Knutsford's small firms urged to learn the wonders of the web via free event | Knutsford Times

Knutsford’s small firms urged to learn the wonders of the web via free event

By on September 10, 2010

Web design and search engine optimisation (SEO) are among the topics set to be covered at the breakfast event, which will also provide local businesspeople with valuable networking opportunities.

It takes place at the Cottons Hotel on Tuesday, October 12 and is being hosted by the Forum of Private Business – a not-for-profit support organisation for smaller companies which is based in Knutsford’s Ruskin Chambers on Drury Lane. Industry experts will be attending from the UK’s largest web design and SEO company, Creare.

The opportunity comes after new research was released showing more than one in five of the North West’s businesses (22%) still do not have a website. The initial figure, revealed through the Forum’s latest Referendum ballot of members, compares with a national figure of 21% and means many small firms are missing out on valuable online opportunities to increase sales, boost profits and diversify into new markets.

Forum spokesman Chris Gorman said: “Our research indicates that companies in the North West are even less likely to have a website than their counterparts in other regions of the UK.

“This is probably due to the region having a higher concentration of firms in certain sectors, such as manufacturing and engineering, and a lower concentration of other types of companies which almost always have a web address. While having a website may not be right for some businesses, we believe they are very much a minority and most small firms should, by now, have at least some form of online presence.

“Google is now the first port of call for people of all ages when looking for a product or service and there are other factors to consider. Some people are suspicious of dealing with a business which doesn’t have a website these days – they see a ‘www’ address as a form of validation. And people increasingly use search engines to look up specific local firms when they can’t remember the business’s name and therefore are unable to find it through traditional directories.

“That’s why we think it’s important that business owners should find out more by joining us at our event, which will feature expert advice and also be great for making new local contacts and potential business partners.”

Creare MD Mike McKinlay added: “In today’s market, there is no better way to generate an effective return on investment than by using the internet, and effective search engine optimisation is an integral part of any successful marketing strategy.

“Using the internet correctly allows businesses to take advantage of the most direct form of advertising, and leaves you able to target a vast audience of potential customers.

“Now is the best time to get involved, and as the largest web design and SEO company in the UK, Creare is looking forward to working together with the Forum to explain the many benefits of using the internet to market your business online. With our present clients enjoying a substantial return on investment, online marketing is not something that any business can afford to ignore.”

Any business owners wishing to attend the North West event, which starts at 8am, should book a place via the ‘Development’ heading on the Forum’s website – www.fpb.org – or call 0845 6126266.

The events are absolutely free of charge and open to both members and non-members of the Forum.

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