|What is the recommended way to submit your site to directories?|
I am a newb. Bare with me, please. I have submitted my site to Google, Yahoo and Bing. Will listing it on other search engines/directories help my seo? If so, how should I do this?
If the site is targeted to English speaking visitors no more search engine submission is needed. All the minor ones will find your site by crawling the web and finding links to your site.
On directories the current thought is to submit a listing to ODP aka dmoz.org, a directory that specializes in your niche and a regional directory. Some find a Best Of The Web (directory) listing has some benefit. They do allow non-profits a free listing, otherwise $$$ is required.
Google local and other local listing sites that allow reviews have a value that varies by niche. Most times they drive a significant amount of traffic compared to all but the most specialized of directories.
A few editorial placed links on high traffic sites in your niche will give more traffic than ALL of your directory listing efforts. Links from most directories rarely drive traffic that has any value.
Chasing directory links can become a huge time waster and if really overdone with free/paid automation could result in a Google -50 penalty. Google over a year ago devalued most of the benefit of directory links despite the abundance of 'SEO Expert" sites that proclaim otherwise.
Depending on your niche, there are usually some genuine directories (as opposed to the 'SEO-friendly' general ones) that you can find that will be worth a listing in.
In general, if the site looks like it's being run properly (i.e. no affiliate, MFA sites or listings that don't belong in categories, they're all just thrown in willy nilly together with no thought to properly organising them) then being in it won't hurt and could help.
Aside from traditional "directories" it is a good idea to sear for "your keywords resources" or "your keywords links" because those are often sites run by enthusiasts who link out to high quality sites.
My rule of thumb is that I don't request a link from any site that I wouldn't feel comfortable linking back to IF they required a reciprocal link. That narrows it down to only a small percentage of sites (maybe 20% of the ones I find) that I would request a link from.
I usually ask for a one way link first, but if they require a reciprocal link, and it is a good enough site (one that I think my users would truly benefit from visiting), then I am happy to provide a reciprocal link.
You can get more link building ideas and techniques by visiting the Webmaster World Link Development forum thread at: [webmasterworld.com...]
Word To The Wise: I would pay close attention to any post on that thread by martinibuster, wheel, CainIV or Lame_Wolf. You can learn a LOT from them.
Hope this helps.
Guys (and maybe gals), thanks so much for these suggestions. I figured Google was too smart for traditional directory listings. I will try to do a bit more research to see whether there are more niche-specific listing sites that might be of interest to us. Otherwise, I will reach out to other sites to see if they will link to our site. Is there a recommended way to approach them without it seeming like we are just trying to get traffic (and make money)...which is kinda the point :).
|Is there a recommended way to approach them without it seeming like we are just trying to get traffic (and make money)...which is kinda the point :). |
since you asked...
You might start with these first, and then you can read through the whole link development library here:
In short, have GOOD CONTENT, figure out who would be most likely to link to it, and then tell those people about your content.
(Word to the wise: Some people will link to things that others would NEVER link to, no matter how good the quality. Make sure you are telling the right person about the right content.)
Getting GOOD quality links is a LONG process. To be honest, before you spend the hours doing it, I would definitely look into google adwords TO MAKE SURE YOUR PRODUCT IS Salable AND IN DEMAND. No point spending long hours getting links if there isn't enough market demand for your product at your price point.
Even if Adwords won't be a long term strategy, you can get really good info on what the demand will be - or won't be - for your product.
One more thing: You can send your site to oblivion pretty darn quickly if you try major shortcuts - especially if it is a new domain with little or no backlink history.
|look into google adwords TO MAKE SURE YOUR PRODUCT IS Salable AND IN DEMAND |
And that you're using the best keyword for visitors who will convert, and that your page actually converts, too.
Adwords "tasting", even at a very low level, can be an excellent strategy before you put in the work it takes to rank on the wrong keywords! I sometimes consider it a low cost research tool.
Tedster - exactly that. Where else can you get REAL keyword data and instant feedback on your site? And if you're new to AdWords then (at least in the UK) Google are throwing vouchers around for up to £70!
How much money should one expect to invest in time and money when using Google AdWords in order to test the market enough to get reliable feedback?
That will depend on your niche. Some terms I've seen are up to £13/14 a click to get into the top three.
