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Free Digital Marketing that Works in 2016

Updated on August 25, 2016
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Digital marketing is no longer a choice. It’s a fact of doing business in 2016 and beyond, and has been for a while. A constant conundrum for small and local businesses is how to fit in an effective digital marketing plan into a small business budget. To help with this internet issue, we’ve compiled an up-to-date list of free services you can use to help boost your online presence.

  1. If you are a local business that has a physical location, getting your business listed with the correct contact information in as many places as possible is vital. Not only will this benefit your company when people search the directories and listings that you’re now listed on, but it’s also a big contributing factor in how high you rank in the local maps results in Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Speaking of which, those are the 3 places you should start. You need to create, or claim your business listing in those search engines first and foremost.

    www.bingplaces.com
    www.google.com/business
    www.yext.com/pl/yahoo-claims/index.html

  2. You need unique and keyword rich title and description tags for all of the pages on your site. Title tags should be no longer than 65 - 70 characters, and the descriptions no longer than 150 characters. That includes spaces. Not sure what to put? Think of the keyword phrases that would be the best to be found for. That doesn’t usually mean the ones that are broad and searched the most. We’re talking about the more detailed phrases that people search for when they’re looking for exactly what you have to offer and are ready to take action. When you have come up with a keyword phrase for each of your pages, search for them and see what the titles and descriptions are of your top competition. Don’t copy them exactly, but get ideas to see what might work.
  3. You should also list your business with as many other free business directories as possible. Here’s a list of 20 directories. Some of these places will try to upsell you, so just be aware of that. Here’s another free listing you can get with a company that specializes in small business SEO, and one more on a digital only yellow pages.

  4. In a professional way, encourage your customers to leave positive reviews for your company on the bigger business listings we’ve mentioned above that you think more of your target market would see. Google is a definite, while others like Yelp, Bing, or even Facebook might be good. These positive reviews factor in to your local search rankings, and have an even bigger effect on whether people choose you out of the pack when you come up on their screen.

  5. Start and consistently blog. Decide on a realistic schedule for yourself, and then write about anything that demonstrates your industry expertise. It doesn’t have to be long every time, or even a completely original thought. You can rewrite great posts from others in your own words with your own take on the subject. Just never copy and paste. The search engines love to see regular and relevant content on your site.

  6. Create Facebook and Twitter accounts for your business. Every time you post something on your blog, any type of promotion, a new product or service, company growth, an exceptionally positive interaction with a customer, or anything else that reflects positively on your business - post it. Always be classy, personable, and professional. Use hashtags that relate to the post, your industry, and your target market. Not sure what those might be? Look at posts from your top competition or customer base. This all helps more than you think, in more ways than you think.

  7. Create videos about any of the same subjects or anything informative for your target market. Post those on a company Youtube account, and then share them on the rest of your social media accounts. Video is much more likely to be consumed than text, and can give you valuable links and interactions that your competition might not have. Again, check out what others in your industry might already be doing. Or you can even look at what others are doing with video in other industries, and translate that over to yours.

  8. Press releases are good for creating a link to your site, which in turn helps your presence on the search engines (SEO). It’s still a worthwhile endeavor if you have something newsworthy. Here are a couple of options as to where you can submit your press release. If it is a local event, feel free to contact local media outlets as well.

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This might seem like a lot at first, but you don’t need to do them all at once. Start at the top, and work your way down one at a time at your pace. Continue to research along the way to make sure you stay on the right track. Everything you do from this list separates you that much more from those who aren’t doing these things.

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