Internet marketing is one of the most interesting fields in Kenya at the moment. It is a relatively new concept and not much is known about the different strategies businesses and organizations can take advantage of. There are different strategies that are used, but currently social media marketing is the widely used internet marketing strategy with companies and businesses heavily investing in social media especially on advertisement. There are other internet marketing strategies worth noting and among them is search engine optimization or SEO as it is popularly known.
Traditional marketing is one of the popular subjects taught in very many universities and colleges in Kenya. The courses are usually aimed at equipping students with the right skills when they are released to the job market. Sales and marketing experts in Kenya are one of the best paid professionals and their salaries range significantly.
In this article, we explore the importance of search engine optimization as an internet marketing strategy and whether it is important for institutions to consider teaching as an independent course or incorporate the strategy in different relevant courses.
Top 5 Reasons to Teach SEO in Kenyan Universities
There are several reasons why it is absolutely important for institutions to consider training SEO to students in their institutions.
Below are some of these reasons:
It is a Skill that is on Demand
With the few people that understand the value of search engine optimization, demand for SEO service in Kenya has increased over the past few years. More business owners and experts are exploring internet marketing and using every avenue they can get online to generate leads for their companies and organizations. The trends are expected to get even better in the coming few years.
Currently, social media has the giant share of internet marketing. However, with the right knowledge it can be easy for business owners and companies to understand the difference in value between traffic from social media and that from search engines.
Time and again, studies have shown that websites get more targeted leads from search engines and this therefore translates to a better quality traffic and conversion rate. SEO is a long term marketing strategy and it has shown better ROI when you compare it to internet marketing strategies. Internet marketing is also cheaper and better when you compare it to other traditional forms of marketing such as banner advertising and television.
Adds Juice to the Quality of a Profession
There is a need for institutions of higher learning to rethink their curricula and teach students in these institutions of higher learning, subjects that are relevant to the market today. Many courses in colleges and universities in Kenya do not have enough content for the student to perfectly fit in the job market.
Teaching a subject like SEO in school can ensure that a person is equipped with at least some basic skills of internet marketing. Because of the dynamic nature of SEO, it can be a challenge to give students on point strategies, but having an overview of this subject can go a long way in the student’s career.
SEO and internet marketing can fit in any profession or career path one chooses. Just like the way most Kenyan universities found the need to equip their students with entrepreneurship skills, this is also a skill that can be useful for students in any faculty.
This skill can also become useful to people in decision making positions. It can be an added advantage to a company, especially when it comes to choosing the right experts to invest in when considering SEO.
Promotes Drive towards Achieving Vision 2030
Kenya is going digital. The government is heavily investing in ICT in its quest to achieve the vision 2030. This has seen more businesses go online and more Kenyans are now turning to the internet as a source of valuable information.
SEO can play a major role when it comes to achieving this vision for the country. Search engine optimization can be a major player when it comes to empowering small businesses and startups online. The marketing budget is lesser and learning this strategy in school only makes this better. This will mean that the owners of the startups and small businesses can now implement this strategy on their own at the minimum cost.
Promotes Entrepreneurship and Self Employment
There is always a very big hurdle for students after completing their university courses in Kenya. Getting a job in Kenya can be a very frustrating experience and some graduates even go for 5 years without employment. This has frustrated students and some even give up and turn to become a menace in the society.
What if I told you that you do not really need to be employed? When we institutions offer SEO training for their students, this means that the students are equipped with a skill that is in high demand. Graduates can easily offer this service, especially to other individuals or companies who need to be ranked on various search engines.
While most people understand the value of search engine optimization, not everyone has the time to implement the strategy. Most will therefore choose to outsource the service to either individuals or companies.
Once you become an SEO expert in Kenya, setting up your own business can be very easy. Because you understand the value of the strategy, you can use it to your own advantage and minimize the capital and operating costs for your business.
Great companies were started in very small rooms.
What is needed to Teach SEO in Kenya
Teaching SEO in Kenya requires a framework, but before all that, stakeholders need to rethink the education system in Kenya.
The most important thing when considering teaching SEO in universities is getting the right experts. I am not sure if Kenya has the right experts to date to facilitate SEO training in universities. However, this is not something that is far fetched.
Setting this off can be a real challenge and institutions in Kenya might need to source for SEO trainers from outside the country. However, with the advancement of technology, this can still be achieved and experts can be able to teach SEO exclusively online to students from anywhere.
With time, this pressure will ease up as there will be a crop of experts that will emerge from the first lots. With the demand for SEO trainers created, most of the students will work towards getting the right skills to be able to teach others search engine optimization.
There will be a lot of opportunities created within the institutions and also in the job market.
Proper infrastructure needs to be set up in the institutions for better understanding of SEO and what it is all about. SEO is a job that is best taught hands on and therefore there is need for computers and internet access for students.
SEO Trainers also need to equip themselves with the current trends in SEO and internet marketing. A common trait in the education system in Kenya is that institutions teach concepts that are no longer relevant in today’s world. With the dynamic nature of search engine optimization, institutions need to ensure that the lecturers or trainers are aware of the current trends and teach students relevant SEO techniques.
SEO is not something that can be packaged and the secret formula works forever. There are very many analytical skills that are required, and one may need to change strategies every now and then. SEO is a complex subject and requires constant upgrading of skills and techniques as frequently as the search engines update their algorithms.
Do Universities Abroad Teach SEO?
SEO has existed since the invention of search engines. Ranking websites back then was rather easier than it is today. A few tricks with less work meant ranking your websites on all the search engines. However, it is becoming complex by the day and there is very little information available for people interested in learning.
As much as the strategy has existed for a while, there is no university that has started incorporating this in their courses. This only means that Kenya is not badly off just because there is no university that trains their students in SEO.
But just like Safaricom’s MPesa, Kenya has a chance of pioneering this and lead the world in improving the quality of education in the country. This is something that if embraced, could empower the Kenyan students to become a complete individual professionally. If universities in Kenya find a way of teaching relevant subjects like SEO, there will be a real drive in pushing the country towards achieving the vision 2030.