Search Engine Optimization:
The Key to ensure that your website does not see it’s sunset years too early.
One puzzling thing about a number of local (Kenyan) websites is the fact that after a lot has been spent in developing or designing a website many organizations and especially those that are targeting online traffic put very little effort of any at all in ensuring that traffic to the site eventually builds up in a consistent way and the assumption is that, people/ surfers will unexpectedly bump on to the site when searching for your product or service. I like to compare a website, your online office to a normal office in some story building in a busy city.
An organization will plan about the office set up (website Design and structure), the location (Domain Name and hosting plan), there after when the doors to the office are eventually opened the assumptions is that someone is going to walk in. In real life it rarely happens that way organizations must create awareness of their products and services using various methods. The same is true online. Search engine optimization is the deliberate effort to drive quality traffic or visitors to your website mainly from search engines. Optimization ensures that people searching for your services or information on search engines will find your site listed on the search engine results page irrespective of weather they know your company name or not. E.g if someone was searching for ‘Kenya website services” then organizations whose core business is website services and are in Kenya and have a website should be listed on the results. Search engine optimization or SEO as it is popularly known is an ongoing activity on the website and not a one time activity like designing the website, just like marketing is an on going activity for any business. While optimization cannot fully guarantee top ranking on search engines because eventually search engines will decide it how they rank different websites it tries as much as possible to improve the ranking of a website.
The process of SEO involves researching, content enrichment, code enrichment, link enhancement and tracking or what I would call reporting and analyzing. Tracking is important as it tells who is coming to your site via which avenues, what are they looking at on your site and how long are they on the site. It also helps to gauge if there has been an improvement on traffic to the site . Reporting and analyzing is usually the first step as it helps to know what the current situation is.
Finally there is the aspect of patience the effects of SEO can be noticed within a time frame of between 1 to 6 months it is paramount that one has realistic expectations as there are no miracles. It is a slow, tedious, time consuming effort which can be extremely rewarding in the long term.