What Are the Different Types of Free Online Advertising?

N. Madison

There are many types of free online advertising that can benefit a business. Among them are free search engine listings and signatures in email and forum posts. A person also may use website content that includes carefully chosen keyphrases for capturing the interest of potential customers. Link exchanges also make the list of free online advertising options.

The use of social media can be a highly targeted and low-cost method of advertising that works similarly to word-of-mouth.
The use of social media can be a highly targeted and low-cost method of advertising that works similarly to word-of-mouth.

One of the most popular types of free online advertising involves search engines. With this type of advertising, a company uses search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to make its website search-engine friendly and then submits its website links to a variety of search engines. When a person searches for a related term in one of those search engines, the company’s website may appear with others optimized for the same search term. A potential customer can click the search engine listing and go directly to the company’s website. This usually works best when a company is able to secure a prominent listing in a search engine, such as on the first page of all the listings a search engine has for the particular term.

Signatures also are among the available types of free online advertising. When a company manager or representative signs his email, for example, this is a good opportunity for him to add brief information about the company, a website address, and possibly a catchy-but-short line to encourage readers’ interest. A company also can benefit from this type of free online advertising outside of email. For instance, a person may create a forum post signature that also helps him advertise his business.

Content can act as another type of free online advertising. For example, a business owner may write numerous articles related to his business and include carefully targeted keyphrases in each one. He may then post the articles on his website and use them to snag search engine traffic. In some cases, he may have the opportunity to post some of his content on other companies' websites. In such a case, he may use carefully placed web links to ensure that readers of the content have a way to move from the content to the business owner's website.

Link exchanges also are among the common types of free online advertising. With this type of advertising, business owner A adds business owner B’s website link to his website, and business owner B adds business owner A’s link to his website. Then, when visitors view either site, they have the chance to click through to the other company’s website. This often works best when the link is provided for a related-but-not-competitive product or service as well as when the links are placed in a prominent location.

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