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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Internet marketing is crucial to developing a modern, effective business that makes the most of this excellent way to reach new and existing customers. Internet marketing has become a major industry, and it’s possible to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on professional web design and search engine optimization. 

This may well be beyond the budgets of most small businesses, but even if this is the case there are many simple techniques businesses can employ for free or for a small fee to make their online presence much stronger.

1. Fix Up Your Website

The vast majority of businesses have websites, but a lot of these existing sites aren’t designed effectively or with the customer in mind. One of the most effective Internet marketing strategies is simply making sure that your website is easy to use, which makes it easy for customers to find the information they’re looking for. 

Take a fresh look over your site and ask the questions that a potential customer would ask such as “What is the contact phone number?" or “Can I email the business with my question?”. Are the answers to these questions obvious from the front page of your site? If not, consider adding these details or changing how the existing information is laid out.

2. Try Out Search Engine Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising is a simple system operated by most search engines. You choose search terms relevant to your business, and the search engine places your ad on the results page every time someone types that specific term. You then pay a set amount every time an Internet user clicks on your ad. This can be an excellent way to bring more potential customers to your newly revamped website, and increase knowledge of your business. 

The search terms you choose can be quite general, such as “cake shop,” or they can be much more specific to your business; for example, “cupcake shop Baltimore”. Generally speaking, the more specific the term, the fewer people who will type that term. However, the people who do click on your ad are more likely to be potential customers.

3. Team Up With Other Businesses

Placing ads on the website of a business in a similar industry to you can be a very effective way to bring in people who are already interested in your area of business. Do you sell car parts? Then why not place an ad on the website of a local car magazine? The people likely to browse the car magazine site are much more likely to be interested in your services than people using a general website or search engine. 

Try to enter into reciprocal deals with other businesses so that you can each benefit from the other's customers. A bridal boutique could place its ad on the site of a bakery that makes wedding cakes, and vice versa. If you make an exchange agreement with another company this method of advertising should be free, and the ads will reach the people most likely to be interested in your services.

Internet marketing doesn’t require a huge amount of knowledge, at least not to get started. Try out these first steps and see how Internet marketing can benefit your business.

Connect with Alicia on Google+. Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for an Internet marketing company serving clients like 12 Palms private rehab center. Her work has been published by the Association for Business Communication, Yahoo! Small Business, and Spin Sucks. 


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