SEO Malaysia: Step-By-Step Guide (2019 Edition)

MAY 15, 2019 | BY ERIC SIEW

Is “SEO Malaysia” one of your search word which brought you here? Or you still figuring out what is SEO actually all about?

When you do a Google search for SEO Malaysia, you can see a lot of companies trying to strike a deal with you. Some even proclaim themselves to be SEO experts. However, when you get in touch with clients who have engaged their SEO services, the feedback was these experts are nothing but disappointment because a huge portion of their money that was invested went down the drain.

Some are really genuinely great at SEO but some are ridiculously bad. However, in order for you to recognize the great ones from the bad ones, you must at least have some knowledge about SEO.

Now, if you are trying to figure out what SEO is and you are trying to do it by yourself, then this article may just be the one you are looking for. In this topic, we will be covering the major key areas. Just use any of the links below to jump to your topic of preference:

  1. What is SEO?
  2. How do you do SEO?
  3. What type of SEO should I do?
  4. When do I see the results of SEO?

Once you’ve read this article and when you plan to engage SEO experts to manage the SEO of your website and if they have no idea what you are talking about, I believe it’s best to part ways with these self-proclaimed experts and move on to another.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. To break it down into simpler terms, it means making yourself visible so that the search engines (like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) can find you and allow you to be found by others.

Therefore, in order to make yourself visible online, you need the one most important thing. A website to represent you. You can’t do SEO on a website such as a Facebook page which does not belong to you in the first place.

SEO itself is not difficult but like all methodology or protocols, SEO has its own sets of rules to follow. So, what can actually do for your website? Let us take this keyword “SEO Malaysia” for example. Head over to Google and search it.

SEO Malaysia

As you can see, there are 62,000,000 results related to SEO Malaysia. Do you think you will be combing through Google page by page to look at all the results? Like most users, we take results from the first page only most of the time. We hardly go to the second page of the search results.

Imagine your website is on the 3rd page or even 2nd. Do you think anyone will take notice of your website? Not a fat chance. With 0 visitors to your site, how are you going to get any lead or revenue out of your website?

Google Ads

Google Ads is a service in which you pay to get your website listed on the first page.

It’s hard enough these days to get to the top of the search page as it is already been occupied by Google Ads, which you can see at the top of the page in the red box occupied by Exabytes. This is a paid ad which you have to pay to be at the top. Unless you have tons of cash to spare, you can use Google Ads but that will not be our focus here.

Our focus is the first spot occupied by Bomstart, which is a digital marketing company. No brainer here. You must be wondering, how come the keyword “SEO Malaysia” is not even there but it can be at the number one spot? There is a secret to this which I’ll share with you in the on-page SEO section.

So how do we get into that first spot? Yes, you’re right. By doing SEO correctly, and through a proper way. Everyone wants to be at the top, as it will get the most visitors to your website. More visitors means more revenue. And to top it off, these visitors are non-paid visitors which means that you do not have to pay a single cent, unlike Google Ads.

Therefore, when SEO is done right, you will have tons of visitors to your website without having to pay a single cent.

How do you do SEO?

To start performing SEO on your website, you need to have access to your website first without the need to go through a web designer or developer. Without that, there’s nothing you can do. Depends on what platform your website is using, the way to do it might differ from one to another, but the concept stays the same.

If your website is built on WordPress, install the All in One SEO Pack or Yoast SEO plugin to do this. If you are using Drupal, download the Drupal SEO Checklist module. If your website is built on Wix, then Wix has been packed with SEO tools to meet your needs.

Therefore, the 2 important things you need for SEO are:

  1. Access to your own website.
  2. An SEO tool.

What I’m trying to get at is that for every available platform out there, it’s almost certain that most of them will have some add-ons to aid you with your SEO needs. If it doesn’t, then I suggest you better start looking for one that does.

All in One SEO Pack

Personally, I recommend using All in One SEO Pack if you are using WordPress as it is a simple plugin that does not use up too many of your server’s resources, unlike Yoast SEO plugin which may slow your website down. You can download it directly off the WordPress plugin directory.

Bear in mind that this is for self-hosted WordPress. If you are hosting your website through WordPress.com, you have to upgrade to Business Plan in order to gain access to the SEO tools.

What type of SEO should I do?

We will be focusing on elements related to on-page SEO first. On-page SEO means SEO that can be performed directly on your website as compared to off-page SEO. Off-page SEO involves other websites linking back to your site, which is far more tedious and requires a lot more effort.

