The business world is transforming fast, thanks to the growth and innovations of the Internet over the past decade. Today, businesses have an affordable and efficient way to get the word out about their services by way of Search Engine Optimization, with directory submission as one of its important components.
Though not as powerful as it was in the past, directory submission can still provide businesses with value in terms of targeted traffic and improved ranking.
If you’re relatively new to SEO, the following are some tips for creating effective content and link-building strategies through the use of directories.
The power of direct exposure
First off, you need to pay attention to the type of directory you will be submitting content to. Since Google Penguin has wreaked havoc and taken down low-quality directories, the type you have in mind may no longer enable you to appear on Google’s radar.
There are paid directories and free directories. Many of the paid directories took a huge hit when Google Penguin started demoting sites it regarded as spammy link farms.
When you choose a directory to get linked from, try to ascertain the level of the quality of traffic it provides. Also, be sure to choose niche directories, or directories that are relevant to your site. And before finalizing your choice of directories where you will post your links, check their history as well as authoritative reviews of their performance.
Rank vs. relevance
Choosing a directory that has a high pagerank (PR) is still important, because that helps you rank higher in search. However, as a result of recent developments in search technology, relevance trumps everything else, if you’re gunning for targeted traffic.
That’s why it’s important to reiterate the value of posting content on niche directories; because no matter how high the PR of a directory, if you don’t get the attention of the right kind of customers or audience for your content or business, your efforts will have been wasted.
And there’s also the risk that you’ll earn a slap from Google.
Implementing deep links
Many newbie marketers commit the mistake of linking only to their site’s homepage. You want to take advantage of deep linking, however.
Deep linking refers to the use of specific keywords as anchor texts linked to specific pages on your site that are relevant to those keywords. This is important because Google has been taking variations into consideration. Deep linking also helps individual pages on your site to rank highly in search.
Optimizing for humans
Right from the start, it had been Google’s and other search engines’ goal to serve not only the most relevant information to users, but also to direct them to information that is of great quality. However, it wasn’t until early last year when publishers and online marketers began to focus more intensely on quality for fear of getting smacked by Google Panda.
By providing high-quality information, you will optimize not just for search engines, but for the real market here, which is other human beings. People search the Internet for real solutions to their real-life problems. If you fail to provide the quality of information that users are looking for, they’ll turn to your competitors instead.
So the more you provide high-quality information, the more people will perceive you as a valuable source of information. They’ll grow to see you as the go-to expert in your field.
It might seem like a daunting challenge to try to churn out extremely high-quality content on a regular basis, but don’t be too concerned about it. The search engine game has shifted from quantity to quality. You don’t have to produce massive amounts of content, as long as you provide high-quality content on a regular and consistent basis.
While many of the traditional means of link building have been devalued, there are still some benefits to be enjoyed from directory submission. Quality and relevance are key to gaining highly targeted traffic that could translate into better conversion opportunities for your business.
In his 9+ years as a digital marketer, Sam has worked with countless small businesses and enterprise Fortune 500 companies and organizations including NASDAQ OMX, eBay, Duncan Hines, Drew Barrymore, Washington, DC based law firm Price Benowitz LLP and human rights organization Amnesty International.
He is a recurring speaker at the Search Marketing Expo conference series and a TEDx Talker. Today he works directly with high-end clients across all verticals to maximize on and off-site SEO ROI through content marketing and link building.
In his 9+ years as a digital marketer, Sam has worked with countless small businesses and enterprise Fortune 500 companies and organizations including NASDAQ OMX, eBay, Duncan Hines, Drew Barrymore, Washington, DC based law firm Price Benowitz LLP and human rights organization Amnesty International. He is a recurring speaker at the Search Marketing Expo conference series and a TEDx Talker. Today he works directly with high-end clients across all verticals to maximize on and off-site SEO ROI through content marketing and link building.