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How to Use Relevant, Targeted Directories for Link Building



Do you remember the phone book?

I know… it’s practically an ancient artifact. But it was useful, in its time.

Not only could you close your eyes, open to a random page, and blindly point at a number to prank call (not that I would know anything about that), but you could also flip to the back of the book – to the “yellow pages” – to search for local businesses.

Now, phone books are practically obsolete. You search online for the product or service you need, and when you include your location, you can find a nearby shop within minutes.

This is exactly what you did with the phone book, just… without all the paper cuts.

According to Google, 80% of consumers in the U.S. use search engines to find local businesses:

“Consumers are searching for local information everywhere, on every device, at every point in the purchase process.”

How to Use Relevant, Targeted Directories for Link Building

What does this tell you?

You want your business to be found online.

Even if you’re not SEO savvy, or if building links isn’t in your wheelhouse, don’t worry…

There’s a web directory for that.

3 Benefits of Using Online Directories

Online directories – also known as business directories or business listings – are an easy way for businesses to build links and draw traffic to their site.

Here are three benefits of using an online directory:

1. Targeted and Relevant Reach

Directories typically index businesses by niche, location, or category, and often include reviews.

When a person uses an online directory, they want to locate a business that is relevant to their needs – to what they’re shopping for at that very moment.

A directory makes it very easy for consumers to cut through the (marketing) noise.

By having your business listed in a directory, you’re increasing your site’s visibility, which increases the chances of sales, too.

How to Use Relevant, Targeted Directories for Link Building

2. Trusted Links

Boosting your site’s SEO and rankings is a nice byproduct of having your business listed in an online directory. Online directories are trusted sources and are typically high-ranking sites, themselves.

Adding your link to an authority site seems like a no-brainer, especially if it means improved visibility and reach, and the possibility of improved SEO and site rankings.

How to Use Relevant, Targeted Directories for Link Building

How to Use Relevant, Targeted Directories for Link Building

3. Cost-Effectiveness

Many online directories – for example, Bing Places, Yelp, and Foursquare – allow businesses to submit their information to their index for free. Some online directories, on the other hand, do charge a listing fee.

It may be worth it to add your business information to a paid directory, though. After all, trusted, high-authority links are a marketing investment.

How to Use Relevant, Targeted Directories for Link Building

3 Ways to Find the Right Directory for Your Business

There are many types of online directories out there. For example, you can find general directories, business listings, local listings, and niche directories.

Choosing the directory – or directories – that you want to be listed on isn’t like throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks.

As with all other marketing tactics, you need to have a strategy for link building on web directories.

Here are a few things to consider when you’re developing your strategy:

1. Relevance

Relevance – and reaching your target audience – is crucial to getting the most out of an online directory. Relevance is also a factor that search engines consider when they crawl sites.

Are you a travel agency in Texas who specializes in road trips within the continental U.S.?

Then don’t add your business to a listing for international travel sites.

It isn’t relevant, you won’t reach your target audience, and even if someone clicks on your link, they’ll only be frustrated to find that you don’t offer international travel services.

If you’re not an international travel business, you don’t want search engines to associate your website with international travel. And yes, that can hurt SEO!

Choose a directory that is relevant to your niche, and the chances of reaching your target audience and boosting your SEO will be much higher.

2. Domain Authority

When you’re deciding between online directories, consider domain authority.

It can be more helpful to get an inbound link from a site with high domain authority (but not always – learn more in The Truth About Domain Authority: What Every SEO Needs to Understand).

You can check whether you’re listing your business on a trusted, well-established directory by checking the domain authority using a tool like Ahrefs, Alexa, or Moz.

The higher the domain authority of a website, the more likely it is to rank on SERPs. So, shoot for the stars.

How to Use Relevant, Targeted Directories for Link Building

3. Find the Right Features

Some online directories go into more detail than others, and it’s up to you to decide whether you want a simple NAP+W listing (name, address, phone, and web URL), or a listing that features photos, reviews, and ratings.

