Meanwhile, once you’ve ensured Google gets the gist of your site, the next challenge is credibility. Put yourself in Google’s shoes. Naturally, you’d want the top spots reserved for the most credible sites for a given keyword, right? After all, Google’s stellar reputation as the world’s best search engine comes from its knack for delivering the most pertinent results. Sites brimming with rubbish or spam never make it to the pinnacle.
The difference between being on page 10 at rank 10 and being on page 1 at rank 1 for a specific keyword translates to a staggering 100 websites that Google deems more credible for that keyword. And that’s a hill to climb! Assuming your site now make sense to Google and is found in one of the many pages, how do you build your credibility and earn Google’s trust?
Building Credibility: Content and Backlinking
Content Reigns Supreme
Firstly, if you’ve ever pondered over the dominance of certain sites, like Wikipedia, on search engine rankings, the answer is deceptively simple: content. Ever noticed how platforms like Hungrygowhere, Smartlocal, Moneysmart, and Timeout often top the search results, especially for a Singaporean audience? Well, that’s the magic of content. In other words, content is undisputedly king.
It does more than merely occupy space. Content establishes authority and cements your position as an expert in your field. After all, Google’s ultimate aim isn’t to rank any Tom, Dick, or Harry, but to bring the experts, the industry leaders, to the forefront. Above all, it’s about providing users with the best answers. So, by churning out abundant and valuable content, sprinkling it with the right keywords, especially in titles, you fortify your site’s authority. Consequently, this nudges your rankings upward.
Now, let’s move to the other key factor: backlinking, or as some like to put it, external references. In the realm of SEO, backlinking is essentially when another external website creates a hyperlink leading to your website. This could be via an article, a profile page, a discussion in a forum, or even a shoutout on social media. Every such link counts as a backlink. But, not all backlinks are created equal.
You might think, for instance, that purchasing a bundle of backlinks off a platform like Fiverr could be a shortcut to boosting your site. However, it’s crucial to understand that this tactic can backfire. Google, being the tech giant that it is, isn’t easily fooled. If procuring top rankings were as easy as buying cheap backlinks, every spammer would be at the top, right?
This brings us to the concept of Domain Authority (DA) or as some refer to it, site authority. Every website has a score out of 100, signifying its authority. The higher the authority of a site linking back to you, the more valuable it is for your own site’s ranking. Think of it as an endorsement from the web’s elite circle. On the other hand, if you’re gathering backlinks from low authority or even dubious sites (like some of those offered on Fiverr), you’re essentially diluting your site’s credibility.
The Competitive Landscape: More Than Just Knowledge
The framework sounds simple, right? Optimize your site, churn out content, and build backlinks. However, that’s only half the story.
The Competitive Field: It’s Not Just About Knowing, It’s About Racing Ahead
Imagine it’s like an F1 race. Your competition isn’t idling. You aren’t the only person who know this, and is doing this. SEO Singapore competition is a real thing. After all, in most cases, there are sufficient SEO data which shows the the top 3 rankings in Google does brings a huge myriad of business benefits. So you can expect them to drive ahead, full throttle. So, if a competitor is churning out 20 articles monthly, to gain an edge, you’ll need to produce even more. Just understanding SEO doesn’t guarantee a pole position; it’s the relentless effort, just like in an F1 race, that clinches the victory.
To our original question, can you do SEO on your own? Absolutely! But, are you willing to do more than what your competitors do? For instance, if they’re crafting more articles than you, are you ready to surpass them? If their website boasts 30 pages, can you ensure yours does too, if not more? If they’re securing 10 authority links every month, are you prepared to hunt down or purchase even more? Your move!
The Real Challenges of DIY SEO
The tangible challenges of doing SEO on your own include:
The Daily Grind: When Repetition Meets Ambition
Firstly, the monotonous nature of SEO tasks, such as daily content creation and backlinking, can wear anyone out. For example, think about sitting down day after day, crafting articles, scouting sites for backlinking opportunities – it’s a tall order! Moreover, in a bustling metropolis like Singapore, where the pace is frenetic and most folks are swamped with white-collar duties, finding the time for such consistent efforts can be daunting.
The Technical Maze
Subsequently, let’s consider the technical hurdles. Beyond the mundane tasks, there lies the intricate labyrinth of SEO specifics. How do you optimize your on page content effectively? What about performing an SEO keyword research? You will also need to learn how to fine-tune meta tags, buy authoritative backlinks, or ping Google with every new link. In additional, dealing with off site SEO and technical SEO? On top of that, how do you keep an eagle’s eye on your competitors, discerning their strategies, and the links they’re procuring?
However, with all that said which sounds technically intimidating, I’ve witnessed some individuals, particularly the younger, tech-savvy generation, successfully maneuvering this maze. They harness state-of-the-art software like SEMRush to streamline tasks and display an unmatched zeal to delve deep, dissecting each challenge.
If you’ve got such an individual on your side, congratulations! The journey might be a tad smoother. But, without such expertise, it’s an uphill battle that many abandon midway.
A Peek Behind the SEO Agency Curtain
Meanwhile, from a Singapore SEO agency standpoint, it’s a two-pronged approach: devising client strategies and executing them. While the façade might seem very Singapore-centric, diving deeper reveals another facet. Often, agencies maintain their client-centric approach upfront, but the actual nitty-gritty, the execution, is frequently managed by teams overseas. For example, while the agencies here stay laser-focused on serving their result-oriented Singaporean clients, they have project managers coordinating with their overseas counterparts, managing content creation, backlinking, and more. In the same vein, they often structure long-term service contracts, ensuring consistent results over time.
To conclude, the realm of SEO is intricate, demanding, and intensely competitive. It’s an ongoing race, with many laps to complete and hurdles to cross. You can choose to drive solo, but be prepared for the grind. Alternatively, partnering with an SEO company in Singapore offers its own set of advantages and challenges.