By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
I have once in the past over emphasised the need to get your company a functional website to increase visibility to the new online world order, it is not only a fundamental move, but rather the first step in a miles journey.
Once your website is up and running, you cannot sit back and expect magic to start turning your fortunes around. Your website is not going to bring you any great results by merely sitting online and its sad to point out that 80percent of websites created in Zimbabwe are mere dead portals.
As soon as your website goes live, the next stage is to start marketing it and increasing its visibility online and one best way to attain tangible results is to start a technical process termed Search Engine Optimisation (S.E.O)
In my simple definition, SEO is a very complex task to achieve yet a very simple result of simply ranking high in any search engine result when anyone is looking for you, or products related to you.
Ofcourse the success of your SEO to a larger extent is based on how you rank on Google, while Google is not the only search engine worth targeting, it’s one of the most significant search engine to rank well.
To simplify things, if you are into car breaking in Zimbabwe and you have the name www.carbreaker.co .zw as your domain name (just a generic example in case one day you pick the name) and someone simply searches for phrase “car breakers Zimbabwe”, If good SEO practice has been done, of the thousands pages that come up, your website should rank among the top five on the first page.
The proof of the pudding is in the taste, I know there are many SEO gurus who will have a bone or two to chew with me but when you cant rank a website on the first page you still have a long way to go.
Personally, I have done SEO to my website and today in less than half a year, im proud www.technomag.co.zw and the name TechnoMag ranks top on most search engines. Not just the name should give you joy but mainly other field related names, for example when someone looks for technology news in Zimbabwe on google, the search phrase should generate hits that picks my website too.
This is what makes a website powerful and relevant across sectors and as engineers battle to rank higher, with time, even the leading website can vanish from the top results all depending on many various metrics, bearing in mind that Google keeps changing and evolving the way it ranks websites.
I will not be dropping any panacea to rank your website high here, what actually triggered my interest is the next upcoming e-marketing and SEO conference organised Premier IT, that will be held at Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) in a fortnight.
Speaking to Mr Blessing Ngorima,the Managing Director of Premier IT, he said “this is not going to be just an ordinary conference but a school, where a hands on and real world guide to understanding e-marketing, SEO, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and social media to generate leads, connect with customers, expand market reach while growing your business.”
Mr Ngorima said among other guests, a well-known e-marketing expert, Mr Rafiq Phillips, a marketing technologist with MIH internet Africa based in South Africa will be jetting in for the conference.
“A much more practical approach to the solution will be demonstrated where attendees will get a hands on feel as they tame the beast of the internet. The real techniques behind the technology will be explored and we aim to empower every attendee with the proper industrial skill”, added Blessing.
While I’m fully conversant that e-marketing and SEO tasks do not bring instant immediate results, it is important you start building that foundation now for future results. Electronic marketing and Search Engine Optimisation is not a one day job, it takes weeks to months and a lifetime to keep ranking well on most search engines.
One feature to look out for during the seminar is the most controversial topic on white hat and black hat SEO. I personally think beyond the ethics of practicing these two concepts, much focus will have to be emphasised on how Google and other SEO`s respond to such techniques.
Black hat SEO has been known world-wide as a rogue way to rank higher while the metrics keeps changing and Google too has been on a record of banning those who practice such activities. The question remains whether Black Hat SEO magic will continue to give instant though rigged, high results for long.
Of course besides Search Engine Optimisation, it will be interesting to learn other e-marketing techniques outside SEO which one can use to keep afloat. Since the conference has been promising fireworks on the online world, I`m highly anticipating it will deliver.
My counterpart always say ice-cream is to kids while fresh content is to Google. This ia very true, Google likes fresh new unique content and by providing such you are not only helping search engines to rank you, but also creating a brand in the mindset of your readers.
Its time we move on to the next step and embrace the new online world order. The powers that be at the controls of your online presence should start implementing these techniques they learn to reap the rewards.
The seminar is set for HICC in the next two weeks on the 4th of July and you may contact the organisers for more information.
There are also FREE entry Tickets for 5 people who qualify by Simply Joining Their Facebook Page.