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Search Engine Optimization

9 Critical SEO Checklist Items for Website Design & Development

Web developers straddle multiple disciplines bringing content to the web. In addition, to design and marketing concerns, professional developers are also committed to keeping websites accessible, fully supported, and recognizable to search engines.
Various strategies accomplish the task, and while they are not always as well-versed in the field as dedicated SEO professionals, web developers and website design agencies are most effective when they understand SEO fundamentals (and beyond).

1. Don’t Forget the SEO Basics
Consistent attention to basic SEO provides a solid foundation for any website. Accounting for details like alt tags and title tags strengthens content and makes your site more accessible to both search engines and other accessibility needs, such as screen readers. The tags should be attached to every image and anchor text, accurately describing what’s on them.
Another long-time feature of SEO, the importance of metadata hasn’t diminished – it actually has new changes.
Metadata can best be described as a concise informative snapshot of other data, furnishing basic info about website content.
Well-structured meta titles and descriptions make it easier to find content, increases click-through-rate (CTR), and reinforces information organization. Creating metadata manually makes it more accurate and site-specific, driving better results than creating it automatically.

2. Validate all Code Against W3C
Following best practices includes validating code against W3C standards. The process ensures your code is seen properly by search and follows widely accepted formatting rules. Without validation, coding errors can cause a search to overlook or dismiss key aspects of your site.

3. Use Proper Structure
Site structure contributes to consistent user experience, but a well-structured website can also enhance SEO. Users and Google are looking for some of the same things, so delivering a memorable UX also satisfies the search provider.
Proper structure leads to site links, outlining your featured pages each time your website appears in search. The valuable SEO advantage makes it easier for visitors to navigate your site and points them to the information they came for.
Sitelinks are awarded by Google, recognizing websites with proper structure. If you present a messy website structure, you’ll likely be passed over, losing the SEO benefits of site links.
Web developers need to understand when to use

use <header> tags, <section> tags, <footer> tags, and much more during the development process. I’ve seen websites with more than one <h1> tag and always cringe when viewing the source code of sloppy web development.

Other structure and code issues are the simple things for UX – web developers must get into the habit of using the proper “type” on form fields for phone, email, URL, and text. This is simply great practice and makes for happy visitors on their mobile experience.

Link Internally for Better Crawling and Indexing

Google admittedly isn’t perfect, crawling and detecting all the content on websites. That makes it even more important to maximize the impact of your top pages. Linking internally helps support your site’s structure, in terms of ranking and indexing. The strategy is particularly effective when new content is linked to steady, evergreen pages Google already recognizes as relevant.

This goes double for using proper “noindex” tags throughout your site. Certain pages like “tag” pages typically do better by not having them indexed, giving more power to your service and product pages. Each particular website structure is different, and your web developer needs to understand the site architecture extremely well to get this nailed down properly.

  1. Understand Pagination and Canonicalization

Strong canonicalization ensures every piece of content on your website has a unique URL. Done correctly, the process brings greater authority to your site, preventing the benefits of quality links and content from being diluted. Pagination splits content into multiple pages, providing a series of direct links, usually found near the bottom of the page.

Clicking the numbered page links and forward/back icons enables visitors to efficiently navigate material. Though it is not always a top priority, intuitive pagination is an easy way to boost UX, which ultimately helps SEO.

  1. Ensure Proper Robots.txt and Sitemap.xml

You can’t blame Google for your website performance if you don’t send search engines the proper messages. If you’ve added a disallow directive to a Robots.txt file during development, make sure it is removed before the site goes live.

Both the Robots.txt and Sitemap.xml files should be properly formatted upon live launch and ready for your SEO professional to take the next steps. With the Sitemap.xml file, it should be submitted to Google Search Console.

  1. Manage and Implement Structured Data

Including structured data from schema.org can elevate your game. It’s vital to make sure your structured data is coded properly. Automatic tools don’t always uncover structured data problems, so manually checking for coding errors is the best defense.

