Without marketing, NO business can be successful, yet this is where most small businesses fall short!
The same principle applies to online businesses, even though these businesses do not actually understand the difference between conventional and Internet marketing.
These are some of the differences
1) With a conventional business, visible advertising boards draw sufficient attention. If a person is looking for an attorney and passes one of these billboards, chances are they won't look any further. On the Internet, hundreds of attorneys are listed only a click apart, thus visible advertising in that regard is not all that sufficient. The "billboard" of an online business that will provide an advantage over their opposition, is the INFORMATION on its website.
2) With an ordinary business, it is easy to build good business relations by talking to clients. On the Internet this is only possible by means of regular and efficient e-mail correspondence.
3) Except maybe for billboards, there are very little opportunities for ordinary businesses to advertise for free. Online businesses make use of free advertising on a daily basis, to the extent of rarely having to pay for any advertising, with astonishing results!
Having proper information and content on your site, will change your site into a online billboard, resulting in your visitors not having to look any further!
Good content and information improves your 'search engine position', resulting in more hits to your site. This means more visitors, possibly more references, thus more business! Having a wide variety of information and catering for a bigger market will also increase the amount of visitors to your site.
There are a number of things you can do to directly or indirectly market your business online, free of charge. Use your initiative.
Having your website referenced on numerous other websites could 'potentially' result in more visitors to your site. However, the more sites having reference to your site will again result in a high rating of your website by search engines, definitely resulting in more visitors to your site!
As far as paid Internet marketing is concerned, I think it's quite safe to say that it can be extremely expensive.
There are however many cheap and effective methods to promote your business online such as paid advertising at http://www.internet-advertising.co.za/ as well as free advertising at a large number of websites such as http://www.top-websites.co.za/ http://www.mega-ads.co.za/. and much more