21 Kenyan Statistics for Mobile and Web App Owners

Data analytics is a big word that some entrepreneurs are still struggling with today. The long and short of it is making decisions based on data.

The best time to apply analytics is before starting a business.

In our case, we want to give you key statistics that you should consider when thinking of a mobile or web app.

The big question when doing the initial market research is if there is demand for the product or service.

A good product or service should solve a problem.

Research also helps you identify new opportunities in the market.

As you read these statistics, think of the opportunities that exist in software engineering in Kenya.

Recent statistics on mobile usage, internet, population, and social media usage

1. About 8.2 million Kenyans are social media.

The most popular platforms are WhatsApp (74%), 70% on Facebook and 50% on Twitter.

2. Kenyans spend an average of 3 hours a day on social media

3. Mobile penetration stands at 91%, which is equivalent to 46.94m.

The overall penetration in Africa is estimated at 80%.

4. 43.3 million Kenyans have access to the internet (84%) of the total population.

The 3G network covers 85% of the population while 4G covers about a third of the population.

5. The Kenyan population is young with an average age of 18 years. About 26% of the total population (51.58m) lives in urban areas.

6. By 2018, Kenya had 47.6m mobile money accounts with an estimated transaction value of 3.6 billion US dollars.

7. There are more than 300 loan apps in the market.

8. In the first quarter of the financial year 2018/2019, Kenya surpassed the 100 per cent mark in mobile penetration.

The statistic indicates the total number of active SIM cards in the country as a percentage of the national population.

Kenya joined Tunisia, Morocco and Namibia in reaching this milestone in Africa.

9. Safaricom has the largest percentage of market share. However, the share reduced from 71.9% in June 2017, to 65.4% and 64.2% in June 2018 and September 2018 respectively.

10. In the same period, the Airtel Network Limited increased its market share from 14.9% to 21.4% and 22.4% respectively.

Telkom grew from 8.4% to 9.0 in the same period.

11. The total cyber threats increased from 3,462, 480 between April and June in 2018 to 3, 824, 068 between July and September of the same year.

Over 1.8m were malware attacks, 1m web application attacks, and over 900, 000 botnet attacks

The attacks increased to more than 11m by March 2019.

12. The number of domain names registered increased from 75,096 in June 2018 to 77, 671 in September 2018.

The numbers are limited to dot.KE domain names. The majority are company domains (co.ke).

13. Mobile subscriptions increased from 49.5m to 51.0m from the Oct-Dec 2018 quarter to Jan-Mar 2019 quarter.

14. At least 93% of Kenyans owns a mobile phone. About 43% use smartphones and 21% use laptops or personal computers.

Tablet usage is still low but significant at 7%.

15. Wearable tech devices are at 2% penetration in Kenya

18. 72% of Kenyans access the internet every day while 15% access the internet at least once a week.

19. News and betting sites dominate the top websites in Kenya.

20. An independent report rank Whatsapp (82%), Facebook (80%), YouTube (61%), Instagram (48%), FB Messenger (41%), and Twitter (33%) as the most active social platforms in the country.

21. Facebook has a total advertising audience of 7.9m while Instagram has 1.9m.

Facebook audience increases by 3.9% every quarter.

Notable lessons from the data

1. Social media is a great platform to advertise any product or service in Kenya.

The majority of Kenyans are social media and spend at least 3 hours on the platforms.

2. Kenyan Business owners should consider using WhatsApp and Facebook’s Messenger as channels of communicating with their clients.

3. The Kenyan market offers great opportunities for mobile apps and e-commerce platforms.

The country beats other African countries in internet connectivity and mobile penetration.

Any person who can identify a pain point that an app can solve has an opportunity to make money.

Even with the Kenyan apps in play stores, there are still opportunities for growth. Mobile app developers in Kenya can help new entrants in identifying such opportunities.

4. The Kenyan population is young (an average of 18 years).

Any mobile and web solutions should target young people even in design and functionality.

Young people value speed in transactions and operations. Social and dating apps should on top of the list of considerations for new entrants.

5. Cyber threats are on the rise including the reported cases.

Software developers must consider the security of users when creating new apps.

As more and more Kenyans turn to the internet for quick answers and transactions, hackers are busy looking for loopholes.

In addition to creating online platforms and solutions, developers need to educate users on security issues.

6. Although the government has been cracking down on betting companies, betting apps and sites are still a gold mine.

The young Kenyan population is looking for quick cash given the hard economic times.

Similar to other nations of the world, Kenya loves football. Hence, betting will always be part of it even with government regulations.

