With the growth of internet use in many African markets, it’s not enough to have an online presence in the form of a website.
The website also needs to work for your brand as well as your customers. So how do you know it does? Here are some of the fundamentals you need to look into.
1. Responsive Web Design (RWD)
Does your website work well both on Desktop and Mobile? Remember, more and more people access the internet via their mobile phones so when designing your website, you need to go for a mobile first approach. This includes functionality too. Users need to interact with information on mobile just as easily on desktop.
2. Focus on User Experience (UX)
How do your users navigate your website? Go through the site the say way your customers and users would. Can they access the information easily and fast? If you offer services or products that they can buy, can they shop, book and/or pay seamlessly? Ensure that they can access all this information when they need to. What this means is that essentially, your site needs to meet certain usability functions as well as provide you with an online presence. This is particularly important for e-commerce sites that have multiple options for the same products that users need to interact with before making the buying decision.
3. SEO strategy that talks about your services or products
Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures that when people look for companies that are in your business, you will pop up on Google, Yahoo, Bing or any Search Engine they are using. This is done by focusing on generic terms customers would use to search for the product or service you offer. For example if you are a Tour and Travel operator, you can optimize for holidays in East Africa, safari expeditions and any other travel related terms.
4. Quality Industry Related Content
Closely related to SEO is the ability to show that you are an expert in your field. Your website needs to do more than advertise what you do, you also need to provide value for your users. Adding a blog that provides consistent content about your industry helps in SEO efforts and also shows you know what your customer needs. A blog is also an essential part of any of your online marketing efforts.
5. Links to Social media accounts
A website is part of your online marketing tools and it is important to have it linked to any other tools you have to create synergy. If you have an active social media presence, let people navigate easily to those pages. Social media is a great tool to inject a bit of personality into your brands and linking them on your website lets users find them and experience different aspects of your brands.
6. An Online Payments Option
While not all websites are have e-commerce components, those that do need to make sure that they work seamlessly. This goes beyond getting a CMS that is easy to work with, you also need to give your users the ability to pay for your product or service. A solution like the one that Pesapal offers allows your customers to pay you using mobile money or Visa, MasterCard and American Express debit or credit card payments.
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