Once you launch your small business and create a website, you’ll need to spread the word to potential customers. While there are several ways to do this—including blogging, email marketing and SEO—online advertising is one of the most effective methods.
Though advertising is often considered expensive, it’s actually quite feasible for companies on a budget. In fact, plenty of platforms let you advertise at zero cost, including online directories, social platforms and more.
To save you the legwork, we’ve compiled a list of 50 great free advertising sites to promote your website. Some require no more than a quick URL submission, while others necessitate a more thoughtful, strategic approach. You can also check out these excellent advertisement examples for inspiration.
Types of free advertising sites
Online directories for businesses
Ranging from high-profile platforms to local listings, online directories cover a range of audiences. The method for each of them is quite similar: you submit the URL of your professional website, as well as additional details about your business or organization. These sites, in turn, incorporate this information into their data banks, ensuring that a link to your site appears when users search relevant content categories.
In addition to displaying your business name and website, these free advertising sites can improve your search engine optimization, or SEO. Looking for a great website name? Check out our website name generator to get you started. This helps promote your website by boosting its search engine ranking, increasing the chances that you’ll get found on Google and drawing traffic to your website.
Social media platforms
Social media marketing is a powerful strategy for business owners. Essentially, social platforms are free advertising sites; whether you promote yourself on Instagram or start a YouTube channel for your business, you can build your brand and reach potential customers. Remember to use customized and clear UTM links for your campaigns so you can track them properly.
Social bookmarking and curating
While social bookmarking and curating websites operate on the basis of link submission, the emphasis here is on creating quality content. Like social media platforms, they function as entertaining browsing experiences for users while simultaneously serving as online advertising tools for businesses.
By circulating your content on these sites, you can subtly promote your product and gently guide users toward your website. At the same time, you’ll improve your SEO by placing inbound links to your company across the web.
Mix (formerly StumbleUpon)
Classified ad websites
Classified ads are small advertisements—often free of charge—placed in newspapers, magazines or online boards. By posting on dedicated classified ad platforms, you can generate backlinks to your company site and market your business to potential customers. Adding your company name and URL to these free advertising sites is a quick, simple and affordable way to gain exposure.
Creating business pages or listings on these platforms is an effective way to begin your online advertising strategy (be it native advertising or some other form of ad), as part of your wider marketing strategies.
Free advertising sites FAQ
How can I advertise online for free?
There are many ways to advertise online for free. Some of the most popular methods include:
Social media: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer a variety of free advertising options. You can create business profiles, post content about your products or services and run contests and giveaways.
Search engine optimization (SEO): SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can help you to attract more visitors to your website without having to pay for ads.
Email marketing: Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and promote your products or services. You can collect email addresses from customers and send them regular newsletters and promotional offers.
Content marketing: Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and drive profitable customer action. This can include blog posts, articles, infographics, videos and podcasts.
Guest blogging: Guest blogging is the process of writing articles for other blogs in your industry. This is a great way to get exposure for your own website and brand.
Online directories: There are many online directories where you can list your business for free. This can help people to find your business when they are searching for products or services like yours.