More and more, businesses are looking for free ways to market their companies due to the sharp increase in ad spending and dwindling returns. Believe it or not, digital ad spending was over $375 billion last year, and it’s only expected to get higher in 2022.
Well, what if we were to tell you that you can market your business online for free and do it more effectively than the average ad campaign? Luckily, we’re here to tell you how.
Let’s talk about how to promote your business on Google for free and get the best results.
1. How to Promote Your Business for Free on Google Ads
Google tries to reel you in by offering free ads for your first time, usually up to $300 just for signing up. From there, you can check out Google Coupons for more.
Later on, you can always choose to pay for search ads on Google, but they quickly become costly. Even if $1 per click doesn’t sound bad on paper, if you have a conversion rate of under 2% (like most), you will need to make $50 in profit per user to break even.
Now, that’s not to say you should never use ads. An effective ad campaign can help you skip the line and generate short-term revenue, but only for a price.
2. List Your Company on Google
Listing your company on Google is a low-hanging fruit that any business can take. It will only take 15 minutes to an hour and offer plenty of benefits!
First, you can start by adding your brand to Google My Business (GMB) for free. This will first let Google know about your business, provide it with the information and links it needs, and potentially increase traffic.
Not only that, but the more directory listings your website has, the better your SEO prospects will be. While they aren’t the same as other backlinks, they are just as important.
If you aren’t currently listed on Google’s business platform, this should be your top priority. However, you need to do it right.
Optimize Your Listing
When you add a business listing onto GMB, don’t waste your time. Much like on social media platforms, optimizing your business profile is critical.
First, make your title clear and concise, capitalizing when appropriate. Then, you want to enter complete data based on every prompt they offer.
Moreover, this will include adding pictures related to your business, business hours, addresses, contact information, and more. Google will appreciate a completed profile.
Also, you can treat this listing much like a social media platform. It’s a great place to stay connected with potential customers, respond to feedback, answer questions, and more!
Use Other Appropriate Directories
Of course, GMB is arguably the most important directory, but not for every business. There are plenty of general online directories where you can list your business, as well as industry-specific ones!
Also, if your business relies on local traffic, then look for local business directories. Start by reaching out to your local Chamber of Commerce or ask local affiliates for more information.
Any of these can help improve your site’s off-page ranking factors and even direct relevant traffic to your site.
Once you have attributes mentioned in your reviews, including unique amenities, they will appear for searchers looking for that specific amenity.
For example, when customers write reviews on a bar’s website about how much they enjoyed the open mic night, Google may then offer your website to users searching for “open mic night near me”.
Consequently, you should ask for reviews from customers and respond to them as much as possible!
3. Google Maps Listing Optimization
Next, optimizing your listing on Google Maps will help direct local traffic in search of your services. This is perfect for any business relying on local traffic, and it’s entirely free!
Once you create the profile, ensure that you’ve entered information for all of the prompts, especially when it comes to:
- Business addresses
- Hours of operation
- Business verification (through Google)
- Optimized website listing
- Valid contact information
After that, anybody searching the area for similar businesses will have an easier time finding yours!
4. Use Google Shopping
If you sell anything online, list your products on Google Shopping as soon as you list them on your website. Often, users scroll through the shopping tab to find the right products or the best deals, which can help direct traffic to your site, even if your listing isn’t initially on top.
Now, you can choose to use Google Ads for this, with or without your coupons, or you can list them for free through Google Shopping. Just double-check that your listing matches the listing on your website to avoid any issues!
5. Search Engine Optimization
Without a doubt, search engine optimization (SEO) is the best way to market your business online for free. Think about it.
What are users most likely to do on search engines? Well, search for information.
If your site is in the top 3 spots on a Google search, then you’ll be one of 3 listings that earn 75% of the traffic from every page combined. It’s a lot easier to rank for a diverse set of keywords than it is to rank for one blanketed industry term like “mechanic”, “cybersecurity”, or “SEO”.
However, there are important factors that go into your SEO strategy that need to be taken seriously. Let’s talk about those.
Responsive Web Design
Starting an SEO strategy without a responsive and modern web design is comparable to running an obstacle course when you’re the only one blindfolded.
Google has over 200 ranking factors, and nearly all of them are related to the quality of your website. Most importantly, Google prioritizes:
- Mobile-friendly designs (“Mobile-first” is even better)
- Fast load times
- Clean navigation
- Proper linking structure
- Proper keyword usage
- Quality content
The list goes on. With a responsive design, users are more likely to interact with your page, stay for longer, and make conversions. All of these will help your SEO strategy and more.
Without an optimized website, you are building a house on a broken foundation, and not only for your SEO strategy. Your website affects your entire digital marketing strategy, brand identity, and online presence.
(Quality) Content Marketing
Now, if you have your business listed on GMB and other appropriate directories, and you have a standard website with 5 generic pages, how do you expect anybody to find your website? The only way is if users search for your exact website name, right?
Well, with a content marketing strategy (blog, video content, etc.), you can have as many opportunities to rank for various keywords as you like.
Remember, users search for information far more than they search for brands.
For that reason, offering them valuable information allows them to start their journey with your brand on an initial note of trust (far more than with ads) and you can then prompt them to continue their journey to your intended destination.
Of course, with the right research, you can carry out a content marketing strategy on your own. However, professional content marketing services will bring your strategy to the next level.
Also, think about the benefits of content marketing. If you post a search engine ad, you owe money every time someone clicks on it. However, if you post a blog for free, you won’t owe a dime even if you receive millions of interactions.
One of the greatest challenges in SEO is off-page ranking. Among Google’s ranking factors, they also rely on other websites to establish your authority on a given topic or keyword.
When another website links to yours, this is called a backlink. Backlinks are essential to helping Google understand your credibility, and it’s partially outside of your control.
While you can’t hold a gun to other business owners’ heads and demand links, with the right link-building services, you can dramatically improve your off-page rankings.
Beyond that, you can always reach out to affiliates and ask for links or work out a deal with them. However, if Google catches you buying links, they may penalize you and the seller.
Remember, directory links are an important aspect of off-page SEO, but they do not establish authority like backlinks.
Watch Your Traffic Grow
Now that you know how to promote your business online for free, there’s no time like the present to get started. The sooner you do, the sooner you will benefit from quality, organic, and free traffic!
Also, by hiring the right SEO services, you can eliminate the guessing game and see results as quickly as possible.
Stay up to date with our latest digital marketing tips and, if you need any help with your strategy, feel free to contact us!