Increasing Your Link Profile and Local Presence with Directories
The Internet is awash with directories. Some are good, strong directories, others are hardly worth the time of day. The challenge your are charged with is finding those that will give you the most benefit.
At the top of the list for any business looking for quick, free submissions is for Yellow Pages sites like Yell.com and Qype. These provide a whole range of benefits for your site, as not only do they provide a standard link, they also help boost your local profile and relevance with the search engines.
Yellow page sites, like all other authoritative directories, are given plenty of weight by the search engines. By having your website listed here in the relevant category and with your contact details clearly displayed Google knows exactly where you are located and what you do. This will all help you to gain future rankings in local listings and for industry keywords that you’re targeting.
There are also a number of directories that will require payment of some kind. Again, just by passing over some money, there is no guarantee that they will provide you with the most benefit. Research those that are relevant to your business and those who can really add value to your SEO work before throwing cash around willy-nilly.
Yahoo directories are one of the most popularly used and strongest online. Their listings are given great weighting by all search engines, which you would expect really for the $299 annual fee. Most paid directories won’t cost this much, but you can see how much you might end up spending if you choose to sign up to a good few.
Paid directories shouldn’t be confused with paid links by the way. Whilst the principle is much the same, official directories aren’t subject to the same rules. However you should always be careful that you only use those directories that really will provide value and ensure that it isn’t just a link farm in disguise.
The more directories you can sign yourself up for, the more links you will receive. When you have the opportunity link to deeper pages beyond your homepage and, better still, use embedded text links to provide maximum value. These embedded links will improve relevance and ensure that the search engines are in no doubt as to what your pages are all about.
By including your address within the information on a directory you immediately flag up your location. With local search becoming more important, it is vital that your site is found for searches in your area. So when submitting to directories always ensure that you include as much information as possible.
If you search around you will find a whole range of directories that are focussed on your specific industry or even to the area you are located in. These might not be as strong as the general Yellow Page alternatives; however, they do add relevance. Plus the traffic you receive from these links is also likely to be highly targeted (just like your search engine rankings).
So if you thought you were done with directory submissions when you were accepted on Dmoz, think again. There are plenty of directories out there just waiting to accept your site. They might not all have a huge amount of influence on search engine decision making, but every little counts.