Link building is still an important part of Search Engine Optimisation. This means that Directory listing sites for various industries are common place, with some charging a fee for a yearly listings.
Tourism is an area where every man and his dog (or woman and her dog of course…) thinks they can set up a tourism listing website and charge people to be listed. Very often they don’t make any difference to a business. It might only cost £50 per year but do you get any benefit? Do you get traffic from it and do you get the SEO benefit of having a link to your site.
Here are two ways to see if your directory listings are worth it.
Are your Web Directories being naughty?
When you link out of your website, to another site, you give away some of your site’s link power (in simple terms). Too many outbound links can also be penalised by Google. So, what some Directories do is put a no follow link to your site. This means that whilst people can click the link, the search engines are told to ignore it! This means that whilst you may get a little traffic, you won’t get any SEO benefit from the link. You don’t get any of their link power. Sneaky!
Its easy to do – you simple ad the following in the code straight after the web address you are linking too.
The link still works fine, just search engines ignore it. I have used it in both of my links below to SmallSEOTools
Here is an easy way to check if links to your site are using the nofollow tactic. There are many back link checkers online. Most of them try to get you to click somewhere where you don’t want by having spammy links. The service provided at SmallSEOTools is no exception!
You can find the tool here. Enter your website and click Check Backlinks. I have run a scan on the InSynch Website and you can see the results below. You will see that we have 220710 inbound links and 460 no follow links. Not a bad ratio really. You can scroll down and see the first 100 links to your website but there is a cheap trial to see the rest.
Power Tip – Put your competitor’s web address in this tool to find out who they have linking to them…. Then use this information to build your own links.Eddy Webb – InSynch – CEO
Do you actually get any Web Visitors from the Directory?
There are over 1.6 Billion Websites in the world. That is just websites. Web pages….Trillions.
There are hundreds of directories for many industries, all competing for traffic.
SO – what are the chances that somebody actually finds the page where you are listed with many other businesses and clicks your link?
The good news it that you can tell, providing you have Google Analytics installed.
- Change the date range – top right to be over a long period of time – say a year.
- Navigate to Acquisition, All Traffic, Channels, Referrals.
You will then see a list of all users and sessions that were sent from referring websites. If you can’t find the Directory you are looking for, either use the search function or extend the number of results per page.
Still cant find your directory? Then it is most likely it didnt send you any traffic…
So what do you do with this information?
Stop paying for the listings that you are not getting any thing from in terms of link power or traffic to your site. Look for the good ones and see if you can enhance your relationship with that directory by improving your listing.