I’m going to say something that may leave people scratching their heads. Directory link building, even what most would consider “low quality” can help your SEO.
Because a website isn’t going to naturally have a squeaky clean link profile, filled up with only authority links. It just doesn’t happen that way.
If you really take the time to dig into the link profiles of the best websites in terms of how they rank for difficult terms and how much organic traffic in total they pull in you might be shocked.
How do they rank and have low quality links?
They aren’t building all of the low quality links themselves. There are always going to be spammy scraper websites that steal your content and throw a source link back to the original.
I’ve seen it with my own content and clients’ — takedown requests will be ignored so you can disavow them or just keep plugging along, understanding that it’s going to happen.
Just because a link isn’t from Forbes or Tech Crunch doesn’t mean it’s useless and won’t help your SEO.
You might also like: How to Land 25 High Authority Guest Posts and Contributor Accounts in Just 30 Days
My agency recently did what I’d refer to as directory link building effort for a client. They had a brand new domain and wanted to warm it up a bit as they built out an e-commerce forum.
Content marketing via their blog is going to be a major growth strategy once they go live, so it was beneficial to get the authority up a bit. It’s just under DA 20 now, with minimal link building.
Example of Directory Link Building
I’m going to show you a handful of real examples.
It’s one thing for me to say, “Sure, you can build links on random directories and profile pages,” but that leaves a lot of questions.
I got permission to show you these as they didn’t have any objection.
So, I’m going to show you a dozen links, all do-follow, that were built in a couple of hours. I want you to see that there are endless link building opportunities.
Also, in order to succeed with SEO, you sometimes need to think like a regular person, and not an SEO or someone that understands search engine optimization.
If someone owns a business and joins a forum or group that allows them to put a link in their profile they are going to do it.
They are also going to do it without checking the Domain Authority, whether or not the link is do-follow or not, or what the Spam Score is on the domain.
Why not? Because the normal person doesn’t think like that.
If they see a field to enter a website they are going to do it, in hopes that someone sees it, and clicks on it. That is why natural link profiles have these types of links in them.
If Bob owns an auto parts website and joins a baseball forum they are going to put their website link in their bio naturally, without thinking about SEO.
12 Directory Do-Follow Links You Can Build
Here are twelve live examples of links that you can EASILY duplicate, along with their Domain Authority:
|DA 39, do-follow
|DA 93, do-follow
|DA 82, do-follow
|DA 75, do-follow
|DA 34, do-follow
|DA 79, do-follow
|DA 38, do-follow
|DA 55, do-follow
|https://www.myfit.ca/forums.asp?topic=Weight+loss+supplement+Acid a Burn%2E&TopicI d=3349&ForumId=40
|DA 45, do-follow
|DA 65, do-follow
|DA 80, do-follow
Social Media Profiles Links
Back in the day, Google’s search results were very simple. There were ten organic results per page, and the goal was to fill that first page up with your own content.
It was beneficial to own or have access to all of the web properties on the forest page of Google.
In the early days of SEO, we would create Blogger pages and other high authority web properties.
Remember the term Web 2.0? That is a blast from the past for some! Well, today the search results are much more complicated.
We have ads dominating the top of the page, Knowledge Panels on the sidebar, local maps, video results (from YouTube), and even “position zero” information.
There are very few spots for true organic content on page one now.
These days, web properties that will rank on top are social media profiles.
Consumers use social media as a communication avenue and some even communicate with businesses via social media.
Using a Brand as an example
Take a look at Kylie Jenner’s brand.
If you Google “Kylie Cosmetics” you will see her website under the ads and then the only other truly organic content is the brand’s Twitter and Instagram profiles:
Not only does this strategy help you easily occupy all of what is left for true “organic” first page real estate, but you also present search traffic with more options to click-through.
Maybe they weren’t in the buying mood, but see a tweet in the Twitter feed that catches their attention, and they click-through, eventually landing on your website and converting.
It’s a major missed opportunity, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t plan on using a particular network.
If you complete the profile fully, include your business name, a bio with contact details, etc. it’s going to rank.
At the very least, register, complete, and optimize profiles on the following:
Those are the bare basics. It takes a few minutes to do. Be thorough, as the more detail the better.
Not just for Google, but for anyone that lands on them.
Have a profile image that is consistent across all, along with a bio, a call-to-action, and a website URL — because these links do help.
Supplier, Vendor, Service, and Software Links
This type of link building can score you very good links — ones you cannot even buy, but it requires a little relationship building and effort.
If you are lazy, skip over this, but if you are creative and willing to put in a little effort this is a great way to add links to your profile that your competitors can’t duplicate simply by opening up their wallet.
