Navigating SEO Success: A Strategic Guide for SMEs | Devhaus


April 2, 2024
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Driving Growth Through Strategic SEO Topic Prioritization

An effective SEO strategy begins with identifying and prioritizing the right topics to optimize for. As a Singapore SME looking to leverage grants, schemes, and incentives to accelerate your business growth, strategic SEO topic prioritization is key to maximizing your marketing ROI. 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial strategy for any business looking to drive sustainable growth by improving visibility and converting organic website traffic. However, in today’s increasingly competitive digital landscape, the path to SEO success requires much more than just sprinkling targeted keywords across your website pages. The brands seeing substantial returns have implemented research-backed best practices when it comes to SEO topic prioritization. 

As a Singapore SME, you likely face budget limitations that demand maximizing ROI from the digital marketing activities and solutions you choose to invest in. This is where up to 70% project subsidiaries and incentives from the Strategic Branding and Marketing Development Grant can hugely accelerate your scale. But to tap into these funds effectively, your SEO efforts need to be grounded in strategic topic prioritization right from the start.

So what exactly does it mean to take a structured approach to SEO topic prioritization? At a high level, it involves:

  • Discovering and compiling a comprehensive list of keyword topics that map to buyers’ journeys
  • Establishing clear criteria to filter and assess which topics present the best ROI potential
  • Assigning priorities across topics based on dimensions like search volume, commercial value, competitiveness, and more
  • Allocating budget, content and optimizations strategically across priority topic clusters 
  • Continually tracking performance to double down on what works  

In this detailed guide, we will explore time-tested frameworks to help SME leaders implement such structured SEO topic prioritization techniques. By ultimately driving more qualified organic traffic that converts, impactful and long-term business growth can be unlocked. So let’s get right into the actionable strategies and best practices.

What is Search Engine Optimisation Topic Prioritization?

In order to rank competitively and maximize visibility within Google's search results, a key requirement is optimizing your website and content for the topics and keywords your target audience is actively searching for. This is search engine optimization (SEO) 101.

However, with the expansive volume of keyword opportunities out there - from hundreds to millions depending on your niche - SEO practitioners are forced to make shrewd decisions based on ROI and impact regarding which topics and groupings to focus their efforts on first.

This need for determining priorities based on specific factors forms the core of SEO topic prioritization.

Adopting a Topic-Based Approach to SEO Prioritization

Rather than targeting hundreds of individual keywords, leading SEO experts recommend prioritizing based on broader, topically-related groups and themes. 

The reasons are manifold:

1. Identify Established Authority Themes

Leverage search analytics tools like Google Search Console to reveal topic clusters you already rank well for organically. These indicate areas your content has gained authority around over time.

For example, an IT services firm may see strong rankings in Singapore for topics like "cloud migration strategy", "legacy modernization services", "hybrid cloud solutions", etc. Doubling down on interlinked content here can widen exposure faster.

2. Expand Through Related Sub-Topics

For established domains with proven relevance, identifying related sub-topics to create pillar content around fuels overall authority.

Using the cloud example, sub-topics like “cloud investment planning”, “multi-cloud management” or “cloud security frameworks” build comprehensive coverage allowing you to own searcher mindshare in that broader subject area.

3. Aggregate Difficult Keywords Under Topic Clusters

Solo chasing competitive, high-value keywords often demands extensive resources. However, precisely optimizing for relevant topics allows you to eventually rank for these lucrative keywords based on relevance.

For example, directly seeking terms like “best analytics consulting Singapore” may be challenging. But pillar content on “customer analytics frameworks” can organically cover such queries based on utility. This builds overall traffic and conversions more sustainably through topics.

Step 1: Assessing Topic Viability

The first step is researching and compiling a list of relevant topic ideas. But how do you know which topics are worth prioritizing? 

Brainstorm to identify themes for your business that you want your business to be know for. The topics that are relevant to your target audience. Identify the relation between those topics and your business, how it converts into tangible offering for your target audience. 

Once you've put in the effort to research and brainstorm an extensive list of potential SEO topics relevant to your businesses’ offerings, the next crucial step is to filter down to the topics that are truly viable to prioritize. 

Without a structured evaluation framework, it's tempting to simply chase topics with the highest monthly search volumes. However, this shotgun approach often spreads efforts too thin or targets keyword groupings that offer little real commercial value.

To avoid such pitfalls and inefficient use of precious budget, the framework to assess topic viability established by leading SEO experts focuses on four key dimensions we'll cover in this section:

- Search Volume 

- Commercial Intent

- Competitiveness

- Relevance

Thoroughly researching each shortlisted topic across these criteria will allow your marketing team to gauge real market demand, revenue potential, achievability of rankings, and alignment to customer needs.

