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Free Resources to Promote a Business Online
This discussion introduces resources that will help you promote a business online for free. Some of these are directory type sites or sites that are arranged in multiple categories. The deeper you dig down within the categories these sites have to offer the better for your business.
For example, if you are selling steam showerheads, don’t just advertise in the “Bathroom Products” section. But dig down further to “Shower Heads” and hopefully “Steam Shower Heads” if you can find one. This practice is specifically beneficial if you have a local business and are trying to drive traffic to its website.
Time to throw away the 5,000 page book and get your business listed online! No one uses the big fat book anymore. Everyone knows Yellow Pages. You must get listed here!
Don’t have a website? No worries. Squidoo allows you to create your own webpages except they call these lenses. So if you are ok with that terminology go ahead and start creating your own.
You can add links to it as well if you have a website and create a profile section where people can learn more about you or/and your business. You don’t need to know programming. Everything is simple and web based. Just point, click and drag and there you have tons of webpages if you’d like!
As a bonus, you can even make money from your lense while you promote a business online by displaying Google ads within your promotional content.
If you have a local shop or a service business (i.e. dry cleaning like I do), make sure your business is listed in Google Local. You can also publish coupons online so people can print them and bring them to you.
Perfect for the growing number of Internet users and shoppers. This feature of Google is well connected with Google Maps. Your customers can click a button and get a map to where you are located. Bets of all is that you will get listed in Google searches without any extra effort.
You can register via phone or snail mail. It might take a few weeks to complete the process but you definitely need to get on the Google bandwagon.
Now if Google does something, MSN and Yahoo will likely follow right? Windows Live also has a local listing section. This is a relatively new service (started late 2007) but has a wide reach.
Like Google, your business will automatically show up in MSN Live searches.
Yahoo Local Listing
Yahoo too has a local listing section where all businesses are arranged by category and location. The only downside is that your local area (city) might not be included. Don’t worry send them an eMail. They too are growing in this capacity like everyone else is.
You can get quite granular with Yahoo however as they have tons of categories to offer. Yahoo has a unique review function where people can review and rate your business. The higher your score the higher you will be listed by Yahoo.
Facebook & MySpace
Many people ignore these two to advertise their businesses since they are really social networking sites. Create a profile page for your business and list out who your business is, what it does and who it caters to.
Make the page as if the business was a person. Add people with similar interests and hopefully you will see some activity. If your business is local, search for people in your locality and reach out to them. I don’t think you can send mass eMail. But then again Rome wasn’t built over night either.
These guys are veterans in small business advertisement. Go ahead and get listed to take advantage of a large existing user base. You can place ads for free and get as local as you want.
Here is another one with a huge reach and long standing record. They cater to three continents (North America, Europe and Australia). HotFrog is a very happening site that is laid out quite nice and simple. Users enjoy using this site.
Many struggle to find good avenues to promote a business online. The ones provided in this section are not only highly effective but they are also free. You just need to spend some time and get listed with each one of these and you can expect your business traffic to increase.
Good luck to you and happy advertising!
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