How to Generate Leads Online for Free
In order for any business to grow, and be successful, you need a solid stream of potential new business. But how do we get that? Leads. These are the lifeblood of any business. But where do they come from? You need a strategy! Every business has a target market, so your lead generation strategy has to reflect that. I’ve drawn up a list below, detailing the different methods you might consider implementing for your own unique strategy, and the beauty is, they will all help you generate leads online for free.
Generate Leads With Google My Business
It is completely free, and its purpose is to help you reach & engage with your local target market, using google search and maps, giving you greater visibility.
When people search via google, or on Maps for your business specifically, or businesses similar to yours, your business profile will appear.
With a free app on your phone, Google My Business is easy to create and manage your business profile.
Google My Business also has a huge impact on local SEO, as the business information will be accurate and consistent. Like all tools, this requires some time to be invested to really gain the benefits. But the key things are:
- Insights. Google offers analytical data about how a business was found, where it was shown, and what information the end-user is seeing.
- Google Post. it has the option to show “featured content” to users that already found the business. This includes:
- Events like live music at a bar or restaurant
- Product Updates like new merchandise
- Special Offers
- General Announcements like opening hours
- Reviews. The public can leave reviews, positive or negative, and Google My Business allows you to manage and monitor these with an intuitive dashboard.
- Visibility. Keeping things consistent throughout Google will improve all marketing efforts as many local listings use Google’s data to feed their listings.
Google is going to keep optimizing and finding ways to monetize Google My Business. By taking advantage of Google’s latest features early, you stand to gain more local business and outshine your competitors.
Improve Your Local SEO
To build a good online presence you need to make sure that you have accurate details added to all relevant business directories. This has a direct impact on your ranking, reputation, and consequently, revenue. Typically, the following will be required:
- Company name
- Phone number
Be Accurate & Consistent
To help search engines, such as Google or Bing to verify that your website exists, you must make sure that your listings and citations are accurate, this will help validate your business. Be consistent. Add exactly the same business information to every listing – including your own website! If you add different information to every listing, this will impact your local search rankings, and frankly, it’s unprofessional.
Where Should I Add My Business Listings?
Always choose sites that have a higher domain authority – meaning that they are more trusted by search engines. Places like Google my Business and Bing Places are where you should spend your time.
What Information Do I Need to List?
Start with the basics.
- Name – who are you?
- Address – Where can you be found?
- Phone Number – How can we contact you?
- Opening Hours – When are you operational?
- Services – Give a good consistent description of what it is you do!
- Images – Add your website logo for consistent branding. Use images to stand out.
- Claim Your Listing – Some citation websites require you to claim and verify your business listing. This can usually be done via email, phone or post verification.
Where Are the Best Citation Sources?
A bit of Google research will help you come up with a list, but the obvious choices to get you started are as follows:
- Google Business Profile – www.google.com/business
- Apple Maps – https://mapsconnect.apple.com
- Bing Places – www.bingplaces.com
- Thomson Local – www.thomsonlocal.com
- Yell – https://www.yell.com/free-listing/
- Yelp – https://biz.yelp.co.uk
- 192.com – www.192.com
- 118118 – www.118118.com
- UK Small Business Directory – www.uksmallbusinessdirectory.co.uk
Ones you may be less familiar with, but are still relevant:
- Cyclex – www.cylex-uk.co.uk
- Scoot – www.scoot.co.uk
- Foursquare – www.foursquare.com
- Free Index – www.freeindex.co.uk
- Hot Frog – www.hotfrog.co.uk
- Locanto – www.locanto.co.uk
- Brown Book – www.brownbook.net
- Trade Pages – www.tradepages.co.uk
- Netmums – www.netmums.com
Free Moz Tools
Try the best free tools for link building and analysis, keyword research, webpage performance, local listing audits, and more! https://moz.com/free-seo-tools
By increasing your presence along with a range of free to register sites and listings, you create more opportunities to generate leads online for free because a greater audience is likely to see you.
