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How important is the web to small businesses?

The internet is a massive place, and this statement is ridiculous in itself, as everybody knows this and recognises that it has lots of potential. However, there are a lot of companies and businesses out there who do not make any use at all of the internet, or have their internet presence restricted by their own fears of the technological aspects of the work or the lack of money to invest in sorting out a fully functioning web site and making sure it is noticed.

If you have a service to sell, for example a small shop in Prestatyn selling fancy dress, there is nothing to stop you from developing a web site that competes on the internet, trades via eBay and sells via Google, Checkout or PayPal across the UK. If you are a holiday home in Gwynedd there is no reason why you cannot set up your own web site ranked highly on the search engines, search your own trade without needing to resort to paying agents significant fees.

There are so many different sets of articles out there giving advice. There are so many different sources of information on the web for providing advice to companies and businesses on how to set up and run a web site and varying costs that it is hard for small businesses or medium to large businesses to know how much they ought to be paying.

Recently I was talking to a company in Ruthin who had been given quotes for work on their web site ranging from £1,200 up to £25,000 for the same work. The ways that this work was presented would have been varying extremely widely, as I suspect the two extremes were the top and the bottom ends of the market and that a middle range quote would probably have been the one that gave the best return, quality and value for money.

The web is a mysterious place, but to sum up exactly what you need to do in order to have a web presence, a couple of words it is to make sure that you have lots of information. People do not visit the web sites of companies to look at pictures or graphics flying across the screen, unless they are looking at a holiday home or a catalogue of products.

If you are a company providing a service, there is nothing better than pages of information linked to or related to the service you are looking to provide.

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment near Mold is a good example of this. The site was written and developed by an amateur web designer back in 2000, and has enjoyed a strong web presence ever since, simply because of the amount of content the web site has. It is a well known brand in the specialist circles it operates, and has spent hardly anything on advertising over the years, apart from a few well chosen online adverts and some trade magazine adverts at a very low price.

The remainder of the marketing has simply been to work through search engine optimisation and by providing lots of information for its users.

This approach can work for any company, whether they are a farm in Bangor, an aluminium works in Anglesey or a restaurant in Llandudno. North Wales companies can benefit significantly from proving their web site presence is larger than their actual company, and there is nothing to stop a small business in a back room in Llanrwst becoming number one for a search item competing with a multinational.

 

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