Top-5-Free-Ways-to-market-your-businessWhen you are just starting your business, you need to raise awareness of your brand to drive traffic and sales to your site, but you likely don’t have the money to invest in expensive advertising or other marketing campaigns. It’s a Catch-22: You need to spend money to make money, but you don’t have the money to spend because you aren’t yet making any money.

Fortunately, there are many effective ways to market your business that cost nothing. Here are the top 5 free ways you can market your business to get more traffic and more sales

Search-Engine Optimization (SEO)

When users search for keywords in your niche, you want your business website to appear near the top of the search results. You can make this happen by employing search-engine optimization. There are a number of strategies involved in SEO, but some basic tenets include using keywords in your page titles, content, meta descriptions, and alt tags.

Other components of SEO are page load time, clear site maps, consistency of publication, links to your site, and even some social media indicators.

Take time to research SEO strategies and start using them on your site. This is the most effective way to market your site without spending money.

Permission Marketing

Building an opt-in e-mail list is an effective way to build long-term relationships with your customers and to sell them more of your products and services. Make sure you create a subscription e-mail list and include multiple options for sign-up on your site. Provide incentives such as exclusive content or a sign-up gift in order to encourage subscriptions.

Once you have a large e-mail list, you can market to your customers directly, letting them know about new products, promotions, and more.

Social Media Marketing

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Google+ — they’re all free networks that can connect with you with millions of customers. Establish profiles on the major sites that are popular with your target audience, and maintain an active presence on the site. Offer exclusive content or promotions through these channels to encourage more customers to engage with you there.

Building relationships through social media is similar to building a subscription-based e-mail list: You are cultivating a lead list to which you can promote current and future products and services to drive sales.

Link Building

Getting other sites to link to your website is a great way to drive traffic, gain exposure, and build your page rank so that you appear higher in search results. You can encourage organic links by simply creating outstanding content on your site. You can also easily get links by commenting on other blogs in your niche or on forums and message boards.

Be sure to target sites that are in your niche for your link-building efforts. You’ll attract members of your target audience to your site, and you’ll make Google happy.

Guest Posting

The best strategy for getting more links back to your site is to write guest posts. These are quality links that will help propel you to the top of search results and improve your page rank. Again, the key is to target high-quality blogs in your niche to attract members of your target audience and to make Google happy.

Marketing your new business doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Try these top free marketing strategies, and you are sure to see your traffic and your sales grow very quickly.

What are your favorite free marketing strategies? Share your tips in the comments!

This is a guest post by Heather Green . Heather is a mom, freelance writer, pet lover and the resident blogger for OnlineNursingDegrees.org, a free informational website offering tips and advice about rn online programs.