Small business Internet marketing can seem like a labyrinth to a small business owner new to the term. There is so much information available--much of it conflicting--that it's easy to get lost and begin to suffer from information overload.
Here are a few ways small business owners can get started marketing their business on line.
* Blogging. A blog is simply a website which is frequently updated. While blogs used to be considered more personal, and resembled on line diaries more than websites, recently businesses have been starting to blog as a way of staying in contact with their customers. Even better than that, Google loves a blog. The more you update your site, the more the Google bots will visit, and the more the Google bots visit, the better chance you have of getting your business's site found.
* SEO. SEO, or search engine optimization, is a huge topic. SEO simply means setting up your site to be friendly to the search engines by giving them the information they need in the places they expect to find it. Using title tags and meta description tags, clearly defining your keywords, and getting other sites to link back to your site are all a part of basic SEO.
* Pay Per Click. Pay per click is a form of advertising where the advertiser buys space through an auction style system, and only pays when someone clicks on their ad. The results that you see at the very top of a search results page in Google are often pay per click ads, as are the smaller (and more obvious) ads off to the right of the page. Pay per click is very efficient at driving traffic to your site, but can be risky as well. You'd do well to hire a specialist in this area rather than plunge in by yourself.
* Article marketing. Whether you're in the business of selling flowers or washing machines, chances are you have knowledge that someone wants. By giving this knowledge away on sites like EzineArticles.com or GoArticles.com in exchange for a link or two back to your site, you can gain greater exposure for your business, and bring visitors in who would otherwise never have noticed you.
* Social Networking. Social networking is word of mouth advertising for the digital age. Instead of Aunt Suzy calling up Cousin Ida to ask who she hired to install the new windows, @AuntSuzy is posting questions about window installs on Twitter and Facebook. If your business is installing windows you'd be well advised to monitor those Twitter conversations. Help out @AuntSuzy with 140 characters of advice about choosing windows and who do you think she'll be recommending to her friends when they need windows?
* Forum posting. Forums are just another form of social networking, except the conversation is generally more focused around a particular topic. No matter what business you're in, there is a forum dedicated to it. Search Google for your topic +Forum and you'll find them. Get registered, start conversing, and as your reputation grows so will your business.