Businesses in Leeds received digital advice from Google as part of a nationwide drive to help local companies get online ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
With nearly half a million international visitors anticipated in the UK, local economies are expected to benefit from a spending windfall as visitors contribute up to £869 million* in direct expenditure to the UK economy.
The initiative is designed to help small businesses capitalise on this by learning crucial skills for the digital age and using the power and reach of the internet to target potential customers.
Powered byGoogle My Business, Google’s small business champions gave local businesses free advice on ways they can display their business information on Google Search, Google Maps and Google+ so that rugby fans in Leeds can easily find them, no matter what device they’re using.
So when a supporter is looking for a place to eat or drink or seeking a car repair specialist to fix a flat tyre for the journey home, Google’s small business ensured local businesses within striking distance of the stadium can easily be found via search, leading to a steady flow of business growth opportunities.
Google roamed the area close to Elland Road for two days prior to the start of the tournament, helping local business owners get their services online and optimising the web presence of those already connected. In total, Google’s small business champions will be visiting six cities across the UK and covering eight match venues.
Eileen Naughton, Google’s managing director for UK & Ireland, said:“While the majority of UK small businesses recognise the importance of having a website and using basic digital tools, less than 30% of SMEs have an effective online presence.
“We want to help jumpstart the other 70 per cent. Google is a proven growth engine for small business. We believe that giving small business owners access to expert advice will help bolster the UK’s reputation as one of the most advanced digital economies, and cement its place as the most advanced e-commerce market in the world.”
Accounting for over 99 per cent of all private UK businesses, small firms are critical to Leeds’ growth ambitions.