The world is digital, there is no doubt about that. Thousands of people around the country are beginning to tie their interests, hobbies, causes and businesses into social media and the web as a whole. However, have you ever asked yourself what really makes a website or blog successful?
We recently looked at a number of Zambian websites, and based on:
- How much content they have and how dynamic the content is
- Advertising opportunities available on the site
- How well optimised they are and how well the content hits all the search sweet spots
We used this information and tallied it with several services dedicated to website valuation to come up with an estimated value for each website. The list below is of the top 10 most valuable websites serving the Zambian community. The values are not the revenue made by the website as that is private information but rather the value of the web property and its associated brand. There could be many other sites valued within the same range, and if you do find one, please let us know:
- Zambia Watchdog @ K900,000
- Lusaka Times @ K800,000
- The Post @ K800,000
- Tumfweko @ K500,000
- Zambia Reports @ K400,000
- Zambia Tourism @ K230,000
- The Daily Mail @ K170,000
- iConnect @ K180,000
- ZRA @ K170,000
- The Times @ K120,000
So, let’s look at what makes these websites that popular.
- Search Engine Optimization. Content is carefully matched to keywords that someone searching for content would use. Based on these keywords, search bots index the websites and rank them. Today if you typed in the keyword “Zambia” Zambian Watchdog is considered the best resource on anything about “Zambia”. Categorising content in therefore an important task that any webmaster should carry out, as we have rightly pointed out in one of our articles on blogging best practices
- Most the websites above are news websites, with a heavy reliance on advertising around their content. While this can be annoying for the reader, it translates to a huge advertising possibility for advertisers. Finding the right balance of course is important, as too much advertising can result in fewer unique visitors
- Dynamic content. Users visit websites to keep up to date on something. Most websites, tend to have the same static content for weeks if not months, gradually reducing the number of unique visitors per day/week/month. Dynamic content, ensures there’s something new to find each day, and successful websites understand this and make every effort necessary to keep their home pages fresh
- User engagement. Most of the news pages, have a huge social media presence with everything from breaking news to controversial headlines. This results in hundreds of likes and thousands of comments, which when redirected to their websites, results in millions of unique visitors each month
- Except for iConnect and ZRA the rest of the websites are all news sites. That does say a lot about the type of content we like to consume as a nation. It also demonstrates the potential for new entrants to come into the market and make their mark.
We weren’t very surprised to see that old websites like www.zamnet.zm didn’t make the list. However, that Zambia Watchdog is the best resource available on the keyword “Zambia” is very surprising, especially that the Zambian Government does run an official website. We will keep a close eye on the list and update it regularly waiting for a break through from the new entrants like Dotcom Zambia.