Blue Cat Design
Who's using the Internet? - More than 45% of Canadians, that's who
by Christine Collie Rowland, Blue Cat Design
An estimated 513 million people worldwide are using the Internet in 2001.
In July 2001, Neilson Net Ratings estimated that 14.44 million Canadians - 45.71% of the population - were online.
These statistics should be encouraging news to businesses considering launching a Web site on the World Wide Web. Your potential customer reach continues to increase, while your costs (Web page development services and monthly Internet account) to reach your audience have remained constant. When was the last time you heard that happening in print or broadcast advertising? And in most cases, full colour Web pages cost less than the print counterpart which ends up in a recycling bin.
For businesses with a limited advertising or marketing budget, the Web can give more bang for the buck than any other medium. And if your Web site is there first or is better than your competitor's, it can give you an edge in today's economic market.
An added advantage of promoting your business on the WWW vs. print or broadcast is the ability to track visitors. When you put an ad in the newspaper, you have no way of tracking the success of the advertising, unless perhaps by using a special clip-out coupon. With Web sites, though, you can gather useful demographics through the Web server statistics. It is possible to learn how many people visited your Web site, which of your pages are the most popular and therefore the most effective, what countries your visitors were from, how long they stayed at your site, etc.
Canadian businesses, questioned in the same Andersen Internet survey, reported that close to half of them had a corporate strategy for online business and that a quarter of the businesses already had a site on the World Wide Web.
With entry costs so low, the number of businesses establishing Web sites is expected to continue to climb.
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