If you’re a small business owner and want to increase your business, internet marketing may be the answer. This may be obvious to you if your company is in some kind of tech area, like selling website design. What may not be obvious is how, if you have, say, a lawn service company, internet marketing can help.

The truth is that when you get down to the most basic level, all businesses are in the same business, selling a product to a customer. The product might be a service or an actual physical product, and customers may vary from individuals to corporation, but the basic idea is the same.

For any company, online marketing can help in two main areas; customer creation and customer retention. Customer creation is what most businesses focus on, and they tend to do a it badly, operating under the Field of Dreams theory of internet marketing; if you build it, they will come.

The truth is they won’t. There might have been a time in the good old days of the internet, the mid nineties, when just having a website was enough to bring people to your website, and a plain vanilla website would be enough to turn those visitors into customers.

Those days are gone. There are more websites than people, by a huge margin, and everyone’s attention is constantly being crowded. These days, having a website isn’t anywhere near enough. If all you have is a website for your company, online marketing is something you need to learn about.

These days you need to be working to actively bring in visitors, and you need to be building a relationship with them. This means you need to focus on search engine optimization and building a website that makes people want to do business with you, and then capturing those people’s emails so that you can sell to them over and over. This is one of the best things you can do for your company, online marketing at its finest.

The other big area where online marketing can help your business is customer retention. Keeping customers always costs less than creating new customers, and customer retention should be a key part of any business plan. One of the easiest ways to do this is to build an email list.

A list of customers who have already bought from you is one of the most valuable assets you can build. You can use this list to send customers special offers they can get nowhere else, get feed back, and generally build customer loyalty. Mailing list services are cheap, easy to use, and notoriously unexploited. Your business has a very good chance of being the only one in your area using the technology, so this is a built in competitive advantage for your company. Keep those customers and profits will soar.

No matter what your business, no matter what your company provides, online marketing can help you get customers, and it can help you keep customers. You need to get started, and get started now.