7. Nearly 100% of Kenyans have an active SIM card.

Notifications through SMS present a good opportunity to keep users or clients engaged.

The large mobile penetration and social media audience present marketing opportunities for new products.

Final Remarks

Assumptions in any type of business are costly. Entrepreneurs must always look for ways to measure their performance and follow market trends. Data should always guide decisions in every business. The data presented here shows great opportunities in the software business for new entrants.

Any mobile phone service that meets a pressing need in the Kenyan market is a gold mine. In addition, it is important to keep track of the latest trends. Some ideas become uneconomical over time. Government regulation is also an important consideration in software development in Kenya.

Data Sources

https://ca.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Sector-Statistics-Report-Q1-2018-2019.pdf

https://www.jumia.co.ke/mobile-report/

https://ca.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Sector-Statistics-Report-Q3-2018-19.pdf

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Google Maps Integration: Benefits of Using Maps on your Website

Have you considered Google maps integration for your business website? Embedding maps on your site does more than giving directions. Try to search for your top competitors online. Alternatively, search for the most competitive keyword in your niche on the search engines.

The first result you are likely to get on Google is a map with the location of different competitors. When you follow them to their website, you will find a location pin on their home page and contact page. Compare the results with your own website. Which business are customers likely to choose?

Sometimes business owners miss opportunities to grow their businesses because of a lack of knowledge. If you are still unsure about this, let us look at the benefits that your business is missing for operating without maps.

Marketing your business

By embedding Google maps on your website, you increase the visibility of your business. As mentioned in the introduction, search engine results often start with maps depending on the search query. If your business is within the location of the client, it will pop up among the results.

Do not allow your competitors to outdo your business on this. Seek Google maps integration services if you do not know how to use the API. The advantage of using developers is that the integration will be done within a short time. Your team continues with other operations while developers handle the technical bit.

Building trust

Sometimes it helps to think as a client while trying to get into the mind of your target audience. In a world on online businesses, many clients still trust companies with a physical store. You have an advantage over online businesses that have no physical location.

It is now time to use that advantage well. This does not mean that you ignore of online transactions. Most of your customers will still search for more information about your business online. However, they will gain trust in your brand since they know where to find you. Some will complete their orders online but a good number will visit your store.

One of the reasons why clients trust businesses with a physical location is handling complaints. If you have your ears on the ground, you will notice that many online shoppers are disappointed because of unmet expectations. With an embedded map, clients know where to return products or ask for a replacement when disappointed.

Connecting with your target audience

Your target audience includes potential clients in your neighbourhood. If not, you need to rethink your marketing goals and approach. Consequently, your marketing strategies should include local search engine optimization. Search engines sometimes recommend service providers based on the user’s IP address. Your business will rank high by location to clients in your area.

After the aggressive marketing campaigns to drive internet users to your website, let them know where to find you. Your target clients will easily connect with you by following the map on your site. Ensure that the pin is correct and visible.

Google maps integration goes hand in hand with other contacts. For instance, clients need a phone number to call in case they get lost while following the maps. Some will want to chat or send an email before visiting your store. Ensure that the working hours are clearly displayed as well.

Google maps integration

Suggesting transportation modes

Google Maps gives users all the transportation modes available to their destination. In some cities, it is possible to view bus and train schedule directly on the maps. For those using public transport, the drop off points or bus terminus are critical.

The routes for private vehicles and nearby buildings are visible as well. In other words, your clients can pin point the location of your business and have a clear path of their way to that location. The maps help them determine the best mode of transport to use.

On the flip side, the location of your business on Google maps can help you make some decisions. For instance, if you are in area that is not visible on maps, it might help to move to a new location. You do not need to change cities but find a more visible building within the same area.

User-oriented service
Google maps integration for WordPress websites and other sites gives users a personalised experience. The service presents your business as an easy and available service. Clients are looking for the easiest and fastest way to get a product or service.

Maps integration gives clients that impression. Your business appears as an easy way of meeting their need.  In other words, you are making life easier for your clients. You might not be the best in your industry but the ease of access will give you a cutting edge.

Google has made it so easy for users to use maps. Your clients do not need any advanced skills to use the plugin on their devices. Your part is to include the right pin on your website and make it visible. Have you not received enough calls from clients asking for directions?

Cost effective

Do we need to mention the cost of maps integration? It might be the cheapest marketing strategy you have invested in since your business began. In other words, you have no reason for leaving out Google maps. The cost of integration is low.

Developers will help you integrate maps on your website at an affordable rate. Do not shy away from asking for help even if your business is old. Knowledge is only useful if you apply it. You do not need the technical skills to embed maps. Let developers do it while you keep growing your business.