This data-backed evaluation process is vital for not only prioritizing the highest ROI SEO topics, but also tapping into valuable Strategic Branding and Marketing Development Grant subsidies. By demonstrating how your chosen topics can drive business impact, you strengthen your application and unlock funding support.

So let's dive deeper into best practices within each viability assessment dimension:

Search Volume

In the expansive ocean of online searches, understanding search volume is a skill that requires both precision and strategy. 

To navigate these waters effectively, leverage tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush. These tools offer insights into the monthly searches for specific keywords. However, it's not just about the numbers; it's about interpreting them strategically.

While higher search volume can indicate greater visibility opportunities, it's crucial to strike a balance. A keyword with high search volume may attract a large audience, but it could also mean fiercer competition. The key is to choose keywords that align with your business goals and audience size without drowning in the sea of competition.

Consider an SME in the tech industry. If the goal is to enhance visibility for a cutting-edge product, a balance between specificity and search volume is essential. A term like "next-gen tech solutions for SMEs in Singapore" might offer a more targeted approach than a generic term with high search volume.

Recommendation from Devhaus:

Devhaus advises SMEs to navigate the sea of searches strategically. Identify keywords that align with your business objectives, strike a balance between search volume and competition, and set sail with a well-planned SEO strategy.

Commercial Intent

Prioritizing topics with commercial intent is a lost battle. It's not just about attracting visitors; it's about attracting potential customers actively seeking solutions.

Devhaus recommends prioritizing keyword groupings that indicate users are on a quest for solutions, not just seeking information. For instance, a user searching for "how to set up CDP" is likely in the market for a solution, showcasing higher commercial intent than someone searching for "what is customer data platform."

Commercial intent revolves around addressing users' needs and pain points. Craft content that not only provides information but also guides users toward solutions. This not only attracts a more engaged audience but also increases the likelihood of conversions.

For instance, imagine an SME offering digital marketing services. While informational content about digital marketing trends is valuable, content focused on "implementing effective digital marketing strategies for SMEs" holds higher commercial intent, aligning with businesses actively seeking solutions.

Recommendation from Devhaus:

Prioritize keywords that not only drive traffic but also steer towards potential conversions. Prioritize topics that align with your offerings and guide users on their journey from search to solution.


Balancing high-volume keywords with manageable competition is the key to optimizing your Return on Investment (ROI). While high-volume keywords may seem enticing, the reality is that if the first two pages of search results are dominated by industry giants, your organic visibility may be compromised. Devhaus suggests reviewing the types of sites ranking for your chosen keywords to assess the difficulty level.

The goal is not to shy away from competition but to find the sweet spot. Identify keywords where you can compete effectively, even if it means sacrificing some search volume. This strategic approach ensures that your efforts yield optimal results without getting lost in a sea of competitors.

Consider an SME in the fashion industry. While the keyword "summer fashion trends" might have high search volume, it could be dominated by major fashion brands. Choosing a more specific keyword like "sustainable fashion brands in Singapore" strikes a balance between relevance and competition.

Recommendation from Devhaus:

Devhaus advises to approach competitiveness strategically. Optimize your SEO strategy by identifying keywords with the right balance—sufficient volume to drive visibility and manageable competition to ensure your business stands out.


In the intricate game of SEO, relevance is the linchpin that holds your strategy together. Topics should not only attract attention but align seamlessly with your SME's offerings, brand messaging, and, most importantly, the pain points of your target audience.

An audience-centric approach to content creation. Before choosing a topic for optimisation, understand the needs, desires, and challenges of your audience. Craft content that not only addresses these pain points but positions your business as a trusted solution provider.

Topics chosen should mirror the core offerings of your SME and resonate with your brand messaging. If your SME specializes in eco-friendly products, content around "sustainable living tips for urban dwellers in Singapore" aligns both with your offerings and the values you promote.

Recommendation from Devhaus:

Approach topic selection not just as a quest for visibility but as a strategic alignment with the core of their business. Topics should not only attract attention but also contribute to the growth and resonance of the SME within its target market.

Step 2: Developing a Priority Matrix

With topics segmented by funnel stage, prioritization requires establishing a framework across other key dimensions like volume, intent, and competitiveness. This trifecta of factors forms the foundation for a robust Priority Matrix. 

Understanding the matrix

Here is one simple way to visualize this - a 2x2 matrix:

In this matrix, the top left quadrant represents "easy win" topics. These are the low-hanging fruits that drive high search volume and conversions with minimal effort. These topics often present quick wins for boosting visibility and engagement.

Conversely, the bottom right quadrant houses topics that require more substantial resource investment. While the immediate gains may be less pronounced, these topics are crucial for comprehensive SEO coverage, contributing to long-term sustainability and authority.

