Many local businesses struggle to find ways to promote themselves, get links, rank in search engines, and ultimately drive traffic to their websites. Most small businesses also have limited budgets making the task more difficult. For those businesses here are 13 ways you can promote your business online for free.
Google Local: If you don’t already have one Create an account on Google Local. Enter your company name, address, phone number and website. Verify the information with a postacard or telephone call. In a few weeks you will help you get a map listing for your company name or industry and town.
Google Coupons: Coupons are a great way to bring new customers into your business or remind old customers that you’re still around. Google has a free coupon tool that puts your coupon on relevant local searches.
Google Base: Google base is part of Google’s one box service. Google uses it to try giving the most appropriate answer from different data sources. If you are selling products you can upload feeds automatically into Google Base and often get preferential placement. You can also upload your business, or special event.
Yahoo Local: Yahoo local is a directory organized by category and geographic location. You can get a basic listing in Yahoo Local for free. People searching for your business or industry can find your listing
Get Reviews: An integral part of the Yahoo Local listings are reviews. Ask your good customers to write reviews for you on Yahoo local. Businesses with higher ratings will get preferential listings.
YellowPages.com: Yellow Pages have a strong brand name and recognition, and are still used by many people today. They offer a few levels of listings the most basic is free.
Press Releases: Doing something newsworthy? If you are you can always submit a press release to PRWeb or PRLeap.com. Be sure to check out their tips like 25 Action Words for Writing a Newsworthy Headline and Why Localizing a Press Release to a ZIP Code and City Matters.
Free Blog Promotion Tools: Does your company have a website or are you thinking of adding one? Websites like Technorati and mybloglog can help you gain exposure, visitors, readers, and subscribers to your blog.
Free Directory Advertising: It doesn’t get any easier than trying free advertising. Go to BOTW.org and sign up for a free 60 day advertising listing.
Create a Lens at Squidoo: Squidoo has a nice easy to use interface that allows you to give information to your visitors. You can talk about your business specifically or the services or products you provide.
LinkedIn: Join LinkedIn and get connected with people you know and make connections with people you don’t through introductions. Look at the new Questions and Answers section and try and be genuinely helpful. Follow the axiom of ‘Givers Gain’ and you may generate a few leads for yourself from your goodwill.
Email Signatures: Be sure to add your URL to all of your outgoing email. Try adding your mission statement, or a catchy phrase to help people understand what you do. Change it a several times a year so people notice it again.
Syndicate Your Content and Ideas: Take advantage of article distribution Services like EZineArticles, ISnare, and IdeaMarketers to spread your message and approach. Use them to bring leads to your site by offering things like free ebooks or PDF’s that they can download after entering their contact information.
For more tips on how to promote your local business be sure to check out my complete series on local search tips, tricks and secrets or visit my local search page on Squidoo.