Search Engine Optimisation for any city, such as London is similar to ordinary SEO, with a few tweaks. If your business is based in London or your website targets businesses or consumers in Greater London, you could use this to your advantage when optimising your website. This article explains how.
Targeting London businesses
Most companies based in the capital are spoiled for choice when selecting a provider of services. Companies that are not local to London face a disadvantage in some ways, since they need to travel to meet their clients and the clients will always favour a local provider if all else is equal. The perception is that a local provider can fix problems quickly if something goes wrong, will be in tune with the needs of other local businesses and will have lower delivery charges.
The best way to use this to your advantage is to advertise the fact that your business services London specifically, or has a local sales or support centre. Advertising and marketing materials can be designed to highlight specific parts of the city that are serviced, thereby improving the sense of being local. References to local issues such as tube delays or congestion charge often jive well and are remembered longer.
Londoners are constantly exposed to ads – in the tube, in the bus, on the road and online. They tend to be busy, picky and shrewd. This behaviour stems from living in any big city for a long time. It also indicates shorter than average attention spans and a greater propensity to identify with brands, shop within their own comfort zones and yet readily switch loyalties.
Advertising products to Londoners should therefore focus on branding and repetition across multiple media to combat the problems of ad saturation, highlighting features, prices and competitve edge in an easy-to-read format. Flashy messages will attract attention, but will also be forgotten much faster in London if they dont hit the desired target as many other ads fight for attention.
SEO for London
Search engine optimisation for London businesses and consumers should always work along the principles discussed above. Specific reccommendations when optimising a website for London are:
- Use area names in your Title Tags. E.g. “Gardening services for South London”, or “Highgate Chinese Food Delivery and Take-away”
- Use location names in your Description Meta Tags. This will allow Google users to see at once on your listing that you service their area.
- Clearly state which parts of the city you service. You can do this graphically, on a map, but it is recommended to also provide a text list for the search engines to pick up
- If you use local photography or images on your site, be sure to label it correctly in theAlt Tags
- Your home page should ideally mention at least the main geographical areas you service. This will be picked up by Google, MSN etc and will greatly help your search engine optimisation for London.
Search engines prefer local targeting
MSN, Google and Yahoo! have recently displayed increased favour towards local listings. This is not only obvious when users search with Google Local or MSN Local but also when the results viewed by users in England are vastly different from the results viewed by someone in France. Keeping this in mind, businesses will only help themselves by gaining further favour from the search engines when they clearly state their geographical service spread and location of their sales and support offices.
If you need help targetting your website at London or any other local areas through search engine optimisation, feel free to contact us for a free quote.