One of the most important things you can do to improve search engine visibility is to build links from other websites that point back to your website. Commonly referred to as backlinks (also called inbound links), search engines like Google use these links as a way to measure your online credibility.
Here are some tips for building some of those links using free online business directories.
It’s Like an Online Referral
When website A (The Chamber of Commerce for instance) contains a link that points to website B (that’s you), it’s like an endorsement. Website A is giving you an atta’ boy, a thumbs up, or a nudge that says “this website is worthy of our mention.”
Essentially, Website A is vouching for your authority … and the more websites out there that are vouching for your authority (via backlinks), the more Google stands up and takes notice.
What NOT to Do
There are a variety of ways to build backlinks to your website. And as you might suspect, there are dubious shortcuts that you should avoid like the plague.
Don’t get sucked in by bogus services claiming they can provide you with hundreds or even thousands of backlinks for just $XX. Like anything else, shortcuts are rarely effective and Google is pretty darn good nowadays at snuffing out low quality links.
In fact, it’s an almost surefire way to do more harm than good. If Google suspects you’re building bogus links, you’ll get thrown into the search engine slammer with little possibility of parole. As a rule of thumb, just steer clear of anything that mentions ‘link farming’, ‘link exchange’, or ‘reciprocal links.’
Business Directory Listing as Backlinks
One simple way to build backlinks – particularly for new websites or backlink beginners – is to submit your company profile to some of the most popular business directories (the company profile will include a link to your website of course!).
Sure, business directories don’t carry a lot of link juice … and in the case of backlinks, quality is just as important (if not more) than quantity. However, listing your company on some of the higher quality business directories is just part of good backlink-building basics (say that 3 times fast!).
Particularly if you’re just now discovering what a backlink is, you probably don’t have many. So listing your company on some of the following business directories is a super-simple move in the right direction.
Top Free Online Business Directories
Without further adieu …
- Google Places for Business – www.google.com/placesforbusiness
- Bing Business Portal – www.bingbusinessportal.com
- Yahoo! – http://listings.local.yahoo.com
- Manta – www.manta.com
- Hotfrog – www.hotfrog.com
- DMOZ – www.dmoz.org
- Business.com – http://www.business.com
- e-business Pages – http://www.ebusinesspages.com
- Super Media – http://www.supermedia.com/business-listings
- Yelp – http://www.yelp.com
- Mapquest – http://www.mapquest.com
- Yellowbot – http://www.yellowbot.com
- LocalEZE – http://www.localeze.com
- Local.com – http://www.local.com
- Social Media – Ok, you caught us. This isn’t really a business directory. Rather, it’s a reminder to include a link to your website from LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook and any other social media platform you’re using. Those are backlinks too!
Your Ticket to the First Page of Google
All this SEO stuff got your head spinning? Let the SEO pros at Juice Marketing give your website the push it needs to get to the top of the search results with a GoogleJuice Website Audit. Put GoogleJuice to work for you today, or contact us with questions.
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Neil Owen says
Interesting article and you make a lot of good points. However I would say something you missed out would be that niche directories that are content relevant are far more effective as they will appear as a natural backink unlike those general directories which are a bit out of date now!