68% of UK companies’ websites ‘invisible’

UK businesses are failing to take full advantage of their websites by
ignoring search engine rankings, research has claimed.

Of the 500 UK companies that took part in a the recent online survey, almost
three quarters said they do not submit their websites to search engines and, as
a result, admitted their online presence is practically invisible.

The research carried out by hosting firm Fasthosts, claimed 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.

In 2005 online sales are forecast by the Internet Advertising Bureau to reach
£19.6bn, up 35% from the previous year (£14.5m) and accounting for seven per
cent of all retail spending

‘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 website 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 websites to
search engines immediately after website registration and continue submission
updates on a regular basis, the report advised.

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

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