There are so many effective ways to get your business advertised online. We will cover the few effective methods of advertising on the Internet which will achieve online exposure for your business to increase your sales.

Before the days of what we now know as the 'Internet', small businesses only had a few ways to market their products without spending a great deal of money. These methods were basically printing out fliers, advertising in the local press or sponsoring local events or venues. Now we have all types of opportunities on the Web, all you need to know is where to look for them and recognize them when you see them.
Here are seven ways to promote your business online that will not need a bank loan:

1. Local listings and business directories

Registering your business with Google Places and local and international business directories allows it to be found more easily on Google and other search engine searches. To register your business on Google Places all you have to do is fill out their form and register, then get your business verified through their account confirmation process, which can be done either with a phone call or the old snail mail. Yahoo also offers a big database of businesses called Yahoo Local. It's free, and is most certainly worth the short time it takes to set up. Microsoft's Bing has a similar service that is also easy to get your business registered.

Registering your business on a local business directory such as this one, also gets your business noticed when people are searching for a local business when your business listing comes up in the Google results. The more business directories you list your business on, the far better your business stands a chance of being found online. See the business listing package features of our free and paid listing from as little as $30 for a whole year of online advertisng here.

2. Social media

Social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is not just a tool to gain online business exposure it has now become a necessary time investment for every business to make. You can tie in ads and offers on your Facebook page and have a direct channel with your customers on Twitter. Networking on LinkedIn, both at the personal and company level, can be another way to help your online marketing campaign. It does take time to market using social media but the results can be very effective, so do your best to set some time for this at least an hour a day.

3. Business blog

A business blog not only helps your company promote itself through fans, followers and subscribers, but is a great way to connect with your consumers. Remember that one of the major secrets of successful blogging is to keep your business blog frequently updated as often as you can. An unupdated blog that contains old, out of date and abandoned looking content will get you nowhere on Google or other search engines and it would not shed a good light on your business in general.

4. Business material on Youtube and Flickr

YouTube provides a great free way to distribute creative promotional videos, but to succeed you must put up good, fresh and informative content that people like to view and content which is relevant to your business. Flickr profiles do also help by giving you one place to put all the photos for your business in one place, and allows you to link photos back to your business website.

5. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) should never be underestimated because you could be missing so much traffic which leads to real sales. Search engine optimization can be done by reading online SEO guides to make sure your business site's performance on search engines is how it should be. Another more effective way is to hire a professional SEO service company to do it for you. We provide this service if you are interested to get a quick no obligation SEO quote from us, send us an email via the contact form located at the top of this site. Include your website address so we can have a look and be able to give you a proper quote.
6. Update your business website

Always keep your business website updated with relevant news, latest prices, services and product description. The last thing you want is for people to calling you because they so some information on your website and you have to explain that whatever they saw is no longer available or prices are no longer the same.

7. Press releases

Whenever your business does something newsworthy, always publish a press release, You never know who might see it. Press releases are a powerful tool to use to help generate more publicity. Try to find such services that offer free distribution which can be a great bonus. There are dozens of websites out there that you can use for your press releases, such as PRLog and 24/7 Press Release.
8. Join relevant online communities and actively contribute

Every niche has its own online communities that you can get involved in. Just signing up on a forum and posting every now and then about your business isn't really beneficial to anyone. What is likely to happen is that you will just annoy other forum members and draw the unwanted attention of admins running those forums. Instead, actively contribute and build a rapport with the online community, while keeping your business out of it whenever you don't have to mention it. Smartly promote your business by putting a link back to your business website in your signature, it would be a nice idea to first ask permission from the forum admins before you do so so you don't get banned. Only mention your business when you feel it is appropriate to do so and never plug your business if it's clearly out of context. Talking about your business when it's out context will only make you look desperate and it will of course get you closer to getting ignored by other members and possibly banned by admins and probably your IP blocked too.