For the sake of reaching your target audience, taking advantage of directories with more features will be worth the extra effort.

By listing your business on a directory with added features, you’ll encourage your customers to provide feedback and ratings as well, which is helpful to boost site authority and SEO.

Stay Consistent

No matter which online directory you choose, the key is to stay consistent with your information and updates.

If you list your business on more than one directory, make sure that every bit of information – down to the last detail – is accurate, on-brand, and consistent across each listing.

Not only is this crucial to the success of your link building strategy, but it’s also important for the reputation of your business.

While the use of web directories may be easy to overlook in favor of other, “sexier” marketing trends, listing your business on a relevant online directory is one of the best – and easiest! – things you can do for your business and website.


Timeframe: Month 1-3

Results detected: 4-12 months

Avg directories per month: 6


Benefits of directories:

  • Targeted and relevant reach
  • Inbound links from trusted, high-authority sites
  • Cost-effectiveness


How to Manage Your Online Brand?



You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need to manage my online brand?” It’s a valid question, especially if you’re not sure what managing your online brand means precisely.

In short, managing your online brand is the process of taking control of how others see you and your business online. This can involve creating and maintaining a strong presence on social media, developing positive reviews and testimonials, and monitoring your web analytics to track progress.

By taking the time to manage your online brand, you can improve your chances of success in today’s digital age.

In this article, we’ll explore some key reasons why managing your online brand is essential.

What is an online brand, and why do you need one?

Your online brand is the way you are perceived by others online. This includes your website, social media profiles, online reviews, and all other digital real estate that represents you when someone searches for you or your business.

It’s important to have one because it helps your potential customers get to know, trust, and like you before they buy anything from you. A strong online brand can also help you attract new customers and grow your business.

It’s good to remember that your online brand is the first thing people will see when they search for you, so it’s important to make sure it represents you and your business well.

How to manage your online brand for success?

Your online brand is your reputation. It’s how people perceive you when they see your name, read your work, or interact with you online.

A strong online brand can help you attract new clients, collaborators, and opportunities. But how do you create and manage your brand for success?

1) Consider what you want your online brand to convey.

Are you an expert in a certain field? A thought leader? A creative visionary?

Once you know what you want your brand to communicate, be consistent in everything you do online.

Use the same name, photo, and bio across all of your social media platforms. Post regularly about topics related to your brand, and make sure the tone of your posts is consistent with the image you’re trying to convey.

2) Interact with other people online in a way that reinforces your brand.

When someone mentions you in a post, thank them publicly. If someone leaves a negative comment on one of your posts, don’t delete it – instead, respond politely and professionally.

By managing your online brand thoughtfully and proactively, you can set yourself up for success both online and offline.

3) Monitor your web analytics to track your progress.

Use Google Analytics or another web analytics tool to track how people are finding you online and what they’re doing on your website. This data can give you insights into what’s working well and what needs improvement.

For example, if you see that most of your website visitors are coming from Facebook, you might want to focus on creating more engaging content for that platform.

Or, if you notice that people are spending a lot of time on your blog but not your sales page, you might need to work on driving traffic to your products or services.

4) Make sure your website represents your brand well.

Your website is often the first thing people will see when they search for you online, so it’s important to make sure it’s up-to-date and represents your brand well.

Update your website regularly with new blog posts, photos, and products. Use attractive visuals, easy-to-navigate menus, and clear calls to action.

If you’re not sure how to create a website that represents your brand well, consider working with a web designer or developer.

5) Pay attention to your social media presence.

Social media is a powerful tool for managing your online brand. Use it to connect with your audience, share your work, and promote your products or services.

Be sure to post regularly, interact with others, and use hashtags and keywords that will help people find you. You can also use social media ads to reach a wider audience or promote specific products or services.

6) Monitor your online reputation.

