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68 per cent of firms are invisible to potential visitors, Fasthosts survey finds

18 July, 2005 – UK businesses are failing to take full advantage of the world wide web by ignoring search engine rankings. Almost three quarters of companies surveyed admitted that they do not submit their web sites to search engines. As such, their online presence is practically unknown to internet users resulting in lost revenue.

The research carried out by Fasthosts, the UK’s largest independent hosting provider, shows that 68 per cent of companies are missing out on potential sales since consumers use search engines as a first point of call to search for products and services. Giving out a web address is not enough - enterprises must submit to search engines to advertise their online presence.

In 2005 online sales are forecast to reach £19.6bn, up 35 per cent from the previous year (£14.5m) and accounting for 7 per cent of all retail spending (Internet Advertising Bureau). According to Fasthosts, online spending in 2006 could increase even more substantially if trading outlets improve their visibility online.

“Companies that believe it’s enough to register a site and stick the web address on business cards are naive. If you are not listed on Google or Yahoo, your web site might as well not be online,” said Andrew Michael, CEO, Fasthosts. “The search engines are the first port of call for most of the consumers, and the higher the ranking the bigger the chance of a sell.”

To ensure its visibility online, companies should submit their web sites to search engines immediately after web site registration and continue submission updates on a regular basis. To achieve the best results, relevant keywords need to be included on the homepage, in meta tags, in the coding pages and, if possible, in the domain name.

Fasthosts' TrafficDriver offers a free search engine submission service with its business web hosting package. The package includes an easy to use site creation tool and automated monthly search engine submissions - furthermore it has integrated advanced search engine optimisation to establish and improve sites search rankings. By using these Fasthosts tools companies can create an online presence and generate traffic within days.

With TrafficDriver, web sites are automatically submitted to more than 100 search engines each month, and they appear in searches within six weeks. In addition, TrafficDriver offers monthly reporting on the submissions listing to the search engines and directories. Other features include a personal control panel, meta tag generator and 24x7 customer support.

511 businesses participated in the online survey carried out in June 2005 by Fasthosts. 68 percent of respondents admitted that they do not submit their website to search engines, which accounted for 348 votes.

About Fasthosts
Fasthosts is the UK's largest independent hosting company. Based in the UK, and operating 24x7 from their dedicated UK data centres, Fasthosts keeps over 1 million domains running smoothly and ensures over 6 million emails are delivered safely each day. All Fasthosts services can be self-managed through the award winning Fasthosts web-based control panel, enabling customers to set up and manage new websites, email accounts, databases, and other hosted services online.

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