When starting a business website, you’ll always want to get listed within business directories because they are the first wave of sites that will help you bring in traffic. You should also be posting to Blogs, Forums, Web 2.0s, etc. but you should never forget about the place that started it all when it comes to SEO, the directory!

What is a Directory?

Well, over the years a directory has evolved, and you can now see them turning into communities where people start up conversations or service providers pitch their services. At the core, there is a directory where you can list your business or website and put it in front of anyone that happens to browse the site.

A directory is one of the oldest forms of white pages online. People would list their website, get a boost in the SEO department, and sometimes bring in some quality leads simply because of the free listing. There are options for paid listings, and to this very day, there are directories that require you to pay a monthly, annual, or lifetime fee to list your website and business.

The Days of DMOZ

When the internet was born in the late 90s, there were loads of websites popping up here and there, but the directories were not present much. Along comes DMOZ, the big boy directory, and it was where absolutely everyone that knew a little bit about SEO wanted to slap their listing. They tried to submit their website and business because back then your website would instantly rank for low competition keywords if it was accepted and you paid the listing fee.

Unfortunately DMOZ closed as AOL no longer wished to support the project. “As of September 2017, a non-editable mirror remained available at dmoztools.net, and it was announced that while the DMOZ URL would not return, a successor version of the directory named Curlie would be provided.” – Wikipedia

Niche Specific Directories

It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in, there’s likely a directory for you, and that means you can start boosting your SEO today if you get started. You could also pay someone to go around, find all the directories related to your business, and submit the information if you’d like, but that’s up to you. This is a very time-consuming process because you have first to find every business directory that will allow you to post, then you have to make sure your post goes through, and most of the times there is a waiting process before your listing is live.

A great example of a niche specific directory is the Website Designers South Africa directory, which only allows listings for companies within the Web Design, Graphic Design, Online Marketing and Copywriting space.

One great thing about niche-specific directories is that you will be getting a link, hopefully dofollow, for your website from a related site that will help boost your rankings.

General Business Directories

Like I’ve mentioned above, there are plenty of directories out there, and that means there are plenty of places for you to list your business or website. You can find thousands of business directories online that area allowing free listings, some are offering paid listings, and most of them will have specific categories where your business and website will fit in.

When listing in these general online directories, you will want to make sure the category you’re submitting to is as relevant as possible to your websites. This is because you will increase the chances of getting your submission to go through, you will help your site more, and no one wants to see an automotive website within the carpentry category.

Premium Business Directories

Some online directories allow you only to post a listing if you pay a monthly, annual, or lifetime fee if you want to get your listing to go live. These websites tend to have much more traffic because they are more of a business, and the people behind it run ads as well as do SEO to pull in traffic.

Your payment will go into their bank account and fuel the ads that are pulling in real traffic. This traffic could be targeted to any niche, not just yours, but that doesn’t mean it’s worthless. Someone else could pay for a listing, and their money could go towards an ad that is specific to your niche, which will help you out.

This type of directory is tempting, but you’ll want to make sure it’s legitimate before you hand over your money. Paid directories will usually show their traffic stats, but you’ll want to go over to ahrefs, Moz, semrush, etc. and do your due diligence to be sure they’re not just blowing smoke.

Freemium Business Directories

These types of online directories are pretty fun because they have loads of free listings and allow you to make the choice if you want to put your business or website in front of the masses for a small fee. You can usually show on the homepage or at the top of your category for a small fee, but it’s often worth it if you’re in a niche-specific directory.

A freemium business directory is one that allows you to list your business and website for free but gives you the option to upgrade to a premium or paid account to get more eyes on your listing. A lot of people will opt for the free account, watch the stats, and choose to upgrade if they like what they see.

In Conclusion

A business directory can be free or ask for a payment to list your website on, and they can be niche specific or general. The niche-specific paid directories tend to get less traffic, but the visitors they are getting tend to be much higher in quality if the directory knows how to target their ads. Every directory with a positive SEO score and clean backlink profile will help your website out if they’re allowing you to have a dofollow backlink within your listing, so don’t get stingy when listing in directories, spread the love and list on all the best directories you can and don’t forget about the niche-specific ones as well!

Don’t forget to check out our SEO-SA Local service where we can create these listings for you at an affordable rate!