How to Use Relevant, Targeted Directories for Link Building

  • 1.9K
  • 8.1K
How to Use Relevant, Targeted Directories for Link Building

When was the last time you used a directory?

According to Google, 4 out of 5 consumers in the U.S. to use search engines to find a local business. If you’re like 80 percent of consumers, then you’ve frequented local directories.

While easy to overlook in favor of the latest content marketing trends, choosing the right directories is one of the most important things you can do for your client or business, and not just from an SEO perspective.

And, while John Mueller, webmaster trends analyst at Google, still says that directories are no good, they do help your local SEO.

Directories Help Make Up a Valuable Link Profile

Directories are not dead.

Directories are one of my all-time favorite marketing strategies.

Directories help make up a valuable link profile.

And no, I don’t mean the spammy, black hat, pay-me-$50-for-a-link directories that subsisted in my early years of link building. (Although, I still sometimes look at my past directories list in happiness and reminisce about how easy link building once was.)

I’m talking about the relevant, targeted directories filled with custom descriptions and a whole slew of potential options to personalize my brand.

Directories are more about local SEO and improving your customer experience by being able to discover you on Facebook or in Google Maps.

GreenPal saw a 50-60 percent increase in volume in 18 months using Yelp.

Luckily for link builders, there is some seriously next-level links available across almost every niche.

From classic Yelp and Manta to the more niche takes like Healthgrades, there’s a winning directory out there for every link-lover (which is everyone, right?).

Top 10 Directories You Can Use

Here’s my list of top directories I use.

  1. Yelp
  3. Better Business Bureau
  4. Best of The Web
  5. MapQuest
  7. Hotfrog
  8. TripAdvisor
  9. Facebook
  10. Google+


Timeframe: Month 1-3

Results detected: 4-12 months

Avg directories per month: 6


  • BrightLocal
  • Manual – do not automate!

Benefits of directories:

  • High quality directories help increase direct traffic and search engine ranking results.
  • Directories provide long-term local SEO and consumer benefits.

Download SEJ's Illustrated Guide to Link Building


Anna Crowe

Assistant Editor & Director of Outreach & PR at Jason Hennessey Consulting

Anna is the Assistant Editor for Search Engine Journal and Director of Outreach & PR for Jason Hennessey Consulting. Over ... [Read full bio]

Next Chapter
Read the Next