internet marketing for small businessOwning a business is a basic part of the American Dream. Besides having the freedoms inherent in the United States and owning a house, having one’s own company could be the most sought after facet of being an American. The internet has made this a reality for many. However, there are aspects of small business internet marketing that can seem overwhelming at first. Gathering enough money to build a website, no matter how small that amount may be, is one challenge, but a larger one is getting traffic to your website.

The good news is that internet marketing has transformed into a more sensible activity for small businesses, incorporating elements of search engine marketing, local search, and social media marketing as the primary activities.

Here then are seven tips on small business internet marketing.

1. Valuable Content

Content is key no matter whether on your website or the advertising material you use. People can be quickly drawn by the right content or turned away from your project. The power of the words you use also changes over time, so the content needs to be researched in depth and reexamined often.

2. Search Engine Optimization

The best way to draw traffic to a website is to have content that is search engine optimized. This means that the words used in the content and advertising material shows up near the top of a search on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, or any of the other search engines people will use. Either choose professional writers who are skilled writing this type of content or research what those words and phrases are relative to your specific product or service.

3. Testimonials

People are always more likely to buy a product when they see that others have tried it and found it useful. However, people have tried to use false testimonials before and this is a ruse that is easily seen through. Ask the people who have actually used the product or service to write reviews and use those that provide the best opportunity for your business.

4. Use Website-Only Incentives

An incentive can be anything from a raffle of the product or service to a giveaway of another product that people desire. Many authors will give away some copies of their books to garner glowing testimonials. Make sure that incentives do not add greatly to the company’s bottom line though.

5. Use Social Media to Build Your Tribe

Many people use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to keep in touch with family, friends or business associates. A well-made social media page or timely tweets can be used to create a community around your product.

6. Test the Personal Utility of Ads

Google and other companies provide ads that can be shown as popups or on the side bars of other websites. These can be useful if the targeted websites provide traffic to your site. Be very careful because this can be a large expense for a very small gain.

7. Email Often—But Don’t SPAM

Spam turns people off to your product. If potential customers believe that they are being sent superfluous email they will delete them and any chance you had at making a sale. Be very careful that the emails sent are to people who have already shown some interest.