If you’re looking to increase visitors to your website and boost enquiries for your business, then you know what you need to do; marketing.
Yes the little “M” word. How it fills so many with dread. After all with marketing comes cost, and for many startups or small business owners, spending even a few hundred bucks is easier said than done.
Thankfully not all online marketing strategies have to burn a hole in your pocket.
Although I would advise you to invest some money into your marketing, I understand that you may not want to dip your toe into something that’s financially intimidating.
So what follows are 7 free marketing techniques you should be deploy today. I’ve used all of them myself at some time or another (many when promoting Web123 in fact), and so they all get my big “Bianca’s Stamp of Approval” and are proven to help deliver low cost and high quality leads to your business.
1) Using the right keywords
When you’re ready, investing into your Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) can be a great way to attract highly targeted traffic from specific keywords searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo. However even if you’re not ready to pay an SEO expert to shoot you up the search ranking results, there’s no excuse for not doing some basic keyword research yourself.
You see, by including the keywords and keyphrases that people use to find businesses in your industry, the more likely they are to find you.
True story; I used to know a company who sold motorbikes just outside of Melbourne, and they got very little Google traffic. They had no idea why. So of course they called up their bezzie Bianca (me!) to get her opinion.
So after five minutes of snooping about the reason became obvious. Their website never included the word “motorbike” or even “Melbourne”. Ever. In other words, their website would never come up in search results for “motorbikes in Melbourne” simply because the words didn’t exist on their website!
So my advice to you is to use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool and experiment. Try and find keywords which not only attract a healthy number of visitors, but which are highly relevant to your business. Then make sure these keywords and key phrases appear on your website.
2) Run a blog on your website
I know I know! I go on about running your own blogs all the time. But there’s a reason why running your own blog is such a good idea.
Firstly, you’re feeding the Google monster, and cooking up lots of new content for him and other search engines to chow down on. The more relevant content you create for your blog, the more traffic the search engines will send you.
Secondly, you’re showing how knowledgeable you are in your area. If you’re a mechanic for example, you come across as helpful and skilled by showing your visitors just how to fix those little problems that happen to cars all the time. Then when a customer needs someone for a big job, they know who to call.
And finally, it’s nice to put a face to a website. People respond better to websites with a face and personality. Why do you think you see me all over Web123? 😉
3) Become a regular blog commentator
If you’re working in an industry with lots of blogs, then I strongly advise you jump straight into commentating on as many of them as possible.
I’ve been doing this for a long time and it wasn’t until I looked at my website stats that I realised a huge chunk of my traffic was coming from all the blogs I had been commentating on.
When you comment on a blog, you can attach a link to your website in your name, and if people see you as a knowledgeable authority in your area, they are more likely to follow you back to your website.
One word of advice though… Don’t go onto blogs looking to sell, sell, sell! If you do, you’re more likely going to be blocked from the website you want to comment on. Build a rapport with the author and the community, and in the long run, you will attract traffic from that website.
4) And comment on Social Media and forums too!
Similar to being a regular blog commentator, you can also benefit by becoming a contributor to the wide variety of forums and social media groups that are filled with potential customers.
Have a look on Google for forums, and search through Facebook and Linkedin too. Both of these social media powerhouses are home to a large number of groups that are waiting for you to take part in.
5) Send out press releases when you have something to shout about.
The chances of your press releases will vary depending on the nature of the industry you are working in, but there’s no harm in giving it a go. Just make sure you have a great story to tell so that whomever you send the press release to will have a hook in which to promote your story from.
When you write a press releases there are two ways to release them into the public domain. The first is to use press release websites including:
However if you really want to get specific traffic, it’s worth approaching key publications and websites directly to see if they will include your press release themselves. After all, all websites need regular content, and you could be supplying them with the content they need!
6) Become a video expert!
If I asked you what the 2nd biggest search engine in the world is, you might think of Yahoo or Bing. But the reality is that YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world and thus it is imperative to include into your online marketing strategies.
Okay some may disagree on the definition of what a ‘search engine’ is, but you can’t deny the fact that over 1 billion unique users use YouTube every day.
One of the top reasons people use YouTube is to supply answers to the many questions that plague their life, from the simple (“how do I get red wine stains out of the carpet?”) to the complex (“how do I submit a tax return form for another country”). And more often than not, some helpful video pro will have the answer for them.
Well guess what… YOU can be that expert. Brainstorm a number of questions your customer might / have asked you, and create videos to answer that question. Again, you will be seen as the saviour to their everyday problems, and they will know who to go when they REALLY need help with something.
And remember… YouTube isn’t the only game in town. There are other video sites out there including DailyMotion and Vimeo… so make sure when you create your video you upload onto as many video platforms as possible.
7) Tell people “how” to help themselves.
One thing that is growing in popularity are “how to” websites. These are community (i.e. YOU) created websites which endeavour to answer all the various “how do I….?” questions out there.
Similar to YouTube, more and more people are relying on these websites to help them get through the little tasks and problems life throw at us. If you work in an industry where questions are common place, become that expert and help people find the solutions they need.
There are a number of these ‘how to’ websites around the web, but without doubt the most popular is wikiHow. But have a search online to see if you can find any others suitable to your business.
So there you have it… 6 free marketing ideas that won’t cost you a penny! All you have to do is set a little time aside each week to work towards them.
By steadily and regularly contributing to the above, you can expect to see a steady increase to the number of visitors to your website, and in turn, a steady increase of sales too.
Need any more inspiration for your online marketing strategies? No problem! Just post them below in the comments section and I’ll be happy to answer them.