Search Engine Marketing in Kenya is no longer a new concept. Gone are the days when you had to explain to business people what the symbols SEO meant. People have come to appreciate the real value or search engine optimization.
But for those few who are yet to understand the concept behind marketing businesses online, we are here to simplify the entire subject just for you. This simple guide will explain what search engine marketing is all about while keeping it clean and simple for the general audience. In case you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line at the end of this post.
What is SEO? What it Means to the Kenyan Market
In this day and age, people are very used to looking for products and services online. Whether it’s the trendiest shoes, a holiday package or the cheapest flights, you’ll rush online to check out what’s on offer and compare from a long list of massive retailers.
The whole idea behind search engine marketing is that, people will look for people, products, services and information on search engines. Search engines are online platforms like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
How Search Engine Optimization in Kenya works
Let’s look at a typical example. You’ve decided to surprise your loved ones by taking them to an amazing holiday somewhere at the Coast. However, you’re still not sure of where to stay, places to visit or dine while on holiday. You can visit a search engine like Google (by typing www.google.com) and on the search box you enter a “term” that is close to what you are looking for e.g. “hotels in Mombasa” or “Places to visit in Mombasa” or “where to stay in Mombasa”.
As soon as you enter what you’ve typed, you’ll get hundreds of thousands of search results, if not millions, that match to what you are looking for. All these results are related to what you’ve searched for. E.g. if you’ve type “hotels in Mombasa”, links to popular hotels in Mombasa or articles on this subject are the ones that should appear. But you’ll never be able to go through all the search results by clicking them one by one. You are likely to focus on the ones that have appeared on the first and maybe second page.
Search engine marketing in Kenya is what helps businesses (e.g. popular hotels in Kenya as in our case) to appear on the first page of search results. Your business cannot appear on the top pages of relevant search terms automatically. Your website needs to be optimized for search engines. And when your business doesn’t appear on top search results, you don’t get any customers online. You miss out on the endless opportunities of making money online.
This is the rationale behind marketing businesses online. The goal is to ensure that whenever someone is looking for a product or service that your business offers, your website or web pages should appear somewhere on the first and second page.
Reasons to invest in SEO in Kenya
We’ve been asked all these questions by most of our customers. Why should I put my money in search engine advertising and marketing in Kenya? Is there a guaranteed ROI? Is it something that I can learn and do it on my own? How long will it take my website to appear on the first or second page for relevant keywords?
First and foremost, you must appreciate that optimization for search engines is a process. You can never expect to have instant results. The length of time it will take for your site to rank will depend on the demand for your key phrases. Additionally, SEO will have admirable returns if it is done properly, that is, if the right strategies and techniques are used. The one thing you must be able to understand with SEO is that it is a process that takes time to see the actual results. Some sites can take a month to rank, whereas others may take up to a year to appear on the top pages of relevant search terms. That’s how complex search engine optimization in Kenya is.
Among the many benefits of investing in search engine advertising include
- Obtain targeted traffic to your website
- Boost your authority and become an industry leader
- Promote new products and services to untapped markets
- Obtain high rankings and boost sales
- Provide customers with information that is accessible and easy to reach
- Ensure your website only appears for relevant search terms
- It’s a cheap form of advertising compared to print media among others
- It can be done on the long term and make promote your business for an extended period
Common SEO techniques used in Kenya
There are hundreds of search engine optimization strategies used today. Some of them are really effective, whereas others may appear to rank your website faster but have a harmful impact on your business in the long run (these harmful SEO techniques are called black hat strategies). The most effective form of advertising is one that uses a blend of strategies that work together to improve rankings in a way that search engines love. Here are among the best techniques to use when optimizing websites for search.
#1 Updating fresh and unique content
Many search gurus claim that effective SEO is centered on content marketing. There’s really not much advertising, that can be done without the use of great content. Great content is the kind that converts readers to subscribers or customers. Great content is unique, relevant, interesting and keyword optimized.
