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Almost all business owners have one thing in common: the never-ending pursuit of more customers. Business owners have tried everything over the years, from sending someone out on the street dressed as a business mascot to paying for messages dragged behind airplanes. While those are some of the more extreme and experimental ideas for attracting business, there’s one sure thing that all businesses must do today to make themselves known to customers: create a strong presence online.

In the past, customers might have consulted the phone book or the newspaper to find what they were looking for. Now the Internet is the ultimate tool for locating information about goods and services. Developing a great website is the logical place for business owners to start. But just as a customer-friendly website can convince a prospect to buy, first you need to do what you can to attract visitors to that website.

There are multiple ways you can help increase traffic to your website and draw more attention to your business. Here are a few places to start:

  • Search engine marketing (SEM), also known as pay-per-click advertising. This type of advertising is a form of search engine marketing in which a business pays a fee only when someone browsing on a search engine clicks on a keyword-triggered ad that leads to the business’ website. One popular form of this is Google’s AdWords, which allows business owners to target specific keywords with their ads.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO). One of the best ways to attract customers is to make it easy for search engines to recognize you. Learning to optimize your website to allow it to rank higher in consumer searches is a great way to gain exposure. This can be done on your own, or if SEO is a foreign term to you, you may want to find a firm that specializes in SEO to help you along.

  • Social media. Where social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter began as a way for friends to connect, they’ve evolved into platforms where consumers can connect with businesses. Having an active presence on these sites is a great way to make yourself available to new customers and maintain contact with returning clientele.

If you find your head is spinning when you consider all the ways to make your business visible online, consider a company such as Deluxe, which provides comprehensive services aimed at helping customers find you. From website development and SEM/SEO management to targeted lead-generation programs, help is available if you are looking to make yourself known online.

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