Marketing a Business for Free
How to leverage online directories to help you get people to your business.
Leveraging the most from online directories
While there truly is no such thing as a free lunch, there are many places that you can and should be listing your business. A great starting point would be the major online directories. While they will be happy to allow you to add a complimentary listing, just know that you are going to be called by their sales departments to see if you want to purchase a paid program. Just politely tell them that you don't want the paid product and move on with your day.
Directories are great because the people searching them know they already want to buy, they usually just aren't sure who they are buying from. A free listing that has been optimized will often outperform a paid listing. They are also great for helping to capture referrals.
Where you should list
There are so many places out there to potentially list your business, it's really only matters to get listed in the major national players. These six directories control about 80% of the directory traffic in the United States. They are listings worth claiming and a great way to market a business for free.
YP- That's right, Yellowpages.com is still an authority online and is particularly useful to contractors, attorneys, financial professionals, and doctors offices.
Bing- Bing has a great local program that'll get you listed on bing maps, and is independent of Google's algorithm.
Yelp- Yelp is a fantastic place to list a service business, or restaurant. Yelp has a notoriously difficult sales team though. They will call you relentlessly.
Yahoo Local- Yahoo local listings have recently been taken over by Dex Media, but they still show up all over the Google search result pages. This makes this a must have listing.
Google Maps/Places- While it may be near impossible to rank in the top ten in certain Google searches, a business that happens to have an address close to the searcher will show in Google Maps. This is a must create listing.
Facebook- Facebooks local program is still in it's infancy, but they are a great place to get a customer, espescially if you are marketing to millenials.
There are many ways that you can market a business with little or no money. But, there's almost no faster way to move the needle in one day.