On the whole it seems that British people are slow to get themselves involved in website building and blogging, probably due to the fact that they are lazy to figure out how to get sites appearing at the top of search engine results.
One particular person I know who works in the entertainment industry, promoting a nightclub and working for a DJ school. This is the kind of Industry that requires high exposure, we talked about SEO but my friend wrote it off as a waste of time. He had instead chosen to use Google Ad Words to get to the top of Google searches. We discussed the difference between organic and paid search but this still did nothing to change his mind.
This short sited approach it shared by many of those in the IT world living in the UK. The other interesting point I’ve noted is that there is a real lack of awareness in SEO. Speaking with my promotion friend was one of the first times I have had an in-depth discussion with somebody about SEO outside of the IT industry.
The average Brit knows nothing of SEO and it can be a struggle to start explaining the job. This may explain the lack of popular UK bloggers.
However, looking back again to the friend working in the entertainment industry – his big skill is harnessing Social Media to attract visitors to their specific night at a nightclub and getting people through the doors at their DJ school.
Social Media is big business in London, and many businesses use Social Media more than most web related tools to increase their customer base. Some people have speculated that Facebook could replace email, this is unlikely for business email – but for short messages and for organising your social life I think it already has. This is in part driven by the sheer numbers of smartphones being used by British people. It is now cheaper to use email and Social Media then to keep topping up with phone credit.
T-Mobile will give you a pay-as-you-go sim card for free, and for £5 a month you can have access to all your emails and social media accounts. A five pounds top up of credit will last a few days for texts and calls. It has been easier in many respects to simply Facebook message my friends knowing it will pop up instantly on their smartphones.
For event promotion Facebook as we all know has become a nuisance, we all get loads of invites to gigs, parties and nightclubs. It seems as if the British youth are responding well to this kind of event promotion. The new business in London is to approach a venue, an artist, or an events company etc, and help them to create a Social Media buzz. If you already have a big following on Twitter then you can get businesses to pay you to basically redirect your traffic to their site. If you say it’s cool, then most of your followers will think it’s cool too.
The fashion and music scene have been an intrinsic part of London life for many years now. I think that Social Media fits around this perfectly; this is probably why Facebook is now the hub of energetic and youthful money making.
The other noticeable lifestyle choice in the UK, especially for Londoners, is the use of Groupon. London is full of things to do but it’s so hard to choose, Groupon is making that easy by throwing up great deals on events tickets, half price Pilates lessons and whatever else you can think of. It is not a surprise that Groupon is doing well in London, it’s doing well everywhere. Gropon operates in 35 countries, has over 50 million subscribers, saved its users $1.5 billion, works with over 58,000 local businesses and served out over 100,000 deals. This success had landed Groupon with a further $950 million in new funding. Expect to see Groupon growing in the UK as people start sharing it through Social Media.
The future for the UK’s web 2.0 seems to be Social Media and more Social Media. Everybody is becoming connected and can pretty much organise their whole lives thought Facebook. What’s worrying for SEO companies is that Brits don’t seem to have the patience for slow SEO, but need the instant fix with Google Ad Words and Social Media.
Longevity is so important and having an authoritative and trusted website is still invaluable. Building up page rank, back links and loyal readership to install your site at the top of organic search is still in my mind the holy grail of web marketing.