If your company invests in SEO, as a part of your greater overall marketing strategy, there’s a good chance you understand the benefits of backlinks. But did you know there is a way to secure quality backlinks for your website without breaking the bank? It’s called a backlink directory, and it could be your next big SEO break.
So, what exactly is a backlink directory? We’re glad you asked.
A backlink directory is an online website dedicated to listing various businesses, grouping them by categories, and enabling internet users to easily find a company that offers the products or services they need.
Still not sure backlinks directories are right for you? Think about websites like the Yellow Pages, Yelp, and CitySearch, all of which are online directories that allow businesses to be included in their listings, at little to no cost.
In the dawn of the digital era (aka, the 1990s), directories were used much like you might use an actual phone book. Having your site listed on multiple online directories was a simple means of acquiring lots of links, and little regard was given to the quality or credentials of the backlinks directories used. Business simply wanted to get listed, in order to boost rankings.
Fast forward to today, when the industry – largely thanks to Google – has gotten smarter. Focusing on reputable directories – like those listed above – provides SEO enthusiasts and business owners the ability to strategically target customers, rather than just worrying about a ranking number. By focusing on the quality of the backlinks directories you utilize, as well as your company’s general web visibility amongst directories, you’re already one step ahead of the competition.
Anxious to know how putting these important pieces together can change your business landscape for good? Here are the top five ways backlink directories can benefit your business:
- They keep website traffic coming.
The more places your website is listed online, the more users will become aware of your business, when searching for services or products that you offer. Also, your competitors are likely making an effort to be included in online directories as well. If your competitors are showing up in listings, you want to be there, too. After all, you want potential customers to compare what you have to offer with what other businesses are offering. How else can they discover your differentiators and learn about how you can better meet their needs?
A good strategy for finding quality backlink directory listings is to do a competitor analysis and see what links are performing well for your competition. If you notice that there some links from online directories that are generating great results, make note of them and submit your website to those same directories.
Remember, you don’t have to be everywhere that your competition is. However, if they’re seeing results from a specific listing, it only makes sense to capitalize on that traffic for your own business as well.
- They bolster brand authority.
As the former Chief of Communications for IBM, John Iwata once said: “your brand is so much more than what you sell.” And in today’s world, more and more of a company’s brand is being established online.
So what do internet users consider, when deciding which brands they are (or will be) loyal to? Often, it can boil down to how familiar they are with a company’s mission, vision, goals, and quality of service.
Essentially, the more consumers see of you, the more they understand your business. And the more they understand what you offer and represent, well, the more likely they are to form a connection to your brand.
Appearing in a backlink directory is one of many ways to broadcast your brand and get in front of scrolling eyes that may not have known about your business otherwise.
After all, it takes five to seven brand impressions, before a customer will remember your brand. Why not let backlink directories take care of some of those impressions for you?
- They make Google happy (when done correctly).
You only need to research how to get backlinks to your website for a few minutes, to realize that Google hates free online directories. But before you toss the idea of online directories into the trash forever, you may want to dig a little deeper.
Google’s algorithm actually does consider many highly-credible directories, when determining how legitimate a business is. In particular, sites like the Better Business Bureau and 411.com have a lot of clout with the search engine giant. Since these sites consider customer reviews, business size, how long a company has been in business, and a wide range of other factors, to determine how trustworthy a business is, Google takes uses that data to better rank search engine results.
If you want potential online customers to view your venture as a dependable, legitimate business, appearing in established directories is no doubt a method that works.
If you’re still unsure which directories are credible and which aren’t, Moz provides some fantastic insight in this blog post.
- They provide you with valuable feedback.
Many online directories have a customer feedback feature that allows customers to rank, review, and (hopefully) support your business. And, as everyone knows, testimonials work wonders, when trying to get more leads into your sales funnel.
Not convinced? A study by Web Dam concluded that testimonials are the most effective content for influencing buying decisions, with an 89% efficiency rate.
So, if you’re wondering how you can convince potential customers that your products or services are worth investing in, backlink directory listings are a smart approach to take.
- They are budget-friendly (and they work).
Did you know that the average cost of buying a link in 2016 was $352.92? And it’s safe to assume that figure has increased in the last two years.
At this stage in the digital era, bloggers and other content publishers are aware that they can make money, by offering to include links in their posts. Depending on the notoriety of the publisher, link prices can soar to thousands of dollars. And while a link in prominent publications like Forbes or The New York Times would unquestionably benefit your SEO strategy, chances are, they just aren’t feasible.
So, why not make the most of the cost-effective options available to you? By taking a little time to clean up your own backlink profile, then investing in smart options, you should find that you don’t have to max out your marketing budget, to use backlinks to drive revenue to your business (rather than away from it).
As long as you do your research, submit your site to high-authority directories that are relevant to your business and industry, and make sure your listings stay up-to-date, as far as your business offerings and relevant details, knowing how to use backlink directories to your advantage can be an extremely profitable and worthwhile method for boosting SEO results.
If you’re looking to learn more about adding backlinks to your website, or if you simply want to stay current with insider tips and tricks, be sure to follow Monitor Backlinks on Facebook and Twitter. By staying up-to-date with the evolution of important tools, like backlinks directories, you’ll ensure your site and business remain at the front of the pack.