SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and it’s how search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing index every single web page on the Internet so people who are searching for information can find what they need. By now, you have no doubt come across much advice on how to use SEO on your site. But what many UK Internet entrepreneurs forget is that it’s not enough for us to use SEO; we must always keep in mind UK SEO.
On its face, UK SEO is not all that different than SEO in general. You’re still going to use keywords, metatags, blogs, blogrolls, photo descriptions and all the other hints, tips and tricks you’ve uncovered in your research.
But it’s an undeniable fact that when it comes to English-language Internet, the United States is the undisputed king. You’re far more likely to get a .com result on a search engine than a .co.uk one. And while your UK-based IP address and your search history are taken into account on search engines, we’ve all felt the frustration of having to go back and chip away at the keywords we use in the search bar to get the results we want.
Even if you have a .com URL, though, your business can still suffer from U.S. Internet dominance. There are scores of cities and towns in America that are named after their British counterparts – from Manchester, Vermont to Birmingham, Alabama; London, Connecticut; and Cambridge, Massachusetts. If you’re a brick-and-mortar business in Manchester looking to increase foot traffic via your website, you’d better hope that there’s not a similar business in Vermont that’s got better SEO than you.
Something else entirely to consider are the subtle differences in the English language used on both continents, and this goes double for Internet-based businesses.
Even though millions of people have been shopping online for years, there’s still an element of trust that must be present in order for a customer to be convinced to plonk down their credit card to someone they’ve never met. While it may seem insignificant to those of us who are used to dealing with American companies, for many the idea of sending personal information to a foreign country, even if it is America, can hold them back from making that purchase.
This is a vital area where UK SEO can help. Correct spelling, grammar and usage give your visitors the signal that you are one of them. With just some minor changes to your copy and other keyword areas, you not only can rise in the rankings; people will go that one step further and purchase from you, too.