You can check each page’s structured data using Google’s Structured Data Tool. There are many opportunities to embed structured data. Some obvious ones are:

Local Business data

Navigation

Breadcrumbs

Image Galleries

  1. Speed up Browser Caching

Browser caching and setting correct expire times for files saves time on the visitors future visits to your website. Essentially, this is a local copy of images and other files, such as CSS and JavaScript, that help with page load.

  1. Page Load Speed is Critical

As previously mentioned, the Speed Update announcement is definitely one huge reason to make sure your site loads fast, especially in mobile search. More importantly, you want your site to load fast on the desktop as well.

Your web development professional needs to consider all areas where speed can be improved. This includes using progressive JPEGs, understanding when to use PNG8 vs PNG24, and optimizing all files and assets on page load.

Similarly, failing to compress images can result in usability issues. Files are readily compressed with photo management software, before being exported for the web. And in some cases, using a smaller image size is all that’s needed to facilitated faster loading speeds.

There are many tools available to check page speed.

In Summary

The best web developers maintain SEO awareness, optimizing during each stage of website design and development. An SEO checklist helps manage the details and ensures a tight campaign and a website that can scale as your needs grow.

If you’re not getting the best possible performance from your website, it’s time to start giving SEO the attention it deserves.

If you’re looking for a progressive web development company that understands these concepts and many more on how SEO plays a vital role in the website design process, feel free to reach out to us!

Top 5 Digital Agencies in East Africa

Ogilvy has been producing iconic, culture-changing marketing campaigns since the day its founder David Ogilvy opened up shop in 1948. Today, Ogilvy is an award-winning integrated creative network that makes brands matter for Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses across 131 offices in 83 countries. The company creates experiences, design and communications that shape every aspect of a brand’s needs through six core capabilities: Brand Strategy, Advertising, Customer Engagement and Commerce, PR and Influence, Digital Transformation, and Partnerships

www.ogilvy.com

Dotsavvy provides digital strategy, design, marketing and technology to some of Africa’s biggest businesses and most loved brands. We are driven by the challenge of reconciling our clients user needs and business goals to achieve transformational digital marketing outcomes.

https://www.dotsavvyafrica.com/

Entwined Media is a Digital Engagement company located in Westlands, Nairobi that strives to understand the needs of our clients and analyse the market to implement the best methods to further your brand or product #WeCanHelp

https://www.entwined.co.ke/

Belva Digital is a performance-driven digital marketing agency based in Nairobi, Kenya. We focus on leading brands, enabling them to leverage the Internet to grow their businesses and organizations. Our creative and dynamic team will work with you to understand, tailor and implement the perfect blend of digital marketing solutions to achieve your business goals.

https://belvadigital.com

East Africa Digital Marketers is a full-fledged digital marketing agency based in Kenya at Westlands, Nairobi. Established in 2012, have failed enough to know what works online and what doesn’t.

http://www.eastafricadigitalmarketers.com/

Understanding Google Search Console

Want a great tool to get your website more traffic? Then this blog is for you. We’re going to tell you all about a free Google service called Search Console. And show how it can help you, and how you can get it set up.
So what exactly is Google Search Console? Well, it’s a service that gives you feedback about how your website is doing in Google search results.

 

It has two primary functions. It monitors your performance in Google Search results. And it also shows you how Google “sees” your site.

 

Say you own a coffee shop, and your website needs some updating. Let’s take a closer look at a few ways Search Console might be able to help you out.
One way is through its “Search Analytics ” reports. This can help you answer a few important questions like which searches bring people to your site. Or tell you when searchers click on your links. They can even let you know which other sites link to yours.

Why is this important?

Well, the “Search Analytics ” report shows lots of things, including the most common searches bringing people to your site. Ideally you’d see words and phrases relevant to your business, like:

Coffee shop Cotswolds, Coffeehouse near me, Pastries near Cotswolds, or Fair trade coffee near me.

