Linkbuilding: How to get the Most Bang for Your Buck
Before we start talking about how to have a great organic strategy by gaining backlinks, the most important factor is having a well optimized site with good original content and properly placed keywords and anchor links throughout each page of your site. Each page should be optimized for one main idea and have proper keywords for that page to support the content on that page. Once you have completed that step and your site is live, you will want to start linking to other sites that are relevant to you to build your organic strategy.
But first, you will want to understand a couple pitfalls with Linkbuilding:
- Most Directories don’t have much value since everybody links to them, search engines know these are easy links and do not place much value on them.
- To many link directories can make your profile unbalanced and make it look skewed.
In order to avoid these pitfalls, you want to focus on the quality of links and not the quantity. So let’s take a look at the top 4 directories you will want to make sure your site is listed on as a first priority.
The Top 4 Directories for any well optimized site are: Yahoo! Directory, DMOZ, Business.com and Best of the Web.
1. Yahoo! Directory: http://search.yahoo.com/dir
Price: $299.00 a Year
Why It’s So Important: Yahoo! Directory is a really great directory that is recognized by the other search engines and will help in the overall organic strategy of your site. Yahoo! Directory will also link you with over seas directories, resulting in multiple backlinks.
Tips for Getting Listed:
- Figure out the main focus of the site and type that into the search on Yahoo! Directory. Ex. Santa Clara California Hotel.
- Look at the “Related Directory Categories” that come up on the first page, as you may want to drill down deeper into a certain category if the main category has a lot of listings
- Look at the results for a few different keywords or under related categories. If the keyword in which you want your site listed has “0” or low page rank it’s going to make the Yahoo! Directory listing less valuable. And for $299.00 a year you want to get the most out of your listing
- You want to make sure that the listing on Yahoo! Directory does not have tons of listings already under that category, and if it does, make sure each page has decent page rank, otherwise you may want to find a more niche category. Also keep in mind that each page has a different page rank than the next. Just because page 2 has a Page Rank of 3 does not mean page 3 will have a page rank lower than that.
- If you find a category you like with good page rank, but the category does not quite fit the site exactly, then you will want to read other sites title tags and descriptions so you can tweak your site to match for more of the categories keywords. Tailor your description to the category so you will guarantee submission to a good category with good Page Rank as this will give your listing more value.
2. DMOZ: www.dmoz.com
Why It’s So Important: DMOZ or Open Directory Project is the oldest online directory edited by people who critique each site and listing submission before accepting. DMOZ is recognized by Google as one of the best and most highly regarded listings a site can have.
Tips For Getting Listed:
- When you first go to DMOZ you will want to pick a category that best fits your site. If you are a hotel located in Santa Clara, California for example, then you will want go to Travel and drill down until you find the appropriate category which would be Santa Clara Hotels.
- When you get a category that fits your business, such as Santa Clara California hotels, you will want to analyze whether this is really a good spot for your hotel / business. Three ways to tell are:
a. Look at how many listings are in the category. If there are many pages of results, then your chances being listed here are lower because there are already so many businesses that the editor may feel that this category is complete. So try to pick a category that does not have a lot of listings.
b. Make sure there is an active editor for the category. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see your category has an active editor. If it says ‘Volunteer to edit this category” then check to see when it was last updated. If this category needs a volunteer or has not been updated in awhile, then you know there if you submit your site to this category you will not be listed because no one is there to edit and verify that listing, so try anther category.
c. If you offer more than one type of service or talk about different topics on your site, it’s perfectly okay to submit your site to a different category as long as the URL you submit takes the person to the page that has the most information based on the category you submitted your site to. For example, if you are a hotel in Santa Clara California and your site has a page about California’s Great America theme park, then try submitting your site there instead. Just remember you will need to make sure there is an active editor.
- When you find a link in DMOZ that fits your site, has an active editor and is an overall good fit, you will still want to check one last item. Copy and paste that category URL into Google (it will probably be really long) to see if it has been indexed. If it says No Results Found, then Google has not indexed this page on DMOZ. If this is the case, go ahead and submit your site anyways. When you do get listed in that category, put a link on your site to your DMOZ listing. That way when Google crawls your site it will see the link and index this category on DMOZ.
3. Business.com: www.business.com
Price: $299.00 a year
Why It’s So Important: This is another really solid directory with good page rank and a lot of credibility if you have the right kind of listing.
Tips For Getting Listed:
- Getting listed on Business.com is relatively easy as long as you know what to look for and where to go to get the listing you need.
- When you get to www.business.com, you will see a few choices at the top of the site to the left of the search bar. One the choices is: Advertise With Us. You do not want to pick this, because this advertising is for PPC ads and that is not what you want.
- What you do want is what is called a Standard Listing. So scroll to the bottom of the page and look for Advertising Center. Click on that and scroll down until you see Internet Directory Inclusion. This listing will give you the relevancy you want as it is a direct link your site.
- There are two other types of listing you want to make sure to avoid. One is a Featured Listing and the other is a PPC ad. Although the Featured listing may sound better – you want to avoid it, and here is why. When you go to business.com search for something that is related to the category you are looking for. When you get to the results page you will notice a couple different looking listings,
Scroll a few different listings with your mouse and keep you eyes at the bottom of the screen. There you will find a URL that may look like this:
If you see this, notice that it is not giving that site a direct link. Instead it is re-directing the site through business.com as you can see with the rd.business.com. You will want to avoid this, as this is not going to give your site and credibility or help build your online organic strategy.
What you will want to look for, and what you will need to purchase is a Standard Listing which looks like this:
At the bottom of the page you will see that the listing for Comfort Inn & Suites – South Bay has a direct listing that has not been re-directed through business.com and that is the only type of listing you will want to secure.
4. Best of the Web: www.botw.com
Price: $99.95 or $249.95
Why It’s So Important: Best of the Web is another really great, well organized directory with good page rank and will give your site relevancy. Also check out Best of the Best of the Web local, as this is a new site by BOTW and another great listing for you to have.
Tips for Getting Listed:
- There are two prices for Best of the Web. You can choose a re-occurring annual fee of $99.95 or a lifetime listing of $249.95. Make sure you choose the one that is right for you, as it can become costly over time.
- Like DMOZ each site is hand reviewed by someone at Best of the Web. Make sure your site is not under construction, has unique content, and is written is English.
- If your site is a Blog, you will want to submit it under BOTW Blogs: Best of the Web Blog Directory.
- After you pay and submit your site, you will expect to see your listing relatively quickly if it has met all the guidelines. If you are still unsure, be sure to read the Terms of Services before you begin.
In conclusion, when you have a site with a good strategy that contains unique keyword rich content, then you have set yourself up for a successful organic strategy. However, you will want to gain some backlinks to your site in order to gain Page Rank and credibility within the search engine. By submitting your site carefully and correctly to each of these sites above, you will be guaranteeing that you are on the right track to building a strong organic strategy online.