Woes Be Gone

We know that there is a lot to understand about SEO and how we conduct the campaign for you. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from the people we work with in the past few years.

On Our Services

Yes, to an extent. Although our SEO packages have different quantities of keywords to target and track, we can be flexible on a case by case basis, to track additional keywords that you want to target for first page rankings.

But the additional keywords would have to be closely related enough to the main ones that we are targeting. For e.g. if we are targeting 10 keywords related to “pet food Singapore”, it would be okay if you want to add 2 more keywords like “dog food Singapore” or “vegan dog food Singapore”, but it would not be helpful or encouraged to add keywords like “dog training Singapore” or “dog walking services”.

It’s best to focus on keywords that are related to 1 topic or theme at a time. If you wish to add more topics or theme groups, we suggest you upgrade to the next bigger SEO package that allows for more keywords.

Yes, as it is a necessary prerequisite before we start our main SEO activities, we do the website audit and optimisations and changes at the start, and this is included in our standard SEO packages.

However, depending on the type of website and the amount of content that needs to be audited and optimised, we may have to charge additional fees if the work needed is substantial.

Contact us with info about your website to find out more.

Besides SEO, we do also provide SEM services on Google Ads and Google Display Network for select clients who have the budget and right fit of strategy and feasibility.

We used to also do social media marketing services as well, but have decided to focus and specialise on our expertise and best result-attaining capability, which is SEO.

However, should you prefer to also do social media marketing in addition to SEO, just discuss with us. We may work something out through our partner companies that specialise in it and are better at it than us.

We also have a sister company that specialises in web, software and app development services. Check them out at Ambient.sg.

We are an agency and consultancy. The SEO services you can buy from places like Fiverr are limited to only one aspect of SEO.

It’s like buying raw materials to build a house by yourself (Fiverr) VS engaging a professional architectural and construction firm to design and build a house for you (NightOwl.sg).

When you engage us, you engage a professional SEO agency that knows how to:

  • Choose the right backlink sources
  • Know what is the right keyword anchor text ratio
  • Know the right pace to build backlinks
  • Formulate the right SEO and backlinks strategy
  • Construct the right content strategy
  • Audit and analyse your market potential in search
  • Audit and analyse problems your website is facing
  • Navigate and steer the SEO campaign towards success when faced with setbacks
  • Know what needs to be done at every exact moment every step of the way
  • See the big picture and also the tiny details to know how to piece everything together to make SEO works.

All of the above you cannot get from a Fiverr SEO vendor selling backlinks for $5 ~ $100.

  1. Our PortfolioRankings and Reviews speak for themselves in attesting to our SEO experience, expertise and capabilities.
  2. We are selective in choosing our clientele – we don’t take more than 2 companies within the same industry, so your competitive interests are taken care of, and we only take on clients after thoroughly assessing that SEO will truly help their business.
  3. Unlike some other SEO agencies that offer cheap packages in the lower hundreds just to get the sale while unrealistically guaranteeing first page rankings in 3 months, we will be transparent and objective with you from the very start, by assessing the relevant data available, to tell you if doing SEO for your business is feasible and worth the time and money.

No SEO can absolutely guarantee with 100% certainty that your website will rank on the first page for your target keywords. Any SEO that says so is lying to get the sale or is hiding some clauses in their terms and conditions.

While we have extensive experience with SEO, there are also thousands of other factors that can work against us, not to mention the ever changing Google ranking algorithm.

We do however guarantee that our SEO will bring significant increases in the organic search traffic that comes to your website. This will come from the right choices of the right keywords that carries value for your business.

Contact us to make an enquiry to find out more how our guarantee works.

Our Skype handler is “TheNightOwl”. Be advised that our office hour is from 9 AM–5 PM (UTC+7/Singapore time).

Of course. If you are in Singapore, just let us know the venue and time. Otherwise, Skype/Google Hangout conference is okay with us.

Absolutely. Most of our clients are Singapore-based, and we’ve done well in ranking for keywords like “product / service providers Singapore”.

Some of our clients are multinational or can cater to an international audience, and we’ve ranked them for target keywords in the Google domains of various countries too.

On Billing

Yes, while we sign our clients to a 12-month contract, they can opt out as long as they give us 1 month’s advanced notice. But we do not recommend it. As emphasised already, to fully maximise the impact of SEO on your website, it takes a long-term game.

We’ve found that a 12-month projection is the safest and most common timeline for ranking objectives to be achieved.

