In this blog post, you will learn how to get started with SEO in Kenya.
In fact, these are the same strategies I use to drive over 5K visits per month to one of my websites through Google.
Do you wish to learn how I got these results?
What is SEO in Kenya and why is it important?
SEO stands for search engine optimization.
It is a term used to describe the process of improving your website’s visibility in search engine results.
This is how you tell Google and other search engines what your site is about so they can list it on the first page of results when somebody searches for something related to your site.
Why is it important?
Why should you get on Google?
Why is SEO important?
1). Increase visibility online
Search Engine Optimization increases your visibility on the internet.
It boosts your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERP). This means more traffic and exposure for you.
Investing time into SEO will ensure that no one else takes over your market niche with a better-optimized site than yours.
If you are not doing it, your competitor is doing it, and he will kick your ass on Google by raking thousands of free visitors.
3). Target ready buyers
A lot of people only use a search engine when they’re aware that what they want exists online but don’t know how to find it yet or where to look next.
This is just one more reason why having an optimized site will help bring in traffic from searches made by individuals who might not have known there was anything out there matching their needs before seeing your website appear first among the SERPs.
4). Long term benefit
The long term benefits of SEO are not limited to bringing new traffic to your site, but also may include:
- More revenue from the increased visibility and popularity that comes with a position high up on search engine rankings
- Better customer retention rates due to having visitors find what they’re looking for quicker or easier than before
- And an increase in brand awareness leads to other opportunities (such as speaking engagements, marketing partnerships, etc.) because potential customers have seen you online first.
There were 21.75 million internet users in Kenya in January 2021 (Source: DataReportal).
At least half of these people use Google to search for products, services, and articles.
In fact, 46% of product searches begin on Google.
This means that if there is anything you should be focusing on right now is to make sure your website is SEO optimized.
Additionally, ranking #1 on Google has its benefits;
You get to a lion’s share of the traffic.
In fact, position 1 on Google gets at least 42.32% clicks as compared to 3.11% in position 10.
And that is why SEO in Kenya should be in your digital marketing strategies.
How do Search Engines work?
Before we get started, here are some SEO terms you need to understand;
- Title tag – also referred to as page title, meta title, or SEO title, this is essentially the title of the article or page
- Meta description – tied to the .html of a specific page. Helps to describe the page and attract users to click on links in search engine result pages.
- Headings – These tags can range from H1 to H6, with 1 being the most important heading tag and 6 being the least.
- Keyword – a word or a phrase that a user types into a search engine, such as Google, to find what they are looking for.
- Indexing – is the process by which search engines collect, organize and process data on the internet. Also means that the page is eligible to show up in Google’s search results.
- Links – Internal links – links to articles or resources within your website. External links (backlinks) – links from other websites.
- Search Engine Results Page (SERP) – is the page of results you receive after you search for something.
- Rank – getting your website to appear among the SERP.
- Crawl – Crawling is when Google or another search engine sends a bot to a web page or web post and “read” the page. They do this to understand what is on the page or website
There are more SEO terms you need to learn, but these should help you get the basic idea.
Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking
Every day, hundreds of thousands of people use search engines to find information on the internet.
They might be looking for a phone number, or contact address, or just researching and comparing prices before they buy something new.
When you type in your query (keyword) into Google’s search box (or any other major engine), it looks at billions of web pages (crawling) and tries to work out what is relevant for that specific search term (indexing).
It does this by reading words on the page, where those pages are linked from, how often the keyword appears as well as many other factors too long-winded to go into here!
It then sorts everything according to relevance (ranking) ˗ the most relevant results appear first.
The major engines ˗ such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing – all have their own “algorithms” which are the secret recipe for deciding what to show in response to a particular search term.
Now, to have your website rank for a certain query, you need to;
- Do keyword research
- Optimize your articles around that keyword
Let’s look at each.
As I mentioned earlier, keywords are words people type into search engines while looking for information.
They form the basis of internet searches so it’s critical to know which keywords best describe your website in Kenya.
If you can find words people use on Google when looking for topics related to your blog, you are sorted.
If your blog is about weight loss, you need to figure out (research) what words people use (keywords) when searching for articles about weight loss on Google in Kenya.
And the best way to do that is using keyword research tools.
The one I use often is Google Keyword Planner.
How to use Google Keyword Planner in Kenya
Google Keyword Planner is a tool availed by Google and it is free.
To use it, go to https://ads.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/
You may be required to log in with your Google account to use the tool.
Actually, this tool is used when creating Google Ads in Kenya.
Click on Go to Keyword Planner.
Pick the first option.
This will help you discover more keywords.
Type the topic of your blog into the box (make sure the location is set to Kenya).
Finally, click on Get Results.
Google will give you keywords people use when searching for your blog topic or product.
It also shows you;
- How many times the keyword is searched per month
- Level of competition (high, medium, and low).
