Over the last two months or so, the number of people who visit Like Chapaa per day has increased by roughly 60%. This increase has resulted in more business for us and we are, naturally, incredibly happy at the fruits of our labor. Today, I wanted to share the things we did to make this increase a reality. (We hope that it is the things listed here that the actually resulted in our site-visitor surge but it may well have been caused by factors beyond our control).
How we increased our site’s visitor numbers
1. We invested in social media
We built a Twitter Application and a Facebook Application. This has resulted in increased numbers of people from those social networks coming to Like Chapaa. See, normally, people wanting to grow in social media just create quick profiles in Facebook and Twitter and start getting friends, etc. We realised we did not have that kind of time so we chose to build applications so as to automate things a little bit (everyone should do this!). This resulted in us being able to do some really cool things: for example, you can leave comments on this site using your Twitter/Facebook profile, among other things.
Twitter and Facebook combined now send us about 30% of the visitors to this website.
2. Continuous SEO
Our strong point, of course, is search engine optimisation and making sure everything that we do earns us favorably as far as SEO goes is a priority.
I must say we have done pretty well as far as this goes. For example, when you search for “make money in Kenya“, our website dominates the Google search results pages. Search engines, and Google in particular, send us 60+% of all the people who view our site.
If you are looking to grow your site, please do not forget Google. Social media may be sexy but you just cannot afford to ignore Google!
I do not know how to fully explain this. It seems that the Internet “rewards” you for uniqueness and creativity. Like Chapaa is, strictly speaking, a blog. You would not expect us to create or be involved in projects such as DukaPress, yet we are. The “side projects” have earned us both money, and countless new visitors to our websites. Two examples:
- Our involvement in DukaPress has “side-effects” that just never cease to amaze. We get hundreds of people who come to use by searching for “DukaPress” on Google or directly from DukaPress.org
- Also of note is Biashara30. For a project that has largely failed, there are still lots of people who first come to Like Chapaa looking for information regarding Biashara30.
4. Getting Like Chapaa on other websites
Well, perhaps surprisingly, Like Chapaa is now listed at both Mashada and KenyaMoja. It seems that these two sites get quite a lot of traffic because they send us quite a lot of visitors. We were only recently listed on Mashada and that resulted in a visible bump in the number of people who come to Like Chapaa. Like Chapaa has also found its way onto Wazua, Kenya Unlimited, several Kenyan blogs and other smaller sites. The traffic that these nice websites send to us is significant!
I would not say that this is our doing because we did not ask anyone to include Like Chapaa on their sites. I would put it down to “if you create good and useful content, people will notice you”.
5. Email Marketing
Perhaps not many know this: Like Chapaa has a self-grown email marketing list of about 800 people. We do not send newsletters out often but all the articles published by Like Chapaa end up in the inboxes of our subscribers. Most of them always click back to Like Chapaa. This is a steady and stable source of website visitors for us.
The story of how we have grown Like Chapaa should inspire you. We have never ever spent any money to market this website and we started very quiety and, for months, got about seven visitors a day. But we persevered and, now, it is almost on autopilot – we just grow bigger. I put most of it down to luck and good fortune but here are some tips that may help you:
- The number one priority for your website should be your site’s content. Invest all your resources in this. It is what will distinguish you and win over your first few visitors. Always remember this: people already have favorite websites and things like Facebook which eat up their time – they do not want to visit your site unless you compel them to do so. Only your content can do this. Amazing content will make your site memorable and will make people want to talk about you, even include your site’s stuff on their sites. Do not mess this up.
- Social media is tricky. You typically need to invest a lot of time into it for it to pay off. However, we have proven it to be that you do not have to follow the grain (what others are doing) for it to work. My advice would be for you to pick your own social media strategy that will work to your strengths instead of just slapping on Twitter and Facebook like everyone else does. Also, 99% of Kenyan social media “gurus” are crap and are learning, just like you. Be hesitant to hire anyone.
- Search engine optimisation is easy if you know what you are doing and need not be expensive. But it is a very slow and gradual process. Do invest into it, heavily. It will pay off eventually.
- They say email is dying. We say that email is still the first place that Kenyans go online. If you can get your stuff inside people’s inboxes, you win.
- Lastly, keep in mind that there are billions of websites today. many of these websites are absolutely amazing. Therefore, the competition for website visitors is the stiffest kind of competition that has ever been known. It may not be enough to just create good content. You have to be creative and unique – do not just do what everyone else is doing; make your own mark on this Internet; think outside the box.
Good luck with building your site. 🙂
PS, Incase you do not know, you can hire us if you want help to grow your website.