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Free Advertising for Small Businesses

By | 05.29.15
Free Advertising for Small Businesses

The Top Ten List

Free Listings for Establishing Your Presence in the Digital World

It is a popular and widely accepted benchmark that small businesses should spend between five to ten percent of their sales revenue in promoting and advertising their business each year. For their advertising dollars, owners aim at a mix of the highest quality leads and the most leads possible. However, with limited budgets, small business owners are also looking for good opportunities to promote their business for free.

Are you an SMB owner or manager looking for free advertising or an inexpensive way to establish your presence on the Internet? The following list contains the top ten companies (in my opinion) that will provide you with a free business listing in the digital space. These listings will appear on the Internet, whether people are searching on PCs, smartphones, or tablets. All for a favorite price – free!

It is easy to get started, and does not take much time to complete. Each site will take about 10 to 20 minutes to upload your data, if you have all of your personal contact information available (including your business email and business phone number).


In addition to this top ten list, there are four important things to know about free listings:

  1. Accurate Data: If you have a business phone, your business (most likely) already has some sort of data on these sites. You should “claim your listing” to ensure that your listing (or business profile page) has accurate, up-to-date data.
  2. Your Reputation: Your free listing or business profile page may contain ratings and reviews of your products or services from your customers. You should monitor the ratings and reviews that appear on these sites so that you can engage with your customers. These ratings and reviews might be visible only on these websites and not available on the search engines, such as Google. Again, not all ratings and reviews are visible through search engines, but your potential customers may see them. These sites provide you, as the business owner, an opportunity to respond to both the positive and negative feedback.
  3. Consistency: This list of Top Ten sites will help you ensure the consistency of your company’s data across the Internet. Data aggregators and search engines may gather, pass and display erroneous information if customers or consumer users provide incorrect data for your business. By claiming your free listings on these Top Ten sites, you ensure that your data is accurate and consistent on other sites and other digital platforms as well.
  4. Getting More:  Some argue that a business listing is not properly defined as an “advertisement,” since it simply contains basic company data. However, at many of these top ten sites, you can add more than just your basic listing for free. For no cost, you can add photos of your business, additional text describing your company, and blog posts. Regardless of whether you call this information a listing or an advertisement, you should get more from these top ten sites by adding as much information as possible about your company.

And finally, search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing have historically aggregated data from these top ten sites, including ratings and reviews. More recently, search engines are allowing SMBs to enter the data directly. Consequently, I recommend that small businesses add their business listing to at least these three top search engines.

I hope that you find this information helpful, and would welcome and appreciate your feedback. In addition, please feel free to use the comments to recommend any additional sites that I may have overlooked.


While we’re on the subject of FREE…we offer more than quick tips. We’ll chat for free as well.

Get your free, personalized consultation today.


Originally posted on December 29, 2012.

Updated May 29, 2015 and again April 20, 2017.

(Visited 16,443 times, 5 visits today)
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  • You forgot city search, referral key, and manta!

  • Thanks for the advise!! Definitely targeting free ads and word of mouth but thinking on buying ads.

  • Thanks for the links! Just started a home cleaning business in Roseville, CA and was looking for free ads and found your page!

  • PJ

    I like to know. If only the web address/site, & business name were to be publicly displayed at all times, would it be possible to advertise for free, my on line , Super Shopping Mall Center. Business, with you?

    • Danielle Celmer

      Pj thanks for reaching out. It is possible for you to advertise for free on our site, here’s how:

      Please feel free to email if you have any questions or need any help!

  • Juan Hernandez

    I landed on your site by accident and I’m so happy I did. Thank you so much for the links.

    • Marion Jacobson

      That’s great, Juan! Glad you found the blog helpful. Now that you’ve discovered us, be sure to come back and read more. We post new content every day, written by our own employees, subject matter experts.

  • Marlon Chambers

    Hi my new business Supreme Sounds needs to advertise and promoted.

    • Danielle Celmer

      Marlon, we will make sure you are contacted regarding your request. We look forward to working with you!

  • almost half of the websites listed are not free

    • Chris Irby

      Hi Robert –

      Several of the sites listed do have paid options for folks who want to do some additional promotion of their businesses. However, they all offer the ability to claim a free business listing. The only exception at the moment is, which is apparently in the midst of revamping its listing claiming process. If they do away with their free listings, we’ll definitely remove them from the list.

      Are there any sites on the list in particular you feel don’t belong?

  • Tina

    Thank you for the advice. This article was very helpful.

  • Celina

    What a great blog! Thanks a million. I’m on my way to open these doors!!

  • Pingback: Free Advertising options | vividavenues()

  • Thanks for your blog and this usefull listing

  • Steven Crabtree

    Thankyou for the information provided.

  • Vijaay Krishna Somisetti

    Thanks for such great information

  • Thanks Buddy! It will Help me to list my client’s sites.

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