Once you know how customers find you on the Internet, you can begin to market your website and reach out to your target audience. Building your brand and increasing online exposure happens in many different ways. Stretching yourself too thin would limit your potential but over-stretching can be just as crippling to your business. Instead, find where your customers are coming from the most and evaluate which marketing paths have the most potential for your business. Focusing your marketing budget in these areas specifically will provide the greatest impact and the highest return on investment.
Search engines such as Google or Bing
Google is the dominate market leader when it comes to search engines. Their search engine provides millions upon millions of visitors for today's websites. Getting your website ranked at the top of Google for targeted keywords is a great way to improve your online exposure. Keywords related to your business such as specific products, categories of products, or services that you offer are great keywords to target with your website.
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website to rank in search engines and it's certainly worth consideration as a marketing option. SEO has changed considerably over the years and genuine outreach such as publishing content on related blogs with a link back to your website is now the most effective way to increase search engine rankings.
Social media sharing on Facebook and others
Social media plays a significant role in internet marketing. It wasn't always this way but with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and many others emerging year-by-year, it's clear that social media is here to stay and small businesses will need to continue utilizing these marketing avenues. Reaching out to customers and establishing a presence on social media sites can provide a huge boost to your brand and make establishing yourself in the industry much easier to accomplish. Social media sites are not to be overlooked.
A big aspect of SEO is reaching out to related websites and getting links, ads and as much exposure as possible from those pages. When you do this, you not only increase your own website's search engine rankings but you get legitimate traffic from these sources as well.
The more links or ads you can score from blogs, websites and other online sources, the more traffic you're going to get. If you want to know how customers find you on the Internet, it's generally through word of mouth from other websites.
Ads are a great way to drive traffic to your website and reach new customers. Google provides a streamlined process for you to do this through their ad network: Google Adwords. Through Adwords you can pay for advertisements at the top of Google or get your ads featured on niche blogs and other related websites.
You should partner with a trusted firm to ensure your ad budget is being utilized to its fullest. There is nothing more heart breaking than seeing your account drained of funds and no leads to show for it.
Photo credit: Lars Plougmann / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)