Understanding the Basics of Search Engine Optimisation

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Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is one of the most effective marketing tactics that any business can undertake. This is especially true in Malaysia where you need to stretch that digital marketing dollar as far as it can go. However, SEO is not an easy topic to understand as it can be quite technical and complex. In this article, we interview one of the best SEO agencies in Malaysia, CloudRock, to give us a quick introduction on SEO and how it can benefit your company.

What is SEO?

According to Search Engine Land, Search engine optimisation refers to

…the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.

Major search engines include Google, Alta Vista, Bing and Yahoo. Think of search engines as the powerful gatekeepers for the entire Internet. They help people find what they need. This includes helping your potential customers find the items or services that they want to buy.

SEO refers to the activities that you can execute on a website to ensure that it shows up higher in the search engine results pages or SERPs. This can be quite complex as Google has search engine algorithms that utilise hundreds of different factors. The importance accorded to each individual factor is also unknown. To make things even more confusing, we also know that Google has admitted to running thousands of experiments every year in an effort to make their search results better.

This means that search engine optimisation is an ongoing process and you need to constantly update your website.

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Introduction to SEO

While SEO is quite complex and can encompass many different activities, it would be easier for you to define them according to those below:

  1. On-page optimisation
  2. Off-page optimisation

This is a simplification, but most SEO activities can be placed under those two buckets.

On-page Optimisation

On-page optimisation refers to optimisation the factors that are present on your website to ensure that Google can easily crawl and understand what your website is about. Here are some of the major aspects of on-page optimisation:

Meta Tags

Meta tags help search engines better understand what your page is about. These are mostly not seen by the user, but are critical for search engines.

Site Architecture

Site architecture refers to the way that your site is organised. Your site architecture should be able to easily allow link equity to flow around your website. It should also be easy for website visitors to navigate.

Internal Links & Anchor Text

Your internal links and the type of anchor text that you use is one of the most important indicators for Google and it tells them what content can be found on the page.

Website Speed

One of Google’s main concerns is to show the best possible website for each query. Website speed is a big factor in that because a slow website makes for a bad user experience.

Off-page Optimisation

Off-page optimisation refers the signals from other websites that help Google determine if your website is a credible and authoritative source. This usually refers to links. Think of each link as a vote to your site. The more link you have, the more authoritative your site is considered. Of course, not all links are considered equal. One link from The New York Times is much more valuable than a hundred links from smaller sites.

Learn More About SEO

There are many authoritative sources on search engine optimisation that you should check out if you are keen to learn more about SEO. It will be worth your time as SEO is a highly sought-after skill. Some sites written by SEO experts that you may want to read include the CloudRock SEO blog, Moz as well as CognitiveSEO.

Have you tried using SEO before? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!


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