These 7 elements are by far the easiest to achieve without the need for external help. Without further ado, let’s start with these:

  1. Keywords
  2. Title & Description
  3. Short URL
  4. Writing Content
  5. User Experience (UX)
  6. Labelling Images
  7. Sitemap

1. Keywords

To begin, you must first know what keyword as you are focusing on. Each specific page of your website should consist of a focused keyword and other similar keywords linked to it. Let’s take the keyword “dog food” for example. If you are dog food through your website, then the keyword dog food should be on your website.

Also, you should be also be finding latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords that are associated with dog food. What LSI means are words that are associated with your main keyword. Keywords such as “chewy dog food”, “dog food brands”, “dog food adviser” and the likes to let the search engines know that your website page is about dog food. You should use all these keywords on your site’s page which is selling dog food.

If you’ve noticed, this topic has also been focusing particularly on the keyword “SEO Malaysia” so that when search engine bots (in particular Google) crawl your site, they know what is your page is about.

Next question is, where can we get these keywords? Being Malaysians, free stuff is what we want. So, this is how we get keywords, for free!

Related Keywords

Let’s use the earlier keyword as an example again. At the bottom of the page, Google actually shows you searches related to your keyword as well. Apart from SEO Malaysia, there are other keywords such as SEO services, SEO company or SEO companies Kuala Lumpur which you can use on your web page too.

However, do not just stuff keywords into your page unnecessarily without providing any useful information. Users will find it annoying and will leave your site. This will send a signal to Google to de-rank your page as it’s filled with nothing but gibberish keywords.

The other method you can use is using Ubersuggest.

Ubersuggest

Let’s say you are trying to sell products related to vacuum but you are unsure what buyers are actually looking out for. Search the keyword using Ubersuggest under Malay/Malaysia and click the tab on the left panel to reveal keyword ideas which you can use. And using this method, you can see that buyers are actually interested in vacuum brands such as Karcher and Panasonic.

It’s also a great way to screen for products you want to sell. What you want to sell does not equate to what the buyers want to buy. You must know what the buyers want so you can sell them the right products.

The other way, albeit a little more trouble is using Google Ads. Google Ads is actually a paying service to get your website listed on the front page of the search results. Now, we are not going to pay for the results. We are just going to use Google Ads keyword tools that come together with the service.

Google Ads keywords

For you to use the keyword tool here, you will need to sign up for a Google Ads account first. Once you have an account, go over to the “Tools” section and under “Planning”, you will see the “Keyword Planner” option.

Google Ads Tools

It looks a little intimidating at first but once you start using it, it is actually quite straightforward and easy. With this, you will have another tool to help you to find the keywords that you want. It also shows you what paying bidders are actually paying for the keyword. If you look at the keyword “cordless vacuum”, advertisers are actually paying RM4.08 per click. The more expensive the keyword shows how highly the keyword is sought after.

2. Title & Description

This is by far the simplest to execute. There isn’t a need for an SEO expert to do this for you. Just by giving your page a title and an appropriate description make a lot of difference and it’s always overlooked.

Before you go trigger happy by adding all the titles and description for your pages, make sure you have your keyword in mind first. The keyword itself should be included in your page title, at the beginning if possible. The keyword should also appear in the description as well.

Keywords Usage

Take a look at Dreamit’s title and description. The keyword SEO Malaysia appears not only at the beginning of the title but in the description as well. This is how it should be done for every page of your website. And remember, once you’ve used a particular keyword, try to avoid using it on another page as you will be competing against yourself.

Depending on which SEO tool you are using, the layout may be different but the concept is the same. There will be an option for you to write the title and description for your post or page.

Title & Description

I will be using the All in One SEO Pack tool as a reference. You can write the title and description (usually) located at the end of your post/page editor. As you can see, there is a limit to how much you can write. Anything that’s longer than that will automatically be truncated by the search engines. Remember to keep it short and on-point. Make sure your keywords are present in the title, description and if possible, your URL as well.

3. Short URL

If your page or post URL is way too long, you may want to consider trimming it down. You can take this article for example. The URL for this article is:

https://choobub.my/seo

That’s pretty much it! But what happens if my URL is this:

https://choobub.my/blog/2019-05-11/post-328/seo-malaysia.html

Technically it is not wrong and search engines will still pick your page up. However, links as such will affect usability. Would you rather go for the first link showed in the search result or the latter? I believe many of us would be more inclined to pick the first one.