If you review the report and see unrelated or irrelevant words and phrases, it’s a hint that the text on your website needs some attention.

Another thing to look for is the number of clicks. You’ll want to know how often your site appears but gets no clicks—that’s a sign your content doesn’t match what people are looking for.

The “Links to your site” report shows websites that link to your site. Think of these as “referrals.” The list should include websites relevant to coffee.
More and more people use mobile devices to access the Internet, so while you’re in Google Search Console you should also check out the “Mobile Usability Report”. This’ll point out pages on your site that don’t work well on mobile phones, which you can then fix to improve your website performance when people search on mobile.
There are two more really handy features within Search Console to know about: “Crawl” reports, and “Google Index ” reports.

“Crawl” reports let you monitor whether Google can visit your web pages. This is important because if Google can’t access your web pages, your content can’t be included in Google’s search results.

The “Google Index ” reports show what information Google recorded about your site and tells you if your pages are accessible.
It’s easy to get started with Search Console.

At Entwined Media we can do all this for you.

We will help you sign up, add your website and complete the verification to prove you own the website.

Now Search Console can generate reports for your site. It might be a few days before you see useful information because it must first gather and process the data. If you see a “No data yet” message, check back later.
When your site’s set up in Google Search Console, we will use the reports to figure out how to improve your presence on Google. Using the reports, we can make changes to help Google better understand your web pages and as a result make your website perform better.

#WeCanHelp

Taking a business online

So what are the key differences between a customer in a physical shop and a customer online?

Imagine you just set a personal goal for 2019 to improve your fitness, and now need new running shoes. In the offline world your journey might go a bit like this:

You visit the local shopping centre, going from shop to shop. Ultimately, you make a decision based on price, quality, returns policy, friendliness of staff, and stock availability. You process all that information, head back to the store with the shoes you liked best, and make the purchase.

When it comes to online purchasing, you’re likely to engage in four distinct stages throughout your online shopping journey. Theses principles are described in the “See, Think, Do, Care” framework, and offer a useful way to identify where a business should invest effort in connecting with customers. Let’s take a look at our shoe shopping example, while highlighting these four stages:

In the SEE stage, you notice that some of your friends have taken up running, and are posting maps of their favourite routes on their social media accounts. This inspires you to start running yourself. In the THINK stage, you get your phone and type ‘what are the best running shoes for beginners?’. This introduces you to a whole lot of online content, from blog articles to targeted ads, giving you more factors to base your decision on. Eventually, you make your purchase, which makes up the DO stage, and perhaps post a photo on social media. This last step of sharing your purchase is part of the CARE stage.

Keep in mind that customers don’t necessarily experience all four stages every time – your individual journey might begin at the THINK stage, or end at the DO stage.

Now let’s combine offline and online activities together. Imagine you are in the sport shop having just tried on the new running shoes. You get out your phone and search for them online – perhaps checking if they are cheaper elsewhere. The chances are you might buy online after visiting a physical store- an approach called ‘showrooming’.

Understanding the differences and similarities between online and offline shopping can help you create a more balanced online customer experience.

So how can you identify where to focus your efforts online? To choose the right channels, find out out who you’re talking to, when you should talk to them, and what you should talk about. This is called audience segmentation.

You can segment customers in many ways, from basic demographics like age and gender, to specific interests. For example, segmenting customers by location may benefit an e-commerce store if certain products are only available to ship to specific areas. Segmentation can also help with your online advertising; as most channels allow you to target paid advertising to specific audiences, based on information like what an audience likes or dislikes. You can also make your ads appear only to people within a certain radius of your shop or business, which can be handy when offering promotions to local shoppers.

To wrap up, when it comes to taking a business online, think about the customers and put yourself in their shoes: which channels do they use most? How do you engage differently with them online and offline?

At Entwined Media Limited, #WeCanHelp!!

