The mystery of market size in Nigeria

Size matters

The technology ecosystem in Nigeria has failed so far to deliver the number of multi-million dollar exits that we have seen in other emerging markets like India and Brazil. Many solutions fail to reach scale.

This is probably due to a whole number of factors. But according to CB Insights, the number one reason why start-ups fail is ‘no market need for the product’. In other words, there was no customer/not enough customers.

This article will be taking a deep dive into the successes and failures of the ecosystem whilst trying to understand the market size/characteristics in Nigeria.

Who is the market?

Lets explore some statistical facts about the local market which may give an indication as to the different characteristics of the markets we need to be innovating for:

1. According to the World Bank there are almost 200m citizens in Nigeria.

This should mean a thriving market for consumer products. However, even established companies like Proctor & Gamble and PZ Cussons with their multi-million dollar market research teams, focus groups & decades global experience, seem to have misunderstood this market as this video explains.

According to the research presented, the number one concern from the average Nigerian consumer is price.

2. According to the NDIC, 98% of Nigerians have less than N500,000 ($1,250) in their accounts. And of course you have to consider the fact that the poorest Nigerians are unbanked.

Anything you are selling to the average Nigerian is competing with food.

On average nearly 60% of a Nigerians income is spent on food. But this average is spread across all segments including the rich. So we can assume that most Nigerians are spending 80%-90% of their income on food.

In the North-East of Nigeria, 121% of income is spent on food.

3. In India, there are almost 60,000 millionaires in Mumbai city alone.

This is important because it gives us an indication of the amount of wealth (and therefore spending power in the high end segment) in each of these cities.

Whereas in Nigeria, there are just 12,300 millionaires in the entire country.

4. Over half of card transactions occur in Lagos State according to Interswitch

5. A total of 15.2 million passengers passed through Nigerian airports in 2018, another pointer to the size of the Nigerian middle class. Compared to the 341 million passengers, that passed through Indian airports during the same period.

6. Size of the economy in Nigeria is about $400bn vs the state of California at $3tr

7. The biggest companies on the American stock exchange are companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon. They sell Internet search services, cloud storage services, e-commerce services. They continue to launch new ventures that specialize in advanced robotics and artificial intelligence.

The biggest company on the Nigerian stock exchange sells salt/sugar/pasta and cement. In the next two years, he will be launching a petrol company. Not artificially intelligent petrol, not 3-d printed petrol. The ordinary type that JD. Rockefeller was selling 100 yrs ago. There seems to be a marked difference in terms of market needs/what people will pay for. Alhaji understands the market and therefore continues to win.

Tech companies that have scaled successfully in Nigeria to $1b include MTN (a cell phone company) and Interswitch (A payments provider).

Notable non-tech companies that have achieved this scale include companies like Dufil foods (Instant noodles) and Chivita (A cheap juice drink aimed at poorer Nigerians).

To scale in Nigeria products need to be affordable, accessible and acceptable as I described in my article, how to make $1bn in Nigeria.

8. Nigeria is one of only 8 ‘World Bank red zones’. These are the only countries on the planet where GDP per capita (an indicator of individual share of wealth) has fallen steadily over the past 20 years.

World Bank

So how can tech start-ups analyze, understand and categorize the market, so that we don’t make the same mistakes that the blue chips (referenced in the Coronation Research video above) made over the previous decade?

This article from Indian entrepreneur Sajith Pai, provides some insights. He divides in India into four mini India’s; India I, India II and India III.

Sajith Pai on Medium

India I is the upper class earning $9k per annum( N3.5m yearly ).They number about 110m (roughly 25% of airport passengers) and there are many tech start ups designed to cater to them.

They have to be super-targeted. He calls the start ups that cater to the super rich segment of India I , ‘avocado start ups’.

This article from Livemint, tries to analyse why so many Indian start ups are focused on this super rich segment, that is virtually non-existent in Nigeria.

It quotes Satyen Kothari an entrepreneur who started a mass market payment service, which he recently had to spin off into a wealth management tool for the rich, as saying:

If you look at discretionary income, where people are able to spend beyond basic needs, that is only with 50–100 million customers. The per capita income of the rest of the country is too low to support discretionary spends. If one wants to build a business in India that makes sense and has hopes of being profitable you need to have customers who pay for convenience

He goes on to say something very instructive for Nigerian tech innovators and investors:

“You may want to build mass market businesses,but pretty soon you realize that the unit economics become prohibitive. India doesn’t have the spending power or infrastructure or ecosystem yet to support profitable businesses on the internet for the masses”

However, these start-ups often find themselves looking for growth beyond this segment and that’s where it gets tricky.

