SEO & Digital Marketing Consultant in Singapore’s First YouTube Appearance
It was an impromptu session. Joe and I were to meet to catch up over lunch and then coffee and cakes. Joe surprised me with a Whatsapp message that he would be filming the session, and it will be our first video collaboration for his YouTube Channel.
Our meeting place was the control station of City Hall MRT. We arrived on time, and Joe wanted to introduce me to a new eating place. Turned out to be Food Republic at Capitol Singapore. Quite nice place to have lunch. As you can see in the above video, we had Bak Kut Teh (Pork Ribs Soup).
Balestier Bak Kut Teh at Food Republic, Capitol Singapore
By the name Balestier Bak Kut Teh, one would have thought it would be the famous Balestier Bak Kut Teh at Balestier Road. But I think this food stall’s name is only just namesake. Reason is Joe and I felt the food was not great. And I am very sure it did not meet the quality and standards of the great food at the original Balestier Bak Kut Teh.
I had the Pig’s Trotters, and I must say I was disappointed. It was dry and they served with so little sauce. The taste was not up to standard. And the meat had sauce and flavor on the surface, but when you cut into the meat, it was dry and very little taste.
Joe had the Bak Kut Teh, and he said it was no better. Lots of pepper in the soup. And that’s it.
We decided not to film the chat session at the food court as the lunch crowd grew, and it was not conducive. Joe suggested we move the filming to Lobby Court Swissotel. We had very nice tea sessions there before, and it was a great idea.
Coffee, Tea and Cakes at Lobby Court Swissotel Singapore
This little cafe has been around for a long time. Joe and I had been here a few times to have tea, coffee, cakes, snacks, finger food, and sandwiches while we chat and did some catching up. So it’s great we are back here for the same thing. But this time, I will be making a guest appearance on Joe’s YouTube channel.
Lobby Court has changed subtly since the last time we were there. The furniture looked a little different, and the seating arrangement was not the same too. Service was still great. We decided to each have coffee or tea with a cake. Here’s what I had:
This was the Cappuccino I ordered. Look at the ‘L’ word design on the foam. Joe said that it must be their signature to indicate Lobby Court. I thought it was a fantastic idea. But the ‘L’ could look a little better, and maybe a bit of details around it could help? The Cappuccino tasted all right. Not great. But all right.
I had the Chocolate Peppermint Cake with the Cappuccino. This was quite good. I love dark chocolate, and it had the right amount. Not too bitter, not too sweet. Although, secretly, I do like my dark chocolate a little more bitter. But I am considering what most people like, and I think this cake succeeded and will please most people.
Joe had tea and Tiramisu. I am not a fan of Tiramisu, so I did not had a taste of it. And in retrospect, forgot to ask Joe how was it. So, in short, I have no idea how it tasted. But I think it looked very well designed. Kudos for that.
If you had tasted the Tiramisu at Lobby Court Swissotel Singapore, do let me know how it tastes?
Hahaha. I was suprised when I saw Joe’s title and description of the video we made. I guess I overcompensated. Before filming started, Joe told me to speak up and more. He told me of other people who are mostly silent during filming, and he had to constantly nudge them to speak up and say more. So I mentally took note. And I guessed I must have overcompensated. Or am I just naturally chatty? Hahaha
Also, this is my first time appearing on a video for YouTube. And I guess I am not familiar with how things work. When I asked Joe for feedback, after the filming, he mentioned that it would be better if one person spoke at a time, and we took turns. He also mentioned that this was very impromptu, and I was not prepared for it. Still, I learned. Another mental note, speak slow and take turns speaking.
Regarding the Feng Shui bit, I am a believer of Feng Shui. But I am no expert. So it was not really a tutorial. Just sharing bits of info about Feng Shui, as much as I know.
All said, it was very fun! I must say I enjoyed it very much. And I am thinking of doing more videos. After all, I am a Internet Marketing Consultant, and I do believe that Videos are the future of Digital Marketing.
What do you think? Should I do more videos? Should I appear in the videos? Or just videos of food, places, etc without me in it? Comment and let me know please?
