By @SimonCocking

There are a lot of statistics about how few Small & Medium (SME) Irish businesses have an effective online presence. When surveyed the response is generally because the owners feel they have too little time to spend on it, and are unconvinced of the value of doing so. To counter this argument it has been pointed out Ireland are in the worlds top 10 for the use of online services, and spend between 4.5 & 6 billion euros per year via online shopping. Despite this, current estimates by Google suggest that only 23% of Irish SME’s have an effective online presence, able to allow Irish customers to spend money on their products.

With this in mind ISME  (the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises association) organised the event at the Red Cow Hotel to explain to Irish SME’s how they could have a more effective presence on line.

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There were 4 speakers, and they all offered perspectives on different aspects of how to achieve this. They all spoke well, and covered different aspects of the tools you should be using to improve your presence online, from SEO to blogging, to having a presence across numerous platforms, to using the data to guide your strategies.

The event was completely booked, with over 100 attending, with a diverse range of businesses represented, including accountants, hairdressers, medical device sales, equine therapy, and many others. This suggests that SME’s are becoming more convinced of the value of having an online strategy, and that it needs to be more than just acquiring likes on facebook and lots of followers on twitter. The use of relevant, timely, unique, strategic blogging can make a real difference in driving traffic to your site rather than a competitors, and, if you optimise your site properly, this can also result in increased sales too.

All of the speakers offered useful ideas, and the questions from the audience suggested that things are changing and we will see more Irish SME’s using the latest technology to improve their presence on line.

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Sandra Hennessy – Making your website work for you  

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Conall O Móráin – Blogging Presentation 

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Margaret O’Farrell – OldFarm Case Study 

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Antonie Gerts – Digital Strategy Presentation @AntonieGeerts