Web Directory Link Building: 36 Directories To Use In 2020!

Web directory link building is one of the oldest techniques in the book!

And many people have become ignorant of directory links over the years even though you can build links that are-

  • Contextual
  • Relevant
  • From powerful domains

And let’s face it:

Nearly every site that ranks, has directory links in their profile!

So I am going to show you the right way to go about building links from directories this year because a lot has changed.

What Is Web Directory Link Building?

Web directory link building is the process of adding your website’s link to an online database (directory) of links.

This was a heavily spammed tactic for many years but you can still win relevant links from powerful domains with relative ease.

This can be done using a site like Best Of The Web:

Best of the web directory link building

You just submit your site to be filed under the correct section in their directory.

If your site is approved you’ll receive a link back to your website with relevant content (that YOU wrote):

Best of the web finance

Pretty simple, right?

Especially when you consider this is a DR74 site that ranks for over 65,000 organic keywords

botw ahrefs stats

So while directory submissions are a subject of hot debate and the entire process has been labelled “dead” by many SEOs…

…you have to consider that if you do it right, you can build links that are-

  • Contextual
  • Relevant
  • From powerful domains

The problem is that there are so many low-quality and unmoderated directories that many of them are seen as spammy.

Which leads us to an important question:

Are directory submissions still relevant in 2020?

The answer is yes. But not in the way they used to be.

Directory Submissions: Why They’re Still Relevant In 2020

To effectively use directory submissions to build backlinks you need to focus on the quality of the directory you’re using.

The directories need to be:

  • Active
  • Relevant to your industry
  • Well moderated

This can help you stay “on-topic” in the eyes of Google.

Because links from niche-relevant directories are a natural part of a healthy link profile.

Even Google shows up in directories sometimes!

Google directories

Although they shouldn’t form the backbone of your link building strategy, they can have an influence on your SEO and provide some much-needed link juice.

Especially if a site is new and only recently been indexed.

So how do you identify a good quality directory to submit your website to?

How To Identify A High-Quality Directory

There are some basic ways to check and see if a directory is of high-quality.

The simplest is to see if a site’s internal pages have been indexed into Google’s database.

Do this by searching for the directory’s homepage URL and seeing the results that show up:

directory quality check

A low-quality directory would not show up this well and may not even be indexed by Google at all, especially if it’s deemed to be a “spammy” website.

You can also check to see how thorough the guidelines are to get featured.

Family Friendly Sites, for example, has a really in-depth policy:

Family friendly guidelines

Another way to check the quality would be to run its URL through a tool like Ahrefs.

Here you’ll be able to see how authoritative the domain is-

So if a directory has a high domain rating (like in the example above) and Google are listing it’s page in their index – you can likely trust it.

But if it’s not, you should give it a miss!

How To Create A Good Directory Submission

There’s an art to creating a good directory submission.

Each submission should be:

  • Unique
  • Descriptive
  • Brand name or URL focused

This avoids issues with over optimisation, manipulative link building or duplicate content.

If I was submitting my websites to three different directories, here’s how I would phrase each of the submissions:

  • Matthew Woodward provides SEO and Affiliate marketing advice to beginner and intermediate internet marketers.
  • Matthew Woodward focuses on no-nonsense SEO and internet marketing advice for new and established online business owners.
  • Matthew Woodward is a seven figure blogger who provides actionable marketing and SEO advice for bloggers and online businesses looking to increase their traffic

 

See how they all convey the same message but are written in different ways?

This is key.

Let’s look at some complete pages of directory results to help you see this with a little more context. Here’s a page of automotive results:

Automotive industry directory entry

And here’s an example in another directory for property management:

Property management directory example

These are both great examples of unique descriptive directory entries.

You could even copy the format from some of these entries for yourself! Just make sure each directory submission that you write is unique and to an excellent standard.

36 Directories You Can Submit Your Website To

If you want to know some tried and tested directories you can use to start submitting your website to, here are 36 to get you started.

Each of the directories below have high domain authority with tens of thousands of indexed pages in Google-

Wrapping It Up

Directory submissions are relevant if you use high quality and niche relevant directories alongside other strategies.

Validate a directory by checking if the main page and internal pages have been indexed.

You can see if they have in-depth guidelines and a high domain rating in a tool like Ahrefs.

Directory submissions should be:

  • Unique
  • Descriptive
  • Focused on your brand or URL

Don’t just submit to random directories for the sake of it. Take time to fill out the descriptions, add photos, links, your phone number – everything!

That is the right way to approach directory link building in 2020 and beyond.

Next:

Let’s take a look at how to score some Wikipedia backlinks!

2 Responses

  1. Simon mccullagh
    3.30.2020

    Even though a lot of SEO’s are saying directory links are dead on forums and FB groups they clearly aren’t. If you’re working with brand new sites directories are a good way to get the site off the ground so to speak.

    This article gets it right though, they need to be good directories. One reason SEOs think that directory link building is dead is because they spent a lot of time building links from directories that are very poor and it provided no benefit to the sites they were working on.

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 31st, 2020 at 3:04 am

      Well said Simon!

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