A business that is hosted exclusively online is not necessarily limited to advertising exclusively online, though taking advantage of Internet outlets when advertising an online business is certainly valuable. The business owner will need to think carefully about what target market he or she is trying to reach, and research avenues for reaching that market. This may mean advertising online or in print, and it may mean taking non-traditional routes for advertising an online business. Starting a blog is a good step toward establishing a regular following of potential customers, and taking advantage of search engines will be vitally important.
Depending on what type of business is being run, advertising an online business may mean making flyers, posters, door hangers, and other print advertisements. Magazine and newspaper ads may also be useful, as can television and radio advertising. The type of business will largely dictate which venues are most valuable for advertising an online business, and the owner should be prepared for some trial and error. The most important step he or she can take is researching the markets that each potential advertising venue reaches on a daily basis. If the venue matches the business's target market, the owner may want to consider investing in that marketing opportunity.
Of course, online opportunities are very important when advertising an online business, as this is where many customers will already be searching for the service or product. A business owner can purchase pay-per-click ads on search engines or websites; this means the owner will pay a certain fee each time a person clicks on the ad. These ads are beneficial for some types of businesses, but not all. Some research into the effectiveness of these ads for a specific business will be in order before committing money to them.
Having a well-developed website will be very important, as search engines will find the website more easily if plenty of content is updated regularly and is well developed. A blog can help keep content fresh, as can outgoing links to other websites. Many websites have search engine optimization (SEO), capabilities that help search engines find the website more easily. Business owners should take advantage of such SEO capabilities and make sure the website has a strong web presence on forums, lists, link pages, and other websites that can direct traffic to the business. Free samples or coupons can be given to visitors of the website, increasing the likelihood of repeat traffic.