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Marketing your business online
Marketing Your Business Online As a business you can’t afford to ignore the Internet Age; in 2002 there was an estimated 605 million people online around the entire globe, today this is estimated at over a billion users worldwide.
By using the Internet to market your business an entire world of potential customers are opened up for you, rather than just your local town, city, or country.
• According to Forrester Research Inc approximately £2.5 billion worth of goods and services were sold online to US and European customers in 1998, more than double the 1997 figure.
• In the last six months more than a third of households have made a purchase online, this is double last year’s figures – Forrester anticipate this will reach 40% of households by 2009.
• In 2004 the top 400 retailers totalled online sales of around £25 billion, in the US this accounted for over 58% of all retail sales.
• Online sales grow by 25% each year.
• Over 40 million potential customers used the Internet last year seeking out local information; even if your focus is on the local market, you still need to be using the Internet to make sales.
Every day customer confidence in online shopping soars; this is relevant to you as a business whether you sell to consumers or business to business.
Having a website isn’t just about having a ‘presence’ on the Internet any longer - just so that you can show that you are a legitimate business, it’s about connecting with customers via the Internet, and making sales directly from your presence on the Internet, because believe it or not most of your potential customers are highly receptive to this.
If you don’t have a website yet and have been in business longer than six months, something is very wrong with your marketing strategy - and if you do have a website but aren’t using this as a portal to gain Internet custom in addition to your offline marketing, again, something is very wrong with your marketing strategy. Some Reasons Why You Absolutely Need a Website
No boundaries: As already mentioned, the world is your oyster when you utilise the Internet as it is meant to be utilised; for most business there should be no geographical restrictions for your customer base.
Speed: Time sensitive materials can be released instantly, no need to wait for the layout designer, printing firm, and then post to deliver the latest incentives or news to your customer base.
Convenience: Customers can loose (or bin) your business card and brochures, they can’t ‘loose’ your website, which gives them ready access to your contact information should they wish to work with you/buy from you again.
In addition they can find out information about your services and/or products at a time that is convenient for them, rather than being tied to your business hours which may not suit them.
Getting a website, ensuring it is well designed and practical for making sales is just half of your slog unfortunately; your next step is ensuring it is correctly marketed so that potential buyers can actually find it using a search engine search.
The most popular method of finding goods and services is via a search engine - therefore once your website is designed and launched you’ll need to pay attention to search engine optimisation to ensure that potential customers can actually find you.This is just one way of marketing your website, albeit one of the most important.
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