Steal competitor’s keywords
Alternatively, you can steal your competitor’s keywords for your SEO in Kenya.
Here is how;
While on the GKP interface, switch to ‘Start With A Website’
Copy and paste their website into the box.
Make sure you tick ‘Use the entire site’ and then click Get results.
GKP will pull up all the keywords your competitor is ranking for.
This strategy gives you access to untapped keywords with less competition.
To pick the best keyword, pick one with high search volume and low to medium competition.
Because it will be easier for your article to rank for that keyword.
Avoid anything with high competition.
Additionally, when researching keywords for a blog post or webpage, you should make sure that your content includes both long-tail and short-tail keyword phrases.
Short tail keywords have fewer words in them while long-tail keywords typically include more words such as “how do I grow my own tomatoes” than “tomatoes”.
The idea with using a mix of these two types of keyword phrases is that there will be less competition on search engines like Google when someone searches for an exact phrase rather than just one or two shorter keyword phrases.
And that the search engines will be able to show your webpage or blog post for a more diverse range of people when they type in these keyword combinations.
Moving on with SEO in Kenya.
Now, make a list of the best keywords you want your website to rank for.
And then see the next step.
On-site SEO optimization is the process of optimizing a website’s content, code, and design to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) on the intent of searchers.
How to SEO your blog post
After identifying a keyword worth ranking for (high search volume, low competition), do the following;
a). Include the keyword on the title
Title your blog post for a search term that people are likely to type in when searching Google.
For example, if you are targeting a keyword like “How To Make A Pumpkin Pie,” then the title of your blog post should be like “Homemade pumpkin pie recipe.”
b). Keyword Within the Intro
Use the main keyword within the first 100 words in your article, preferably, within the first sentence.
c). Use KW throughout the article
Repeat the keyword throughout the blog post several times depending on the number of words in your article.
- 300 to 500 words – use the keyword 2-3 times
- 500 to 1K words – use at 3-4 times
- Above 1K words – at least 4 times
Ultimately, do not overuse keywords or keyword phrases in blog articles.
But do include them where appropriate and where it makes sense.
d). Add Internal Links
Include links within your post that point readers to other resources for more information if they want it.
And then link to some articles or pages within your website (internal links).
This will help you rank higher in Google because people can click on related content on your site, increasing time spent on site.
Google picks this as a signal that people actually like what they find on your website.
e). Optimize images
Make sure all of the images used throughout are optimized for SEO.
This includes uploading them using descriptive filenames (e.g., “pumpkin-pie.jpg”).
And providing a caption that is both meaningful to the post’s content as well as includes any relevant keywords for search engine optimization purposes
“A perfectly baked pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top.”
f). Optimize article URL
Use the target keyword in your post URL.
Also, the link should be short
I will show you how to do that in a minute.
g). Make your article scannable
Use subheadings within articles when necessary to break up content into easily digestible chunks.
This is for readers who may only have time for shorter reading sessions such as on their lunch breaks or during commutes home from work.
This also makes it easier for search engines like Google to read through and index your content more efficiently, improving your SEO in Kenya.
You know, than if you wrote everything all under just one single long paragraph without any spaces between thoughts or sentences.
Also, use the target keyword or its synonyms within some of the subheadings.
Keyword synonyms are phrases related to your main keyword.
You can find them by using this tool here; LSIGraph.com.
By using synonyms, you are building a better context of your article, thus helping Google better understand what you are talking about.
In return, it ranks your content for the relevant keywords on the SERP.
h). Keep your blog fresh
Publish articles at least once per week with quality content so that visitors come back again and again.
Regularly publishing posts also helps establish an online authority for yourself as an expert in your field.
Additionally, Google loves fresh content.
Do that and it will reward you with lots of free traffic.
Off-page Optimization and building authority
Off-page SEO optimization is the process of gaining backlinks and mentions through your writing.
Authority is an important factor in search engine optimization in Kenya.
Authority has been defined as “the perceived credibility, expertise or trustworthiness of the source.”
When a website gains authority through its reputation and name recognition, it will rank higher on Google searches than others with less-established reputations.
To establish yourself as an expert, you need to build links to your website.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks (or outbound links) are links from other websites to your site or specific blog posts.
The more backlinks you have, the higher the authority, and the higher your website appears on SERPs.
For instance, a site with 500 outbound links is ranked higher than one that has only 50.
Since Google considers it more authoritative (expert in the topic in question) than the one with fewer links pointing to it.
It’s worth mentioning here that just because many people link to your content doesn’t mean it’s good quality.
The relevance of those links should also be considered and verified first!
To rank higher for your chosen keyword, you need to have more high-quality backlinks pointing to it.
High quality means links for reputable websites related to your website.
