In an attempt to help a friend who was moving to another part of the UK and had no idea how to use free online marketing I wrote a quick crash course on how to build relationships, optimise his site and pretty much be everywhere! Rather than just leave it with that one person I just thought, why not include this in a post to help my readers too!! I hope this helps anyone to market themselves for free in a small or struggling business like it has been doing with my garden design business. Let me know if it helps you!
‘Hi Alex, Where are you working next week? Is business good?
We are looking to move west (probably to the Bath area) so I’m trying to get business out that way – Advertising is an expensive outgoing!’
My response – (without links in this one)
‘Hi Phil, In terms of advertising I’ve tried a few and there are all expensive! This is the reason I try and be as active as I can online to build my ranking organically but also to gain a bit of trust over others before we go in for consultations and quotes. I know you’re computer savvy so it will probably all be straightforward to you once you start going but all of these things are helping me to get more noticed.
Blogging – I started blogging when I started this business about 10 months ago and it has really helped me to build relationships with fencing companies, paving companies and a partnership with Biffas ‘green waste members club’ so it really helps offline. The main reason I did it was to talk enough about garden design/garden maintenance so that these keywords show up over time and make my site more authoritative in googles’ eyes.
Social networks – For the last 5 or 6 months, i’ve become a lot more active on social network sites as these all provide good backlinks to your site and again more Klout to your business. Video networks – I’m now doing videos on youtube and posting them into blog posts. I’m now starting to record podcasts giving info on garden maintenance, design etc.
Google loves a media-rich website and only very recently updated its algorithm to be focused a lot on the social networks and it’s very keen on ‘local’ so Google places with details etc are very important. Some local directories like this one give you more exposure, it’s free and gives a backlink to your site. Liphook Community site.
Paid advertising online If you’re looking to pay for a quick hit to get to the first page in hours, I would try using Google Adwords express.It was only released in the Uk a few weeks ago, is all about local businesses and got my cousin up to page 1 overnight for her site in her local town and beyond. It’s called the curly farmer and you can see it here as a sponsored listing if you like CurlyFarmer.
Mate, hope that helps. I have been working like a beast for the last couple of years to get this SEO thing mastered and it’s definitely not an easy route but over time it will keep you up there and hopefully stop you having to pay for it! Saying that these are the ones I pay for!
Yell.com – big budget but has got me a lot of work although might go with my own Google Adwords next time.
Adwords Express – Have just started so will let you know. If i can help with anything let me know and best of luck with the move.’