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Home Business and the Suburb Wide Web

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Many small and home businesses feel daunted at first by the global reach of the World Wide Web. They (wrongly) conclude that the web has little to offer them because they are only serving the local area.

This mode of thinking is probably costing them the opportunity of extending their customer base and cutting their advertising bill.

More and more Australians are using the Web as the first place they turn to when looking for information about products and services. This is a rapidly changing trend. A growing minority of the people who seek information on the Web are also buying directly from the Web.

The use of the Internet in Australia is growing rapidly. One measure is the number of Broadband connections which rose from under 600,000 to over 1.7million in the past eighteen months. That's more than 2000 new connections every day. Many of them are household who are only just starting with the Web, but there are plenty of them. As they become more comfortable with the Web many will evolve from information seekers to online shoppers.

If you are marketing locally based products or services you can still use the Web. You can be sure that your competitors will soon be doing so, if they haven't already started.

To see who is marketing locally with the Web do this search

Williamstown + directory

The plus sign means that bot terms will be present. Of course put in the name of your own suburb!

For many suburbs you will find some sort of directory or local portal, maybe even several.

The first and obvious thing to do is to make sure your business is in that directory. But you can do a bit more as well. Check out your competitors.

Look out for possible partners for link exchanges.

For example if you have an accommodation business you can swap links with nearby attractions or restaurants. If you have a limousine service you could link up with florists or others serving the wedding industry.

The search engines are starting to introduce technology to facilitate local searches, but people are starting to do this already. You can localise your search by using something like 'Williamstown + florists' as your search term. But soon we will all be using Google like an online Yellow Pages.

About the Author

Darby Higgs is editor of OzArticles which is dedicated to increasing the use of Australian written content on the Internet. It does this by encouraging Australian writers, providing a clearinghouse of articles for republishing on the web, and by encouraging webmasters and ezine editors to use Australian articles. See http://www.ozarticles.com

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