Free ways to Market your Business
#3: Online Directories
They’re free. Well, many of them are and they come with a two-fold benefit.
- It puts your brand in front of people searching for your type of product.
- It helps your SEO by providing back links for your website.
The first one’s pretty clear right? The second one’s easy to explain. The more legitimate websites that link to your digital location the better it looks to search engines. They figure “Hey, these 50 websites think it’s cool to send people this way. It must be legit.” Also, think of the Internet as a giant sea of words forever examined and catalogued (indexing), by search engines. The more words mentioning your business, the better.
Examples of Free Directories
A domain authority is a formula that gives each website a score. The higher the score, the more “respect” (or authority) it gets from the search engine gods. If a location has a score of around 50 it’s pretty respectable. Anything higher moves into the “impressive” range.
Below are some of the biggest players when it comes to directories. Take advantage of these.
Facebook (Domain Authority = 100)
Apple Maps (Domain Authority = 100)
Google My Business (Domain Authority = 100)
Bing (Domain Authority = 94)
Yelp (Domain Authority = 94)
A more robust list of opportunities is available at brightlocal.com. Thanks to their good work you can find that here.
And listen, large “authoritative” directories like Yelp really help but so do smaller listings like local travel and tourism directories and even your chamber of commerce. It all adds to the mix and gives small businesses an economical way to be noticed by both people and search engines.
Here’s some good advice
Make sure everything matches and is up to date. You can actually make a good thing harmful by confusing the situation. If your Better Business Bureau listing says, “Deborah Johnson, MD” the Google entry shouldn’t say Dr. Deborah P. Johnson. Keep it cohesive to avoid confusing clients and search engines.
A last word
This series is about free ways to market a business but for those of you in a position to upgrade there are services that can do this for you. They do it much faster and efficiently but it’s your budget so it’s your call. Again brightlocal.com also offers the service. They’ve been around for a while. They’re a good bet but there are certainly others.
Take a list, whittle away at it and enjoy the perks that can come with free methods to increase your exposure and bolster your marketing. Go get ‘em!