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SEO in Kenya - Here is what you need to know

Apnest blog- SEO in Kenya - Here is what you need to know
Marketing is the beating heart of every business. To a large percentage, marketing determines the success or failure of your business. In today’s world, as you all know, the web has virtually changed the way we do everything. The world wide web has brought about a major revolution in the world of business. A few years ago no one was talking about digital marketing in Kenya but today the concept has gone viral. Today customers are buying goods and services online, businesses as well are focusing on selling through the web. This scenario gives marketers a perfect opportunity to tap a large number of customers shopping online. In the modern business world ignoring online marketing is essentially turning your back on the largest source of free customers on the web. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy that directs prospects to your website. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about SEO in Kenya, its role to businesses and how you can tell whether you need it. What is search engine optimization? Simply put, search engine optimization is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website through organic search engine results. We always associate SEO with how a website ranks on search engines, this is true but there is more. Optimized websites are likely to rank better in the search engine results and thus boost the traffic to a site. Ranking on the first page of the search result may result to your website receiving a higher traffic, more prospects and most likely more sales.

Does your website need SEO?

If you have a website, you obviously want it to be found by the relevant traffic or potential customers. Most people usually stop making efforts to better their sites once the site is declared complete by the web developer but later they realize that no one is visiting their website and the site does not even show up in search engines results.
After realizing no one is visiting their websites they start questioning whether it was the right move to pay a huge sum of money to have the website built. This can be a frustrating situation but the problem is not with the website, this is a situation that can be solved by search engine optimization experts in Kenya.

Where do you get digtal marketing services?

There is a common trend that we are observing today with web design in Kenya, most web developers are offering both web design services and digital marketing. The only problem with this model is the fact that these web developers might lack the technical SEO skills required to fully optimize a website and in addition to this, search engine optimization is a process, not a one-time thing.
In today’s marketing environment search engines are one of the hugest sources of obtaining prospects and leads. Search engines provide the perfect opportunity for business to grow their client base and increase their sales and revenue. Since internet marketing in Kenya is a relatively new concept, small and medium businesses can harness its power with ease and grow their market share and increase their profit margin withing a very short period

Should you do SEO yourself or hire an agency?

For startups and small businesses it is possible for owners to handle marketing duties but where competition is high, this might be a little harder. Doing it yourself will give you a chance to avoid the costs of hiring a professional but at the same time, you’ll also forego a lot of expertise which is necessary for conversions, getting the right traffic and increasing sales.
For SEO in Nairobi, it is little harder to DIY since competition is a little bit higher and SEO experts in Nairobi will really help in optimizing your website, getting the right traffic to your site and give your business a competitive edge.

What you need to know about SEO companies in Kenya

Not every company will help your website rank. There is a large number of online marketing companies in Kenya but not all have the capabilities of getting you the results you want. For instance, some web design agencies offering both web development and marketing will focus more on developing websites but since search engine optimization is a different process separate from web design, they fail to deliver the needed results. When choosing an agency, choose one with a proven track record.
You can read more on factors to consider when choosing internet marketing agency. Bellow are the common mistakes that many people make when choosing SEO agencies in Kenya.
a) Most people will make assumptions like, “this site ranks number one for the keyword best SEO company in Nairobi, SEO experts in Nairobi or SEO services in Nairobi, they must be the best”. This is a huge misconception, some sites will rank number one because they have been there longer than other sites and this does not mean there are any better than the new marketing firms. This does not also mean that these firms are not competent, the only way you can really tell whether an agency is reliable is to get information from previous clients and customer reviews. b) Don’t trust “top SEOs list”. Many people will search for “top SEO companies in Kenya” or “top SEO consultants in Nairobi”, these queries will yield results with a few websites that offer a listing of best SEO firms in Kenya. The reality is, some these websites business model is to rank for such terms then sell the listing on their website to other businesses where agencies compete to pay to be ranked number one, two or three.

SEO in 2017 and what really matters

The factors that search engines use to determine how a site will rank are referred to as ranking factors. At times, ranking factors do change and at the same time, some new factors come into play. Below are some of the factors that will determine your website ranking on the search engine results.

1. Content

Content has been a major ranking factor for all major search engines. In 2017 content will continue to play a critical role when it comes to ranking of websites. This means that you should continue creating quality and relevant content. Create content that is helpful to your clients, stop focusing on tricks that will get customers to visit your website.

2. Quality links

When a webpage links to any other page, this link is called a backlink. High-quality links have been a major ranking factor and will continue to play a vital role in determining which websites rank on the first page. It is essential you obtain backlinks from quality websites, and the backlinks should be relevant to your site. If for example, you have a site about electronics, and you are creating links from other niche sites about food, these links will be of no use. Your objective should be to get links from authoritative and relevant sites. These links will help your website rank better, rank fast and get referral traffic.

3. Responsive design

Mobile first is a term that your might have come across several times, the concept behind this ‘philosophy’ is the fact that today there is more traffic coming from mobile devices than that coming from desktops. Search engines want to direct users to the most relevant pages and sites that offer a better experience. If a website is not usable/readable on mobile devices, search engines will not send users to the site.
A responsive website is a site that offers excellent experience on all devices, from the desktop, tablet and mobile devices. It is imperative that when finding a web design agency in Kenya, you should find an agency that can develop a responsive website from the word go.

4. Page speed

Everybody including search engines hates slow loading pages. Research has shown that if a site takes more than three seconds to load, users usually leave the web page. Search engines will not want to send their users to sites that take too long to load hence loading speed has become a major ranking factor for major search engines. Various technologies such as Google's AMP have been developed to solve loading speed issues, especially on mobile devices. To solve page loading speed, consult your web designer on speed optimization.

5. Schema markup

What is schema markup? Schema markup is code that you put on a website to enable search engines to provide users with relevant, accurate and more useful results. Schema markup helps give a better description to the content in a webpage, be it products, services, events or news, schema markup will help search engines to better understand your website and content. With this markup, Google may pick information from your website and present it to users in a custom manner and with these custom results can increase your site’s traffic.
Search engine optimization might be a relatively new concept in most of the industries here in Kenya and this means one thing, it is the opportune time to invest in this digital marketing strategy. With the high rate of e-commerce adoption, the online market will only get bigger. The best way to claim your market share is by positioning (ranking) your business on the first page of search engine results.
Published on Sat 29-3-2017
Article Writen By - Robert Wach
Robert Wachira is a Web designer and digital marketer at Apnest. He has vast knowledge in the fields of web design and digital marketing.