The Definitive Guide To Buying Directory Links For Your Website
The big problem with directories on the web.
There are tons and tons of business directories on the web. You will find directories by country, by speciality, by industry, and more.
Some make claims about their age. Yet others have zero claims, but very pricey entry frees.
Many others are completely not worth your time or money in terms of investment.
Some just disappear after a while because of spam, or because the owner has moved on to other interests.
Most look Neanderthal and tacky compared to the modern web in terms of look, feel, and aesthetics, but these still may have high value, despite your first glance assessments.
A few may look gorgeous but may not have the value you seek.
Very many ask for a reciprocal link before inclusion of your links. If you go by forum talk, even when you do give a link back, your entry may not appear.
A few even promise traffic, but it looks suspicious. It is probably driven by bots.
“Many of these directories are owned by lazy marketers to earn money and confuse users, rather than pass real value to customers.”
You will find yet others which are a network of linked directories promising you traffic, and SEO benefits, driven by hyper-active drip-feed auto responders to get you to subscribe.
When you evaluate these you will notice that duds and nuggets are mixed together to create what looks like value.
As a small business owner, you probably lack the sophisticated tools necessary for evaluating directories. Or you’re perhaps dependent on an SEO specialist to give you the right answers.
Either way, you would do well to know where your money is going and if it’s invested right.
“If you are not careful about choosing directories you will just waste money.”
So we’re going to show you a free way to judge the value of directories, and other websites, quickly and efficiently before you burn monies on it.
What is true of directories to link to, is also true for other websites from which you obtain links. So this guide can be used for assessing all types of links you receive, or buy, on the internet.
Let’s start with the value you get from web directories.
Why should you create links from directories?
You list in business directories because it gives you two big benefits for your business:
- Improve the SEO Rank of your domain [listings in high domain rated web directories improves your own domain ratings].
- It gives you traffic and leads. Though this may not always be the case always unless you’re referring to an Yelp, Yellow Pages, or a Zomato who are aggressive in their sell to customers and provide real value/ traffic.
Are directories still relevant today?
From what I have observed, as part of link-building for clients, directories do pass value to websites.
We have raised the Domain Rating of sites for our SEO clients with skilful placement of directory links.
Of course, you need to mix directory links up with other types of links.
You also need to choose these directory links wisely.
What is the problem with evaluating web directories for your listing?
As SEO practitioners, all of us understand the value of getting links from a variety of sources. That is the recommended practice.
Directories are one sure way to improve your domain’s rank.
Digital marketing has other sources too for getting backlinks. A few of these are outlined below.
- Forums & Discussion
- Social Bookmarks
- Blog Comments
- Articles in Web 2.0 blogs and article sites
- Guest Posts on other people’s blogs
- Sponsored Articles
- Paid Text Links [this is under the radar, but available]
- PBNs [this is under the radar, but still practiced]
- Press Releases
- Wiki Links
- Edu and Gov Links
- Social Syndication, and more
This makes for a confusing array of things to do for link-building. A judicious combination of these will work well to boost your Domain Ratings.
All of these link types need to be first evaluated for high PR/DA/TF/DR [these abbreviations are explained below].
How do you objectively assess the benefits from links for your business? This where we give you the compass.
What are the different yardsticks for evaluation of web directories?
Once upon a time, there was Google Page Rank which was used as a guide for evaluating sites to link to.
But in March 2016, Google removed the Page Rank feature.
Since then it’s been a bit of struggle for small business owners to evaluate sites to link to.
There are 3 tools that have replaced Page Rank on the web.
While these are not Google’s tools, these are the best way to determine, whether a web property is worth it or not, when it comes to linking.
- Moz Page Authority [PA] and Domain Authority [DA]
- Majestic Trust Flow [CF] and Citation Flow [TF]
- AHREFs URL Rating [UR] and Domain Rating [DR]
PA, CF, and UR are all measures, of more or less the same thing, but use different proprietary algorithms to arrive at their answers. These are a measure of how many links point to your Home Page/ Root Domain and the value of this.
DA, TF, DR measure how many links in total point to the various pages of the website and what its aggregate value is.
As SEO practitioners, what we have found is that AHREFs is the most reliable and the fastest indicator of backlinks.
Moz is the perhaps the slowest to tell you about your backlinks. Majestic lies in between.
The reason for this is that you need very powerful servers to trawl the web for links, some nifty algorithms for assessing their worth, and then rank the sites along objective parameters.
AHREFs is probably next only to Google in owning servers which crawl the web fast.
AHREfs SEO Toolbar is one of the most valuable tools for assessing the value of Directories you would want to link to.
The key thing for us to grasp is:
- TF, DA, And DR are the important metrics to consider for back linking
- The higher these measures are for a given site, the greater is its authority, and the value in linking to it
- It’s OK to pay for your listing if the DR of the site is high
The caveat is that these are all paid tools, available only with monthly subscriptions.
Majestic’s Backlink Analyzer for your browser’s toolbar is available for both Firefox and Chrome browsers.
