The search base for Google Nigeria is growing, but companies and local businesses in Nigeria aren’t taking advantage of it.
When you do a Google search on something related to a Nigerian business, product or a service, you’d expect to find relevant information, but what comes up is complete garbage. That’s because businesses in Nigeria aren’t taking advantage of the free traffic/advertising that Google and other search engines have to offer. Most Nigerian businesses are not even online yet, the few who have managed to take their businesses online are seeing little or no benefits. Nobody goes to their websites except their employees and webmaster.
Like last week, I needed to get some training weights for my home gym. I went to Google to search if I could get one around Lagos. I typed in “buy gym equipments Lagos”, and all the results that came were totally not related to what I was searching for.
Frustrated that I couldn’t get what I was looking for, I decided to search to see if there were other people in Lagos searching for a similar thing on Google and how many of them were actually searching in a given month. I used the free Google keyword tool for this. I saw that not only were people in Lagos searching for “Gym Equipments”, other related keywords were getting searches as well.
Now imagine you are a company selling this in Lagos, and you have a website showcasing it, and your website has been optimized to sit on the front page of Google whenever somebody searches for that. And out of the 500 searches you’re able to convert just 5% of them into sales. That would do wonders for your business.
What You Can Do To Help Your Business Today
First you need to realize that technology is changing the way businesses are done not just in Nigeria but everywhere. And this is not just about following the trend, it’s about what’s critical to your business success. Nigerians are using Google Search to look up information about companies, services and products. And having your website show up in the top ten result for your business keywords will do nothing but put money in your pocket.
11 Checklists For Your Business
1. If you don’t have an online presence which is basically a website, get a web developer to build one for your business. This typically costs between N50,000 to N100,000 depending on the type of website. I would recommend you get a professional to do this for you. N10,000 website design will do your business no good.
2. Ensure your web developer has basic skills about web usability, web standards and general web optimization for the keywords you’re interested in ranking for your business. You’d need to do some basic keyword research to determine keywords that will bring you business, and then use those to optimize your website.
3. Proper page title is a must, and each page has to be unique. This is where you get to use your keywords. This is powerful, so use it wisely.
4. For content, I’ll advise you add a blog to your website. This is where you’ll be posting news about your business services or products. This can be in the form of tutorial or FAQ or how to use a specific product or service or the benefits of using them, etc.
5. Ensure you list your business address on all the pages on your website and every other website where you have the opportunity to do this. This forces Google to put your business on the map. So when a prospective customer does a local search on Google for local keywords, your business gets listed.
6. Submit online press releases about your business or any news worthy item. Online press releases help fuel your SEO efforts by sending traffic and links to your site. Don’t forget to add your business address too.
7. Ask for link exchange from other business owners in your community. Also write a few articles related to your business, properly optimized with your keywords, submit these to a few article directories, like Ezinearticles.com, Articlebase.com, etc.
8. Consider creating a professional video about your business or service, and submit to youtube and other video sharing sites. With windows movie maker you could crank up some pretty nice videos using pictures and sounds. Ensure you optimize this with your local business keywords when submitting.
9. If you have a listing on Google places, claim it now. Google places is like yellow pages on drugs. You can also add your business if you’re not yet listed. More on Google places for local businesses here.
10. Add your site to Google webmaster tools. A Google webmaster account provides you with details and tools to fix your site’s technical issues and help you rank better in the search engines.
11. Get a free Google analytics account to track your keywords and visitors. With this you’ll be able to fine tune your online marketing efforts. Basically knowing what’s doing well and what’s not working so you can take appropriate actions. This isn’t like offline marketing/advertising where you have no idea whether your money and efforts are really paying off.
Marketing online isn’t a one time process, ongoing tweaking and improvements will go a long way to position you as a market leader.
This is just the beginning, as more and more Nigerians flock to the internet for information about businesses, products and services. Positioning your website for them will be what makes you fly above your competitors.
“Frustrated guy” image courtesy of istockphotos.com