Although there are very rare exceptions, SEO campaigns of less than 12 months often don’t get satisfactory ranking gains.

Yes, though we prefer you to stay with us for a while. As mentioned above, SEO is a long game. An ongoing commitment to SEO will maximise the results.

On SEO

As part of our strategic planning, we do “competitive analysis” which includes “spying” on your competitors that are ranking highly in the search results, where you want your website to be.

But not to worry! The “spying” tactics we refer to are totally legal, as they rely on readily available data which most non-SEO’s don’t know where to find or how to read.

As SEO is partly a zero sum game, where you have to displace an incumbent to rank high up in the search results, competitive analysis or (legal) competitive spying is necessary.

What is involved in this competitor spying? Again, note that all these information and data are readily available via SEO tools, some from Google itself, and involve NO hacking or ‘social engineering’ or deception whatsoever. For some of them, it’s as simple as using the browser’s check source code function on a target website.

We look at: what keywords your competitors are ranking for and estimate how much traffic they’re receiving, where do their backlinks come from (since backlinks are an essential component of SEO), a timeline of their backlink building process, the anchor text distribution, what is their site speed, what is their content management system, how SEO-friendly is their underlying HTML code.

Don’t worry if some of the terms are too technical and you don’t understand them. We do.

They are not just jargons thrown around to make us sound impressive. We know what each term means and more importantly we know how to make use of the data and information we gain to your advantage, but only if you’re one of our clients.

Yes. As demonstrated by our Portfolio, Rankings and Reviews, we have witnessed first hand how our SEO has helped many businesses in Singapore grow not only their revenues and profits, but also their brands and expanded their companies.

SEO drives business results exactly because it helps businesses target the most interested potential customers a business could possibly have, right at the moment those prospects are looking for the products or services that the businesses offer.

While other online advertising or marketing channels interrupt a target audience’s activities (e.g. a Facebook ad interrupts a person’s leisurely browsing of his newsfeed, so does a YouTube ad interrupts a person’s watching of an entertaining or educational video, etc), SEO beats all of the other marketing channels as it delivers to the exact audience right at the very moment they express their desire for a product or service, with wallet ready to buy.

The key to how SEO achieves this is in choosing the right keywords or search terms that your target market typically types into the search engines. Knowing this data, and knowing how to execute an SEO plan to target these search terms is part of the strategic SEO services we provide.

In the strictest interpretations of Google’s playbook, doing anything at all to try and influence other websites to link back to you is frowned upon. The link building aspect of SEO is strictly not against any valid international laws of any government in the world regarding the Internet, it is just something that Google doesn’t like as it affects their rice bowl – which is their advertising revenue stream.

With that said, there is a spectrum of activities that can be generally considered white hat, grey hat and black hat in the SEO community.

To put it simply, white hat link building is extremely slow, depends on luck, depends on your real world personal networking and connections with the big leagues or celebrities, or depends on extremely brilliant but one-hit-wonder public relations manoeuvres – let’s face it – the average decent small business website have very little chances of being in this category.

On the other end of the spectrum, black hat link building is extremely tempting, it can get fast results, but they are often short-lived, or can be costly in the long run to maintain as you cover up your past shady tracks. It takes the manipulation of Google’s algorithms to the extreme. It can also sometimes be borderline illegal as some tactics may involve some form of hacking or defacing other websites to place a link to yours, or bringing down competitor sites through DDOS attacks.

Where most good SEO’s play, including us, is in the Grey Hat range – where we take a little bit of black hat concepts, and build backlinks while maintaining a clean white hat image in the eyes of Google as much as possible. Grey Hat SEO’s work based on social contracts and mutually beneficial relationships and understanding between one another, by building backlinks off each other’s websites and offering benefits in exchange.

For e.g. it is not illegal at all in any liberal capitalist country in the world for a website to sell space for a feature article and backlink inside it for a fee or other compensation, provided the content and activities related to it are legal. This is simply a Guest Post or Sponsored Editorial. Google may not like it, but both Google and that website and the one it links to, all work under a capitalist system, and it’s totally legal.

Unless you are an established website like BBC or Wikipedia, you will not get high rankings or good backlinks simply by writing great content.

Backlinks are a key component in how Google (and by extension the other search engines that don’t quite have as much of a market share as Google) assesses a website’s eligibility to be placed higher up in the search results pages. You can have a website with the best content, the best design, hosted on the fastest servers, and have all the technical SEO aspects perfectly taken care of, but if your website don’t have a single backlink pointing to it, chances are it will be ‘invisible’ in the search engines. This is undeniable.

