In our post completion SEO guide, and whenever people ask us how to improve their web presence, one of the things we recommend is adding a website to quality directories.
The are two things to be aware of here, though, and one is included in that sentence: Quality.
We recommend hand crafting your directory listing, so that each directory has a unique input – remember Google doesn’t like duplicate content, and will filter it from search wherever possible – so there’s little point in doing this in some page 100 directory that nobody will ever see!
Find a quality directory to focus that time and effort upon.
How to Find a Quality Directory – Fast
As a rule of thumb, you could select the directories that show up highly for your search terms or search phrases and the word “directory” where you are.
- You don’t have to pay for it;
- It’s not all about backlinks.
As point 2 is also the title of this post, it might make some sense to tease that one out a little.
Its Not All About Backlinks?
Nope. You heard right. Adding your website is not all about backlinks. For two reasons: 1) most popular directories now use the rel=”nofollow” device on links, which instructs search engines not to follow their links; and 2) you are listing so that your business shows up in search engines, under relevant search terms, and in directory searches in themselves.
The second point is largely the same as you are trying to achieve with your website. In any business, the goal is not simply to get a person – or many persons – to your website, rather, the goal is to make sales. Sales can and do come in direct from directories, bypassing your website altogether.
But, wait a minute, here’s a website designer telling us we don’t need a website?
I did not say that! Your website should outrank the free and paid directories for your intended search terms over time, especially if you follow our “white hat” i.e. non rule-breaking methods of organic SEO. However, in the mean time, and, indeed after you do, some people will still stumble over your old directory listing, and contact you to make a purchase. Further, you website can act as the “pull” drawing in visitors, the sales pitch, and the “buy” location all rolled into one, if you set it up right (contact us for a free no obligation quote).
The more “hooks” you have out there, the more fish you might catch. Fish, in this analogy, in case you had not already gathered, are customers for your business.
But free directories are free, and they often rank better than your business in the first instance because they have been around for longer, and the search engines have already worked out what they are all about.
So use them, and then beat them. But its free either way, right?!
In any case, the backlink should drive people to your website – its not about tricking the search engines, its about making a sale – something many SEOs forget along the track.
Have you got good directories you’d like to recommend – with or without backlinks? Leave a comment below and tell the world about them!