Make sure that your web page’s URL is user-friendly and it informs the user what’s behind the URL. Remember to keep it short. Also, try to include your keyword into your URL if possible. Short and friendly URLs tend to rank better than long-winded (and confusing) URLs.

So where can we change it? To make sure that your future URLs are not filled with dates, numbers and random stuff, look out for the option to adjust your permalinks.

WordPress Permalinks

In WordPress, you can access your Permalink settings under “Settings”. Use the option that says Post name and it is advisable to avoid the rest. This will allow your post/page title to be used after your website’s URL.

To edit the URL of your existing pages/posts, you can do so by editing the URL slug of the page/post itself.

URL Slug

However, be very careful when you are editing the links of older posts or pages. It will remove them from the search results and they will have to climb the rank again from the bottom. If your existing posts or pages are ranking well, I suggest to just leave them as they are and focus on the newer ones instead.

4. Writing Content

Here comes the most challenging part. However, if this is done right, it can generate a lot of visitors to your website.

Most of us can write but writing purposeful and useful content can be a daunting task. What should you write about, you ask?

You should write something that’s related to your website, in particular, your keyword for that page. However, do not just focus solely on the keyword itself and write stuff around it. It won’t work that way.

You should think of a topic, search for articles related to the topic that you would want to write about, do some research and come up with an awesome topic that the rest of the articles that you read can’t match it, providing an A to Z solution to your visitors without them needing to jump to another website for more information.

Fiverr

If for some reason you find it difficult to write your own content, you can always look for freelancers to do that work for you. Some of the popular freelancing sites include Fiverr, Upwork or Freelancer. You can get writers at an affordable fee and have them write your needed content.

Focus on writing articles that are evergreen instead of seasonal articles. Means, articles that will last a long time but still relevant no matter how many years have passed. Content that has 1500 words or more tends to rank better than short ones that are less than 1500 words.

If you have short content on your website with less than 500 words, either you upgrade it or remove the content altogether.

With a short content, not only it does not rank well, it pulls down your website’s overall ranking. If you have a lot of short content on your website, it’s hazardous and I suggest you start doing something about them. Removing them actually helps you to rank better.

5. User Experience (UX)

Have you come across a website and you are unsure where to go next and you end up returning back to the search results page to look for another website? That’s because you find the website is not user-friendly.

And when that happens, visitors to your site tend to keep their visit short and leave your page almost immediately. This itself is definitely not good for your website and of course, the hard work that you’ve put into SEO.

You’ve done work to improve your site’s visibility online and visitors just leave your website instantaneously, this itself will let the search engines know your website is not relevant to your visitors and they will reduce your page ranking in the search results. You don’t want your site to end up on the 2nd page of the search results, do you?

In order for that not to happen, make sure your website navigation menu is easy to access and simple. Imagine your menu is so cluttered with so many links, your visitors will be overwhelmed.

Google Analytics

This is the Google Analytics report of one of my websites. Just look at what Malaysians use to browse websites. More than 90% of Malaysians these days browse websites using their smartphones and imagine your website is just not optimized for mobile. You’re losing out potential customers!

Unlike conventional menus on desktops which are situated at the top of the screen, the mobile menu tends to disappear once you scroll down the screen. Therefore, make sure you have a mini menu at the footer so that your visitor has access to your menu at the end of the page.

Apart from the navigational menu, remember to put the main points of your content right at the beginning, at the top of the page. Give them a summary or a gist of what is going to come when they read on. This will keep them wanting to read more.

Remember to use paragraphs for your content too. No one likes to read a wall of text. Not to forget, most visitors use the mobile to read these days. Imagine yourself looking at a wall of text on your mobile’s screen, absolutely boring and makes you want to skip them all.

Fontmania

This is what happens when you use too many fonts. Minimize the types of fonts that you will be using for a page. Maximum of 3 but advisable to keep it at 2. Too many font types make your page looks cheap and scammy. Make sure the fonts are large enough to read too. Also, make sure there is a good contrast between your font and the background. Having a white font with a yellow background is just plain ridiculous.

Use images, charts or diagrams between your content to break the monotonous tone. It keeps your visitors engaged visually and also a mental-break from reading texts non-stop.

