My Takeaway from the G-Uganda Business day Event

Google team members present at the G-Uganda business event

These are notes from the G-Uganda Business day event held at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel on the 8th Sept. 2011. These are my notes as the presentations took place and from some of the sessions I was able to attend.

Google is in Africa and trying to;

- make Internet relevant
- train businesses, developers understand the value of Internet
- Uganda is one of 7 countries that are being focused on, others are Egypt, Ghana, SA, Nigeria, Kenya
- products are being launched specifically for Africa, e.g. Google baraza, trader
- bring Google caches, training, competitions e.g. Developer challenge
- they are looking for people to help Google make the Internet an integral part of peoples everyday lives

Why is google in Africa? What is the value?
- to empower the market
- to improve the quality of their lives
- more than half of population in Uganda is youth (UG has youngest population on the continent)
- Google is here to partner, to get more users online, and using Internet to give access to their products
- 54 countries on continent, but Google is willing to partner & invest
- Africa has a great opportuntity to leverage technology
- there are alot of tools from Google
- they're committed to helping Africa develop

Victor Munyua, commercialization Sub Saharan Africa - A Digital Revolution

What is going to happen...

We need to begin building businesses that are going to offer services for all the people going to come online!

  • 2 billion+ people worldwide with Internet access via a PC
  • 5 billion people with mobile phones
  • 4 billion+ online searches everyday
  • 500 million+ active facebook users
  • 48 hours of video uploaded to Youtube every minute

If you are a business, are you going to get involved or stand on the side?

Either you get online and engage your clients or somebody else will come online & take your clients

Projections: Internet in 2010 - 1.8billion; In 2020 - 5billion people

Nature of media revolutions
Advertising; Technology; Users; Content - Adoption cycle

Local content all over the world!!

If you are business, think of transfering whatever you are doing OFFline online

Put your info out there, figure out what they want, and how they want it, 

Online media is growing up!

blogs are huge

consumers are screaming

Google Maps - can your business be found on maps? Use Google Maps and Google MapMaker

How many people watched the Royal wedding?

  • 25mil on TV, 
  • 101 mil on Youtube, 5million page views per minute

Marketing is the new finance - Tracking & measuring ROI, tools are available

Use digital to compliment all the other things you are doing

Marketing is changing!!

the 4 B's

  • Be present
  • Be found
  • Be relevant - mobile friendly website
  • Be accountable - make sure your business does what it does

Internet Insights & Trends in Uganda & East Africa; By Ayite Gaba - Business Development, Dakar - Senegal

  • 5 countries in East Africa; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi
  • 135million people (2 times France population)
  • swahili spoken by 40% people
  • 4% of Africa's GDP, highest in Kenya $30B
  • KE, UG & TZ make up 90% of Internet users
  • 16million users online in EAC
  • 60mil+ devices sold annually -feature phones
  • Most people browse the Internet using feature phones are dominating the mobile access market, bought at less than 120,000ugx.
  • Mobile phones are of recent but their growth is very close to computers
  • 60% of mobile phone users access the Internet once a day compared to those accessing the Internet via PCs
  • Number of internet users is increasing greatly

By 2014: 20 million Internet users will be online representing 15% of EAC population

Most searched in EAC:
1. News,
2. entertainment,
3. sports,
4. local information,

You have to optimize OFFline events, online; tailor your message to that what drives traffic to your website

Luisella Mazza - Google Webmaster Tools

How can i use that to improve my business???
Google Ads: Organic results & Sponsored results

Search results
Organic results (Natural search results) - using Google algorithm with over 200 parameters in algorithm especially how relevant info on page is (how useful)
Sponsored results - bidding system used in Adwords

Why are you taking your content online?

  • Increase market share
  • Stand out from competition
  • New business opportunities

Give visitors what they are looking for

What are pple searching for?? Use Google Insights for Search 
top & rising queries:
Modify the filters for your country
time interval, category

CONTENT IS KING - Create relevant content.

why content is king??
Google's mission - organize world's information and make it universally accessible and useful

Help Google understand your Content

What users sees Vs What Google sees
Search engine are machines but Google may see it blank

Search engines understand text only version of the image. Turn brochures into text.