India II is the regular working class Indian. The equivalent of the middle class Nigerian.They have jobs. A proportion own smart phones. They number about, 104m in India.

Few start-ups in India have been able to move from serving India I clients to India II clients as India II clients are significantly poorer. In Nigeria, tech companies like whataspp and facebook have been able to service them; however, I am not sure whether they have been able to profit from them.

India III are what we call in Nigeria ‘the masses’ . The bulk of the Nigerian population is poor, semi-literate, analogue & can only afford very basic needs.

The Addressable Market

Uday Marepalli shares some useful market insights that we should all consider when trying to figure out what the addressable market is for a particular product.

The most interesting statement that he makes that that:

There is a massive difference between people coming online and transacting online

He also goes on to point out that of the India’s top 41 private consumer Internet companies, only one generated a profit in the fiscal year ended March 2016.

In 2016, 60 million people shopped online in India; 14% of the total internet user base.

Nigeria also has the additional problem of data costs. The cost of 1GB in Nigeria is roughly $2.78, compared to $0.26/GB India. So internet is over five times as expensive in Nigeria compared to India which makes a huge difference for poorer customers.

Vikram’s tweet looks at various data points to try to establish a rough idea of the addressable market for a B2C business in India, which he estimates as circa 50m.

India is not our mate in terms of market size, in any of the three customer segments

To make things more difficult.

India has FAR more rich people. But Nigeria has more extremely poor people.

It is estimated that there are about 110m Indians (India I) with income above $9000 per year. This demographic makes up the bulk of the market for Indian tech products, its responsible for the large exits and the rapidly scaling products.

However, according to Mckinsey & Co, only 2m people in Nigeria have purchasing power and annual incomes over $10,000.

This means the size of Nigeria I is 2m compared to India I’s 110m!!!

Products aimed solely at Nigeria I ,would almost certainly fail to scale, unless they are super-targeted.

So we are left with Nigeria II & Nigeria III.

Nigeria II probably number about 80–92m. The start-ups of the mobility mafia; uber, bolt, gokada; to some extent, Jumia, Konga primarily target the bottom half of Nigeria I and the top half of the Nigeria II market in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities (Warri/Ibadan/Kano/Calabar/Abeokuta).Many struggle as this segment is large, but more fragmented that I.

Also Nigeria I&II, sometimes want different things, so its very difficult to serve them simultaneously.

A Nigeria I client would complain about the type of cars used on Uber for example. But obviously there are not enough people in Nigeria I to justify an Uber black service. However, Uber even at its low price point and with the ‘low’ standard of cars used, still remains a luxury for people in Nigeria II.

My Igbo brother and blueberry shopping partner Emeka Okoye said this in an article for Quartz ‘E-commerce did not come up in Nigeria because there was an opportunity, it came up became it was hot globally”

According to the World Poverty Clock there are over 90m people living in extreme poverty, they live on less than $2 per day and make up the bulk of Nigeria III. They can’t afford food, have limited access to clean water and education and don’t own smart phones.

There are services like GTB *737 that serve all segments to some extent. E-banking income at GTB, according the the last report was up N9.59bn in 2018.

However, surprisingly First Bank still takes more total deposits than GTB on a yearly basis. Nigerian banks function by taking as many deposits as possible them investing them in risk free assets like government treasuries.

The physical infrastructure; bank branches that First Bank has in the most remote parts of Nigeria are still providing the bank with an massive advantage. This is despite the fact that GTB’s product offers more of an advantage in terms of speed and convenience.

So what can innovators, dreamers and investors glean from these insights?

6 things to think about when innovating for scale in the Nigerian market


A lot of Nigerian techies complain that the quality of advice local investors/mentors give is terrible. They prefer the often unrealistic advice that the Silicon Valley investors who have never stepped foot in Africa give them.

The truth is most silicon valley investors have never invested in businesses outside the state of California. Many of them are deceiving you, not out of malice, but because they don’t realise the huge leg up a mature democracy with lots of cash to spend on research (Oga Donald Trump just invested $1.5bn in Quantum Computing), strong institutions, great infrastructure, security, freedom and the largest consumer class on the planet give them.