Final remarks

It is evident from the discussion that your business is missing growth opportunities without maps. Do not wait until your business grows to implement market strategies. Right now while you are trying to build your client base, use all means to attract customers. Google maps integration in Kenya is for both large and small businesses. The returns are incomparable to the cost of investing in this service.

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13 Warning Signs to Look For When Hiring Web Designers in Nairobi

Gone are the days when you had to walk into a physical office to get a service. Technology allows professionals to work as freelancers including web designers in Nairobi. The same technology has opened a door for the unqualified web designers to join the industry.

You will come across many designers that promise what they cannot deliver. If you do not do your background check well, you are likely to end up in the wrong hands. The individuals may ever have some papers to show but still lack the skill.

How do you know that you are talking to the right person? Can you read past the marketing gimmicks and identify flaws? Well, let us make it easy for you. Look for the following red flags when interacting with a new web designer.

1. The designers do not have a website

Run from any designers that make too much noise about their skill but have no website. The least they can do as they look for clients is to design a website for their business. If all you see is social media buzz, messages and calls, you are talking to the wrong people. Insist on seeing a running website and then check the next sign.

2. They have a shoddy website

Let us say they pass the first test. They have a running website. Go a step further and analyse the quality of their website. Run if you find a poorly designed website. Otherwise, you will end up with the same if you hire such designers

3. No portfolio or testimonials

It is okay to hire new web designers in Nairobi. However, the decision comes with very high risks. A portfolio shows that the designers have already applied their skills in real projects. If the designers have been around for a while, there is a reason why no clients trust them with a project.

4. Poor customer service

How does the designer address you and your questions? Do you feel safe and comfortable when talking to them? If you must wait for days for a reply or get a bad attitude, you are better off with another designer. Excellent customer service is critical in every profession.

5. The designers lack an online presence

Here is another tell tale sign that you have landed in the wrong lane. You have a name but no online presence. You cannot find the designers in any social media platform. If such accounts exist, they are rarely updated and the information given is scanty.

6. They want to complete your project fast

Time is a critical factor but does take the place of quality. Be worried if find website designers in Kenya who want to rush through the process. The designers will promise to complete your website within days even without considering your unique specifications.

7. Very aggressive with pricing

Have you ever come across an advert for the cheapest or most affordable web design services? Well, there is no problem in offering affordable prices to attract customer. The problem comes when the designer insists on cheap services instead of quality service. If you hear the term “we are the cheapest” repeatedly, acknowledge the red flag and move on.

8. Asks few or no questions about your website or business

You are looking for a new channel to market your business or brand. Your website gives your audience the first impression of your brand alongside your social media accounts. Then you come across a designer who cares little about your business or brand. The goal for such designers is completing a project for the paycheck. Do what is right for your business; look elsewhere!

9. Big on plugins

Plugins add to the features on your website that makes it easier to manage content and monitor performance. However, if all the designers talk about is the plugins to add, you are in trouble. Some designers have mastered different plugins but cannot design a good website from scratch. You can add plugins without a designer. Look for skills and not design tricks.

10. Ignores your conversion goals

You are in business to make money. A website should contribute towards that goal. The right web designers in Nairobi will focus more on building your business than on developing a website. Hence, the chosen features will be based on your conversion goals. Do not trust anyone who ignores the business side of your website no matter how skilled they sound.

11. Lacks knowledge in SEO

You cannot mention web design today without mentioning Search Engine Optimization (SEO). A web designer may not be an expert in it but should have the basic principles in place. Check if their website is well optimised. The ranking on search engines including the domain authority can help you judge the designers’ knowledge of SEO.

12. No architectural strategy

Talk is cheap. If you all you get are promises but no solid strategy, you are free to explore other options. A good designer will give you an architectural strategy that suits the kind of website you need. With such a plan, you can compare the results after the development process to determine if they deliver what they promised.

13. Your gut says no

Have you ever had a chat that felt wrong? If your gut tells you to run, then run. Sometimes negotiating a deal feels wrong even when you do not have the facts. The designers answer your questions but you still feel like you are making a mistake. Do not ignore that feeling. If it feels like there is a loose end or missing link somewhere, try another design company.

Final remarks

Hiring web designers in Nairobi is only an easy journey if you know what to look for in the process. The secret is to have as many chats as possible, whether physical or virtual, before hiring. The field has many competent freelance designers. However, you will also come across individuals or companies with huge promises but no skills. Beware of subcontractors and check for the tell tale signs shared in this article.