Use Google Alerts or another tool to monitor your online reputation. This will help you stay on top of what people are saying about you online and take action if necessary.

For example, if you see a negative review of your business, you can reach out to the customer directly to try to resolve the issue. Or, if you see someone spreading misinformation about your work, you can correct it.

7) Manage your online brand proactively.

The best way to manage your online brand is to be proactive. Be thoughtful about everything you do online, from the content you post to the way you interact with others. By taking control of your online presence, you can set yourself up for success both professionally and personally.

By following these tips, you can create and manage an online brand that will help you achieve your goals.

The benefits of having a strong online brand

Let’s look at a few benefits of having a strong online brand:

1) Stand out from the competition.

With so much noise online, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. But if you create a well-defined brand, you’ll be better able to cut through the clutter and attract attention.

2) Build trust and credibility.

A strong online brand can help you build trust and credibility with your audience. If people know what to expect from you, they’re more likely to trust and respect you.

3) Connect with your audience.

By definition, a brand is a way of differentiating yourself from others. But it’s also a way of connecting with your audience on a deeper level. When done well, branding can create an emotional connection between you and your audience.

4) Drive traffic and sales.

A strong online brand can help you drive traffic and sales. If people are familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you. And if they trust and respect you, they’re more likely to tell others about you.

5) Increase your visibility.

A well-managed online brand will increase your visibility online. When people search for you or your business, you’ll be more likely to show up in the search results. And when people see you frequently in their feeds, you’ll be more likely to stay top of mind.

6) Attract media attention.

A strong online brand can help you attract media attention. If you’re known for something specific, journalists and bloggers will be more likely to write about you. This can help increase your visibility and reach even further.

7) Enhance your career prospects.

Your online brand can have a big impact on your career prospects. If you’re looking for a new job, employers will likely research you online. And if you’re an entrepreneur, investors will want to know more about your brand before they invest in your business.

8) Make a positive impact.

Finally, a strong online brand can help you make a positive impact in the world. If you’re passionate about something, you can use your platform to raise awareness and advocate for change.

The importance of staying consistent with your branding strategy

As you can see, there are many benefits to having a strong online brand. But it’s not enough to just create a brand—you also need to be consistent with your branding strategy.

When it comes to branding, consistency is essential. Your audience needs to know what to expect from you, and they need to see that you’re consistent in your messaging and your visuals.

Here are a few pointers if you’re not sure how to stay consistent with your branding:

1) Define your brand.

The first step to being consistent with your branding is to define your brand. What do you want people to think of when they see your name or your logo? What do you want your brand to represent?

2) Create guidelines.

Once you’ve defined your brand, it’s time to create guidelines. These guidelines should include everything from your mission statement to the colors and fonts you use in your branding. By having a set of guidelines, you’ll be able to ensure that all of your marketing materials are on-brand.

3) Train your team.

If you have a virtual assistant or team, it’s important to train them on your branding guidelines. Make sure everyone knows what your brand represents and how they can help you maintain a consistent brand identity.

4) Monitor your brand.

Once you’ve launched your brand, it’s important to monitor it. This means paying attention to how people are reacting to your brand and making sure that you’re still presenting yourself in the way you want to be seen.

5) Be prepared to adjust.

Finally, be prepared to adjust your branding strategy as needed. As your business grows and changes, your branding will need to change with it. By being flexible and willing to adjust, you’ll be able to ensure that your brand is always relevant.

Wrap Up

A strong online brand is essential for any business or individual. By definition, your online brand is the way you’re perceived by others online. And while that may seem like a superficial thing, the reality is that your online brand can have a big impact on your business or career.

If you’re not sure how to create a strong online brand, start by defining your brand and creating guidelines. Then, train your team on your branding strategy and monitor your brand over time. And finally, be prepared to adjust as needed.

Oscar is a passionate full-time blogger and a part-time author. In his personal blog, he writes about software, online influence, and different business models.

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