You can use blogging to help your business develop a strong web presence. This is becoming increasingly important to help businesses engage and communicate with their customers, and build brand awareness.
According to a recent inbound marketing report, nearly 80% of companies that use blogging as a part of their marketing strategy reported acquiring customers through their blogging efforts. Additionally, 82% of businesses admit that blogging is critical to their business.
The Benefits of blogging are:
- Driving traffic to your website. Typically, you would post a summary paragraph and a link to your blog through your social media. This allows your target audience to see that you have written something relevant, without bombarding them with words. They are then encouraged to click the link, which takes them directly to your website.
- Boost your SEO on the cheap. Blogging is straightforward and inexpensive, and the major search engines love the relevant content. Make sure you are inserting keywords that your prospective customers will use to search for your products and services.
- Make a connection. Everyone can relate to a story. Blogging helps you connect with your audience on another level and builds trust and rapport, by creating credible and authentic content. This establishes your business as an expert or industry leader in that field, which will lead to more enquiries and higher conversion rates.
- Get Personal. Blogging is the voice of your business, and this creates Brand Awareness in a more personal way.
- Share the love. If the content is good, relevant and interesting, people will share it. This creates the potential of viral traffic, with so many different sharing platforms available – this is free marketing at its best!
Check out our latest digital marketing blog posts here
Social networks help create awareness and connect you with potential customers. You need to start by identifying which platforms are right for your business. If your business is Gardening and Landscaping, platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are perfect for showcasing your work, for example. If you share content in the form of a link, you will then drive traffic to your website and ultimately generate leads.
Read Our Article on How to Generate Leads Online With Social Media
This is the most valuable and important form of advertising you can get. Prospective customers love a recommendation, and existing customers love a bit of service and care.
You should be reaching out to your existing customers at least every three months to touch base with them, make sure they’re happy with the service, and see if there is anything else you can do for them. This, in the first instance, can easily generate you more business.
In the second instance, if they’re happy, tell them that you’d love to work with more businesses like theirs. Ask them if they will help you do that.
The simplest ways they can do that for you are:
- Google Reviews
- Facebook Recommendations
- Linkedin Recommendation
- Review on Yell
- Trust a Trader
It works well if you offer to do the same for them in return. If a client was particularly happy with something specific that you did for them, you could even ask them if you could use that as a case study for your website.
With the introduction of websites such as MailChimp, email marketing is now open to everyone, and it is one of the best methods of direct marketing available. MailChimp is free for businesses with less than 2,000 contacts and is simple to use!
Email Marketing can help you:]
- Build relationships. This is a simple, cost-effective way to keep in touch with your customers and let them know that they are not forgotten. Send out newsletters, product launches, latest offers or links to your blog!
- Brand Awareness. Develop your brand by creating awareness. Email marketing gives you a presence and a voice, direct to your subscribers.
- Be known as an expert. Not only can you use email marketing to drive traffic to your website, but you can also use it to deliver unique content that your audience will enjoy reading. With credible and authentic content, you will build a reputation as being an expert in your field, and build a solid reputation for your business.
- Time and Budget. These are constraints for all businesses. Email marketing campaigns are quick to put together and are cost-effective. You can connect with a large number of inboxes, all at the push of a button!
We all have these, so why not use it to your advantage?
This will give your offers, promotions and content advertising space. Every time someone within your business sends out an email, that is a direct engagement, with minimal effort – best of all, its free!
- Put your business social media profiles on there, “Like Us on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn”
- Always put a call to action on any advertising – “Call us now for a free quotation”
- Put your special offers, “For today only, 10% off when you quote EMAILOFFER”
Whatever you decide to add, make sure you notify everyone within the business, so your entire team can add it to their signature.
Whatever your business, there is a cost-effective lead generation strategy for everyone! Contact us if you need any further support.