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Having your website on the 1st Page of SERPs for popular keywords or phrases that people frequently use to search for similar products or services like yours can increase the chances of visitors to your website or blog as well as be a long-term sustainable source of visitors. And to get to the 1st Page, you need to do SEO (search engine optimization).
And not just the type of SEO on your website or blog, which is also known as On Page SEO. You need to do Off Page SEO, which includes having social media accounts, online mentions, and creating backlinks for your website or blog. Just to name a few of the Off Page SEO tactics.
What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks are simply links that point back to your website or blog that is from another website on the world wide web. It is sometimes referred to as Inbound Links. Backlinks is one of the major factors toward gaining higher rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs).
The more Backlinks your website or blog has, the more you are telling search bots that your website or blog is popular or important. This is because when another website features a link to your website or blog, it is essentially a vote for your website. It is like a “thumbs up” from another source, and tells their audience that they think your website or blog is worth visiting.
Search engines, such as Google, will then give “plus points” to your website or blog, and when there is a search query relevant to your website or blog, it will appear in the list of search results. When you have a good number of quality Backlinks , there is a chance your website or blog will appear higher in ranking within that list.
Of course, technically there is more to it than just this surface level information I just wrote above. There are other things about Backlinks to consider; for example quality of Backlinks , relevance, PageRank of sites that Backlink to your website or blog, etc.
Also, please note that Backlinks are not the single determining factor for search ranking. There are many more factors to consider. But because this is a blog post about Backlinks, and specifically the purpose is to share a long list of directories for you to create the Backlinks, I will not go into all that here. Maybe in a later post?
How To Get Backlinks For Your Website or Blog?
Simple. But time consuming. I know because I too constantly add Backlinks to websites that I do SEO for.
See the long list of more than 100 directories featured below that you can access to promote your website or blog for FREE? Go to each individual link, and try submitting the url and required details of your website or blog to the directory or listing.
As mentioned above, I too frequently add Backlinks to the websites that I do SEO for, and I use this same list too. As such, I will constantly come back and review the list here. So do visit often to check out any new listing, or you can Email Me. I will add your email to my list, and send you updates. Comments welcome, too.
List of More Than 100 Directories to Promote Your Blog or Website for FREE
* Kindly note – The directories and listings here are Free at point of time of posting. Should the site change its free listing policy, that is up to the site’s discretion. Timotheus is not responsible for the external site’s policy changes and charges.
Businesses should recognize that the basics of marketing still applies to Digital Marketing. That is, there must be a Marketing Plan that details each Marketing Strategy and Tactic with clear Marketing Objectives for each, and how to achieve each objective.
The entire online marketing can be simple to complex, depending on what are the business goals, how fast to get to each goal, what are the funds available for each, and how the company designs it. A company can start with a simple marketing plan, and as it receives feedback and data, the business can add or remove options. Alternatively, when the budget allows, the choice is to have as many suitable and appropriate marketing strategies as possible, and add or remove when there is a need. If a business is not able to determine accurately on which part of its Digital Marketing is really not working, then issues may arise.
For many businesses nowadays, having effective Internet Marketing is a major plus and can also be very challenging. However, there are elements of Digital Marketing that are not and should not be easily discarded or even ignored. These are the most basic and also most important parts of Online Marketing.
Well-Built and Functional Website Design
These days, one cannot do business without a website. It is akin to the store front of your business on the World Wide Web. The design of your website becomes an important component of your Digital Marketing Strategy.
They say that First Impressions Last. And you should make a Great and Lasting first impression because in this fickle and fast online world, you rarely get a second chance after that. Think carefully on the entire design, especially User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX). Look at the design as a whole, and consider how the eyes of the people visiting your website will move across the screen, and what draws their attention.
Each button should be clearly displayed, and the link should direct your visitors to where they intend to be and have the information they want to know. Be Careful of Broken Links! If any parts of your website is not working, it may cause frustration to visitors, and chances are they will leave your site. Check for Broken Links regularly, and fix them immediately!