Having fresh, useful posts regularly on your website is one of the best ways to achieve good rankings. They will attract visitors and provide new content for bots to index. Other sites may also link to the new information, increasing your domain authority and number of backlinks. But good content alone is not enough to get high rankings. It needs to be supplemented with a good comprehensive SEO strategy that covers link building and good on-site SEO architecture.

Unfortunately, yes. Some competitors might resort to unethical ways to outrank you. The best way to protect your website from negative SEO attack is to have someone closely monitoring and reporting bad backlinks your website is getting.

We’re glad to say this monitoring service is part of all our SEO packages.

When your rankings go down, it may be because of one of or several reasons. Here are the most common (but don’t panic, we have ways to manage):

In a Bad Case:

a) Google has released a new search engine algorithm that affects everyone;
b) Your website has lost some good backlinks, lowering your domain authority;
c) Your website was filtered by Google bots due to technical issues with your site;
d) Your website was penalized by Google’s employee due to violation of guidelines;
e) Your competitors have improved their SEO and now outranks you.

In A Good Case (Most Common):

f) If it’s a sudden drop after weeks of continuous climbing, it’s good news – Google is ‘testing’ your site against alternatives – we usually see this a lot just before it climbs back up again and continues climbing and stays at the top for a long time.

This is the most common scenario for our customers. Therefore, DO NOT PANIC if you see a drop. Fluctuations in rankings especially in the first 3 months of SEO is a normal thing. Google has successfully found you, saw the SEO improvements and is trying to get a sense of where to rank you against others, hence the fluctuations.

In this scenario, the initial rankings are restored in a couple of days or weeks, sometimes you might even earn better rankings than before.

Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to techniques that help your website become more visible in organic search results for the people who are looking for your brand, product, or service via search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

For an in-depth encyclopedia entry, refer to Wikipedia. Or the #1 authority on the SEO industry (for now), Moz.

Each client will have access to their own SEO tracking dashboard. You can compare your site ranking before and after you sign a contract with us. Also, check out our portfolio of ranking successes.

The time it takes to see results differ from client to client. It may take weeks, months, sometimes a year or more. It depends on what industry your business is in, the resources you are allocating for SEO, and the quality of SEO being done. Generally, our campaigns take approximately 2-3 months to see significant movements in the search engine. For lasting impact and stable rankings on the first page, usually anywhere from 7 to 12 months.

On SEM

In the simplest of terms, SEM is where you pay Google to put up your business ads instantly in front of your target audience, and you pay every time a potential customer clicks on your ads.

SEO is where you pay an SEO agency like us to work on having your website appear on the first page of search results in the natural organic listings – which, once you’re there, you don’t have to pay for every single visitor clicking to your website – effectively making it cheaper than SEM.

Usually you get lesser clicks from Ads as compared to clickthroughs from organic listings. Plus, you have to pay for every click on your Ad, whereas every click on your organic listings is free (you only pay the monthly SEO fees, which is a flat rate).

Hence SEO is more cost effective in the longer term than SEM. But SEM affords you the instant gratification of having your business exposed to your potential target audience from Day 1.

SEO takes time for business impact to be seen, as it usually takes a couple of months before we see the site ranking on the first page for any keyword that may bring in business value.

While the SEO campaign develops, businesses with additional marketing budget can see almost immediate returns if they run an SEM campaign alongside SEO as well.

As long as the products or services, and the ads are approved by Google, the ads can go up immediately, get exposure to the relevant target market right from the start, and potentially start seeing enquiries and sales coming in.

If the Math is right, the additional SEM component may help generate some returns that would help cover the ongoing SEO cost. Eventually, as the site reaches the first page because of SEO, you can consider reducing your SEM budget.

When doing SEM on Google Ads, you can choose to either pay only when people click on your ads, or pay when people view your ads, if it’s on the Google Display Network.

Although it’s flexible and you can start with a very minimal budget if you’re doing Google Ads on your own, we recommend based on experience to start with at least a $1,000 minimal budget. As this is a good amount to sufficiently gauge if the market responds well to your offers. Lower than this, it won’t be able to reach out to sufficient people to make a strong enough case.

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We serve both local and overseas clients. The humans in our team are awake Mondays to Fridays, 9:00AM - 6:00PM (GMT +8). They hibernate on weekends and public holidays. Our SEO link building and rank tracking "owls" though, they work 24/7/365. Say hello to us at hello@nightowl.sg!

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