In the modern digital world, SEO translates to visibility, and online directories are incredibly useful for achieving an online presence. People use the Internet to search for practically anything. From food recipes and business pages to local flower shops, online directories allow users to find information about businesses within seconds.

What Are Directories?

Online directories—also called business directories or business listings—list businesses in a particular niche, category, or location. By adding a business to the right category, your website can be found when users search for a business or service. In other words, when someone uses an online directory, if they type in something similar to what your brand does, you will pop up. On top of making your business remain visible, online directories can be used for link building.

Why Is Link Building Important?

The goal of a search engine is to connect users with the right website. The importance of link building lies in the fact that the search engines consider links along with the content to decide whether the web page is relevant to a searcher’s query. They also look at the links to determine whether a page is of sufficient quality to rank in the search page results. Link building involves getting quality and relevant hyperlinks from websites with high domain authority to one’s website.

How to Use Directories for Link Building?

In this article, we will explore how you can use directories to build links. Before we go into using directories for link building, let’s discuss how directories function as a source of backlinks.

In an online directory, a business is listed with its URL. This link, when clicked, sends the users to the business's site. This way, directories can be a source of backlinks that are imperative to your brand’s online presence. Linking from directories can be a valuable technique for boosting your SEO because it tells Google that your site deserves citation and makes your brand more legitimate.

Besides, the backlinks built through directories add diversity to your link profile. You can also maintain a diversified link profile by building links from other sources like guest blogging, outreach, and social interactions.

What Kind of Directories Should You Use?

When linking to directories, you want to take into account what your brand is. Whom are you hoping to serve? This will decide what directory you will need to use and what can get you the best-targeted links. Here are the different directories you should consider:

General Directories

This is exactly what the title means. If you have a blog that has a bit of everything on it, then using a general directory might be the best bet for you. This way you are not pigeonholing yourself in. Rather, you are linking to directories that the average person would be scrolling through and might see.

Here are a couple of examples of general directories:

  • BOTW (Best of the Web)
  • Web World Directory
  • Directory Journal

Niche Directories

When you want to target a specific group of people for your brand, you will want to use a niche directory. Choosing a nice directory relies on what kind of business you own. If your company is a flower shop, then you want to build links on a directory specifically for the service that your company offers. This way you are reaching those who need your service.

Local Directories

When you own a physical store, apart from spending time and money on an offline or print medium to advertise, it is important to make your business visible online to your local customers. This is why you will want to post your content on a directory geared towards local businesses. People who are looking for a local alternative for a massive corporation will be able to find you on a local directory. While listing, ensure your company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) is consistent throughout the listings. Any change in these details should be updated so that the users have accurate information about your business.

Here are some examples of local directories that can be used for targeted links:

  • Google My Business
  • Bing Places
  • Yahoo
  • Yelp
  • FourSquare
  • Yellow Pages
  • Chamber of Commerce

What to Look for When Choosing a Directory?

Linking to directories is not as simple as throwing your site out there. For beneficial link building, use reputable directories. If there is a directory that has been out for a long time, there is a good chance that it will continue being around. You want your directory links to continue holding value, and it will not if the directory you are featured on begins to decline in usefulness. Go for quality directories that are relevant to your niche. By listing your website along with other businesses of the same niche, you build credibility.

Online directories can be extremely helpful in link building. Realizing the importance of directories in link building, many directory submission services offer their services to build quality links for businesses. If you cannot manage directory listings on your own, you can get professional help from a reliable directory submission service to make sure you are listing in the right directory as this will make a huge difference in your online presence.