The Internet giant has launched a pilot in the city, offering around 1,500 businesses one-to-one advice about building a website and maximising their search potential. If successful, the scheme will be rolled out around the UK.
Matt Brittin, managing director of Google UK, said small businesses with an internet presence were growing at four times the rate of those without a website, but that many of the companies that had not launched online were put off because they thought it was “too complex and complicated”.
“What we’re trying to do now is go a bit deeper, to try to understand what businesses are doing and how best to aid their growth. We’re coming to spend a significant amount of time working with people in a community and helping people make the most of the internet,” he said.
“It’s all about developing the ecosystem. We care about the internet’s potential to do good and we think that if we can make it a better place for businesses and consumers, the rest will follow. The UK is good at this stuff. It is the worldwide leader in e-commerce, but it is time to start thinking bigger.
“This is the first time we’ve done this – we’re looking to see what we can learn from it.”
Raja Saggi, Google UK’s head of small business initiatives, added the initiative marked the first time that Google has focused so much time on one city’s internet economy. “With Liverpool’s strong business networks and sense of community, we believe this is the best city to run such an initiative.”