When asked about the best way to advertise your small business online and off, do answer, “I don’t?” What if we told you, there are at least 10 ways you can advertise on Google for free?
If you have a small digital advertising budget, take heart! Pay per click and Google ads are not the only strategies to fuel your local business growth. When you’re looking for ways to make your marketing budget go further, make sure you’re using all your options to get free exposure for your brand.
Try these 10 no-cost online and offline marketing tips
1. Create or claim and verify your Google My Business listing
Make sure you have an accurate, up-to-date business profile on Google.
In particular, it’s crucial that your name, address, and phone number is the same as that on your website, online business directories, and social media pages.
Fill out your profile completely, with a business description, photos, video, and more. Also, make sure you encourage customers to leave reviews, and that you respond to every review.
Everything you add to your business profile gives Google more to pull from when providing results for search engine and Google Maps users.
2. Use local SEO best practices
Google My Business is a big part of your local SEO strategy, but you need more.
Location-based search terms like “near me” are prevalent in Google searches and therefore powerful, bringing traffic to your site for a higher organic ranking on local search results pages..
Be sure to update your website SEO with keywords that reflect each community you serve. These geofocus terms can be neighborhood, city and town names, plus county or region, if applicable. Ideally, don’t just mention location terms, but actually, create content that’s meaningful for residents of each specific part of your service area.
3. Update important service/product keywords
SEO and keywords are not just “set it and forget it” items.
Revisit your keywords frequently, making sure to include all your latest special features and services.
Adding this info to your Google Business listing and your website content helps you move up in searches for those specific terms. If you’re a restaurant offering online ordering, reservations, or outdoor seating, make sure to mention these.
4. Author valuable, high-quality content
Helping people relieve their pain points, with a little brand personality thrown in, can turn you into a valued resource for customers, followers, fans, and website visitors.
You’ll need many types of website content, from basic, general content for first-time visitors, to more detailed material for potential customers closer to their purchase decision.
You’ll need fresh, timely content and evergreen content that is relevant long term.
You’ll also need content targeted to each of your demographic personas and geographical areas—and more.
5. Create multi-format content
Producing video has never been more straightforward—you can even do it with your phone.
Consider creating your own channel on YouTube; filming a library of How-to videos, for example.
Podcasting also goes beyond the written word to help engage and expand your audience. It is the ideal format for interviewing people of interest to your prospects and customers—like hosting a talk show. Plus, Google now displays podcasts in search results.
6. Pitch guest blog posts
Get access to another business owner’s or industry leader’s audience–by pitching topics for a guest post.
Offer the same on your website, if appropriate. If the person you approach is more established in the industry, see if you can interview them for your website, or perhaps a podcast.
7. Email newsletter subscriptions
Regular email newsletters with valuable, problem-solving content (and perhaps occasional discount coupons) can help you develop a closer relationship with recipients.
Limit filler content, for an extremely worthwhile read. If successful, recipients will be happy to see the latest newsletter appear in their inbox each month.
8. Maintain a presence on relevant social media platforms
Keep vibrant business pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all social media sites where your target customers are. Don’t forget LinkedIn and Quora.
Publish relevant content on LinkedIn, giving your perspective on industry issues. Share inspired, relevant content, comment on others’ articles as well.
On Quora, answer questions in your field, comment on others’ answers, ask for others’ perspectives. By participating, you’ll build relationships and gain a reputation for thought leadership.
9. Speak at events
Attend key industry conferences and get to know organizers for future speaking.
Pitch a relevant hot topic or a new angle, and use your bio, or network of shared connections, to recommend you.
Consider hosting an event or two of your own. Throw a launch party for a new product or service, hold a workshop or seminar, or gather other businesses in your industry for a local conference.
10. Share findings from surveys and case studies
Take surveys on topics of intense interest to your audience–and share your results.
Offering info without a pay-wall helps you gain authority with your followers, and you’ve done all the work for them. Besides, those you survey or profile in a customer case study are often flattered to be included, since you obviously value their input or feedback. And it can build your relationship with those you interview.
Are you getting all the free online advertising you deserve?
The 10 tips above will power up your small business marketing strategy and help you grow your business.
Your Google business listing, local SEO, relevant keywords, guest posts, business social media profiles, events, surveys and case studies, and high-quality content are all powerful no-cost tools in your small business promotion arsenal.
If you need help, we’re here. Click here to contact us contact for a free marketing evaluation.
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As the daughter of two serial entrepreneurs, Lexi grew up in and around small businesses and the people who make them tick. She joined BizIQ in March of 2015, bringing over ten years of experience in social media, content marketing, and online community management to the team! Lexi has a passion for helping small businesses grow through online marketing. She currently works to help get the word out about BizIQ as the Director of Marketing.