To keep Internet surfers coming back to your Web site, put useful information there and keep it updated. Why? On the Internet, content is king. If traditional advertising is 90% persuasion and 10% information, effective Internet marketing is the opposite: 90% information and 10% persuasion.

Elliott Rabin, president of Ridout Plastics (, has successfully built an Internet presence with this principle in mind. He created his Web site with $199 in authoring tools and began posting Ridout's entire corporate research library, along with information about the custom-designed plastic components and displays manufactured by his $10-million San Diego company.

Rabin then promoted his site and the information it hosted by listing it with all the major search engines. He spent about five hours a week requesting links with other sites related to plastics and connected with several universities doing research on plastics.

Now, Ridout is the plastics Internet site. During the first eight months following its Web debut, 15% of Ridout's new business came from people who first encountered the company on the Web. Since then, the site consistently gets at least 500,000 hits each month. In March 2000, for example, the Web site attracted 23,000 unique customers. The site increased sales of his brochure holders by 50% with no additional marketing efforts, and it led to major contracts with national clients such as State Farm Insurance.

"Fully 25% of our business now comes from the Internet. It's hands down the best marketing tool the company has ever had," says Rabin. With business expanding into 20 new countries, he believes his Internet efforts will continue to pay off.

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