Your website should also be neat; the less clutter, the better. Remove buttons that are not necessary or place them under tabs. Place information on your homepage that are concise but still informative. Make sure you feature more of your business than other ads. Ads are great since you also get to promote other businesses, but having too many can make your site look spammy. Consumers will also feel agitated if they accidentally click on an ad instead of a button or tab in your site.
These are just some of the points to note with regards to Website Design and Development. There is a lot of ground to cover, and it would be more suited to be an entire article on its own or spread over a few articles. Watch for more articles that I will be writing soon about this.
Mobile Ready Website
Mobile phones today are no longer just for calling or sending text messages. They have become devices to take photos and videos, check emails, and even surf the Internet. As such, it is just common sense to make your website Mobile Ready so that visitors, who can be your client or potential client, can access your site even when they are on the go, and using their smartphones or mobile devices such as the tablet.
A more pertinent reason is because on 21 April, 2015, Google rolled out their mobile-friendly update (also known as Mobilegeddon), and released this statement:
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
So what does that mean for your website? Simply, it means that if your site is not optimized for mobile devices, you will see your rank drop in search results, and a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search to your website. It is well known that most people do not read beyond the 1st Page of Search Engine Results Pages. This will mean that chances of people discovering your business will be lower, you will get less traffic to your website, fewer leads, and ultimately this will affect sales.
Now, more than ever, it has become very important for you to make sure that your website is Mobile Friendly. And how to find out if your website is mobile-friendly? Google provides a very simple and easy to use tool to test if your website is mobile-friendly. Go to Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.
Enter your website’s url and click ‘Analyze’. The tool will analyze your website. If your website is Mobile Friendly, there will be a message to inform you that all is well. But if your website is Not Mobile Friendly, then there will be a list of issues for you to work on.
Organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
It is very gratifying to see your business on the first pages of Search Engine Results Pages, also known as SERPs. More importantly, it helps to increase Brand Awareness, drives more traffic to your website, and increase leads that can results in a boost in sales. For example, back in 2014, I usedSEO to Rank a Digital Marketing Agency on the First Page of Google and other search engines. Before the site was on First Page, there were only one or two emails or calls per week. After it reached the First Page, there were at least five emails and calls per day. Each was an opportunity that grew the business.
Of course to reach the First Page was not easy. It required a lot of time and effort. It is achieved with Organic SEO, which means that you use Search Engine Optimization techniques and tactics, such as On Page SEO and Off Page SEO, to cause the ranking of your website to increase naturally.
The first thing you need to do is to do Keyword Research, and find the main keyword phrase that you want to rank your website for. Then do On Page SEO that includes optimizing your Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Headers, Image Alt Tags, and more. Off Page SEO will require more work as it is creating mentions of your website on other websites by creating backlinks, listing on directories, social signals, and more.
As mentioned, this part of the Digital Marketing will require a lot of time and effort. And it is worth it when you see the returns. You will not see it immediately. But if you are doing your business for the long haul, then you will appreciate SEO Strategy as it is a long term strategy for long term results.
Engaging and Shareable Content Marketing
Contentis King. And Content Marketing may seem easy, but it is not. Content is not just producing articles or news about your business; it is also be about being informative, engaging and shareable. It should also have keywords that will be easier to find through search engines and will appear on organic searches.
According to a study made by business2community.com, while less than 10% of their respondents say that content marketing is not helping their businesses grow, on the same study, 73% claims of having improved brand awareness and 64% on increased traffic due to their content marketing efforts. This goes to show that engaging and shareable content marketing can create better opportunities for companies.
Another importance of Content is that recent Google Updates now view content as an important ranking factor. Google and other search engines love fresh content. So it is ideal to continually create fresh content for Content Marketing. Make sure you create not just quantity but more importantly Quality Content.