How to get backlinks
To improve your SEO in Kenya, use the following strategies to get relevant and quality backlinks;
Here are the best backlink strategies in Kenya:
1). Content marketing
This is the best strategy for getting backlinks because it Is more about creating quality, valuable and relevant content than just link building.
In fact, this is how bloggers create authority sites with high domain authority that get tons of traffic even without SEO or PPC advertising!
2). Guest blogging
Guest posting provides an opportunity to share your expertise in a different space on someone’s blog.
This can help you build links from their site over to yours.
Again, it’s all about giving something great away instead of asking for anything in return!
Plus, if they rank well then so will your article by association… not bad huh? 😉
3). Social media
One thing you should know about SEO in Kenya is how it’s all built around relevancy.
And what better way to get more backlinks than by getting people talking about you?
Social Media gives us instant access when we want our voice heard so this would be my #choice method.
Not only does it build backlinks to your site or blog post, but there are unlimited opportunities in terms of networking with others who might help promote or mention you on their own blogs.
Podcasts are like an audio blog post and most listeners prefer them over video due to the limited availability of good quality video content on YouTube or Vimeo.
Getting featured in Podcasts establishes your expertise and earns you links back to your website once the episode is published.
5). Press releases
These days, because of how much information is published on the internet each hour, it’s nearly impossible to get your content seen by many without a PR campaign.
Press releases are one of the best ways I have found to do this and they’re generally free or low cost if you take some time to research companies that specialize in them.
Things to consider when doing SEO in Kenya
There are some other things to consider when performing SEO.
The first is keywords: you may have a great website, but if it’s not easy for people outside of your company to find it then what’s the point?
You need to include your main keyword in at least one paragraph on each page and make sure that there are no duplicates throughout the site.
The next thing is links: we’ve all heard about link farms before (those sites with hundreds or even thousands of unrelated pages that just exchange backlinks), so be wary of those!
It can work because they’re linking out from their page to yours.
However, Google doesn’t like this type of manipulation and often penalizes websites that take part in these practices.
There are many ways to acquire links, but the most effective way is by adding a link back to your site on other sites.
See the previous section for more backlink strategies in Kenya.
c). Social Media
Consider social media when performing SEO in Kenya.
It has become an integral part of our lives.
It’s how people communicate and stay connected with friends and family around the world.
This also means that there are countless opportunities for businesses to get in front of potential customers.
You can start by getting started on Facebook or Twitter (or both) and sign up for LinkedIn, too!
d). Mobile responsive design
Another important point to mention is that your site needs to be mobile-friendly.
This means using responsive layouts so your website will look good on a phone, tablet, or desktop computer screen/laptop.
If it is not optimized for all devices then people won’t find the information they are looking for and may click away from your site without inquiring!
If your business has any coupons or offers make sure they are easy to find on Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
You want them in places where most of the residents might go since these sites typically show up at the top of search results.
f). Reduce bounce rate
Lastly, keep in mind Google now ranks pages higher based on how much time someone spends reading when visiting a page.
If they read through a couple of pages and spend some time looking at the content then this sends a signal to Google that people are interested in your site, blog post, or article.
Bounce rate is a metric that measures how many people leave after visiting only one page on your site.
And it’s usually expressed as a percentage of total visits to certain pages on the website.
On average, most sites have rates between 60-65% which means that 65% of visitors who land on a page leave without browsing any further.
The higher your bounce rate, the worse it is for SEO in Kenya because Google considers those pages as not useful to searchers and less likely to contain high-quality content.
This impacts how they rank in search engine results pages (SERPS).
How to reduce bounce rate
To reduce your bounce rate you should optimize these three things:
Optimize relevant keywords and phrases with meaningful sentences or paragraphs within each section of the article/post; use bulleted lists where appropriate
Use contrasting colors between background images and text so readers can easily distinguish what’s important from what isn’t.
Choose fonts that are readable in different sizes.
And opt for a minimalist design with ample white space to give readers some breathing room
Make your site easy to use by organizing content logically into headers, paragraphs, and lists.
Make links big enough that people will click on them.
In conclusion, SEO in Kenya is a complex process that can be made simple with the right tools and knowledge.
It is not easy, but it is manageable once you know what to do and have good software backing your efforts.
I hope this post has provided you some insights into how a typical web page might rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).
The most important points of SEO in Kenya are;
- Having high-quality content relevant to the targeted keywords
- Using these words as much as possible throughout the document without sounding spammy or copied
- Linking back to other related posts on your website from time to time
- And making sure all images on the page are relevant and properly tagged, to name a few.
Have questions? Leave your comment below.
It’s been 5+ years now doing digital marketing. Back when I started, things were different from what you see today. That is the reason why I started this blog, to share my experiences and how I handle marketing challenges I encounter. I hope you find them useful. When not watching cartoons, (yes, I know what that means), you will find me creating content for my blogs.