A lot has been written about SEO in general and about SEO audits specifically.
Instead of taking a technical approach, we wanted to cover this topic from a marketer perspective with a focus on regional market of Malaysia and Singapore
Whether you are developing your website from scratch or in case of a revamp, there are too many factors/decisions that could affect your SEO that you need to involve your SEO expert/agency in the very early stages.
When it comes to technology, your tech team is usually facing different options to work with and they would make their choice(s) according to available features, pricing, ease to operate or simply in-house expertise. However, not all technologies allow for an optimal SEO optimisation, therefore it is fundamental to recognise which ones fit best according to this criteria.
If a page is not crawled perfectly, it will impact its indexation on search engines. A perfect crawling implies that the information provided by the page is identified and segmented properly, the crawling frequency is optimal and the page time load is the shortest possible
- DUPLICATE CONTENT
Very often tech teams are not aware of this issue and they would generate duplicate content dynamically and that would hurt your organic traffic
- USER EXPERIENCE
Any technical issue with regards to user experience resulting in slower pages, not mobile-friendly, not adapted to multiple devices, hard to crawl and index, would definitely results in higher bounce rates which are synonymous to bad rankings.
- INTERNATIONAL SEO
Let's say you are a Malaysia-based company and you want to expand your presence to Singapore and Thailand, you will need to make few strategic decisions: Should you go with a single domain.com, with a differentiation per language as domain.com/en (for english) and domain.com/th (for thai) OR should you go with a country code top-level domain CCTLD as domain.com.my / domain.sg / domain.co.th OR at last should you go with a language specific subdomain as en.domain.com / th.domain.com
Obviously there is no one-fit-for-all solution, it depends on the global long-term strategy that you have explored for your brand.
Other point to explore is search engines market shares. So basically if you have the ambitions to explore the Chinese market, you'll need to know that Google isn't the town sheriff, it is Baidu. So you'll need to optimise the Chinese version of your website according to Baidu rules and ranking algorithm. For Hong-Kong, we're back to Google monopoly.
They say when it comes to SEO, "content in KING".
True story !
- SEO-FRIENDLY CONTENT
Your content needs to be written and formatted according to best practices to be easily browsed and "understood" by search engines like Google.
- USER-CENTRIC vs GOOGLE-CENTRIC
The challenge here is to make sure your content is easy to explore both by search engines and by readers. Choices of key expressions, content tone, html formats are key but it's all about balance. Indeed a marketing-oriented content would not benefit your SEO expectations and a SEO-focused content would not sell your story to your readers.
Simply put, your business strategy sets your marketing strategy which sets your SEO strategy.
If your most strategic page is your pricing page with a listing of your products/services but very poor in terms of SEO content. What you should do depends on your business strategy.
If you launch a new category of services/products that consumers are not aware of, or your product is a niche, search volumes would be very low if not null. Therefore the SEO strategy wouldn't be keywords-related but rather focused on content marketing to educate your consumers and to target your audience on a wider scope.
If your project is targeted to all APAC region but with top priority to Australia, you might need to favor an english vocabulary that suits better the Australian consumer.
If your project is a news site, you need to make sure your content is eligible to Google News, that your pages are crawled frequently and that you cover topics the minute they start trending.
If your project is to promote a one-time event occurring in 2-3 months, then your SEO strategy is to not have a SEO strategy, because results might show in mid to long-term.
- Page rank
In SEO, we don't work on the scale of a website or a subdomain. We optimise page per page. Each page might have a different page rank per set of keywords.
- Author rank
When your writer/journalist/guest blogger enjoys a good reputation on social media, it drives SEO "juice" to your content. So a good long term strategy would be to build your writers fans and followers base.
- Social media
A page or content (of any form) shared on Social Media and commented sends a strong signal to search engines that it is relevant material and should therefore be pushed to higher rankings.
- Internal links vs External links
How do you link your pages of the same domain ? how do you link your sub-domains ? How do you link a very well ranked page from your domain to your other pages ? Should all your external links point to your homepage or your pricing page ? All those cases depend on your project and your overall strategy.
If all of your pages are linked to your business page but they don't cover same topics, it would be flagged by Google and it might hurt your SEO rankings.
If one of your pages links to 10 other pages then each one of those pages inherits only 10% of that first page SEO "juice". This case is very common with home pages.
- Local SEO vs standard SEO vs international SEO
Local SEO is when you aim to promote your service as law firm kuala lumpur, your content needs to be geo targeted to that market, your server located in that region, your links and social media interaction targeted to that region and your webmaster tools preferences set to that region.
Standard SEO is one your promote your services as law firm. There is no preference and no country or language-specific content or business strategy, a classical domain.com
International SEO is when you aim to promote your services as law firm in Malaysia and law firm in Singapore.
You'll need to align your SEO strategy to your business strategy, your target market(s) and of course based on opportunities for new business.
If you have any questions or comments on this, please share with me and i'd be happy to reply.
In the Meantime, you can visit our page for a free SEO audit for your project.