It is impossible to put into words the sheer size of the World Wide Web. Once statistics are generated about the internet they immediately become outdated. Last week Google reached 1 billion people using their site per month.

Google Now Reaches 1 Billon People Per Month, by Todd Wasserman:

Another example of the size of the internet is an infographic that depicts these statistics, As of April 2011, there were 1.73 billion internet users worldwide representing 25.8 percent of the global population, according to the graphic.
The first step for companies to effectively use the internet to market themselves is to understand the sales, or buying funnel. This strategy involves the company putting themselves in the consumer’s shoes throughout the decision making process on whether to buy the product or not.

The stages a consumer goes through in the buying cycle are awareness, research and buy. It is essential for companies to predict what kinds of questions their consumers will have and they should have a specific web page that clearly answers these FAQs. Marketers should also be aware what kinds of key words a prospective customer might search for on the internet. Using the same terms on a company’s webpage will help will the site’s search engine optimization, putting your company’s webpage on the top of the search engine’s results.

Be sure to have a separate page dedicated to each stage of the buying cycle. Consumers will get irritated and leave your page if they cannot easily find what they are looking for.

According to The Social Media Bible, it is not about you homepage it’s about everything that comes after. It is also important for companies to make it painfully easy for customers to contact them.