The best free online places to promote your business

The best free online places to promote your business

Want to get a great result for free online? You can use these categories to help promote your website online today.

Online business directories
These sites help users search for businesses in a particular niche. They allow you to display a blurb about your company, contact information and add a link back to your website. Create an account, submit your website URL and fill in the information they ask for. This is free advertising so provide as complete a profile as each site will permit.

  • Hotfrog – This is a free and simple-to-use business-listing site that is active in 38 different countries. It is popular in Australia, and allows businesses to share discount coupons with their customers.
  • Yelp – Yelp is one of the biggest customer review sites in the world. It also allows you to send private messages to Yelp users informing them of special deals. 46 per cent of users earn over $100,000 per annum.
  • Yellow Pages – You will no doubt already be familiar with Yellow Pages, which is why taking out a free listing in Yellow Pages is so important. The site has incredibly strong brand recognition.
  • Foursquare – Foursquare is a bit different to the other online directories listed here, as it combines its directory with an active social networking site. Foursquare users that visit your business in person can check in via GPS mapping on their phone, and comment about your business. The site has 60 million registered users worldwide.

For Australian-specific directories, also consider listing in True Local and Aussie Web. Brownbook.

User-generated content platforms
There are a multitude of these platforms available online, however, I’m just going to focus on three here.

  • BuzzFeed Community – BuzzFeed is a site that is renowned for producing high quality, fun and information content in the form of lists, quizzes and gifs that often go viral.
  • Yahoo Answers – Yahoo Answers is a worldwide question and answer forum where registered users can post questions and get advice from the community base.
  • WikiHow – WikiHow is a how-to site that features thousands of tutorials showing people how to do things at home.

Social bookmarking sites
These websites are content sites that also operate as link-submission platforms. You can submit links to the main page and also post content, product news and images. These platforms circulate your content to their audience and drive traffic to your site.

  • Reddit – There is practically no topic that is off limits on this self-proclaimed front page of the internet.
  • StumbleUpon – It is essentially a discovery engine that recommends content to its users. When users sign up they specify their interests e.g. art, music, history etc, and StumbleUpon will then show each user content that corresponds to their personal preferences. Users can thumbs up or thumbs down each piece of content to refine the future content they are shown.

If you like Reddit and StumbleUpon, you can also try Delicious, Product Hunt (content related to consumer products) and Digg (news-based e.g. science and politics trends and events stories).

Search engine local listings
Finally, make sure you are listed in your geographic area for the major search engines.

  • Google My Business is the first place to start. One of the biggest advantages of Google My Business is it features your business’ exact location on a mobile-friendly map for smartphone users.
  • Bing Places for Business – Bing Places offer fast and free registration. You can add multiple business locations and include photos and videos in your listing

Click here and see 5 more great reads from our digital expert Luke Chaffey:
1. What is seasonal marketing?
2. How to avoid 4 common SEO issues
3. 7 social media tactics you need to avoid
4. How to get and retain email subscribers  
5. Improve your ecommerce conversion rate

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5 digital hacks for small business owners


    • Hey Jon,

      Thanks for the feedback on the article 🙂

      Utilising a site like BuzzFeed for promotion of a kids toys store can be an interesting one. There have been posts in the past that promote other kids toys from the BuzzFeed staff, here’s an example from Jan 30, Utilising a title that hooks in the crowd, shows off the range, and leads each item towards a purchase.

      Whilst curating & creating the content can be difficult, it’s having a reason why someone would visit & getting the users to visit being the hardest part.

  1. Hi Luke,
    Great article.

    Very informative for small business owners.
    I think a lot of small business owners overlook the importance of adding their business to business directories in Australia for many different reasons like expected cost, being short of time or just not knowing the benefits.

    It might be a bit out of place (I understand you might want to delete this comment due to the link) but i work for a fast growing, up & coming Australian Business Directory & would love it if you could please add our business / link to this article as another option for small business owners reading this article.

    We are always looking for great articles like this to help business owners in getting their name out there so if you would like to get in touch i would be interested in talking about having some of your articles published on our site.



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