SMEs urged to unlock the secrets of the web through free events

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Smaller businesses across the UK are being invited to discover how they can harness the full potential of the internet through a series of free events. Business owners will be able to hear how they can use search engine optimisation (SEO) to ensure potential customers are drawn to their products and services at the regional networking events, which are being hosted by the Forum of Private Business.

Companies can also learn about website development and how making the most of a business's online presence can increase sales, boost profits and help it diversify into new markets.

The Forum, which is a not-for-profit support group for small and medium-sized businesses, is hosting a total of 11 events across Britain. The first takes place on 9 September at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Leeds a full programme of events, including details of how to book a place, can be found under the 'Development' heading on the Forum's website

The Forum has organised the events, which are absolutely free of charge, to give business owners a chance to hear expert advice from franchise group Creare, one of the UK's leading web design and SEO companies. The events, which are open to both members and non-members of the Forum, will also give business owners in each region a valuable chance to network and make new local contacts.  

The Forum's chief executive, Phil Orford, has been involved in a number of start-up companies, including one which provided web-based services to smaller businesses.  

Mr Orford said: "The speed at which the internet is constantly changing, along with all the jargon and buzzwords which surround it, means that small business owners are often left dazed and confused when assessing their options online.  

"However, small firms can get to grips with subject for free at our event and find out how to make the internet work for them. With the help of experts from Creare, we will explain the many different ways in which the internet can help develop your business, whether that be by spreading the word about your products and services, opening up new markets and opportunities, or by providing a new and cost-effective sales platform.  

"The event will also provide some fantastic networking opportunities, so I would urge every business owner who can make it to come along and see what we have to offer."    

Creare MD Mike McKinley said:"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."

The events all take place from 8am and will run until approximately 10am. Refreshments and a light breakfast will be provided at each venue.

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