Firms should be adopting a proactive online PR strategy in order to enhance their standing and attract new customers, according to one expert.

Writing for Search Engine Land, Stephanie Hobbs explained the huge growth in internet search has changed the traditional model for building reputation and it is now more important then ever for a company to create a good impression with its presence on the web.

Maintaining a high-quality site is vital, she said, adding it should do far more than simply offer contact information and a general idea of what a business does.

It needs to be "visually-appealing, well-written, interactive and constantly updated to give consumers positive, lasting impressions about the company," the specialist stated.

Ms Hobbs also suggested utilising social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter could also be extremely effective marketing techniques as they allow organisations to interact with their customers directly and for free.

A recent study by comScore revealed Brits were the fourth biggest users of social media sites in the world in terms of time spent as a visitor, with over 35.7 million individuals averaging a total of 7.3 hours a month on the services.

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