Plot each topic into the matrix to guide resource allocation - whether optimizing pages and content, pursuing backlinks, or identifying gaps to fill.

Step 3: Operationalizing Prioritized Topics 

With the Priority Matrix serving as your strategic compass, it's time to operationalize the prioritized topics. This section outlines best practices to execute, ensuring that your SEO strategy moves from theory to action with precision and impact.

Content Strategy Integration

  • Optimizing for Impact:Translate the Priority Matrix into actionable steps by integrating it into your content strategy. Identify specific pages, content clusters, and formats to optimize for each topic group. This not only streamlines your content creation process but also builds a clear roadmap for optimization tied directly to priority topics.
  • Strategic Roadmap: Devhaus recommends approaching this step as the creation of a strategic roadmap. Assign resources and timelines for optimizing existing pages, creating new content clusters, and experimenting with different formats. This proactive approach ensures that your content strategy aligns seamlessly with the priorities outlined in the matrix.

Comprehensive On-Page SEO

  • Holistic Optimization: On the key pages and clusters identified in your content strategy, embark on a journey of comprehensive on-page SEO. Ensure that the prioritized topics are not only present but are strategically reflected in titles, meta descriptions, headers, content, media alt text, schema markup, and other on-page elements.
  • Unified Messaging: Devhaus emphasizes the importance of unified messaging. The optimization process should not be seen in isolation but as part of a cohesive narrative. Each on-page element should contribute to a unified message that resonates with both users and search engines.

Link Building Prioritization

  • Strategic Backlinking: Elevate your SEO strategy by strategically prioritizing link building. Devhaus advises pursuing external backlinks and earned media specifically for high-priority mid-long tail topics identified in the matrix. This targeted approach enhances the authority of your business in areas crucial for business growth.
  • Quality Over Quantity: In the world of link building, quality triumphs over quantity. We recommend focusing on acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable sources. This not only improves your site's authority but also enhances the relevance of your content in the eyes of search engines.

Continual Assessment

  • Dynamic Optimization: The journey doesn't end with the initial implementation. Devhaus underscores the importance of continual assessment. Measure the performance of prioritized topics in search analytics, gauging their impact on visibility, engagement, and conversions.
  • Adaptive Strategy: Based on the learnings from performance metrics, optimize pages dynamically. Replace underperforming topics in the matrix with new opportunities that align with evolving market dynamics. This adaptive strategy ensures that your SEO efforts remain agile and responsive to changing trends.

Realizing SEO Success & Growth with Devhaus

As elaborated in this guide, strategic SEO topic prioritization is integral for Singapore SMEs looking to boost organic visibility. Leverage government subsidies and maxime marketing returns.

Devhaus offers full-stack solutions encompassing the technical foundations, data integrations, analytics and execution frameworks needed to bring such structured SEO strategies to life efficiently.

Optimized CMS Platform

Devhaus enables a dynamic website and CMS structure on modern no-code platforms like Webflow. With customized metadata schemas, flexible content modeling and built-in SEO best practices, this forms the foundation.

There are many reasons why we recommend Webflow. Take a look at our use cases in thisa guide.

CDP Integration

Seamless unification of customer data from all platforms through custom CDP implementation eradicates siloes. This unified view not only improves user experience but provides comprehensive insights to refine SEO targeting. 

Here’s a quick read on changing policies and the pressing need for CDP in the martech stack. 

Data Infrastructure

Utilizing cutting-edge ETL/ELT methods, Devhaus offers precise tracking of all data points relevant to SEO - from basic analytics to rank tracking, sentiment analysis and more. Accurate data fuels decisions.

Performance Dashboards

To prevent "analysis paralysis", Devhaus builds visually intuitive dashboards with Fullstory, covering critical KPIs across pillars like rank tracking, content metrics, site analytics and even revenue analytics.

As Devhaus solutions encompass the key technologies and processes imperative to executing a winning SEO strategy for Singapore SMEs, partnerships with us qualify for up to 70% subsidy through the EDG grants - accelerating growth.

Leverage Branding & Strategic Marketing Grants:with Devhaus

The synergy with Devhaus goes beyond transformative solutions—it's also financially accessible through Branding & Strategic Marketing Grants. Get your branding project subsidised up to 50% and leverage these grants to mitigate professional services and platform fees. 

The realization of strategic marketing with Devhaus isn't just a service; it's a strategic collaboration. From CMS setup to data visualization, each facet is meticulously crafted to align with the intricacies of SEO success. 

To explore subsidized, high-impact market growth initiatives tailored for your business, book a strategy session here. Let's uncover new horizons together. If you feel you need more hands on deck to explore the other grants, please indulge in our Grant Navigator.

What this article is about, in a nutshell.

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