The Online Opportunity

It’s no secret that the world has embraced all things digital since the birth of the internet. Now we’re going to talk about how many people are online worldwide, and find out how those people are spending their time online. And finally, tell you how your business can benefit from the still-booming digital trend.

To give you an idea of the explosion of online usage over the last 15 years, consider this: In 2000, about 361 million people were online worldwide. In 2016, there were over 3 billion. That’s a growth rate of 764%! Today, nearly half the world is online.

For instance in India, the numbers are growing at an impressive rate with over 34.8% Indians having Internet access in 2016. Indians are so connected that they have an average of 0.80 mobile subscriptions each, that’s nearly one mobile line per person!

No matter which device they use, on average, people spend over 3 hours per day which is more than 90 hours in a month!

So what are they doing with all that time online? And how can your business tap into this opportunity?

Many of these digitally connected people are shopping.For example, there were close to 100 million online shoppers in India by the end of 2016.

Online video has also seen double-digit growth in the last five years, with millions everyday watching video on social sites or via websites such as Youtube, Netflix, etc.

And people are spending hours, socialising and sharing—nearly 2 and a half hours of their time spent online per day is on social media sites.

If you’re a business owner, all these people doing all these things online presents loads of potential for you.

And as time goes on, people will continue to use the Internet in even more ways that will impact your business.

It’s been truly a modern miracle to witness how the Internet has transformed our daily lives in such a short span of time.

In every country, in every region, across the globe, the world has made a fundamental and profound shift to digital. This is an opportunity any business can embrace.

Talk to us and we’ll show you how.

How much does Social Media cost in Kenya?

Businesses in Kenya are increasingly realizing the value of social media; and that is a good thing. But with value comes cost and that is what I would like to delve into today.

Is Social Media Cheap?

The word out there is that social media is cheap and many a social media practitioner in Kenya will attempt to prove this to you through case studies, research, and sometimes actual implementation. Internationally as well, it is common knowledge that social media represents the cheapest marketing option for businesses. But beyond marketing, the value of social media is seen and felt in its facilitation of many other business functions like sales, customer care, research and development etc. So I ask again, why is social media considered cheaper yet it is the most versatile platform for businesses to advance themselves?

Cost Misconception

I guess all the blogs written about how cheap social media is have led to this prevalent misconception that social media should cost next to nothing. Businesses are trying to employ social media at no cost and while the dive into social media is welcome, the just as many casualties of social media disasters point to this wrong approach tiered on a flawed perception. Cheap or cheaper does not mean nothing or next to nothing; it means there will be a cost attached albeit cheaper either in terms of same costs you employ in marketing but better ROI or a fraction of what you use in marketing or R&D for similar ROI.

Cheap Cheapens Social Media

The blogs that should be going out should not be stating how cheap social media is but rather how relatively cheaper it is. Stating social media is cheap cheapens our work as Social Media solutions providers because it creates the perception that anybody with knowledge of these shiny social media tools can do what we do. And that is the reason most businesses try to pull it off using interns. Our work is not being seen as an executive level grasp of business objectives infused with an understanding of emerging technologies with the end result being a strategic deployment of social media across the organization in a way that fundamentally changes how the business runs and ultimately improves the bottom-line.

Social Media Costs

The truth is that social media is relatively cheaper. You will get but ROI given the same resources. And it is important to realize that social media does not replace most business functions but rather facilitates most of these functions in a way that enables them to scale. Social Media is time intensive and human resources intensive as well; both of which have a cost connotation. There are services that cost cold hard cash and those have to be factored in too. So the next time someone says social media is cheap, what they mean is it is relatively cheaper.

Digital Online Management – Get A Specialist To Manage Your Online Assets

The content that potential customers find online about your brand can be the difference maker for your business. We specialize in providing Digital Online Management services that help build trust in your organization.