JP Morgan, an American bank holds more in assets than the entire GDP of Africa. The state of California itself with just about 30m citizens has a larger economy, than all 54 countries in Africa with their different languages, cultures, currencies, trade barriers and security issues, combined.

That means a tech company that scales in California is operating in a larger economy than a tech company that has scaled to every single country in Africa.

We cannot compare ourselves to America in terms of the size of the economy they have to work with or the exact way their tech ecosystem runs. In fact as you have seen from this article, even Indians (yes the place you have been calling ‘ordinary’ India) are NOT our mates. They have a much larger consumer class, better infrastructure and are way ahead in terms of skills/talent.

This tech ecosystem in Africa will develop, with some learning from India, maybe even some from America,but largely due to to our own home grown skills, our big dreamers, our entrepreneurial ingenuity and most importantly DEEP understanding of our market.

That’s all I have for you today. Remain blessed. Selah.

Article Published by AUTHOR


Six things you must avoid while charging your phone

Is been a while since we released any of our Tips and Tricks Article. But recently, we have been receiving lot sof complaints regarding mobile phone batteries so we decided to publish this article.

Many phone users tend to complain that their device’s batteries discharge quickly. They also typically blame the product manufacturer for this issue; however, the manufacturer isn’t always at fault. Here are some five mistakes that users typically make when charging their phones.

Waiting for the Battery to reach low levels before charging

Avoid waiting for your battery to reach a critically low level before charging. The effect of this on your phone battery is not immediate, but over time it begins to manifest and it eventually stresses out your phone battery (yes, batteries get stressed too) and shortens the battery life. Think of your battery as a human body, you really don’t need to wait until you’re about to die before you rest and eat to recharge yourself.

Keeping your phone case on while charging

Your phone typically emits heat when charging. To avoid exposing your device to ambient temperatures, it’s advisable to remove the phone case while charging your phone so that the heat emitted from your phone while charging can escape. This way you can prevent your device from becoming hotter and potentially overheating when charging. Charging your battery at uncomfortable temperatures can permanently damage battery capacity.

Charging your phone in the wrong places

You should mind where you charge your phone, because not doing so can negatively affect your battery capacity. Phones have a temperature range they can function normally and charging your phone in a hot area can raise the temperature and stress the battery out. Also, charging your phone in especially low temperature areas, like in front of an air conditioner, can also cause problems for your battery that will eventually affect its optimum performance.

Charging your phone overnight

The least you’ll sleep throughout the night is most likely going to be between 5 to 8 hours, your smartphone battery typically only needs 2 to 3 hours to fully charge. Charging your phone overnight, constantly stresses your phone battery each night. Sooner than later, your phone is likely to have battery problems. In addition, the temperature rises when the battery is overcharged, so apart from shortening battery life, it can also threaten user’s safety in the event it quickly heats up and explodes. It’s better to charge your phone before you sleep and switch it off while sleeping to preserve the battery till the next day.

Plugging whatever charger fits

This especially applies to smartphones. Most smartphones use a micro USB for its chargers and for this reasons most people tend to switch and swap chargers since it fits into and works on their phones. However, this is not appropriate and in the long run it can negatively affect your phone battery. The fact that most smartphones have the same micro USB doesn’t mean all chargers and phones are compatible. Some chargers function differently and that difference can be detrimental to your device if care is not taken.

Using cheap chargers

You can find a number of manufacturers offering top-grade chargers. No wonder these chargers are cheaper than the original ones. However, there are some that don’t include any safety mechanism against overcharging and continuous fluctuations. Unfortunately, if there is an adapter failure, it can damage the battery as well as a phone. So, act smart and stick to the original charger.


Nigerian Company builds Anti-kidnap and Anti-theft gadget

A Nigerian Startup, After-time Innovations founded by Onos Afo Temienor OAT, has taken quite an innovative step towards addressing the security situation in the Nation. by building Anti-Kidnap Luggage Boxes that comes with a touchscreen controller, inbuilt woofer music player, Location Tracker and remote CCTV surveillance all built into the Luggage Box. Making a gadget with features that seemed to have popped right out of a Bond movie.