As long as you bid enough to stay on page one, you can still get pretty good keyword data without ever being clicked - but if you're bidding on phrase or broad match you'll only ever see the real terms that Google displayed your ad for when you actually do get clicked.
|A few editorial placed links on high traffic sites in your niche will give more traffic |
mmmm, I doubt it - all these top sites charge for their services and it'll cost you a fair bit for links/adverts.
I wish folk wouldnt go about telling people how easy this is to do, bcos its not. Just to get on one of my sites will cost you £50 minimum, I've seen others demanding £300 upto £6'000 per year.
Welcome to reality, you either pay or you aint standing out from the crowd. If people dont like it, then get off the web now, cos it wont be worth running a site soon, unless you are either rich or have the next Facebook idea.
|How much money should one expect to invest in time and money when using Google AdWords in order to test the market enough to get reliable feedback? |
As FranticFish said, it will depend on your niche, and how much your time is worth to you.
A good "Link Begging" campaign can take hundreds and hundreds of man hours. And that doesn't include the amount of time / money that goes into creating the killer content, which is what you are going to need to really get the most out of your link begging campaign. No point spending time asking for links if your content is sub-par (or is easily found on other sites).
So first you have to find if there are "cracks" in the market place that you can slip into, and probably the most effective method to do that is with adwords.
As FranticFish pointed out, the cost for clicks for a top three spot can be BIG $$$ (sorry, don't know how to type a pounds sterling symbol). But if there is a market for what you got, and the sites that are competing for it organically don't have strong backlinks, then you might be able to go for it with backlinks and strong SEO.
These are some sobering tips here. I never figured that it could be this difficult to break into. I've had my site up for a couple months and posted fifteen articles and I'm ranking 1,250,000th in the world. Obviously there is no exact number and the quality of the backlinks are highly important, but what number of backlinks do sites just inside the top 100K have? Are we talking hundreds, thousands, more?
Also, just out of curiosity, for a site that is ranked 100K, let's say, how many visitors are they receiving each day?
I'm up for the hard labor here. I realize there is no such thing as a quick buck on the internet unless you just get lucky when something gets viral, but what MediaGuy said sure did take some of the wind out of my sail. That was a pretty sobering comment, if accurate.
|Obviously there is no exact number and the quality of the backlinks are highly important, but what number of backlinks do sites just inside the top 100K have? Are we talking hundreds, thousands, more? |
Hundreds, to hundreds of thousands. In my niche, I've got probably a thousand real backlinks. Some of my competitors have tends of thousands or more. Even today, a single quality backlink can be worth dozens or hundreds of lower quality backlinks.
So the number is not exact. You build some combination of ultra-high quality low volume, or low quality high volume. Both work, both have benefits and drawbacks.
Personally I'm still a fan of going after individual extremely high quality backlinks. I'll spend months targetting a specific site(s) for backlinks.
|Also, just out of curiosity, for a site that is ranked 100K, let's say, how many visitors are they receiving each day? |
You are looking at the wrong thing here.
For search engines, you need to worry about how well you rank in the google SERPs for SPECIFIC KEYWORDS.
Some things that people search for will result in you making revenue. A lot things that people search for won't make you a dime.
Ranking highly for a bunch of useless keywords is... useless.
Without great content, it is getting harder and harder to rank. There are more "SEO Factories" out there using automation or cheap labor - or both - to try and outrank small businesses.
And by "Great Content" I mean that it is:
1) Something that people want
2) No one else has it
3) Most importantly, it will make you money
Number 3 is key.
Do your market research first, figure out who COULD link to it, then create the content so that it fills the market demand and is good link bait.
I did everything in the WRONG order and am now having to redo it.
These are all incredibly good recommendations. I am very thankful I asked these questions at this stage in the game. I'm hoping it will cut down on wasted man hours down the road.
How would I see where my site ranks for certain keywords on Google (besides searching it and just looking through the pages)?
|How would I see where my site ranks for certain keywords on Google (besides searching it and just looking through the pages)? |
Well, that's what a lot of people do if they aren't trying to rank on LOTS of different keywords. And as a new business / web site, you should only try to rank for one or two keywords, and then expand from there.
Note that you will have to make sure that you are not getting PERSONALIZED results from google when you search for your keywords, otherwise, google will ALWAYS show your site higher to you than it actually shows it to other people.