Your online position is the merging of every piece of information about you online. This data comes together to form an opinion in a person’s mind about you or your brand, whether positive or negative. The easier it is to find the information, the more of an impact it will have on your reputation. The primary platforms that define your online reputation include:
● Google Search
● Google Autocomplete
● Wikipedia
● Google Reviews
● Online Directories
● Social Media Profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.)

With Digital Online Management, we work hard to make all of the positive information easy to find on a day to day basis. We act as your representative on the different platforms by providing rock-solid team management that engages potential clients for you. At the same time, we use many different strategies and tactics to diminish the visibility of negative content, or in some cases, remove it from the web altogether. The end result is a positive online reputation because when people search your name or brand, they instantly find positive content.

What makes online communication unique from others is its immediate access to consumers and outcome. As with any media, a successful approach to digital- and social media requires knowing what you are doing, how you are doing it, and why. Social media networks have become vital to success as traditional media outlets, especially for reaching younger constituents. And when you don’t work with digital media on a daily basis, it takes time and effort to stay updated on the know-how for managing all your social communities effectively. That’s why we offer you the services of managing your accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, at Entwined Media #WeCanHelp you make it a great one.

Lead Generation – Successfully Converted Your Leads Into Sales

Lead Generation is the process of stimulating customer attention into your business for the purpose of further rendezvous. It is the sowing of seeds.
Today, lead generation is carried out in digital platforms. Online lead generation is your marketing weapon and to win the war depends on how you utilise this powerful weapon. Utilising lead generation begins from understanding the importance of lead generation and its impact.
It is the process of getting an individual or organisation’s contact information of who/which is showing interest in the product or service that you offer. In order to generate such leads on a digital platform, first, you have to drive traffic to your business website.
Traffic to your website can be generated in numerous effective ways. All it takes is consistency.
You can do so by SEO, softwares, keywords, guest blogging, sales prospecting methods, social media platforms and much more.
The next step would be to have a lead generation form. Just driving traffic to your website and not getting their contact details would make them a site visitor and not your lead. You should communicate with the site visitors to convert them into a leads. Such communication for a long term relationship can be best done through emails.

Lead Generation Form:
Lead generation forms are the most important component of lead generation. It facilitates the overall process by collecting information of the site visitors. This helps you convert such visitors into actual leads.
It helps you compile user data.
Site visitors don’t just submit their contact information. You need to a plan in order to compel them into submitting. This can be done by providing offers.
An offer is something that you offer to the site visitor that compels them to give their contact information. It becomes a critical part of your lead generation process as it persuades the visitor to share their personal information.
The important part in lead generation campaigns is the CTAs or Call To Actions.
Call To Action is either a button on the website that directs a site visitor to take a particular action. A compelling CTA takes users to your offer thereby allowing them in providing their contact information.

Lead Management
Leads come from different sources such as Web sites, social media, direct mail, third-party providers, events and call centres. Businesses undertake marketing strategies to attract potential customers, whether at the shopping mall, over the Internet or in person on the retail floor. It is vital to identify, understand and take relevant action immediately, as soon as the consumer states an interest.
Managing the generated leads helps you understand which tactics are bringing in the best or most leads. Thereby, you can optimise your plan to be both efficient and effective.

Lead Nurturing
Lead Nurturing is a relation-expanding process. It uses media platforms such as email, whitepapers, blogs, telecommunication, social media, third-party articles etc. The aim of lead nurturing is to support the prospects with relevant information and engage the same leads in an ongoing dialogue.
The goal of lead nurturing is to support and nurture long-term opportunities with the hope that these prospects or leads may indulge in future sales

Lead Conversion
Lead conversion is the final stage in this process. This means that the prospect has successfully converted into a sale. It helps us organise our prospects and move them through the sales cycle. This is the sole reason behind generating leads; to convert leads into paying customers. Leads become a dead asset if you’re not keeping in touch via follow-ups.
This doesn’t mean that the customer contact can be scrapped. It is of utmost value to the company. Even after the transaction is complete with the customer, the relationship still goes on. The existing customers are the best in generating more leads. And converting these leads is not as hard as they were referred by the existing customer and he adds brand value.
What is your lead generation process like? Do talk to us #WeCanHelp

Social Profiles – The New-Age Tool

he creation of social profiles for the purpose of marketing is a new-age tool. Many SEO services tend to create fake profiles on social media networks to contact and tap potential consumers. However, they do not really follow a method that earn a favorable return on investment. The online users who are contacted are simply not interested because these social profiles are intruding on their privacy.