The location of an eyeBOX can be tracked to wherever it is in Nigeria, even in the remotest locations, and it can also function without internet access. The eyeBOX also comes with a CCTV camera that streams live coverage of events through-out your journey to a host device linked to the eyeBOX. The Host device can be a phone or a tablet where the iBOX tracking app is already installed, usually the smartphone of a family member, next of kin or spouse.

Mr. OAT also said he and his team have almost completed a Smart-Belt and other mini gadgets, that would link the eyeBOX to its owner to keep on tracking even if the owner is separated from the eyeBOX, say in a case of banditry or kidnap

The designer of the eyeBOX Who is also the founder of the startup : Aftertime Innovations says he created the gadget to address multiple issues National and Global, 1.Security and Banditry issues, 2. Un-employment, and 3. Pollution”:thats why we chose recycling our plastic” he says.  Aftertime Innovations  is launching a factory soon that will employ anything from 50 to 100 workers and produce 100s of eyeBOXes monthly. He said with the right funding he intends to launch a giga-factory that could employ tens of 1000s of workers, and manufacture eyeBOXes for global export.

More info soon…


Google reveals years-long ‘indiscriminate’ iPhone hack

Most of the vulnerabilities targeted were found in the iPhone’s default Safari web browser

Google security experts uncovered an “indiscriminate” hacking operation that targeted iPhones over a period of at least two years and used websites to implant malicious software to access photos, users’ locations and other data.

In a post on the blog of Google’s Project Zero security taskforce, cyber experts did not name the hacked websites hosting the attacks, but estimated they received thousands of visitors a week.

“Simply visiting the hacked site was enough for the exploit server to attack your device, and if it was successful, install a monitoring implant,” said Project Zero’s Ian Beer.

Once installed, the malicious software “primarily focused on stealing files and uploading live location data,” Mr Beer said, adding it had been able to access encrypted messenger apps like Telegram, WhatsApp and iMessage.

Google hangouts and Gmail had also been affected, he added in the post, which provided a detailed breakdown of how the malicious software targeted and exploited iPhone vulnerabilities.

Most of the vulnerabilities targetted were found in the iPhone’s default Safari web browser, Mr Beer said, adding that the Project Zero team had discovered them in almost every operating system from iOS 10 through to the current iOS 12 version.

Once embedded in a user’s iPhone, the malicious software sent back stolen data, including live user location data back to a “command and control server” every 60 seconds.

Mr Beer said Google had informed Apple of the attacks in February, and Apple subsequently released a security patch.

Earlier this month, Apple said it will pay a reward of $1 million to any hacker who can remotely gain full control of an iPhone without the knowledge of its owner.

The company is expanding its “bug bounty” programme – launched in 2016 and which earmarked as much as $200,000 in reward money for uncovering security issues. Starting next month, anyone can participate in the programme that was previously by Apple invite only.

Long the finacial driver of Apple, iPhone revenue was down 12 per cent from last year to $26 billion in the third quarter.

The tech giant sent out invitations on Thursday to a September event at its Silicon Valley campus where it is expected to unveil a new-generation iPhone.

Update Windows 10 Immediately, Warns Microsoft Users

Microsoft is sounding a red alert to Windows 10 users, warning them to update their operating systems immediately.

The company, in a blog post on Tuesday, warned of two “critical” vulnerabilities that rival the previous “BlueKeep” crisis. As with that bug, the new issues are described as “wormable,” meaning hackers could use them to spread malware from one machine to another without any interaction from the user.

Microsoft said, so far, it has no evidence that the vulnerabilities were known to any third parties. “It is important that affected systems are patched as quickly as possible because of the elevated risks associated with wormable vulnerabilities like these,” said Simon Pope, Microsoft’s director of Incident Response. “Customers who have automatic updates enabled are automatically protected by these fixes.”




If you don’t have automatic updates enabled, you can search for the patch by typing “Windows Update” in the search bar from the system’s start menu search bar.

The comparisons to BlueKeep underscore how serious Microsoft is taking these security flaws. That flaw was deemed so serious that the National Security Agency got involved to warn people to update their systems.


How to Check for and Install Windows Updates

Checking for and installing Windows updates, like service packs and other patches and major updates, is a necessary part of running any Windows operating system.

Windows updates can support your Windows installation in many ways. Windows updates can solve specific problems with Windows, provide protection from malicious attacks, or even add new features to the operating system.