#2 Marketing web pages on social media platforms
You’ve probably heard of social media marketing before. This is simply the form of advertising where you promote your web pages on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. When people share your content on these platforms, you get a vote, which makes search engines favor your site on popular searches. Posts that have a lot of social signals usually rank high on search engines and that’s why social media advertising is a key technique used by SEO gurus.
Blogging is a huge part of search engine promotion in Kenya. It is what helps people to get information about your business, industry or just life in general. Through blogging, you are able to optimize the content on your site for search. Guest blogging also allows you to obtain links from popular sites that are related to your own.
#4 Use of press releases
Press releases are basically news articles that inform people of the latest on goings in your business or industry. When you write press releases, you may publish them on your site or other platforms in order to drive traffic to your site. Press release distribution is an SEO technique that has been around for many years and remains highly effective when done correctly.
#5 Keyword research and analysis
Proper keyword research is the basis of all search engine optimization strategies. You’ll need to have the right search terms which you are targeting. When looking for keywords, you focus on the search volume as well as the competition.
Keywords with a high competition are the hardest to rank. On the other hand, keywords with a high search volume are usually the best to target because it means that they will drive a lot more traffic than keywords with a low search volume. It is important to target keywords that are relevant to your niche in order to get highly targeted traffic to your website. The traffic that is driven to your website will be interested in particular information that is relevant to your niche.
There are several tools that are used for researching for the best keywords to target for your SEO campaign. Google Adwords is among the common tools used by many Kenya SEOs to find particular keywords one can target for the campaigns across search engines.
#6 Link building
The other very important strategy used in search engine advertising is link building. This is simply the process of obtaining links from relevant sources online. It can be done through guest blogging or even social media marketing as mentioned above. Quality link building is a very aspect of SEO. When link building is not done right, your site risks losing credibility, getting a penalty or being blacklisted by search engines like Google.
Difference between on-page and off-page optimization
On-page SEO is done on your website in order to make it rank high on search engines. Some of the strategies used in on-page search advertising include, adding relevant tags to posts and pages on your site so as to make them appear for certain search terms.
Off-page SEO is normally done outside your site and it involves strategies such as social media marketing which directs web visitors from platforms like Facebook to your website. The other form of off page search engine optimization is press release distribution where links to your site are posted on various press release sites so that visitors can be directed to your own web pages.
How much will you pay for Search Engine Optimization in Kenya?
The search company will ask you several questions to determine how much you will be charged. They may want to find out:
- How many keywords you want to rank for
- The competition for the selected keywords
- If social media set up and management is included as part of SEO
- The number of blog posts required per month
- How many social media platforms you want optimization to be done
The costs of search engine advertising in Kenya will vary depending on many factors. It’s important to conduct adequate due diligence when identifying a company that offers SEO services. Basing your decision on price and the promises of instant rankings can be detrimental to your business. Search engine optimization packages can be as affordable as Ksh. 20,000 to as expensive as Ksh. 100,000. It all depends on what you want to be included in the package.
Social media and SEO in Kenya
So you want to promote your website on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but you really don’t have the time nor the skill to do it. What next? Social media companies have invested a lot in this unique form of advertising. They focus on not only improving the number of people who like your business page, but also creating engagement and interaction with your customers.
Social media is a very critical element of SEO in Kenya because it helps to create social signals, which are core factors used by search engines to determine how well a website ranks. Social media marketing involves, promoting posts and pages of your website on sites like Pinterest, Google Plus and Tumblr so it is also considered as a form of link building.
Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization in Kenya
Content marketing is a very broad subject which we have covered in previous posts. However, we must appreciate the value of using great content for SEO. Great content that can be used to boost search engine optimization is the kind that contains all the relevant keywords. However, keyword stuffing should be avoided at all costs. Keywords should be used sparingly within the piece of content for search engine optimization to be deemed effective.
SEO in Kenya is evolving
SEO has changed over the years and it continues to evolve. Gone are the days when you used to build thousands of spammy backlinks and your site rankings would shoot up instantly. Today, only quality backlinks would have any impact on your rankings. Kenyan companies that begin to invest in SEO at an early stage will be able to stay ahead of their competition and become unbeatable authorities online in their chosen industry.