3 Free Ways to Grow Your Online Business

Nowadays, it’s extremely easy to set up an online business thanks to the internet.

From building a simple website to promoting your brand via social media, there are lots of tools you can use to establish an online business quickly.

However, growing your business, whether online or offline, still requires a lot of hard work and dedication.

As the ease of creating an online business has created a high level of competition, many businesses now spend a lot of cash to promote themselves.

For those who have more patience and dedication than money, here are 3 relatively simple and free ways to begin gaining traction for your online business.

1. Increase web traffic through SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO for short) is one of the best ways to sustainably grow your website organically.

In simple terms, SEO is the practice of increasing the visibility of your website on search engines such as Google & Bing, and in turn increasing your website’s traffic.

With more people finding your site via search results, that’s more people visiting your site and eventually purchasing your products or services.

Many businesses overlook SEO as it seems too technical, and although it can be at a large scale, it is crucial to optimise for SEO from the very beginning.

Those same businesses rush to pay for traffic with Google Ads, where you pay for each user that clicks on your ad. 

This method isn’t always sustainable for small businesses, and can easily eat up your budget. 

Once you stop paying, the traffic stops.

For the long term, SEO is much more efficient as your traffic continues to grow as long as you design, build and maintain your website with SEO in mind.

Here are 3 tips to optimise your business’ site for SEO:

Mobile first

 Over 50% of web traffic comes from mobiles. Therefore, it’s imperative that your website is responsive and mobile friendly. That means, users should find it easy to navigate around, click buttons, see images clearly and not require to zoom in or out.

Relevant keywords 

The name of the game is relevancy. Don’t use the most popular keywords, go with keywords that are relevant to your products or services.

Site speed 

The speed in which a website loads is important for keeping users on your site. Make your website faster by compressing the images you use. Aim for 100kb file size for your images.

Not all traffic is created equal

Although SEO is extremely effective in increasing your website’s traffic, if done incorrectly you can get the wrong type of traffic.

Quality is much more important than quantity, as at the end of the day, you want the people visiting your site to take action.

To achieve this, the keywords you target should be relevant to your business and ideally used by your target audience.

For example, if you sell organic cat food online, then it would be wise for your target keyword to be “organic cat food” rather than a much broader term such as “pet food”.

2. Collaborate with other brands

Brand collaborations are a great way to build and grow your brand awareness without spending money.

It’s a way for (usually) two businesses to join forces in their marketing efforts.

Both businesses will usually have similar interests and ethos and aren’t in competition with each other.

By teaming up, the brands are able to gain awareness from each other’s audiences by creating a special promotion or product offering.

It’s important for the partner you choose to have a lookalike customer as yours, as well as considering the other products your customers are buying.

For example, if you’re a sustainable travel agency that sells eco-holidays, then it will make sense to collaborate with a business that sells sustainable travel bags.

To minimise expenditure, the collaboration can be in the form of a percentage discount you give to customers who’ve previously purchased a sustainable travel bag.

This way, the customers have an incentive to book with you.

Here are a few other advantages of brand collaborations:

  • Through creative promotions, gain new customers
  • Create a new source of profits
    Generate new content
  • Grow your social media audience
  • Gain press attention

3. Make use of free marketing tools

The internet is packed with useful tools designed to simplify a business’ marketing efforts.

From social media schedulers to email marketing platforms, there are a ton of tools that you can utilise for free.

These time saving tools will allow you to automate your business’ activities, so you can focus on what truly matters.

Finding the right tools at first may seem daunting, but the end result is worth it.

Four of the top online marketing tools with free plans

Mailchimp for email marketing

Mailchimp is one of the best email marketing platforms that you can use to send newsletters to your subscribers.

Buffer for social media posting

Buffer allows you to simultaneously schedule posts for all of your social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc).

Canva to create eye-catching graphics

With over 2 million users, Canva is a useful platform to easily design graphics for your brand, social media and website.

Google My Business to be listed as a business on Google

Helpful for SEO, Google My Business is Google’s own business directory.

It allows you to update your business information such as opening times, to help people find you easier.

The wrap up

Along with the above two ways to grow your online business for free, it’s always important to continue to put in the effort.

There are a wide variety of free advice and tools online to utilise to reach your goals.

Through the help of social media and word-of-mouth from great customer service, it takes a lot of dedication to reach success.