The first step is to identify any and every possible supplier and/or vendor, service provider, etc. that your business works with.
This can be anything from a manufacturer, a company that provides shipping supplies to your business, the company you buy cleaning supplies from, or the marketing agency you pay to do your PPC or SEO.
A local restaurant will have a local produce supplier, a beverage distributor they buy from.
A mom and pop retail store will have several companies they buy from.
Every business under the sun uses multiple SaaS products to conduct their day-to-day operations.
There isn’t a single business that can honestly say this will not work for them.
If you are stuck on this the easiest way to figure out everyone you do business with is to open your bank statement online and audit the past three months.
Who did you pay?
Make a list and then go to each website and determine whether or not pursuing a link is worth the time and effort.
You will want to note the following:
- The overall authority of the website
- Whether or not there is an opportunity for a link placement (ex: do they have a testimonial section, do they link out to other websites)
- Do they assign the no-follow tag to outbound links (because this strategy takes effort I’d only suggest doing this for do-follow link placement opportunities)
If a potential target passes the first test add it to your prospecting list.
Once you go through all of your possible opportunities and have your final list of targets you need to put yourself in their shoes to determine what kind of pitch they are going to be most responsive to.
A lot of how you approach this is going to have to do with your relationship with the company and their size.
For example, we helped a local restaurant secure links from a half dozen vendors in a matter of days simply by asking.
They were very small companies and the restaurant owner knew the people in charge at these vendors on a first-name basis.
All it took was a simple ask: “Hey, if I wrote a testimonial for you to put on your website would you link back to our restaurant? It would help us greatly!”
They agreed, we wrote up very nice testimonials that were live within a week and this client received a half dozen do-follow links that ranged from DA 22 to DA 58.
Not bad at all. Again, that personal connection was already established so the “ask” could be very direct and to the point.
If you have strong personal relationships with owners, managers, reps, etc. your ask and approach can be direct. It saves time and gets results.
If you don’t have contacts you will have to find the right person at the company. LinkedIn is great for this.
Reaching out to the right person
Look for their content marketing person or business relationship director. Heck, I’ve even had success contacting the CEO directly many times.
Use Rocket Reach to get the email for any LinkedIn profile you find:
Sign up with a throwaway email address and you get 5 lookups. If you need more, clear your cache and use another junk email.
When you email these people you need to make them feel like your testimonial or review will help them convert more traffic on their website.
You want to keep the email short and direct to the point while making it impossible for them not to reply.
Here is an example of a subject line and email body I sent to the CEO of a SaaS company, which resulted in the client getting a nice DA 78 do-follow homepage link.
“XXXX Helped us grow 575% last quarter!!!”
XXXXX was directly responsible for a 575% growth last quarter. I am so thankful and would be more than happy to write a testimonial that you could put on your website.
If it could help you get more customers I’d be happy to do it as a way to say thank you!”
See how simple that was?
What CEO isn’t going to reply to that, at least to say thank you. Any reply opens the door. It might take a little back and forth but once your foot is in, securing a link becomes much easier.
Score High Authority Podcast Links Without Starting a Podcast
Podcasts are a great way to build an audience and awareness for your business, but most people don’t have the time to record and produce a podcast.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the link building opportunities that come with having a podcast.
You will want to set up an account with Anchor.FM, a top podcast platform and distribution network. It’s free. It’s easy.
You will want to come up with a podcast title that is relevant to your niche. Also, make sure the name isn’t being used already.
Just search iTunes first. Once you have a great name you will want to write a podcast description.
Make this as believable as possible. A nice paragraph explaining what you will be talking about is sufficient.
Then you will need to come up with your podcast cover art. Make this in a free tool like Canva.
Select the best category for your podcast and include your website URL.
In order for Anchor to distribute your podcast, you need to have a trailer uploaded. Don’t worry, this is simple.
The easiest way to do this is to download the Anchor app on your phone and login and record your trailer. The instructions are simple.
Once you have that done you can submit it for distribution and you can monitor what networks pick it up.
In your Anchor dashboard, you will see your distribution results, and you can also access your RSS feed, which you can then submit to other channels and players if you want.
Top 6 Podcast Directory
Let’s look at the links you can easily score via this distribution channel without doing anything:
- https://anchor.fm/ DA 80
- https://pca.st/ DA 68
- https://www.stitcher.com/ DA 84
- https://tunein.com/ DA 89
- https://castro.fm/ DA 47
- https://player.fm/ DA 86
Those are just without trying. Then you can also submit your podcast RSS feed to other players and distribution channels, as well as podcast directories.
For the amount of effort it takes to get this set up, the return in terms of link value is massive.