KNOWLEDGE BASE International SEO For Singapore

International SEO

 

INTERNATIONAL SEO FOR SINGAPORE

 

Why international SEO is important

You want people to be able to find you when they do web or mobile searches, and having a global SEO strategy increases your chances they will easily find you in your new market.  If you intend to expand into additional global markets beyond Singapore, a global SEO strategy is that much more important. Your international SEO strategy can go from optimizing in English for every country you enter, to localizing in the languages of each additional country or group within each country.  Your resources will dictate in part how you proceed, but a targeted SEO optimization strategy in Singapore and in each additional country is ultimately your best approach for success.

 

SEO for Singapore

People are connected and are looking for products online.  SEO should be part of your marketing strategy, but your site and apps can be effective in English.

  • As shown on Alexa.com, Google.com.sg is the most visited site in Singapore and Google.com is the second most visited site. Google.com.sg offers its site in English, Mandarin Chinese, Bahasa Melayu, and Tamil, the four official languages of Singapore. English is the language that bridges the various cultural groups and is the language used to teach school, and the other languages are also used within their ethnic groups.  

  • Most of the top 10 sites in Singapore listed on Alexa.com are English-only sites.

  • People are connected and have the opportunity for searching online for information and products.

    • Over 80% of the Singapore population uses the Internet

      • Of those who learned about a product they later purchased through research, 60% found out about it via websites or apps

    • There are an average of 1.5 mobile connection for every person

      • 35% of people who use smartphones look for product information online

Source: Google’s Consumer Barometer

 

Steps to implement SEO for Singapore

As you plan out your strategy for SEO optimzation in Singapore, here is a high-level list of steps you should take.

 

Evaluate your current state

In order to develop a strategy for international SEO, it’s important to understand the statistics for your current website and mobile application. Create a simple report that highlights the following by country. If you are currently only in one country, you can still learn a lot from evaluating the following:

  • What countries are you currently getting traffic from?

  • What language do the people speak in those countries?

  • What is the traffic volume you are receiving and how has it trended over time?

  • What are your top international referral sources?

  • What are the keywords people are linking off?

  • What are the top pages they are linking to?

  • What is the landing page conversion rate by country for each offer?

  • How is the behavior for each country different from your current customers?

  • How do you rank for your top keywords within each country’s search engines?

Knowing this information will give you a baseline from which to plan a go-forward strategy.

 

Pick Your Language Strategy

Decide if you plan on creating an SEO strategy using only English, or if you plan to localize using language. Since English is one of the official languages in Singapore and most people speak it, you may be safe to start there. However, if you have a specific target market that culturally associates with one of the other languages or an industry that operates primarily in something other than English, you may want to consider those languages as well.  

 

Understand the Industry you are Targeting and the Competitive Landscape with that Industry

If you plan to expand into Singapore and then other Asian countries after that, you can start by becoming familiar with each market and focusing your optimization efforts there before jumping to the next country. SEO requires time, energy and constant focus. Some of the aspects you’ll want to understand about an industry include:

  • How big is the industry?

  • Who are the key companies in the space?

  • How do the other companies market online?

  • What search engines do the people use in your target countries?

  • Google.com.sg and Google.com are the top two search engines in Singapore

  • What devices do Singapore customers use?

    • You can use Google’s Consumer Barometer to get an understanding of the research and device habits of Singaporeans and as noted above, 35% of people with smartphones, 16% of people with tablets, and 26% of people with computers use them to look for product information online

  • What are the top keywords being searched?

Resources: Google’s Keyword Tool can help you look at top keywords and if you use Moz.com, their tools also can assist with this research.

  • What are the identifiable search trends? Is there seasonality?

 

Identify your target audience and understand them for SEO

The Globig Knowledge Base provides you with an overview on the culture and demographics of Singapore, but for a truly effective laser focused marketing plan, you will want to know even more about your specific target audiences so you can create content that is relevant to them, promote that content where the prospective customers can be introduced to your content, and market to them in a variety of ways.

Understanding search and buying behavior for your target audience is also important so you optimize for the best keywords to increase the chances that your site will be one of the top results of their searches.

 

Create a plan that you can follow diligently and measure to see how effective your efforts are  

Start with your local competitors. Identify their most popular content, pages being linked to, and by which sites. By understanding what’s working in the Singapore market, you can then see how best to approach your own strategy.  Sites that link to your competitors are also great prospects for you if you reach out to them.

It’s important to articulate how your product and company will be different from your competitor by clearly doing so in your SEO and marketing efforts.  Otherwise, customers won’t understand why you’re a better solution.

 

Prepare your website for International SEO

There are several very specific on-site optimization efforts you’ll want to implement in order for search engines to recognize your website in global markets, including Singapore.  

 

International domain strategy and country specific website

You will have to decide how best to internationalize your domains and prepare your website. Here are the basics:

  • Make sure that the site is easy to crawl so it can easily be read and indexed for search engines by web crawling programs

  • Make sure the site is easy to index

  • Each country should have their own web structure if your International SEO strategy is by country

 

There are several options for setting up your website(s) for different countries. Most important is that you have unique page URL’s so search engines as well as your website users can easily identify the country and language. We recommend not using translation tools that automatically translate in a site for international SEO since search engines won’t be able to identify that you have unique pages for each country and point them there.