How to Check for and Install Windows Updates

Windows updates are most easily installed using the Windows Update service. While you could certainly download updates manually from Microsoft’s servers, updating via Windows Update is considerably easier to do.

The Windows Update service has changed over the years as Microsoft released new versions of Windows. While Windows updates used to be installed by visiting the Windows Update website, newer versions of Windows include a special built-in Windows Update feature with more options.

Below is the best way to check for, and install, Windows updates for windows 10. This process is critical as Microsoft has warned all windows 10 users to update till August 2019 to prevent a serious hacking issue. 

Check for and Install Updates in Windows 10

Windows Update checking for updates in Windows 10

In Windows 10, Windows Update is found within Settings.

To get there, select the Start menu, followed by the gear/settings icon to the left. In there, choose Update & Security and then Windows Update on the left.

In Windows 10, downloading and installing updates is automatic and will happen immediately after checking or, with some updates, at a time when you’re not using your computer.

More on Installing Windows Updates

The Windows Update service isn’t the only way to install Windows updates. As mentioned above, updates to Windows can also be downloaded individually from the Microsoft Download Center and then installed manually.

33% of People Are Now Using Voice Assistants Regularly. Are you one of Them?

In a new report, eMarketer declares the use of voice assistants has reached a “critical mass.”

Voice assistant use in 2019 is up 9.5% over last year. By comparison, the use of voice assistants grew 27% in 2018 and 24% in 2017.

So voice assistant use is still growing, but at a more modest pace than in previous years.

It’s estimated that 111.8 million people in the US will use a voice assistant at least monthly this year. That represents 39.4% of US internet users and 33.8% of the overall population.

By 2021 it’s expected that the number of US voice assistant users will reach 122.7 million, which represents 36.6% of the US population.

33% of People Are Now Using Voice Assistants Regularly

To no surprise, more people are using voice assistants on smartphones compared to smart speakers. However, the use of voice assistants on smart speakers is on the rise.

eMarketer estimates that 77 million users in the US will use smart speakers this year. That number is expected to grow to 88 million in 2021.

According to a study conducted last year, people who own smart speakers frequently utilize the built-in voice assistant.


The study says 32% of people own a smart speaker, and 71% of those people use voice commands every day.

Looking ahead, integration with more devices is what will fuel voice assistant growth in the coming years.

Voice assistants continue to be integrated with other technology such as cars, wearables, connected TVs, appliances, and other smart home devices.

The most common tasks performed by voice assistants include getting directions, making phone calls, listening to music, and finding nearby stores.

Gains And Dangers Of 5G Mobile Communication

The tech world has over the years seen an improvement in applications and codes created for use in a world that has more than ever accepted the reality brought by this phenomenon.

5G, a new generation of mobile radio communications, where the millimeter-wave spectrum is harnessed for faster data speed comes under the spotlight as researchers and industry players disagree on its effect on human lives.

With the switch from 4G to 5G communication network already taking place in some countries, researchers are calling on the world health organization to classify mobile communications as a category one cancer-causing substance, a stand industry players disagree with.

A world bank study in 2011 said: “over the last few years, there has been mounting concern about the possibility of adverse health effects resulting from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by wireless communication devices”. Similarly, a 2018 NTP report concluded that “exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) may have caused tumors in the skin and lungs of male mice and malignant lymphomas in female mice”. The report added that for CDMA-modulated RFR “exposure to RFR may have caused tumors in the liver of male mice and malignant lymphomas in female mice”.

However, despite these findings, industry players believe the switch to 5G mobile communication network comes with little or no increase in the exposure levels of RFR to humans and animals.

Jane Egerton-Idehen, a telecoms expert, said “between 5g, 4g, 3g we haven’t changed the power levels. Maybe we have changed the spectrum or the bands at which we are transmitting, we haven’t changed the power level”.

“Once you increase the power, then, of course, you are transmitting at a higher frequency and that becomes problematic. But if you haven’t changed the power level, you only changed the frequencies, I don’t see how that health effect will come to play”, she said.

Speaking on changes that the mobile communication sector will witness when the switch takes place, a 5G Networks expert, Kwame Opoku, posited that “averagely, we have had about a 100 megabytes per second with 4G. In Africa, it’s a bit low, but globally it is about 100. Even with 4G, we have not fully achieved it’s full potential

“5G is promising 1.4 gigabytes of internet upload and download speed. What this means is that if you are downloading a 1gigabyte movie, you’ll download it in one second” stressing that “that is absolutely unheard of”.


