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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Cumbria firms given masterclass in building brand online

REPRESENTATIVES from more than 160 Cumbrian businesses have been given a masterclass in how to grow their businesses online from Google.

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get connected From left: Councillor Peter Thornton, South Lakes District Council leader, Lawrence Conway, council chief executive, Gori Yahaya, head of Google Juice, and Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale Picture by Steven Barber

The Google Juice Event included presentations and tips on a range of topics ranging from advertising online to the all-important topic of how to get high rankings in Google’s search results.

Google’s Gori Yahaya said the UK might be leading the world in e-commerce and internet use, but 36 per cent of small businesses had yet to get a website. “We’re working on them,” he joked.

Google has already held 60 Juice Bar events around the UK to help businesses make more of their online presence and Mr Yahaya said the first foray into Cumbria had been one of the best supported.

He said: “It’s great that people in south Cumbria are so enthusiastic because the number of people who can benefit from improving their brand profile online is substantial.

“We can help businesses with their queries and show them how to use our applications like Adwords, but if people are going to take away one thing, perhaps it should that it’s really important for search results that they provide fresh content for their sites.

“It helps Google to help you.”

Friday’s proceedings at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, were introduced by Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, Tim Farron who praised South Lakeland District Council for organising the event and bringing Google to Cumbria.

He said: “It’s brilliant that we have got so many people here today especially since in south Cumbria we have a high number of small businesses who have got a lot to offer and can really grow if they use the internet to raise their profile.”

SLDC chief executive, Lawrence Conway said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for our local businesses. We want to make this area more prosperous for all.

“It is a key part of our council strategy to encourage economic growth in any way we can."

Sheona Southern, of Windermere-based Cairn Marketing, was among the business people queuing up to learn more from Google staff after the main presentations.

She said: “I thought it was very useful, particularly the advice about having a clear call to action on your website.”

lFor a summary of tips from Google about how to organise your website, go to www.in-cumbria.com/digital

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