There are many sites across the internet ecosystem that offer free opportunities for business growth. At DSG, we refer to these sites and directories as “Free Media.” In short, they are outlets for your business to create a profile that increases your customer reach or makes your business information more readily available to consumers, at no cost to you. These are some sites that DSG believes to be the most impactful Free Media sources, and why they could be beneficial to you.
Google My Business
Google My Business, or GMB, is a free resource from Google that allows searchers to view your business information right from the search results page. It is particularly effective in the realm of local search and has proven to increase local organic exposure. One study from BrightLocal states that 84% of GMB views per month are from discovery searches, meaning that customers often learn about a business through GMB.
To claim your Google My Business listing, visit the GMB homepage here and select “manage now”. The subsequent steps will take you through the very easy process to claim or create your business’s listing. There is no fee associated with GMB listings, and the results are well worth the small effort of claiming the listing. Don’t hesitate to contact DSG if you require assistance in claiming your GMB listing; DSG specializes in bulk claiming for businesses with many locations as well as troubleshooting any obstacle that you could possibly encounter.
Facebook for Businesses
Facebook is another choice for any business looking to get their name out there. It is a great platform for reaching a broad audience while maintaining a more casual and personal tone, which offers the opportunity to build a more trusting relationship with clientele. Customers may look to your Facebook page for quick information such as hours updates and holiday closures. While a standard Facebook page for your business is completely free, Facebook offers a variety of ways to increase your exposure at a small expense, either through “boosted posts” or standard advertising plans.
To make a Facebook page for your business, you first must have a personal Facebook profile. From the Facebook homepage, select “create” at the top right of the page, and then select “page”.
From here, the prompts will walk you through entering your business information to get started on creating your business’s Facebook page.
Yelp is a prominent platform in the realm of business reviews. Its primary purpose is for hosting reviews, but it can also be a valuable resource for generating leads. The platform boasts that the traffic it generates is of a higher quality than that of Google – that is, Yelp users are closer to the point of making a purchase than others. A profile on Yelp is free, but comes with the option of upgrading to a paid “Enhanced Profile” which has a variety of added features.
Creating a Yelp profile for your business functions similarly to Google My Business. First, visit biz.yelp.com and select “manage my free listing”. Yelp will prompt you to enter your business name and location to ensure a listing for your business doesn’t already exist. Then, you can proceed with the easy steps to creating and verifying your Yelp profile.
These free media resources have always been integral to the success of businesses of all types, but the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an even larger need to keep your customers informed. Yelp, GMB, and Facebook have each implemented new features intended to assist businesses during the pandemic. Check out our blog Altering Marketing Strategies During COVID-19 for more information on new features.