Our social profile creation services are markedly different. We do not believe in pushing across web links and spamming social media users. We carefully profile what kind of consumers we are targeting and process accordingly.
Different social media channels have specific demographics. While you will find people having a nice time on Facebook, those on LinkedIn are serious professionals. Our social profile creation services make this distinction while strategizing your online business. We keep in mind the consumer group that you are looking at. Then we create social profiles. Our social profiles are not half-baked jobs that are used to push links to your website on a random basis. A lot of study and research goes into creating online designs that are most effective for your business. Social media is not a teenage phenomenon anymore. It is a professional marketing tool and hence need to make optimum use of it.

It’s a off-page technique used by SEO’s to create profile for their client websites using various social channels. It is a one type link building technique. For a social profile creation you require:

● A company name
● Website address
● Company address
● A brief and detailed description of your company
● An email address
● Contact telephone
● Company Logo

To start off social profile creation services, we engage the following criterion:
● Well-researched and complete social profiles according to the stipulation of your business. The background information and a rough biography sketch is created so that SEO service administrators can handle them uniformly.
● Study social media networks and understand their demographic patterns. We focus our efforts on platforms that your targeted potential customers are using
● Social profiles are used to interact and post comments on social media networks. Also they are used to publish blogs and articles to generate opinion and interest about your brand
● Create a brand identity for your business by using social profile creation services
When you create a social profile you need to optimize your profile 100% so that the users can easily get view of your profile. Main importance is to provide information for the user.
At Entwined Media Ltd #WeCanHelp.

What is SEO – Search Engine Optimization all about?

SEO which stands for Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.
When you search for something in google, you get a huge number of relevant results and most of the people including you I guess try to get the desired content within the first page. Most of the time we don’t bother to move even to the second page of the search results.

Here the idea of SEO comes into play. When you own a website and have included good content there, it’s not obvious that your potential clients will get to the content. In this case you have to go through some rules and ways to make it familiar to search engines like google. An effective and well optimized content can take place in the first page of Google search results.
Now a question may arise that which words would the readers use to find your article. It is also a part of SEO. The words are known as keywords. You have to use those keywords in your website properly and by following the rules of SEO.

It involves strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website to obtain a high-ranking placement in the search results page.
It’s about making your site better for people too.

Search engine optimization is broken down into two basic areas: on-page, and off-page optimization.
1. On-page optimization- refers to website elements which comprise a web page, such as HTML code, textual content, and images.

2. Off-page optimization- refers, predominantly, to backlinks (links pointing to the site which is being optimized, from other relevant websites).

There are two major types of search engine optimization, white hat search engine optimization (the ‘good’ kind), and black hat (the ‘not so good’ kind).

All these helps in improving your visibility. When we talk about visibility, we mean how high up the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) your website appears for certain search terms in the ‘organic’ results. Organic results refer to those that appear naturally on the page, rather than in the paid-for sections.

Building a strong site architecture and providing clear navigation will help search engines index your site quickly and easily. This will also, more importantly, provide visitors with a good experience of using your site and encourage repeat visits. It’s worth considering that Google is also increasingly paying attention to user experience, including mobile optimization and site speed.
The landscape of SEO changes fast, at Entwined Media Limited we help navigate the unpredictable terrain. Whether it’s a new change in Google’s algorithm, or dealing with semantic natural language search, or implementing the latest accelerated mobile page technology, at Entwined Media Limited #WeCanHelp.

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