Investment in Social Media Will Become a Necessity, Not a Luxury
Social media has become a part of many company’s Digital Marketing Strategy. It helps them connect to a vast number of consumers in a matter of seconds. The feedback of consumers can be assessed through their posts in social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
Sharing contents and answering your consumers’ concerns through your social media accounts indicate how proactive you are in reaching for your consumers. In a study made by IDG or International Data Group in December 2012, 95% of consumers are using social media, with 44% indicating their purchase is affected by the product’s exposure in social media. This shows how significant social media exposure is for businesses, big or small.
In addition, there is something called Social Signals. There is a bit of debate regarding this. Some SEO experts have said that Social Signals play a part in SEO, and help a site to rank better. Some disagree. Google is not giving any clear answers on this. To me, I believe Social Signals do help with a site’s ranking. So, to me, a business must be active on social media. It is not a luxury. It has become a necessity.
Organized Email Marketing
Let’s face it. Email is here to stay.
When Internet came onto the scene, everyone loved emails. There was a kind of thrill receiving emails, and a voice that said “You’ve Got Mail!” But then, in time, people started to receive more and more emails. There were those from people they trusted. And then there were those that were spams and scams. People began to wonder if emails would die a slow death?
It did not.
Today, Exact Target reported that there are more than 3.2 billion email accounts in the world, 95% of online consumers use email and, 91% check their email at least once a day. That includes me.
Email marketing is now more effective than social media (for customer acquisition). It is economic and cost effective, personable, customizable, actionable, measurable, and the best part – it can be accessed almost anywhere now that we can read emails on mobile devices.
Yet, emails can become a bother to a consumer, especially when it is not sent in an orderly manner and the contents have no significance with the business. Have a schedule on the emails you will send to your consumers and remind them of how great your business is without exaggerating. Make sure that you send information that is relevant to your business, products or services and will also be useful on their end. Your email recipients will appreciate it more, and may even share about your company and your products or services.
* Tip: An area to look at – SMS Marketing. This is growing, and will get bigger in 2017, and beyond.
Marketing analytics is a crucial part of your Online Marketing Strategy. This will determine your company’s standing, how well your Internet Marketing efforts are affecting your business’ sales and what can be lacking. Efficient Analytics can help your business have a solid solution in the issues you encounter and what steps you need to take next.
Take the following as an example:
The image above displays the analytics for an ECommerce Store, particularly for a month, and for the channels that the traffic was coming from to their site. In a nutshell, the figures highlighted in red circles on the first row proved that Organic Search drove the highest amount of traffic, new visitors and conversion rate while having Low Bounce Rate. The average session per visitor was the 2nd highest, after the traffic from Social Media (see row 6, 4:53, circled in red).
I won’t elaborate more here, as I will be doing that in another future blog post. But basically, the above analytics helped the ECommerce Store to realize that their SEO and Social Media Strategies are driving traffic to their site, and converting well. Understanding that, they can now fine-tune their digital marketing strategy to focus and spend more on SEO and Social Media to grow their business. Another viewpoint is that their Email Marketing is weak. And if that is a strategy they like to improve upon, then they need to create a better strategy, and have better tactics for this.
Having all these elements mentioned above working harmoniously for your Digital Marketing will definitely lead your company to a better future. At the very least, an edge over your competitors, especially those who lack strong Online Marketing or any at all. Start on these elements and work your way up. Invest on your Internet Marketing needs wisely. Getting help from Digital Marketing Professionals will be a better move if you need any help with your next move in your Digital Marketing Strategy.
How SEO Consultant Singapore Ranked Digital Marketing Agency on Google’s First Page?
Back in 2014, I co-founded OOJO, a Digital Marketing Agency in Singapore. One of the first things I set in motion was to do SEO and rank the Digital Marketing Singapore agency’s website on the 1st Page of Google and other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, etc. It took a lot of time and effort. And my team and I managed to achieve it within 3 months only!
That is quite a feat considering our major keyword phrase is a highly competitive one, and most SEO experts will tell you that it would usually take 6 months to a year, sometimes more, to make that happen. We attributed our success due to our deep and strong knowledge of SEO, which is Search Engine Optimization.
