Free Advertising for Your Small Business

Travis Van SlootenSmall Business SEO

Once a year, a Yellow Pages sales representative stops by to sell you advertisement add-ons that you not only do not need, you also probably cannot afford. You will hear a pitch to add color to your existing ad or make your ad larger, you know, like the full-page ads that grab our attention.

The problem is very few people open the Yellow Pages anymore. Track down one of the business owners who paid for a full-page ad and find out if he or she thinks the investment has attracted more customers.

The Yellow Pages have become obsolete, so throwing money at a Yellow Pages advertising campaign is akin to setting fire to the stash of cash that you have in the back office safe. In fact, advertising of any kind takes a huge chunk out of your business’ budget. During our tumultuous economic times, you have to spend your advertising resources wisely.

You can no longer afford to buy radio spots or take out quarter-page advertisements in the local newspaper. There is a better way to advertise your business, and you can do it free.

We are approaching the two–year anniversary of Google Places, a free listing that Google implemented so small businesses can market their products and services. Small business owners submit business information such as business name, phone number, address, and email. Google uploads the information into a database and establishes a “Places” page for your business.

Why have so many business owners stopped advertising in the Yellow Pages? Google Places, which is the online version of the Yellow Pages, is a free service.

By integrating Google Places SEO into your Internet Marketing strategy, you will garner a larger Internet presence. Google Places is responsible for nearly 40 percent of visits to local business listings.

Properly optimizing your content will help your business rank on the first page of local search results. This is important considering 95% of Internet users find what they want on the first page of search engine results. Google also formats the data from your Google Places listing to work on mobile communication devices, such as smart phones.

You get more bang for your advertising buck when Google Places sends one of its photographers out to capture your business on film. Professional quality photographs that promote your business enhance your business’ search engine results.

You can upload “How to” videos that provide your customers with relevant product and service information. Google Places provides a “Details” section, where you can offer discounts, coupons, and free services. All of what Google Places offers your small business costs you nothing!

The most important benefit of a Google Places business listing comes down to dollars and cents. Instead of wasting hundreds of dollars on a Yellow Pages ad or spending four figures on a television buy, you can have your business advertised twenty-four hours a day, on every day of the year. The time has come to utilize your advertising budget for another facet of your business operation. Register with Google Places, verify your information, and start enjoying the most powerful Internet marketing tool…for free!