Five ways to rock your website without spending a dime

April 10, 2012
5 minutes read

This post by guest blogger Nestor Arellano appears as part of our series Small Business 500.

Decades after people first started creating Web sites, content remains king.

Search engine optimization strategies might get your Web site top ranking in Google searches, but good content will ultimately make people want to navigate through your site and come back for more. Here are five ways you can spice up your Web content for free.

1. Map it out

Google Maps and Street View are free tools offered by Google. You can easily embed them onto your site to provide a fantastic and interactive way to help viewers visualize a story. These apps may even help your readers in their decision making process. To make the map fit with the rest of your branding, Google enables you to customize the look and feel of your maps. If you need some inspiration, check out examples of unique and innovative ways Street View is being used.

2. More than words and photos

If you think text and pictures are just too static, you can spice up your site with video. It’s an interactive way to communicate your point quickly and clearly, and really capture the attention of your viewers. Video sharing sites like YouTube or Vimeo are great free video tools.

If you’re a strong believer in the power of the written word, offers free tools that use words and associated words to come up with eye catching “word clouds.”

3. Visualize your information

Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. They are basically charts and graphs that are drawn in more interesting and easy to understand ways. You don’t need to be an illustrator to create an infographic. Sites such as, Pictochart and, can help you create and share stunning illustrations to highlight your data.

4. Pump up the volume

If appropriate for your business, add music and sounds to your Web site. Royalty free tunes are available from sites such as, or get free sound effects and music loops from

5. Help viewers visualize time

Taking a cue from Facebooks timeline, consider representing time visually on your business website. The site offers a cool way of hanging photo, text and video to a timeline that can be embedded on your site. Look at this sample of an interactive timeline on the life and times of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Nestor E. Arellano is the senior writer of He is responsible for reporting on technology-related news, covering events, producing product reviews and compiling content for e-newsletter. Prior to working with ITWorldCanada Inc., Nestor reported on a wide-variety of topics including business, architecture, new technology, the defence industry and religion as a freelance writer for the Toronto Star and other Canadian publications.

By Justin Arsenault

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