SEO Tactics to Rank a Website on 1st Page of Google
In the early days of Internet, when I started designing and developing websites, I kind of already did SEO. But back then, I had no idea I was doing it. I did it as part of a logical way to identify the websites. For example, the title tag was to identify the name of the website and the type of products or services the brand provides.
SEO has come a long way since then. Today, there is On Page SEO where you did everything on your website to enable the search bots to find your website and know what your website is all about. And then there is Off Page SEO where it involves stuff like backlinks and social signals, all of which are to inform the search bots that the online community outside of your website thinks your website is important, too.
And then there are the basic techniques, which may rank your website somewhere but most probably not on the 1st Page of Google and other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, etc. Advanced techniques do really deep SEO, and these are the ones that can really help rank your website on the 1st Page of Google and other search engines. Naturally, my team and I did both.
SEO starts with the all-important Keyword Research. This is research to find out what keywords that people are using to find businesses, products or services like yours. There are many tools that you can use to find keywords. My team and I use Google Keyword Planner.
The results of the research showed a long list of keywords and phrases for businesses like OOJO, and the services provided by OOJO. Our team analyzed the long list, and selected our main keyword phrase – Digital Marketing Agency Singapore. We then proceeded to start On Page SEO.
On Page SEO
On OOJO’s homepage, we added the main keyword phrase – Digital Marketing Agency Singapore – into the Title Tags, Headers, Alt Tags, and Meta Descriptions. Of course, all written in a natural way. We did the same for the content. One thing to be careful is not to over-stuff the content with the main keyword phrase. Google does not like that, and will penalize a site for it.
The same is done for the other web pages for the entire website. But not every page would be using the same main keyword phrase. Depending on what the page is about, we would choose another keyword or keyword phrase, and repeat this first step of On Page SEO for that particular page.
Another On Page SEO tactic I used was to interlink the pages. This is very powerful as it indicates to the search bots that certain pages on a website are important. The importance can help with the ranking.
Index Your Site with Google, Bing and Other Search Engines
You can choose to do this step after you started on some Off Page SEO. But I prefer to get the sites I work on to be indexed by search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo as soon as possible.
An XML sitemap informs the search engines about the URLs on a website that are available for crawling and indexing. It allows webmasters to include additional information about each web page, when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to the other web pages on that site. This makes the search engines crawl the site more intelligently.
These days, it is very simple to submit an XML sitemap for indexing, especially with WordPress sites. OOJO is designed with a WordPress theme. So all I did was install a plugin that helped me create the XML sitemap. After that, I submitted the XML Sitemap link to all the search engines.
Off Page SEO
Following that, we started on Off Page SEO. That includes Link Building (such as Web 2.0,Social bookmarking, directory submission, article submission, and more), getting listed on Local Business Directories, sending Social Media Signals via Social Media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Google+, etc.
I am a believer that the future of Content Marketing is using Videos. Hence, I am a firm believer that every digital marketing strategy must include Video Marketing, and that includes doing Video SEO. For OOJO, we applied this digital marketing tactic and ranked OOJO’s videos on 1st Pages of YouTube Search.
Off Page SEO can be very extensive, and requires a lot of time and effort. It can and will include Crosslinking, Photo Sharing, Local Listing, Blogging and Blog Promotion. This is not an exhaustive list as there can and will be more Off Page SEO tactics. I share more about this in the courses I conduct.
OOJO Ranked on 1st Page of Google with 3 Months!
It took a lot of time and effort. My team and I worked daily, even on weekends, and extensively. And it all paid off!
In slightly less than 3 months, OOJO’s website reached the 1st Page of Google and other search engines. It has been 2 years, and our ranking still remained on the 1st Page of Google. Below you can see the screen capture of search result done on 11 November 2016.
Before reaching Page 1, OOJO depended mostly on offline promotional activities, word of mouth marketing and referrals to get leads and sales. Since reaching Page 1, OOJO has seen an increase in sales leads, many that have led to confirmed sales.
Since then, I have helped many websites reach 1st Page of Google and other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, etc. If you like to see the same happen on your website, please do contact me and let’s discuss.