If you’re a small business owner you probably don’t have piles of money lying around to advertise your business—all of your money is likely going towards running your business! That’s okay, because in this age of PVRs and online newspapers, traditional advertising isn’t the only way to guarantee success.

Here are some great ways to advertise locally online that won’t cost you a cent.

Create a Profile on Local Review Sites

Sites such as Yelp, YP and FourSquare allow you to post information about your business online—this includes information such as location, hours of operation and business type. They also allow customers to leave reviews of your business, so they can share how fantastic your product selection is or how friendly your staff members are. Even better, many review sites allow you to have a free profile. Customers can easily find your business without you having to pay for it.

Get Listed in Local Directories

Many communities have local associations that include directories and calendars for relevant organizations. If you have a music business, for example, you might be able to post for free on the local arts council’s directory or calendar of events. If you have a hardware store, look at gardening organizations to see if they have directories you can post on.

If you belong to local business organizations, take advantage of their free directories, too. Local chambers of commerce and other business organizations often allow their members to have searchable, online profiles. Make sure you’re listed, so customers can find you.


Get on Google My Business

Google is the king of the online search engines, and having a Google My Business listing makes it more likely that customers can find you with even the most basic of search terms. They might not remember your store’s name, but if they do a Google search for music stores in their community, they’ll still be able to find you and read about your business.

The Bottom Line

Sure, it would be great to have endless dollars to pay for prime advertising space, but there are still many ways to get the word out about your business that won’t break the bank. Remember, the more places you appear online, the easier it is for customers to find you. Why not take advantage of the many free marketing opportunities available to you?

Allison Nuanes is a Volume Nine SEO contributor to the Connectivity blog.