Utilizing internet directories as a link building tool is an often over looked method of link building. Many in the search engine optimization field simply default to the belief that unless the directory is DMOZ or Google’s Open Directory Project, you won’t gain any benefit from the directory submission at all. But the truth is, not only do directory submissions provide you with a one way link to your site, they actually offer up plenty of often overlooked opportunities for link building.
Before you start listing your site on an internet directory, make absolutely sure that the ones you have chosen are in fact reputable. Listing your site on an un-reputable internet directory or a link farm can hurt your site as they do not follow the guidelines set forth by the major search engines. After evaluating the internet directory in question, proceed with listing your site by filling out the information they request.
Once you’ve listed your site on an internet directory, your site is placed in a specific category representative of the content that you provide. By finding that specific category, you now have a highly detailed list of your possible competitors. You should take advantage of the fact that their listing on that internet directory provides enough information for you to find their keywords used and reference how successful they have been with them. Knowing your competitors allows you to see what has worked for them and determine if it will work for you as well. Scour their site for details on who they’ve partnered with, because many sites that they advertise through them or link to them may also be interested in doing the same for you depending on what you have to offer.
The sub category and up category features that directories offer up provide a webmaster with a large cross section of complimentary sites that would provide a very useful partnership. If your site offers your services as a professional photographer, you’ll find that professional photography is a sub category of weddings, graduations, anniversaries, and many more that are perfectly relevant to your services. By contacting these sites, you can easily establish a link trade that will be mutually beneficial for your site as their traffic is at a much higher conversion rate then you will find through the search engines as well.
Before contacting them however, do make sure that you have already linked to them beforehand so that they know you’re serious about working together and so they will feel you have already deemed their services relevant. If they decline your offer or don’t respond, don’t remove their link right away or even at all. If the link provides relevance to your visitors, it can be considered a benefit already. Also, the more people that visit the linked site from your site, you may find that they contact you back after seeing the traffic you are sending them.
But the benefits don’t end at traffic, most directories list the sites within their database in order of highest page rank to lowest. If you start at the top of the list when referencing relevant sites, you’ll be contacting sites that can provide you a greater page rank as well as the traffic that a relevant site would offer. Higher page ranking sites provide a higher page rank to your site as well, and considering a site doesn’t simply gain page rank without links to it, your link will be seen more often in that high traffic environment.
The benefits to using internet directories for link building are numerous, but you need to be aware of everything you are doing. If you happen to list your site in a directory that doesn’t follow the terms of service of the maj