There are some tools out there that will check rankings for you, and they are good if you have lots of keywords you are tracking. But really, you should try to rank for one or two keywords at first.
If you don't have a good background in business, I would NOT get into a web business. If you don't understand what the following words mean, then you better learn what they mean ASAP:
Key Performance Indicators
Key Success Factors
Know what these are and IDENTIFY THEM FOR YOUR BUSINESS. I think Ram Charan has a pretty good book out called "The One Day MBA" (that's what his workshops were called - might be different book title), that was highly rated.
And while you are doing that, you HAVE to learn google analytics and google adwords, just so you can start measuring things accurately.
And speaking of google Adwords, there are many books out there, and you might get anxious to just try it before you read any of them. But the ONE PIECE OF ADVICE THAT IS CRUCIAL TO KNOW before you start any google adwords program is that THERE IS A MAJOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BROAD MATCH KEYWORDS, PHRASE MATCH KEYWORDS, AND EXACT MATCH KEYWORDS.
Do NOT put a penny into google adwords until you understand these differences, because you will simply be throwing money away.
By the way: I am not trying to intimidate you from starting a business. I am ENCOURAGING you to do it right. If you go to a domain name broker, you will see they have thousands and thousands of domain names for sale that were previously registered to someone. Each one of those thousands of domains represents a failed website - a failed dream of someone who, most likely, neglected to do any planning BEFORE they started doing the heavy lifting.
"If I had four hours to cut down a tree, I would spend the first three sharpening my ax."
- Benjamin Franklin
"Don't wish for things to be easier; instead, wish for yourself to become smarter."
- Some Web Guru Whose Name I Can't Remember Now
I so badly wish I could somehow share my site with you all as well as the keywords and phrases I've identified that I would like to test with Adwords. Uggh.
I attended a very well-respected college and majored in business/entrepreneurship and I've been developing/designing sites for quite sometime, but I've never fully dedicated myself to seo. I also worked in business intelligence for a year after college as an analyst so I think I have the type of demeanor to succeed but there's certainly A TON I need to continue to learn.
I cannot continue to thank all of you enough. *Digital Bow*
|I so badly wish I could somehow share my site with you all as well as the keywords and phrases I've identified that I would like to test with Adwords. |
I know the feeling.
But the thing is to familiarize yourself with the tools you will need so that you won't have to depend on others.
Your business background is REALLY going to come in handy. SEO use to be all about the technical side of things. Now more than ever, the social side of things is playing a bigger and bigger role. If you understand what people want, and understand your competition, then you are going to have a much easier time of it.
Thanks for the vote of confidence.
I just want to throw this out there, realizing I might be risking a lot of respect...is HubSpot a good tool to consider using for a starter? I am hearing a lot of buzz about it recently.
|I attended a very well-respected college and majored in business/entrepreneurship and I've been developing/designing sites for quite sometime, but I've never fully dedicated myself to seo. I also worked in business intelligence for a year after college as an analyst so I think I have the type of demeanor to succeed but there's certainly A TON I need to continue to learn. |
If you want to leapfrog the whole process, forget SEO specifics and put a lot of effort into making yourself a center of influence. I'm going to guess you're familiar with that term given your background, or perhaps a variation of it. Do that, the SEO comes naturally. It's a lot easier to get a link from high authority sites if you're just asking someone you know and hang with if they'd give you a link just because it'll help you out.
I really see the whole SEO thing moving from technical expertise to marketing and networking expertise.
For example, I'm hoping to launch a new project this fall. Right out of the gate I expect I'll have a dozen or more of the top industry blogs willing to talk up the project and give me a link (some of them have already said they would) because the project is cool - but more so because I have their ear already - I just drop them an email and tell them what I'm doing, they'll give me a link if it's decent. That's a couple of years of doing stuff for them without expecting anything. If you did that, they'd delete your email.
|is HubSpot a good tool to consider using for a starter? |
Sorry, we don't review specific SEO tools here. And no tool should ever be a crutch - in other words, know what information you need and how to get it BEFORE you choose any specific tool at all.
That's the only way you'll ever make accurate decisions as to whether this or that tool does what you need it to do dependably and whether it saves you time and resources.
|I really see the whole SEO thing moving from technical expertise to marketing and networking expertise. |