Having said this, I do understand that regular use of these tools may be beyond the reach of many small businesses. This is where some of the free techniques come into play. These are outlined below.
But big brands and digital agencies do use these to make sharper link building decisions.
However, you can use free techniques to make smart decisions for link-building
I’m showing you three that you can use. Of these my most preferred tool is AHREFs for determining the value of backlinks.
- Take a $7 trial of AHREF Lite editions for for one week.
- Install the Toolbar for Chrome: https://ahrefs.com/seo-toolbar
- Simply login and start using the free toolbar plugins for chrome.
- Go to the website you want the DR for, click the AHREFs icon in your toolbar.
- You will see the toolbar open at the top of the website. Check the DR.
- The toolbar will be active on login, even after your subscription is over.
- Use Majestic’s Free Chrome Plugin
- Install the Majestic Backlink Analyzer for Chrome
- Once installed click the red star icon on your toolbar. The icon will open out into an expanded window.
- Below all the main buttons in this window, you will see this line: Or prove you’re not a robot for temporary access to our free metrics.
- Click it, and select Authenticate for Free.
- Verify that you’re a human, on the Majestic popup, and you’re ready to go.
- Now go to any directory, or website, that you wish to get a backlink from.
- Check the TF of the website by clicking the Majestic icon on your toolbar.
- You will see the Trust Flow metrics for the site.
- Use Moz’s Link Explorer Tool to assess the value of your backlinks. You will have to sign up for a Free Account,
Moz has revamped it’s old tool into a new Link Explorer. You can check the PA/DA of domains for backlinks.
How to read the CF/TF, UR/DR correctly before buying up a link, putting up a blog, etc.
- Look for websites with TF/CF greater than 15/15 to link to.
Use DR 15, for Ahrefs as the minimum.
Ideally the site’s DR should be higher than the UR for websites.
If the UR is higher, this means all the backlinks point just to one page rather than multiple pages of the website.
- Ensure that the TF to CF ratio is not lower than 1:2.
2:1 is more ideal. This shows that the links are from high authority websites.
This will also ensure that you get some traffic from the websites that you link to.
- Understand that the backlinks you acquire should be from a variety of sources, not predominantly one type of source.
These should be web 2.0 sites, directories, forums, profiles, comments, guest posts, PR, etc.
- Assess the the TF/ DR of the directories, along with its entry price in an Excel file
Name of the Directory, URL, PA/DA, TF/CF, DR/UR, Price of entry
- If you do this for about 50 directories, you will notice a patten
The pattern will tell you that there is very little correlation between the price and the rank/value of the directory. This is where you need to choose wisely.Your objective is to raise the DR value of your site not just pay the Directory owner money for a link.
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge for getting backlinks wisely, go forth and profit from it.
Many web directory lists use PA/DA to measure value
In these cases, use your own methods to find the DR and TF to assess the value.
There are a few that even use Page Rank. This is an outdated measure and you would do well to assess the DR and TF value of these directories before you invest.
Where do you find directory lists?
The web abounds in these. Use the queries below to check on Google.
Counter check all listings with your own observations from your TF/ DR/ PA toolbars.
- High DA web directories
- High DA blog listings
- High DA forum profiles
- High DA PDF sites
- High DA Video Listing Sites
You get the drift, right?
How do you see the value of directory listings on your website?
You will notice an rise in TF, or DR when you make the correct directory choices.
But this may take a while to happen after you list. This is because Google crawls of the Directory URLs may take a while.
The image above shows the DR, UR for Pigtail Pundits. The DR is the key metric here and the task of SEO is to bring it as close to 100 as possible. One way to do this through directory links of value.
You can expedite this process of indexing by sharing you directory links on your social media pages. 5 tweets and 5 bookmarks of the directory page with your links will help.
Related Links for getting the best value out of your e-bizda listing
- Get the best out of your e-bizda international directory listing
- Persuasion in Copywriting: How to sell your products and services better using it
- No-brainer decision for business listing: e-bizda vs other business directories
Join of 100s of smart businesses owners, just like you, who are profiting from their e-bizda listings.
Get leads. e-bizda is an international business directory which provides Business Leads and awesome SEO Juice for your website.
Get deep links, services listing and links, map, videos, social connects, reviews and more into your listing.
Get the best out of your e-bizda international directory listing.
Subscribe to the e-bizda Newsletter
At e-bizda, we are committed to helping small businesses to get more oomph from their online marketing.
We don’t dabble in theory – we know that entrepreneurs have no stomach for it. What we do is to provide you with actionable digital marketing advice that you can use now to see results.
Our topics cover persuasion and copy, search engine optimisation, conversion optimisation, pay-per-click advertising, and all things that fetch results for your business. Subscribe now.
Get SEO and Content Marketing help
If you need professional help with any of these services, do write to us. We bring more than 22 years of digital marketing expertise on the web and would love to help you with your online marketing challenges.
Leave your feedback
Tell us about your experience with directory listings, SEO, and digital marketing. Let us have your comments and feedback below.
Share this article
If you liked this article, do share it with your friends on social media.