Option 1- Unique Domain Names

The first option is to purchase the different domain names in each country so you have the top-level domain with the appropriate country code. Examples of this would be Globig.fr, Globig.sg, Globig.uk, Globig.de. This is probably the most expensive and complex way to manage your international pages and also requires the most work for your internal team.

Option 2- Country Specific Sub-Domains

Another option is to have the same country code top-level domain but use different sub-domains for your different sites. Examples of this would be http://fr.globig.com, http://sg.globig.com, http://uk.globig.com, http://de.globig.com.  A subdomain is typically easier to manage than buying the different top-level domains and requires less work for your team.

Option 3- Country Specific Sub-Directories

The third option is to set up sub-directories for each different country. Examples for this would be http://globig.com/fr, http://globig.com/sg, http://globig.com/uk, http://globig.com/de. This choice is also easier to manage from a corporate headquarters as compared to Unique Domain Names.

 

Hardwarezone.com.sg is a good example.   They have 5 country extensions to cover Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Hardwarezone.com.sg footer showing site language options

 

Localize Your website

For best results, have native speakers assist with translations instead of using only translation tools. Many of the translation services offer native speakers to assist with automated translation tools. Another option is reaching out to university students for their input. The elements to localize can include:

  • URLs - language localization

  • Title & Meta Description

  • Website Branding

  • Phone, currency, time, delivery info/maps

  • Menu and navigation

  • Headings

  • Pricing

  • Images

  • Content - reviews, descriptions, articles, videos

  • Colors

  • Easy to crawl and navigate menu in new language

  • Localized content

Having natives speakers help to localize your website and content will make it more appealing and optimized for search

 

Pay attention to technical SEO considerations

  • For search engines, note the country and language in tags such as hreflang annotations.

Resources: For a video on how to use hreflang for language and regional URLs 

-Include annotations in XML site map

Resources: For an article on using a site map to indicate alternate language pages

  • Consider using a country specific Internet Provider if you can, some larger companies offer this as a service, especially for email marketing

  • Make sure your site is mobile optimized and has responsive design

 

Maintain ongoing optimization

  • Monitor your SEO keywords to see how you’re trending

  • Monitor your competition

  • Monitor overall SEO trends and Google changes to their algorithms

  • Evaluate your efforts to see what’s working and what isn’t

  • Test, test, test

It is worth your time to develop a strategy for SEO optimization in Singapore and any other country you enter. Having a targeted approach to international SEO will help you reach the right customers in any market you enter.

 

Globig Resources

We’ve found that the best overview and resource for you to learn how to optimize your international sites is Moz.com. They have excellent guides for International SEO and step-by-step instructions to follow.

 

To see Alexa.com's list of the top Sites in Singapore

How-To International SEO from Moz.com

International SEO Slideshare

How-to 'International SEO’ from SEO Watch

An International SEO Map 

Learn more about cutomers and culture in the Consumer Barometer 

Multilingual Sites - Google Resource 

Use hreflang for language and regional URLs- Google Resource

Using a sitemap to indicate alternative language - Google Resource

Hreflang Tag how-to by Moz.com

 
 

Learn more about consumer behavior

http://www.comscoredatamine.com/

 

http://www.tnsglobal.com/get-connected/connected-life

 

 

Industry and Competitor Analysis sites

Alexa.com 

Similarweb.com

Google Display Network

 

 

Keyword Tools

Moz.com- Multiple SEO tools 

Yandex Keyword Stats 

SEM Rush- Competitive Data 

SearchMetrics- Enterprise level SEO and Content tools 

 

Other International SEO Tools and Resources:

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077?hl=en

http://www.themediaflow.com/tool_hreflang.php

http://flang.dejanseo.com.au/

http://robhammond.co/tools/seo-crawler

http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ISO_639-1_codes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1_alpha-2

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/62399?hl=en

http://blogs.bing.com/webmaster/2013/04/26/announcing-malware-re-evaluation-and-geo-targeting-in-webmaster-tools/

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/flagfox/

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/flag-for-chrome/dbpojpfdiliekbbiplijcphappgcgjfn

http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db

http://twitterfall.com/

http://www.google.com/trends/explore  

http://www.talkwalker.com/alerts/

http://www.promt.com/

http://www.wordreference.com/

http://www.proz.com/

https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/

https://majestic.com/

http://linkrisk.com/

https://socialcrawlytics.com/

http://simplymeasured.com/

http://cognitiveseo.com/

http://simplymeasured.com/free-social-media-tools/

http://linkprospector.citationlabs.com/

https://followerwonk.com/

http://www.buzzstream.com/

http://topsy.com/

http://adwords.google.com/d/AdPreview/?__u=1000000000&__c=1000000000

http://searchlatte.com/

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/foxy-proxy-standard/gcknhkkoolaabfmlnjonogaaifnjlfnp?hl=en-GB

https://addons.mozilla.org/es/firefox/addon/foxyproxy-standard/

http://www.hidemyass.com/

http://www.trustedproxies.com/

http://hidemyass.com/proxy-list/

https://moz.com/researchtools/rank-tracker

http://sescout.com/

http://authoritylabs.com/

http://www.advancedwebranking.com/

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/seo-serp/ofoaoaloeipdofknnaapbmdddddioklg/related

http://tools.seobook.com/firefox/rank-checker/

http://www.google.com/analytics/

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

http://www.internationalseomap.com/roi-calculator/

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077?hl=en

KNOWLEDGE BASE International SEO For Singapore