Nowadays, online is the accepted medium most people and organisations use to find and contact others. Rural and agricultural businesses may feel that they may not need a website - but when it comes to export and international having an online presence is essential. Build a corporate website: Whether your organisation is already set up in the export industry or you are just starting out, a website is the gateway to a successful export business. Majority of potential buyers will browse the internet looking for prospective exporters or importers. They will use the internet to learn more about what your company does, what types of products you offer, who your current clients already are and the ethics and values your organisation believes in. Through this information they will make the decision whether your organisation matches their needs and wants. Without a website, a potential customer would have to go to extreme lengths to find more information about your business - which may be too time consuming for their business. As a result they may find the website of your competitor and decide to go with them instead. Additionally, a website opens your business up to the whole world. You have the potential to be seen by millions across the globe. A website helps you deal with different time zones - which will always be an issue when dealing with international clients. It provides a potential customer with immediate information at a time when they want it. List your organisation on an online directory: There are many directories to choose from. Ultimately it comes down to increasing sales for you and raising your profile online. By selecting an industry specific directory, such as FatCow.com.au, there is more chance of you being found by potential clients on Google or other search engines. The reason is the directory selects keywords that are commonly searched for by people in the same field as your business, giving you more chance at being found. Customers know they can visit an industry specific directory and find many of the products and services they need, in the one place which makes it a perfect place for international businesses looking for exporters. Expanding on this, you want your chosen website to actively use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to ensure your business profile has the best chance possible of being seen at the top of Google and other search engines. Taking advantage of internet services There are numerous internet services that can help you out as an exporter and many of them are free to use. Such services as online trade boards, forums, specific online directories, associations and councils that will give you organisational support, legal advice, financial support and expert opinions are there for your business to use and are also great places to be seen. The more well known you become on the internet the more likely you are to be contacted by potential customers. Also some of these sites allow you to post offerings, information and expert opinion on them. This not only helps you to be found by clients but it also helps with your SEO as it provides fresh content for search engines to pick up. Once you have your website up and running, created a listing on an industry directory and explored all the options the internet provides for getting in contact with potential clients, don’t make the mistake of assuming that your work is done. Maintaining a presence online presence isn’t just about throwing all your information out there and then sitting back and waiting for the phones to start ringing. Websites need to be constantly updated and maintained in order to work effectively and maintain good SEO. However, the time taken to maintain a website is well worth the opportunities that internet can provide a rural business that is trying to attract international clients.