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How to Migrate From One Domain to Another without Losing SEO and Traffic

Muva recently moved from muva.co.ke to muva.tech. Our greatest concern like most website owners was the possible effect on traffic and rankings. Hence, before making the move, we considered all the factors that could affect our SEO. Remember that we had built a strong brand around the old domain for 8 years but the change was necessary.

The fear of losing flowing traffic holds many website owners from making such a big move even when it is clearly necessary. You need to be certain that switching domains is necessary even before considering the effects. You could lose all the years of SEO and branding if you switch domains at the wrong time.

It is advisable to move during a slow period in your financial year. The reality is that even with the best planned migration, temporary traffic fluctuations are inevitable.  Search engines take some time to update the index of the new domain. If you are certain that it is the right time for the move, take the following steps:

1. Crawl your website

Prepare a list of all URls and meta descriptions of the old website. A tool like Screaming Frog can help you pick all the links and identify redirects and errors. Remove or replace any links that direct traffic to 404 pages. You also need to list all the pages in your old site from your database. Crawling tools may leave out important pages.

2. Use a test server

Even with a complete list of URLs and pages, you still need to test if everything works privately. Avoid going public before testing and confirming that all redirects are working properly. Fix any errors or broken links that you may find when running the tests. It never hurts to run several tests with different tools to be sure. Web developers can recommend the best tools for such tests.

3. Maintain the URL architecture

The recommended way to migrate to a new site is to keep the URL architecture identical. The reason is that when you change the architecture, Google may interpret the new site as a different site. Hence, you will lose your rankings in the new site. In addition, maintaining the URl architecture simplifies the process of redirecting old pages to the new pages. The redirect workload on the server is lesser when the architecture for both sites is identical.

4. Check duplicate content

The best way to solve issues of duplicate content is through self-canonization of all new pages. The process ensures that only one version of a URL is published. Self-canonization is also a way of telling the search engine that the new site is the new location of the old site. Check your folders to see if more than one folder leads to the same content. In addition, ensure that all IP addresses redirect to the new URLs.

5. Keep a copy of your Google Analytics

You will never know if you lost any traffic during the migration if you have no benchmark. A copy of the current analytics acts as your benchmark. Monitor the traffic to your top pages after the migration. You can run analytics on the new site and compare it page by page with the old site. Consequently, you can determine the specific pages that need special SEO attention. The reality is that if old pages with the highest number of inbound links go down in terms of SEO, the ranking of the new site will be low after the migration.

6. Update internal links

HTML links on the new site will automatically redirect to the new site if you migrate in the right way. However, depending on this automated process is risky. The redirect process takes longer and the slow loading time affects the page rank. Search and replace all internal links on the site’s database. Be careful with the updates to ensure that only the text with a HTML link is updated and that the folder structure remains the same.

7. Avoid removing pages

You might not need all the old pages on the new site. However, deleting many pages during a migration will hurt your SEO efforts. Google views the new site as a new website and you now have to work your way up again. The best strategy is to keep all the pages and remove the unnecessary pages later when the traffic is back to normal. However, if some pages must be removed, keep a list of the pages. Set the replacement links where necessary and remove all links to the old pages. Avoid redirecting the removed pages to the home page.

8. Keep the old domain

Many website owners sell their old domains after migrating to a new site. The general advice is to sell the old domain when Google stops indexing the domain. However, you can lose the redirects from the old site to the new site along the way. If you no longer have control over the old domain, you will lose all the inbound links from the old site. It is possible that the migration was to lead to the sale of the old domain, but if you can, keep the old site in your control.

9. Check the sites for errors and redirects

Every link on the new site should lead a functional page. Visitors should not get any 301, 404, 501, or any other errors. Find a replacement for all links with errors immediately. Internal links should point to a functional page directly and not through a redirect. Your goal when monitoring the new site is to eliminate redirects because it takes longer for such pages to load. The result is a lower ranking and poor performance of a site that was high ranking before the change.

10. Monitor the performance of the new site

Track the rankings and traffic to the new site after the migration. It is advisable to pull data daily, weekly, and monthly. Conduct the page-by-page comparison consistently as you monitor the performance. Tracking performance daily helps you make quick SEO decisions right after a migration. You can identify and fix errors early before you lose your best customers to redirects or slow loading times.

Final remarks

Migrating to a new site is a risky process but sometimes necessary to build a strong brand. All the steps outlined above happen in private. However, you must publicize the move even before making the major move. Talk to your current customers or audience on all social media platforms. Press release statement and offline advertisements will help maintain your audience as well.

