Did you know that there are 5 ways to advertise your business on Google for free? When we talk about ‘advertising’ and ‘Google’ most people think of Google Ads but as you’ll see below there are other ways to promote your business on Google, without paying.
It’s the same methods we’ve used to grow the Google traffic of this website to more than 170K users per month and drive thousands of visitors to our clients’ businesses.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to increase your site’s visibility on Google, without spending any money on advertising.
Let’s get started.
How to Promote my Business on Google For Free
These are the 5 most effective methods to advertise on Google:
- Achieve high rankings in organic search
- Create a free Google My Business account
- Optimize your Google Maps listing
- Add your products on Google shopping
- Claim your Google Ads coupon
1. Achieve high rankings in organic search
The first way to get free exposure on Google is to rank high on the organic search results for keywords besides your brand name.
When you build a website and publish it online, Google will soon index it and show it high in the results when users search for your brand name or website URL.
While this is one way to get free traffic from Google, it’s not enough. What you want is to appear in the top five positions of the Google search results for search terms related to your products or services.
The way to do this is through a process called Search Engine Optimation or SEO in short. SEO will help you optimize your website for Google so that it will show up in the search results for the keywords that matter for your business.
Before we go deeper into what is SEO let’s see why it is important to show up on top of the SERPs (search engine results pages) and not just in any position.
Free and Paid Ads on Google
When you execute a search on Google, you’ll be presented with a set of results that include both paid and free listings.
The layout of the page differs depending on the query type, location of the user, device, and type of results, but the basic concept is the same for all.
Let’s see how it looks with an example.
If you type a direct question into Google, you’ll get a page similar to the one shown below, that includes:
- Paid ads on top
- A direct answer to your question
- Other related questions
- The rest of the organic results
So, besides the top part that consists of paid ads, the rest of the listings are free.
The problem is that with the exception of the featured snippet (in the example it’s our SEO expert article), the rest of the organic results are lower on the page and get far fewer clicks and traffic than the results appearing on the top positions.
In fact, several studies over the years have shown that the majority of organic traffic goes to the first five results.
This means that if you want to take advantage of the free opportunity to advertise your website on Googe, your website needs to be fully optimized for search engines.
This is especially important if you’re starting an online business or have a small local business. Free Google traffic can help your business grow faster than any other form of traffic.
The whole process can be broken down into 3 stages:
Stage 1: Optimize your website’s technical infrastructure so that Google can access and index your website’s content without any issues. This process is generally known as Technical SEO.
When you go through all technical SEO items and fix any problems, you’ll end up having an SEO friendly website.
Stage 2: Optimize your website to provide the right signals to Google as to the keywords you want your website to show in the results.
As explained above, it’s not enough to rank for brand-related keywords but you want to appear in the results for searches that can help you get customers and make sales.
To achieve this, you first need to do your keyword research and find out the actual search terms people type in the Google search box.
Once you have a list of keywords related to your business, the next step is to create content to target those keywords.
For this process to be successful, your content needs to be useful to users and satisfy their search intent but at the same time give the right signals to Google to help their algorithms understand what your content is about.
This process is known as on-page SEO. The most important on-page SEO elements are:
- Optimizing your pages titles
- Adding meta descriptions to all your pages
- Adding ALT text to your images
- Adding relevant headings (H1 tag, H2, etc) to your content
Stage 3: As you may already know, it is very likely that hundreds of websites are competing to secure a top Google ranking for specific keywords. Most probably they have already gone through stage 1 and stage 2 above.
What happens in this case? Which website will benefit from the free Google traffic?
The website that did a better job of convincing Google that it deserves to rank higher than other websites on the same topic.
In the online marketing world, the way this done is by making sure that:
- Your content is better than competitors.
- Your website is secure and loads fast on all devices.
- Your website is mobile-friendly.
- Your website has backlinks (references) from other websites.
- Your brand name has a good reputation online (reviews, mentions, etc)
Businesses that work consistently on stages 2 and 3, will eventually gain Google trust and gain their share of Google traffic without spending money on paid ads.
The downside of this method is that it can’t be done overnight. It will take months or even years to get to a point that you can run a business solely from Google organic traffic. Nevertheless, the sooner you start with SEO, the better.
Resources to Learn More About SEO
- Digital marketing full course – Our digital marketing course includes everything you need to know about SEO and other digital marketing techniques. You’ll learn how to get more traffic from Google and other sources (like social networks) without paying for advertising.
- SEO Tips for beginners – If you have never heard of SEO, just by reading this guide.
2. Create a free Google My Business account
Another way to get free exposure on Google is by creating a Google My Business account. Google My Business is a free service offered by Google to local businesses.
By opening an account, verifying your business and updating your information, you can achieve the following:
1 – A user-friendly listing when people search for your business name of Google.
2 – You increase your chances of appearing on the local results, for searches related to your business and area you’re doing business.
For example, when you search for ‘Italian restaurants in NYC’, below the ads and above the ‘normal’ listings, you get the local search results.
Businesses that appear in the list, get more traffic than the rest of the pages.
The process of optimizing your local business to appear for location-aware searches is known as Local SEO.
Besides opening a Google My Business account, you also have to make a number of other changes to ‘win’ a top position in the local results.
The most important are:
- Make sure that all information in your GMB account is accurate and up-to-date.
- Make sure that you have added images of your business in GMB.
- Make sure that your business address (name, address, phone number) is visible on your homepage and in the correct format.
- Add a Google map in the contact us page.
- Use structured data markup and the proper schema to give more information about your local business to Google.
- Pursue brand mentions and links from the local press.
- You have a number of customer reviews in your GMB.
3. Optimize your Google Maps listing
Google Maps is another Google service you can use to get free promotion. In the digital marketing industry, this is known as Google maps marketing.
Google maps listings are shown in the search results (as part of the local search box – explained above) and when users visit the Google maps tab.
To get your business to show up on Google maps, you need to have a Google My Business account (as explained above) and make sure that:
- You have provided a valid address to your GMB account.
- Your business is verified with Google.
- You have the same address displayed on your website.
- Your website is mobile-friendly (this is a must since the majority of Google maps searches are performed on mobile).
4. Add your products on Google Shopping
Another way to advertise your products on Google without paying is through Google shopping.
Google shopping products are shown in the Google shopping tab, Google search results, and Google images.
Until recently adding your products to Google shopping was only possible through paid advertising but since April 2020, Google made this feature available for free. Paid ads will still be shown in Google shopping but the results will also be enriched with free listings.
To get your products on Google Shopping, you need to:
If you’re using a known shopping platform like WooCommerce or Shopify, it’s very easy to create a product feed that can be accepted by Google Merchant Center.
Once you submit your product feed and your products are approved by Google, they are eligible to show for related searches in all Google properties.
Please note that currently, this feature is available for US merchants only but it will expand globally in the coming months.
5. Claim your Google Ads coupon
Google Ads is the platform to use to run paid ads on Google search and other Google products (Gmail, YouTube, etc).
If you are in the US, you can claim a $150 coupon code to advertise on Google Ads for free. To get your free coupon code, visit the Google Coupons website.
Google offers a number of ways to advertise your business without paying for ads.
If you have a local business, go and create a Google My Business account. This will help you get more exposure for searches related to our area (especially from mobile devices) and Google Maps.
Make sure that your business is verified and follow the checklist given above to optimize your website for local SEO.
If you run an online store, create a Google Merchant Account, and submit your product feed. This will make your products eligible to show in Google shopping and other Google properties.
SEO can help all kinds of businesses and it’s the process to follow to get free traffic from Google for the keywords that matter for your business. It takes time to work but the sooner you start the better.