Example: To run the text on how search engines views your website,

  • Go to your browser e.g. Chrome, firefox, IE, thunderbird; 
  • type this in the address bar (URL bar): cache:http://URL ; for instance: cache:

  • Make interaction easy
  • Allow people to leave comments
  • Comments create engagement, foster communities, and add valuable content
  • Use safe plug-ins
  • Watchout for SPAM

Stand out from the Crowd

  • Let visitors recommend your content on Google Search and share it on Google+ 
  • See what your social connection have +1'd
  • Put the +1 button on your pages
  • Visitors are reminded to pay special attention if page received +1s


  • Find your "small business" voice
  • Make sure of google relevant content on the page
  • Make sure you have relevant, nice sweet content
  • Make sure its fresh and updated
  • Get some help

How to choose a search Engine Optimiser - improve useability of your website.

choose wisely before paying for Google No.1 ranking!

  • Become an educated consumer and get familiar with how search engines work,
  • Read Google's SEO starter guide,
  • Do research on the industry, 
  • Google algorithm changes very frequently, no one can promise to make your website no.1, rank higher
  • No one can guarantee No.1 ranking on Google.


Visit Google Webmaster Central - already 9/10 questions are already answered. Read the blog. Watch youtube. Google Webmaster Central Help forum, youtube, etc

  • Content-see what your competitors are offering;
  • Google seo guide
  • Make your website popular, participate in online discussions
  • Get recognition for incoming links
  • Make content relevant

Google Website Optimizer - Natalia Marmasse,

Website testing - process of showing different variations of your site to your visitors

Makes testing quick and easy

Consistent user experience

  • Give the experiment time.. at least 2 weeks to rule out seasonality - like weeks or weekends;
  • Depends on how much traffic your website is getting; more traffic less time to wait to take action on what works and what does not.
  • very small traffic, wait a bit much longer - 1month or 2 months..

Pick a Page to Test; decide page to test - which is getting a lot of traffic;

What to test?
Get ideas on what to test
headlines, Images, calls to action, forms, page layout, donation options, payment buttons and shapes...

Where to find optimizer? Go here to Google website optimizer

Stages of setting up an experiment

Login with google account or create one

A/B Testing - testing different variations of a page

Give name of your experiment

fill URL of origial page

fill in the URL of convertion page - eg. "thank you for filling this page" "thank you"

Paste the control snippet on top / bottom of page

sit and wait for enough time to get data in

test 2 - 3 on a page receiving little traffic

How website optimizer was used by Obama Campaign

  • Obama online $500 million, 
  • McCain $201, 
  • Obama Offline $156ml

Always Test - don't trust your intuition - you will be surprised!

know your audience and optimize the most

Why you should be testing?

  • It comes down to clicks and conversions
  • You pay money to drive traffic to your page
  • Consider your traffic percentages
  • Wait at least 2weeks for results (bare minimum)
  • Iterate, iterate, iterate

start testing the big stuff, test but don't test too many

Publisher Tools: Custom Search Engine (CSE) and Adense For Search (AFS)- Chris Kiagiri; Technical lead, Google Kenya

CSE - harness power of Google for your website

use google for your own website search function

Who to use CSE? 
Any website whose search is less effective than searching same site using google.

Why does the quality of search on my site matter??
Increase traffic to your website, user engagement, and ultimately increase revenue for you.

you want people to know your website as a place where they can get whatever they are looking for - this is what has made Google so rich!

Make a prominent search box on top of your website

Show me the money
Use the Google Custom search page - Make money link, just towards the bottom.