He further maintains that the switch to 5G “will shift the entire global economy into a very different trajectory because of the internet of things”.

With the internet of things, smart homes and even cities becoming en vogue, other issues are being thrown up. for example, how secure can one operate within this space? A cybersecurity expert, Kunle Oloruntimehin, says standards set by globally recognized online security organizations must be strictly adhered to for safety.

“Bodies like the 3GPP have put together standards to drive security around 5G. The GSM operators, GSM vendors, and device manufacturers are aligning to these different security frameworks to make sure it does work” he added.

Though Nigeria cannot boast of fully implementing the 4G networks at the moment, it may one day and also move to the 5G afterward. Hopefully, before then there will be a definitive agreement on how much danger the 5G poses.

How to Do Technical SEO for Ecommerce Websites

Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing sectors and is often perceived to be dominated by the likes of Amazon and Walmart.

However, with appropriate marketing strategies, small ecommerce websites can also get their fair share of customers.

That’s where technical SEO comes in. It is crucial for improving your online store’s searchability.

Here are 12 technical SEO tips that will help increase your web traffic and generate more sales.

1. Don’t Miss Out on Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords may not attract more traffic, but they do have higher conversion rates as they allow you to understand the consumer intent correctly.

For example, a keyword such as “maternity yoga pants” rather than simply “pants” clearly shows what a consumer wants.

You have plenty of opportunities to use long-tail keywords in titles, meta descriptions, and product description.

Think about the various search phrases people may use to find a specific product. They will help identify the best suitable long-tail keywords.

You can use tools such as Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google Trends for this.

2. Use Unique Title & Meta Descriptions

Create unique titles and meta descriptions for each product page. Try to include the relevant long-tail keyword in both the title and the meta description.

Make your meta descriptions as attractive as possible to encourage users to check out the product page.

For example, “Maternity Yoga Pants – best deals, big discounts, and free shipping on all orders. Order Now!” would be a fitting meta description for a maternity yoga pants page.

Ask your developer to insert such unique titles and meta descriptions dynamically into every page.

3. Check the Site Structure

The site structure should make the content easily accessible to visitors. Keep important pages no more than three clicks away from the home page.

The ideal site structure should be:

Homepage > Categories > Subcategories > Products

You can avoid adding subcategories in smaller sites. Make sure each product belongs to only one category or subcategory.

Similarly, your URL structure should also be clear and consistent.

  • Good URL: www.example.com/brand/category/product_name
  • Bad URL: www.example.com/brand/nsalkjdhsfha

For example, if you are selling a Samsung Galaxy M30 smartphone, the URL should be:

www.example.com/samsung/smartphone/Galaxy-M30 ‎



However, try to keep the URL length under 160 characters.

4. Use Canonical Tags

Sometimes, large ecommerce sites have product pages reachable from multiple categories. Such situations often lead to different URLs with the same content.

To avoid this, use a canonical tag. This simple HTML element will tell the search engine which version of the URL should be crawled and shown in the search results.

You should proactively use the canonical tag on the homepage as homepage duplicates are quite common in ecommerce sites.

5. Improve Your Crawl Budget

The number of pages on your site which Google search bots will crawl on any given day is your crawl budget.

Low crawl budget can lead to indexing issues affecting your search rankings. Owing to their large size, most ecommerce websites have to optimize their crawl budget.

You can use the Google Search Console to check your crawl budget.

To improve your crawl budget:

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Want to build a strong foundation in link building and get the basics right? This guide will help set you up for link building success.

  • Optimize your overall link structure.
  • Increase the number of backlinks.
  • Remove duplicate content.
  • Fix broken links.
  • Update your sitemap regularly.

6. Crawl the Website to Identify & Fix Link Issues

You can use tools such as Screaming Frog, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and DeepCrawl to identify and fix a variety of HTTP error issues including:

  • 3XX redirection errors.
  • 4XX Client errors.
  • 5XX server errors.

You can also identify duplicate or missing page titles, image alt text, H1 tags, or meta descriptions using this crawl.

