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If you happen to be a small business owner that wants to expand your company, then you should seriously consider internet marketing. Now, this may sound obvious to anybody that is in a tech-related field, but it’s not so obvious to others. Regardless, internet marketing is a great way to build just about any business.

When you think about it, every business has something in common, and that is selling to customers. Of course, there are many variations on this, and what’s being sold could be a physical product, a service, or a virtual product such as a web application. The definition of what a customer is can vary as well. Either way, when you boil it down all businesses are basically the same.

No matter what type of company you have, internet marketing helps in two main ways: getting new customers, and keeping customers. While there is no hard data, it’s safe to say that the majority of businesses focus on getting new customers. And far too many of them don’t do it very well. The idea that you can open a business and customers will start pouring in is an idea that will set you up for failure.

If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, then you know that customers do not magically appear just because you have decided to start a business. This applies to both brick and mortar businesses and online businesses. To be blunt, customers don’t care about you or your business. All they care about is what you can do for them.

There may have been a time when just having a website was enough to attract the attention of would-be customers, but those days are long gone. Internet marketing may include having a website, but having a website is not all there is to internet marketing.

Internet marketing is just like it sounds: using the internet to market your business. There are many facets to online marketing, but the all revolve around getting and keeping more customers for your business.

The first thing you need to do is get people to your website (or whatever online presence you have). This is known as traffic. Some of the ways you can get traffic is by running a pay-per-click campaign, through high placement in the search engines for keywords related to your business, writing articles that point back to your site, or paying for advertising on another company’s website.

Once you have people at your site, you need to connect with them in a way they respond to. You need to make them feel that doing business with you is a better option than not doing business with you. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to write a pushy sales letter for them to read; though you may want to, depending on your business. You can do things in a low-key way, or be very blunt; whatever works best for your business.

The above things cover getting new customers, but that’s only half the battle. Customer retention is also an important aspect of running a successful business. An easy way to do this online is by capturing their name and e-mail address. That way you can market to them again and again. The best part is that they don’t even have to be customers to sign up. See, they may not be willing to buy right now, but they may be willing to buy later. And you won’t have to spend as much on traffic if you have a list of people that are ready to receive your message.

Those are the basics of internet marketing. The world is more competitive than ever, and that’s not likely to change any time soon. Business owners who harness the marketing power of the internet are more likely to succeed than those who don’t.