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The internet's a great thing

The internet's a great thing, you can find just about any piece of information on on any subject in seconds thanks to powerful search engines. As an on-line business, you need to also consider how best to reach your old, new and future customers via the internet and moreso than that, how to keep them engaged. To get some perspective on that, let's look at some numbers.

Brace yourselves, this post has a lot of numbers.

Let's start with the basics. As of 2012, the world's population has just exceeded 7 billion. According to http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm there are just over 2.4 billion internet users worldwide, and http://www.comscoredatamine.com/2011/06/google-reaches-1-billion-global-visitors/ says that Google is receiving over 1 billion unique hits per month.

Still with me? Good, this is where it gets interesting.

Netmarketshare.com reports that Google has an average market share of 88.11% of search users across all device types, from which we can determine that there are ~1.59 billion internet users who use search engines to find things online. A study done last year on SearchEngineLand shows that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends, which leads me to the overall point of this article: There are an overwhelming number of people out there who use the internet to find what they're looking for and it's important to be visible when there are people looking for you or a similar company.

A good website and efficient SEO is important to the success of an online business, but just as, if not more important is having a web strategy that uses the internet effectively to engage your customer base. Your message needs to be different; every website on the net already says "We are here", but shockingly few go on to say "We think about what we're doing, we pay attention to our market and we want to engage YOU, our users". It's not difficult to do and the results will speak for themselves - regular updates, and actual content for your users adds a ton of value to your website.

Let's take a hypothetical company, Bartux Coffee. They're a small chain of coffee shops that just launched their website. On their website is more than just corporate info and boilerplate content, they're passionate about what they're about and put a lot of effort into their website. They have a 'History of Coffee' microsite that gives information about the drink, and also talk about where their beans come from, the farmers, the country and so on. They have a cross-platform web app that shows customers their nearest shop, any upcoming special events and even enables users to organise gathering via Facebook and pre-order coffee if they're in a rush and just passing through. They actively engage their customers via social media outlets, fielding questions, taking suggestions and generally treating their customers like people. it would be easy to imagine how a company like that could easily grow across the country and perhaps even expand to other regions as well, and it all started with their web strategy.

A good web strategy allows your company to be bigger than is, speak louder and reach further. There's some food for thought.

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“Hyvä webstrategia mahdollistaa yrityksen näyttää isommalta, puhua kovemmin ja tavoitella pidemmälle. Siinä hieman ajateltavaa.”
(1.3.2013)