Ohio SBDC - Free Expert Business Advice

Do-It-Yourself Internet Marketing for Small Business

Businesses seeking increased traffic to their websites and social media profiles can hire an SEO expert to review and revamp their current pages. While this is sure to pay off in the long run, it can come at a steep cost. Fortunately, there are many ways for web marketers to increase their search rankings without spending any money whatsoever.


Here are three excellent methods to improve your web presence and drive inbound leads at no cost.


1.     List your business in free business directories.

Business directories are an excellent vehicle to promote your business because they are already optimized to show up high in web searches. Any links you receive from these directories will have a greater weight, due to the elevated Google PageRank that the directories enjoy. Reputable directories include Thumbtack, Merchant Circle, and Contact Squid.


Of these, the Contact Squid free business directory probably offers the most internet marketing “oomph” thanks to built-in Facebook and Twitter feeds as well as the ability to optimize your profile page for the search engines.

When submitting to directories, make each separate profile unique. Write up a good description of your business using the keywords you want to rank highly for. Take advantage of any additional media the directories allow you to upload, such as pictures and videos.

2.     Produce as many backlinks possible yourself.

Backlinks are simply links on websites around the ‘net that point back to your page. They are one of the most important components in search engine optimization, so time spent getting backlinks to your site is time very well spent. 


Sign up for accounts on bookmarking sites such as DiggStumbleupon, etc. and submit your websites and your business directory pages to them. Also, Tweet, +1, and “like” the pages as well, including the URLs with your posts.


3.     Optimize your actual links and URLs

The last tip for free do-it-yourself internet marketing is to optimize your URLs and links. First, place keywords in the URLs themselves. If you are trying to rank for “Fresno Bridal Jewelry,” then the URL for your bridal jewelry-based page should be something like “http://www.contactsquid.com/fresnobridaljewelry".

Next, when submitting links around the web, it is better to place keywords in the anchor text instead of your URL when allowed. Anchor text consists of the words that make up a hyperlink. Taking our bridal jewelry page example, the anchor text should appear as “Fresno Bridal Jewelry” instead of “http://www.contactsquid.com/fresnobridaljewelry.” In addition to linking to your main website, make sure you also place some links pointing to your directory profile pages as well.

Following the tips in this article will give you a very good fighting chance among the thousands of other businesses in your industry competing for search engine rankings. The results will make you very glad you invested all the time and effort to do it right.

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Comment by Ryan Luli on April 13, 2014 at 2:46pm
Great article and excellent advice I am going to try and utilize. How would I most effectively utilize backlinking?
Comment by Blake Barnett on January 10, 2013 at 1:28pm

Our site now offers a free event invitation system where you can easily invite our members and your contacts to your events. For more information please view our press release on one of the local news stations.

Comment by Blake Barnett on April 25, 2012 at 12:51pm

My pleasure Tonya. Feel free to hit me up if you ever need any internet marketing, video production or web design advice.

Comment by Tonya Wilson, SBDC on April 25, 2012 at 9:24am

Thanks for the great tips Blake!

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