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Musings on the UK SEO scene

Musings on the UK SEO scene

Search engine optimisation is beginning more mainstream here in the UK. I know this, since more people understand what I’m talking about when they ask me what I do!

There’s undoubtedly greater recognition of what the industry is all about and how it can be of use. We’re more used to receiving enquiries from friends and acquaintences about how we achieve improving results.

Sometimes, those queries may have financial benefits in mind. One of the great things about the internet revolution is that it’s meant that more and more people have been able to start their own businesses. Maybe they wouldn’t have tried before because it was too complicated (and difficult) to bring ideas to market.

The power of research

We can certainly see that the Internet has much to offer as a research tool. It allows us to read up on particular business ideas before looking to take the plunge.

This means that we can learn about business concepts prior to taking those first steps into the world of small business. Pretty much anyone can learn how to create a website, although marketing it does appear to cause more confusion.

Although the Internet can be a great source of information, it’s clear to me that television still has a powerful influence. People are inclined to immediately believe in something “because it shown on the telly”. This means that various online issues tend to take on a whole new life once they appear on TV.

We can see this when we look at how some issues are still viewed in the UK. We’re used to seeing the Internet in contexts including:

  • Increased dangers of fraud
  • People dating complete strangers
  • The rise of mysterious companies, with massive valuations, but surprisingly few profits
  • Fads!
  • New means of communication

Social networks: increasing recognition

As a result of the appearance of Internet issues in the mainstream media, we certainly see more people discussing social media concepts. Facebook and Twitter can now be talked about at dinner parties. Although maybe not too much, assuming you want to be invited back again!

But there are misconceptions here too. I hear clients talking all the time about increasing Twitter followers, as though this is a goal in itself. Do we really want to promote the idea that gaining a particular number of Twitter follows is an achievement? It certainly seems like less of one than gaining an increase in sales.

Educating SEO clients

Where does this leave SEO professionals? To some extent, we’re still left in a position of explaining to clients what SEO is all about. The difference is that more people are aware of the general concept. But now we find ourself dealing with misconceptions instead.

What’s the best way to approach this? I think that transparency has to be the key. For those of us who use “white hat” techniques, there’s really nothing to hide. Good quality SEO is like any other service – if the service is good enough and you offer clarity on what’s being provided, then clients will be happy to pay the money.

That’s a message that we all need to remember sometimes. This industry will continue to expand. As it does, more and more people will get involved. The cream will surely keep on rising to the top.

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