CSE features

  • Search entire website or specific pages
  • Host the search box and results on your own website
  • Customize the look and feel of results
  • Improve customer retention and converstions
  • Provide fast & relevant search results
  • Make money with Adsense for Search

Here is the link to Google Custom Search Engine

Monetize your unique Content - Overview on Google's advertising solutions for publishers - Paa Kwesi/Vignesh Anand - Partner Solutions

Users from Uganda find more relevant content, unique because it is your content

many types of content - images, music, video, websites...

users in Uganda visit global US sites; most ugandans have low incentives

In Uganda, most searched for;

  • Daily Monitor
  • Job mart
  • Red pepper

Social media
email messaging
other sports news

Example of queries

  • daily monitor
  • soccer
  • live scores
  • skype
  • al jazeera

Google Tools
Google webmaster tools
Google insights for search

Google for publishers suite
Google custom search
Google Adsense for search - targeted to users keywords in your search bar
Google Adsense for content - Ads on content you publish
Double click for publish
Google page speed - optimize your web performance

DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) - hosted management solution

Software Engineer @Google - Mike Springer, - Improving your user Experience

What makes a beautiful design?

10 UX principles: product useful; fast; simple; engaging; universal; beautiful; personally, innovate

Everything you make online should strike a balance with all these 10 points, apps, websites,

1. Focus on the people, audience, user of your product
Google search, maps, docs

2. Every millisecond counts
0 - 0.6seconds; 2.5 - 8s; 5s+ they are going away
speed is very important

Chrome is fast, but more importantly - the perception of the product. The more people perceive your product, they can easily stick with it.

3. simplicity is powerful than complex
E.g Google search page

4. Engage beginners & attract experts
eg on Google people search alot "how do i google?"
Designed for the experts but great help for beginners
Eg Gmail - easy users; Google Labs - Experts

5. Dare to Innovate
Just because somebody does it 1 way doesn't mean that its the only way to do whatever they are doing!

6. Design for the world
World is a big place, with internet its becoming smaller place
products in UG can be used all over the world; more impact & end of day, more money
E.g Google Maps - more info for people allover the world

7. Plan for today's & 2moro's business
plan for today & 2moro with an eye towards 2moro making products that are expandable.

8. Delight the eye without distracting the mind
make users enjoy using your products. Visual candy without distracting people away from what they are doing eg Google+ adding users

9. Be worthy of people's trust
once you lose people's trust, you cannot get it back. Handling people's privacy is very important.
make sure you computers are uptodate with antivirus software

10. Add a human touch
let people know who is behind the product. Add some playfulness, joy & delightful & interacting with your users.
Eg. in the spam folder "Hooray there is no spam here"

Google Webmaster Tools for Business, Luisella Mazza
Search Quality team

1. discover your visitors interest
2. site popularity on the web
3. targeting right audience
4. daignostics

1. What are people looking for? And how frequently?
so you can tune your content to what people want

Tools to find out:

  • Google autocomplete tool (while searching in Google searchbar)
  • Google Trends,  - best time to launch product
  • Google Insights for search - what are the variations in time
  • Google webmaster tools - free, accurate, direct point, much more accurate than data on other sites.

2. How to tell your site is popular on the web?
is the site offering what visitors are looking for? who is talking about your website? how do they refer to it?

Sign up with webmaster tools & discover top search queries

3. Targeting the right audience
where are your users? if your website targets a specific region: Use Geotargeting in webmaster tools

Google Places - add info such as if you accept cash, phone number,

4. Diagnostics and resources
Do we know about your pages? Is your site indexed?

  • Sign up for webmaster tools
  • Submit sitemap

Can we access your site?
Identify & fix crawl errors
  • Webmaster tools: Labs > Site Performance
  • Identify slow pages on your site to improve their load speed
  • Akamai research: ecommerce acceptable speed < 2sec

Google is trying to make all websites load at less than half a second,

Visit pagespeed labs if you do not want to sign up for Google webmaster tools to test speed of your website:  - analyzes performance of pages; gives specific advise to make pages load faster

Youtube for business

2 billion views everyday!
As an artist - produce video content & have an audience immediately

In Nigeria - NollywoodLove
  • 2nd largest movie industry in the world after bollywood
  • Has taken world by storm
  • Uploaded over 1000 movies
  • Earns more than 1million dollars from his business on youtube

more than just cats & dogs

Youtube rentals, music concerts, etc in the US

Youtube partner program - not yet launched in Uganda but soon
-control the rights of the content produced
-youtube for research purposes

Links to the Google presentations will be added here below as they become available. If you attended the event, what did you learn? Leave your comment below.

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Enjoy Uganda's own Richard Kaweesa performing after the lunch break

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