7. Optimize UX for the Mobile-First Index

The UX in the age of the mobile-first index is a critical SEO factor. Make sure your website has a user-friendly UX that will allow visitors to find products and make online transactions easily.

You must include appropriate graphics, images, animations, and call-to-actions wherever necessary.

Ask your developer to design the site based on the mobile-first index as it will make the mobile version the primary one for indexing. This is important considering 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide came through mobile in 2018.

8. Optimize Images with Alt Text

Images are a critical element in an ecommerce site. All images must have an alt text that provides a clear description.

For example, a blue colored maternity yoga pants image should have the alt text, “blue maternity yoga pant by [brand name].”

Always use descriptive alt text. Customers, not just bots, will read the same information in case the image fails to load.

Screen readers will use this info to tell visually impaired shoppers about the image.

9. Redirect Out-of-Stock Product Pages

Most online stores have a few pages with out-of-stock products.

Although taking such pages down is the usual norm, doing so can lead to a 404 error, which in turn, can negatively affect your search results. Besides, most visitors find the 404 error annoying.

Instead, you can redirect the URL to the next most relevant page. If the product is gone for good, use the 301 (permanent) redirect. If not, you can use the 302 redirect, allowing Google to continue indexing the URL.

10. Create Unique Product Page Content

Apart from creating duplicate content issues, using a slam-dunk copy of the manufacturer’s product description will also affect the overall user experience.

While keeping it unique, try to use a more conversational and enticing tone throughout the content.

You should also avoid creating duplicate content by mistake. Use canonicalization to avoid such issues.

If you have a large number of product pages, focus on creating unique content for the ones that generate a lot of traffic. However, remember to use the “noindex” tag for pages without unique content.

11. Optimize New Product Pages

You will need to add new product pages frequently. When doing so, make sure to adhere to your optimization practices.

Add appropriate long-tail keywords in the titles, meta descriptions, H1, alt text, URL structure, and the content, among other things.

Try to include unique content to avoid duplication issues. Be sure the new page has the same level of optimization as the rest of your site.

12. Use the Latest Technology

Always use the latest technology to protect your online store from potential crashes or cyber hacks. It will also help improve your site indexing and search results.

For example, Magento 2 has a better source code than Magento 1, making it easier to index a Magento 2-based website.

In addition to this, make sure to update every single plugin, add on, shopping cart, and security patch regularly.

Wrapping Up

Ecommerce sites need to consider several aspects of technical SEO.

The key here is to identify and resolve the SEO-related issues right there and then to avoid disastrous consequences in the long run.

Hopefully, the 12 essentials mentioned in this checklist will prove to be great starting points to get your technical ecommerce SEO in order.

Give them a try and see if your website will drive more sales conversions.

Whatsapp and Instagram to get NEW NAMES

Facebook is changing the name of Instagram and WhatsApp

Facebook-owned apps
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Facebook confirmed that it’s changing the name of its two most popular apps, Instagram and WhatsApp, to better disclose its ownership of the apps. Soon, Instagram will be known as “Instagram from Facebook” while WhatsApp will become “WhatsApp from Facebook.”

The re-branding effort was discovered on Friday by journalists at The Information and was then confirmed by representatives of Facebook.

“We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook,” a spokesperson told The Information. Sources told the publication that they were recently notified of the changes and appear to be coming as a result of antitrust regulators scrutinizing the company’s holdings.

According to those sources, the app’s name will stay the same on the home screen of your phone and tablet, however their names will change in the App Store for people first downloading them – a move the company has previously made with its virtual reality-focused sub-division, Oculus.

Was the writing on the (Facebook) Wall?

A number of outlets are pointing out that this re-branding effort has been a long time coming – in fact, blogger Jane Manchun Wong tweeted about it back in March, just a few months after the founders of the company resigned citing a decreasing lack of autonomy.

While it’s unclear if the move is a government mandate from the FTC – an entity that, according to The Wall Street Journal, was investigating Facebook’s acquisition of the companies in a potential antitrust case – it appears to be connected.

Admittedly, Facebook doesn’t stand much to gain by putting its name on the apps: It’s already a household name, and one that has become associated with privacy scandals. Putting Facebook’s name on its two most popular apps certainly won’t make those apps any more popular than they are already and could possibly cause users to be more wary about the security and privacy of those apps.

Facebook has yet to say when the changes will go into effect, however, we’ll continue to monitor the situation as it develops.