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The Internet and Your Website

Due to rising fuel costs for businesses and consumers alike, Internet presence is crucial for any business with a product to sell or a service to offer.  A comprehensive website with information on your industry, business, and product is essential.  Making your website exciting, creative, and easy to use is a cost effective way to promote your business.  Another technique to apply to your website is Search Engine Optimization, which can help draw traffic to your website and increase Internet sales.

If you currently do not offer online sales, look into what it would cost you to accept credit cards online or to use a service similar to PayPal.  While merchant accounts charge statement fees and monthly fees, service similar to PayPal tend to charge more per transaction fee, so your business will have to decide which is more cost effective. 

To help market your business, the web has also creates an opportunity for every business owner to be an expert in his or her industry.  Blogging, using Twitter, and guest writing for business or local websites and organizations can allow you to spread the word about your business while creating a sense of expertise with regards to you and your business.

“Having a Web presence with recurring fresh content represents one of the most cost-effective ways a business can market its goods and services.  Continuously driving traffic to the site through the use of social media, e-mail marketing and links on all company advertising, promotion and correspondence helps keep your name in front of customers and prospects and keeps them informed of your company’s products, services and activities.” – Gene Yelle, Mohawk Valley SBDC

"Websites, like any other storefront (and make no mistake about it, a retail or e-commerce website IS a virtual storefront), must be marketed to existing and potential customers.  Participating in social networks and user groups should be a daily practice.  Also, a good press release – giving the individual item a news slant through some of the 50 or 60 free press release sites – is also recommended (i.e.,, etc).

Every business should have a account.  Even if the entire media and press corps ignore your company news, at least you can self-publish your release on the site and even with some semi-creative writing you can cross promote your URL.  It creates viral hits on search engines like Google. offers free accounts as well as the platinum service with a logo in your listings for $199 a year, which is hardly prohibitive.

Updating of your site is also important as it creates a higher page ranking from the search engine 'bots'.  If you do not update after a few months, the bots simply stop scanning your site." – J.M. DeJesus, Brooklyn SBDC 



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