Whether you are just starting out, or looking for new ways to connect with your audience and drive traffic to your website, the more places your website is linked to, the better chance it has of attracting the right audience.
Of course, like many business owners, you only have limited time and therefore, cannot be expected to list your website on every site out there. So what are the main free sites you should be listing on and what do they have to offer?
1. Google – This is the obvious site that you must ensure knows you are around. Indexing with Google and other search engines is pretty easy; simply share content on social media, but without a solid campaign and activity, it may take time.
2. Yahoo! – One of the largest content delivery networks in the world, being on Yahoo! is vital for your business’ future success.
3. Bing – This is the second largest search engine. It does require the same tactics as you would use for Google, but it also offers you a fresh audience, as those that use Bing won't be the same as those using Google.
4. Yelp – One of the biggest online directories on the internet. There is the issue that most people are now just searching on Google, which could potentially indicate a short life expectancy for online directories. However, while they are still in use, signing up to directories will only widen your reach.
5. Google Business – Another directory that is vitally important, especially if you want to attract local business. Getting a red star on the map can really help you stand out from the crowd. Also, you can improve your position on the listing, and size on the map, by getting customers to review your business.
6. FreeIndex – Limited in some capacity but not in others. FreeIndex is free to sign up to, although there is a premium model. The problem is that when you have international clients, they can’t rate you on the site, as it only accepts national clients.
7. Yahoo Local – Again Yahoo! makes it on to the list of places where you need to ensure you have a listing. Yahoo! and Yahoo Local are slightly different, so be certain you are included on both listings.
8. TripAdvisor – Great for those who take bookings, hold events or cater for guests. Not suitable for all businesses, but it doesn’t hurt.
9. Yellow Pages – One of the staples in days gone by, now it is just about hanging on, yet still important. There are free options, so ensure you use those first.
10. Facebook Pages – Facebook with its 1 billion users should be high on your priority list. Those users will search the fan pages to decide who to follow, and once you’ve caught them that way, you can start to sell to them with your latest news, advice and promotions.
11. YouTube – By number of search queries alone, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. It is also one of the most important video sharing networks, and people use it to find experts in most fields. If you aren’t creating videos for your business now, then you need to get started soon. There is a revolution going on and the future is video.
12. Google+ – Anything to do with Google+ is important. Ensure you register on Google+ to allow people to find your content and discover more about your business.
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13. Twitter – Those that advertise on Twitter will find that their content is indexed quicker by search engines. Twitter can also help boost the PageRank of your website in search results. The important thing to remember with all social media sites is that it isn’t just about registering, you also need to make sure you are using the platforms and engaging with other users to get the best results.
14. LinkedIn – It might not help your business’ website, but LinkedIn results are often appearing higher than website results. Say someone searches for your name; it is more likely that your LinkedIn profile will come up before your website. So make sure that your profile is professional and helps to sell your business.
15. MerchantCircle – An online directory that helps small businesses to connect with customers in their local area and similarly sized businesses. There are free tools on the website to help owners get the most out of their site, and you can host a business blog on the site too.
16. White Pages - With over 200 million users, White Pages needs to be a top priority when it comes to making your contact information accessible. Currently, there are approximately 30 million listed businesses on the site.
17. TrustPilot – Nothing helps to generate sales more than a trusting relationship. However, this can be challenging when you’ve only just met your prospective client. The solution is to provide testimonials, but with all the news about fake reviews on the internet, consumers aren’t sure who to trust. The answer is TrustPilot, a place to register your company and ask current clients to rate your services.
18. PR.com – If you’ve got some great news, then you can use sites like PR.com or PR Log, to send out a press release to thousands of journalists. Hopefully, you can get links to your site from media organisations and free exposure in a story.
19. HARO – This takes a little work, but it can be one of the best ways to generate traffic in the long term. Firstly, you sign up for HARO and then you’ll receive emails every weekday asking for experts to give their opinion or an interview request to respond to journalists’ queries. This tactic can help you quickly grow.
20. Other Blogs – Read other blogs and comment on them with a link back to your site. Make sure you don’t annoy the site owners by posting irrelevant and spammy messages. Instead add to the conversation and post a message people will want to read.
Getting more traffic to your website is important. However, you can’t do this without the right tools and help. Many tools are free to use, like those above. See what you can do and how much higher up the rankings you can go.
At Ragain Financial we have a wide range of business interests and look at our client’s businesses as a whole, not just the financials. Have you found a great place to promote your business website for free? Have we missed anywhere you would recommend? Then please let us know in the comments below.
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