Last but not least, use quick links to allow your visitors to jump to certain parts of your content. If your user is unable to finish reading your content, he/she may want to come back and resume reading. Make it easy for them using these quick links.

6. Labelling Images

This is a very mundane task to do, to be honest. You will have to label each and every one of your images if possible. Crawl bots by search engines can crawl words and texts.

However, they can’t do it with images. Labelling your images is a good practice as it helps these bots to understand what the images are.

Do you know remember about the website Bomstart earlier, which placed #1 on the search results for the keyword SEO Malaysia? If you look through their website, you won’t be able to find it anywhere on their page.

Are you curious about how they managed to rank #1 even without having the keyword on their website? The answer lies in their images. That’s right. The keyword is inserted into their images.

View Page Source

Open up the Bomstart’s website in your browser. Right-click and view page source. So how do you this? Okay, before you go placing keywords into your website, make sure you label your images correctly.

Do not label your image as a vacuum cleaner when the image clearly shows an apple. You do not want to succumb yourself to penalties, especially by Google. By penalty means getting de-ranked on the search results.

If you are using WordPress, go over to the Media section and view your library of images. Click on edit and you’ll see the options below.

Alternative Text

See the “Alternative Text” column? Fill it up with words describing the image. You can also use keywords here too (if it’s relevant!). This will help the search engine understand better about the images which you are showing and that they are relevant to your website.

Say, if a buyer is looking for a particular handheld vacuum cleaner using image search through Google, and if you have labelled your image earlier, Google will show the image to the searcher and if the searcher found your image to be useful, he/she will end up visiting your website.

7. Sitemap

We all want our website to be found. For our website to be shown in the search results, it has to be indexed first. Ain’t that supposed to be automatic?

Well, yes. You are right, partially. There are a few ways to look at this.  When you make any new pages or posts, you want the search engines to know about it. Or else, it will take forever for your new post or page to be found.

There are millions of new posts and pages each day created by people all over the world. Google sends out crawl bots to find out what’s new and any particular changes made. Imagine how long that process would take it if you do not send a signal to inform Google about these changes. Hence why you need to submit a sitemap.

By having a sitemap, you are technically submitting your website’s blueprint for the bots to crawl. Any new pages or posts or adjustments will be notified on a daily basis. Here’s how you can do it.

Search Console

First, sign in the Search Console through Google Webmasters using your Google account. You will then be greeted with this page. To keep things simplified, we will use the URL prefix for verification purposes.

Search Console Welcome

Key in your website’s URL and click continue. Once you’re in, you will be given a few options to verify that the website belongs to you. If you’re using the All in One SEO Pack plugin for WordPress, this will be a piece of cake.

Verify ownership for Search Console

Copy everything that’s in the blurred box shown above and paste it into the column below under General Settings.

All in One SEO Pack

Once you’ve saved the settings using the plugin, go back to your Search Console and click Verify.

The final step now is to submit your sitemap to Google. Referring to the image above, click on the XML sitemap. There will be an option to view your XML sitemap. The URL should be https://www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml and you will able to see all the links related to your site.

Go back to the Search Console again, look for the Sitemaps tab on the left panel.

Sitemap Submission

Add your sitemap to your search console and submit. And that’s it! Well done! You have successfully submitted your sitemap to the Search Console. By doing so, you will be able also to collect important data related to your website such as types of keywords users use to find your website. I won’t talk about that as that’s another large topic to cover.

That being said, you can use the other verification processes too but they are relatively technical which I won’t be covering in this topic.

When do I see the results of SEO?

To do SEO is a lifelong commitment. That is why SEO companies are unable to produce results in a short period of time and many have ended up in disappointment.

If you want results immediately, then you should go for digital marketing services such as Google Ads or Facebook Adverts to get sales and leads instantly. Of course, you will have to pay for these services.

SEO, on the other hand, will take many months and sometimes a year or more before you can see the results. It is dependent on how competitive your keywords (just like what I’m doing with the keyword SEO Malaysia in this article) are and the niche of your business. If no one is selling or doing what you are doing online, then you will definitely rank faster.

You will need a lot of patience when it comes to managing your website’s SEO. From data gathering using Search Console and Google Analytics to improving your website’s content and speed, it will consume a lot of your time and effort.

However, it is a long term investment and you will reap the benefits at the end of your hard labour. Just make sure you’re doing it right!

Are you up for it?

If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below and I’ll be glad to help you out if I can.

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