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Website development helps businesses attract online customers

By August 9, 2021Future City, News

Work is under way to attract new customers to CBD businesses through the creation of an online presence.

As part of the Future City initiative, Orange City Council engaged digital experts to develop modern and engaging websites for CBD businesses.

Council is funding the development of the websites and more than 20 CBD businesses took up the offer of an online presence. The businesses cover a range of industries, including retail, beauty and hospitality.

SHOP LOCAL ONLINE: Orange City Council’s Employment and Economic Development Committee Chair Cr Tony Mileto, Ready Marketing Marketing Manager Tamara Pearson, Eclectic store owner Kerryn Westgeest and Orange Mayor Reg Kidd.

Each businesses will receive a four- to five-page website, with the option to expand to include sales and booking plug-ins at their own expense.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said Spendmapp data showed Orange residents spent $318 million online in the 12 months to May 2021.

“This is why it is vital for our local businesses to have a strong online presence, to make it easier for people to find them online and encourage them to keep their money in the Orange economy by shopping locally,” Cr Kidd said.

Orange City Council’s Employment and Economic Development Committee Chair Cr Tony Mileto said the businesses tasked with producing the websites were selected through an open quotation process.

“This in turn provides a financial boost for these local businesses as well, along with the people they employ, such as content writers and photographers, so there are many flow-on effects for a range of businesses.”

Local web development companies Ready Marketing and Out West Online came on board to produce the websites.

Ready Marketing, Marketing Manager Tamara Pearson said the businesses were getting a fantastic opportunity.

“We’re in the day and age now where if you can’t be found online and you can’t be found through a Google search people will go elsewhere,” she said.

“This allows them a digital presence online with a website and also the full Google integration that comes with each site.”

Owner of Eclectic in Anson Street, Kerryn Westgeest, said time and cost were factors in why she had not set up a digital presence until now.

“I use social media mostly, and Instagram has been a good platform for me. As a small business owner, this is a great opportunity to take that next step in marketing my business online,” she said.

Martine Bullock, owner of Classic Skin and Beauty just down the road in Anson Street, was one business owner keen to expand her online presence with a website.

“I’ve been operating here in Orange for 15 years and most of my business has come from word of mouth,” she said.

“I also have a Facebook page and I advertise in the Yellow Pages, so this will provide another level of communication and a way to connect with people online,” she said.

The first of the websites are up and running, with the balance completed by the end of the year.

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