The reality is that you will lose some traffic in the move. However, the magnitude of the loss depends on your migration approach. Much SEO work is required to keep the traffic flow but with the steps above, you are already in the right direction even without an SEO expert. Involving a good web developer is also advisable to avoid missing any step.

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Top Trends in Web Development You Can Expect In 2019

Leading website developers in Kenya are quick to adopt the latest trends in web development. As the professionals grow, organizations can expect the latest designs of corporate websites. New trends are sometimes improvements of ideas introduced in previous seasons. For instance, virtual reality was introduced years back in the world of games. The technology has invaded web development.

Almost every business website you visit today has a chatbot ready to assist you before you can talk to the support team. VR will continue to dominate web development as developers explore new ways of utilizing the technology on websites. What other trends can we expect in this industry in 2019?

One-page websites

The popularity of these websites started last year and more businesses are likely to adopt the trend. The one-page websites are more convenient to users than the traditional websites with multiple pages. Whether you are a developer or a website owner, you must wake up to the reality of technological changes.

The easiest way to connect with your clients now is through their mobile phones. An app is trendy but some aspects of your business still require a website. One-page websites are easy for mobile phone users to scroll and learn about your brand without clicking on buttons.

Less text and more illustrations

Companies have been spending a significant amount of money on web content. The expense was tied to the traditional designs that needed large blocks of text to complete the layout. Web developers should shift their focus from multiple fonts and large text. Using creative fonts should not be a priority this year.

Current web users prefer a combination of less text, more illustrations, and photographs or images. The most important details about a brand should be visible at a glance. With so many web and mobile solutions competing for attention, the target audience has no time to read large blocks of text.

Major changes in programming languages

Every programming language has its shortcomings. Despite the advancements in this field, many web developers in Kenya still use JavaScript and PHP in their projects. The changes in these languages will continue this year as the developers try to eliminate their shortcomings.

The developers of the PHP language recently released PHP7 with major changes that have improved the performance of websites significantly. The changes include anonymous classes and the ability to group ads, which were missing in previous versions of PHP. The emergence of digital products such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain products will continue to trigger changes in programming languages.

Progressive web apps

The trend to develop progressive web apps started a few years ago. The popularity of the apps is likely to increase this year. Progressive web apps are developed on HTML, CSS or Javascript. The popularity comes from the simplicity they offer to users.

Businesses that intend to increase their client base and convert visitors into loyal customers prefer progressive web apps. The web apps adapt to the user’s devices. Each app is updated autonomously or independently. Another unique characteristic of these apps is that most of them do not require installation.

Static web pages

Web development started with static pages and then progressed to dynamic web pages. The industry is now going back to static web pages. With static web pages, developers code one page at a time in HTML. Every user views the same static content on the page, which is a different experience from that of dynamic pages.

Static web pages are simple and easy to navigate. Users can find the information that they need easily and make quick decisions. Data analytics also show that the static pages load faster and do not require large amounts of text. On the parts of developers, static pages are easier to develop than dynamic pages.

Motion UI

Users visit a website with the sole purpose of finding information and not just viewing the design or layout. Top website developers in Kenya understand this and focus more on the user interface. In the process of simplifying the interface, web development has adopted motion UI.  The change has improved the users’ experience by eliminating the disruptive flashy advertisements.

One of the advantages of adopting motion UI is that it brings life to all sites including minimalistic sites. In addition, it boosts user engagement because using different parts of the site is easy. Motion UI allows developers to customize websites to suit specific needs and different brands in the market.

Push notifications

Most people are familiar with push notifications on mobile apps but the technology has expanded to web development. Companies are demanding such notifications on their sites because of the marketing advantage. Push notifications enable users to receive instant messages whenever a company posts new content.

Unlike other alerts, users do not need to be on a website or access their email to view the new content. Users can view the click with a single click, which points to another advantage. Push notifications boost the clicking rate for websites and improve conversion rates.

Adaptive websites

As mobile technology advances, the importance of creating adaptive websites increases. Most people access websites on their mobile devices and expect a great experience while at it. Developers now understand the need to create mobile responsive websites. Mobile phone users expect the same experience on their devices while using a website as when using their computers.

The major advantages of adaptive websites are that they are scalable and versatile. Users can access several services fast on the internet. However, developers are also moving towards offline web solutions where users can access web apps without an internet connection. Even with affordable internet connections in the market, web users still value saving data.

Conclusion

It is important for website developers in Kenya to keep up with the latest trend in the industry. Clients expect developers to use the latest technology to update or create their web solutions. In addition, most new trends simplify web development and improve the user experience. By insisting on outdated trends in web design, developers deny web users a great experience and high conversion rates to their clients

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