Google has announced Australia's most Web-savvy towns for 2013 and if your guesses comprise Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Brisbane, you're in for a surprise.
Australia's winning 'e-Towns' by state and territory include: Cockburn, WA; Darwin, NT; Holdfast Bay, SA; Launceston, Tasmania; North Sydney, NSW; Port Phillip, Victoria; South Canberra, ACT; and Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
The most Web-savvy towns were announced at Google's second e-Town awards, which celebrates cities and regions whose small businesses make the best use of the Web to connect with customers and grow.
Google Australia head of local business, Claire Hatton, said businesses across the country are recognising the online opportunity, from social media that allows direct customer engagement, to websites with e-commerce capabilities where products can be sold to anyone in the world.
"This Web advantage also extends to towns and regions which need no longer rely on a single local resource or industry to prosper. A town's real assets are now their small businesses owners and employees," she said.
Hatton also stressed the importance for businesses to have an online presence for market success.
She highlighted a recent report by Deloitte Access Economics, which established a link between digital engagement and commercial success.
It found that Australian small businesses with high digital engagement are twice as likely to be growing revenue, and earn twice as much revenue per employee, and are also four times more likely to be hiring additional staff.
"The location of your shop front or size of your workforce doesn't matter online. Every business has the opportunity to engage customers and grow. Whether you're a boutique hotel, beautician or surf school, if you're not online you're missing out on a direct line to thousands of potential customers," Hatton added.
The overall winner of the e-Town awards will be announced in the coming weeks.
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