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Interland Finds Search Engine Marketing Best For Small Businesses

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Small business web hosting company Interland has released the findings of its Spring 2004 Business Barometer of Online Activities survey. The survey tests online usage by small businesses with Web sites. The results found that online marketing is the preferred method over traditional marketing tools.

When asked how important to their business various online capabilities would be in the coming year an overwhelming majority of respondents indicated that online resources are critical for business success. In fact, of those responding:

– 99.5% rated an online presence as very or somewhat important,

– 67% said enabling online interactivity (i.e. web-based business forms, blogs, interactive maps and e-newsletters) is very or somewhat important,

– 62% rated executing online promotions (i.e. search engine optimization, keyword advertising and email marketing) as very or somewhat important, and

– 55% said conducting online transactions (i.e. e-commerce, online catalogs and coupons, and selling via third-party sites like Amazon or eBay) is very or somewhat important.

“We were not surprised to see small business owners rank nearly every online marketing tool asked about as more critical in driving business than the Yellow Pages and other traditional media,” said Joel Kocher, chairman and CEO of Interland. “Clearly, more small businesses are starting to embrace the changing marketing algorithms that favor the results generated by online marketing tactics above those offline tools once used to market small businesses.”

Of those surveyed, 34% said they sold products or services online. Of that group, 71% sold goods through online and offline methods. 57% of respondents said shoppers who purchased online, either solely or in combination with offline purchases, were seen to generate more revenue than offline only shoppers.

When asked to compare the amount of time spent collecting “industry and business information,” online outlets won hands down. Of the respondents surveyed, 45% said they spent more time in 2003 gathering information through emails and newsletters and 36% through business web sites.

“As small business usage of the Internet for finding relevant business information climbs so too does the group’s understanding of how the Net can help them grow their business,” said small business expert Kim T. Gordon, president of National Marketing Federation Inc. “From using complex e-commerce Web sites to ongoing e-mail communications with customers and partners, use of the Internet is vital to small business success.”

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Interland Finds Search Engine Marketing Best For Small Businesses
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