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Small Business Tips

How to Get Your Business Noticed Online for Free

Manasa Reddigari

Money talks, so the age-old proverb goes. But when it comes to scoring publicity for your business, sometimes the loudest buzz can be generated without paying a single cent.

Keep reading for a list of must-try techniques for how to get your business noticed online for free.

Pitch media outlets

Can't afford paid advertising for your business? Find reputable online publications, either national or local, that curate content about other businesses in your niche. Then, pitch journalists at these outlets with information about your business. Or you can suggest an upcoming business event you want to spread the word about.

Keep your pitch short and snappy. If your pitch is accepted and turned into published content, your business will gain free publicity. You might even see a spike in revenue as some of the readers of that publication seek out your business and buy from you.

Optimize your business website

Optimizing the individual elements of your website structure and content to rank higher in search engines is known as search engine optimization (SEO). While there are many paid SEO tools available on the web, you can learn how to get your business noticed online for free using websites that provide SEO techniques, such as Search Engine Journal or The Moz Blog.

You can also get your hands on valuable free SEO tools that even SEO experts swear by, such as SpyFu (which has free and premium features). Of course, with search engines continually adapting their algorithms, it's helpful to go straight to the source by referencing websites like Google's Webmaster Central Blog.

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List your business locally

If you have a storefront, be sure to add your business to search engine listing and map pages through free local business listing services such as Bing Places or Google My Business. The first step is to list your business with these services. Then you can enter information on your profile page about your company that is valuable to people searching for local businesses.

By investing an hour or two of your time, for no money, you can establish and verify your presence online. Moreover, you can use as many or as few of the features you want on a recurring basis.

This includes your business' address, phone number, hours of operation and website URL. You can even upload product or service-related photos that entice customers to swing by your storefront.

The more search engines you list your business with, the more customers you will reach. Utilizing the number of search platforms available to you means more customers will find your business.

Hold a social media contest

While paid social media can be an important component of your overall marketing strategy, don't underestimate the power an effective social media campaign. Cost is minimal if conducted using a free business social media account.

Keep in mind that creative social media campaigns tend to get more traction with users than cliched content. So rather than simply posting about an upcoming product launch, pique your followers' interest by holding a photo contest with a reward of an item from the new collection.

According to Adweek, 85 percent of people share branded content after participating in a social media contest. The potential of gaining new followers and boost your business' visibility is huge. Subsequently, it could also build a bond with your customers that may last for life.

Start a business blog

A lot of small business owners have heard the mantra, content is king. But fewer have put that principle into practice by starting a business blog of their own. Posting original or curated content in a blog on your business website is a tried-and-true technique for how to get your business noticed online for free because of its potential to generate leads.

Once you have attracted the interest of your readers who find your business blog through a search engine or through a direct visit to your business website, you can convert those casual visitors into loyal customers.

When developing or curating content for your blog, keep in mind the three R's: regular, relevant and reactive. You need to post with regularity to build a following on your blog. The content should be relevant to your business niche and to the target audience. Lastly, you want to craft content that elicits a reaction on the part of the reader. Possibly prompting them to sign up for your newsletter or purchase a product.

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