Finding Free Niche Directories
As search engines place more and more emphasis on “link popularity,” web site owners find themselves pressured not only to optimize their site, but to find other quality web sites in their niche market that are willing to link to their web site. Many niche web directories like Business.com, IRED.com and MedMarket.com are willing to list your web site, but at a price. For those web site owners that are working on a tight budget, paying for every link is not only expensive, but not in their budget.
But don’t despair; there are many quality, free niche directories out there. The biggest challenge is finding them. Here are three easy methods to find free niche directories:
Method 1: “Search Engine Search”
Go to your favorite search engine (mine is Google), and type in general keyword(s) related to your site. For example, if I have a wedding caterer site, I would type in “wedding.” Usually, well-ranking niche directories will place in the Top 10 results. In this case WeddingLinksGalore.com is ranked #1 and mentions in the description that the directory offers free links. Click through to the site and look for an “Add a Link” or “Join Vendor Directory” button or link somewhere in the navigation.
Method 2: “Directory Search”
Go to a standard directory, like the Google Directory, and click on “Reference.” Click on “Directories” and then select the major category that relates to your web site. For example, if I have a CPA site, I would click on “Business.” At this point, I could choose to submit the site to the general directories listed under “Business” like CEOTrak.com or narrow my search further to “Accounting Firms” like CPADirectory.com. Probably, I’d end up going through both the “Business” and “Accounting Firms” categories and submitting my site to all free directories that were relevant to my niche market.
Method 3: “Competition’s Links”
Go to your favorite search engine and search for the web sites linking to your competitor by typing in link:http://www.competitorswebsite.com. Then click on each link and find directories that your competitor submitted their site to. Or go to your competitor’s site using the Google Toolbar’s Page Info > Backward Links feature. (The Google Toolbar can be downloaded from http://toolbar.google.com/.)
Here’s another tip: Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when searching for a free niche directory. When looking for a directory, try to think of all markets that relate to your web site. You’d be surprised at what counts as a related directory. For example, I market a general law practice. I came across a quality, free niche directory, WorkIndex.com, that specializes in human resource issues. Because the law practice does employment and labor law, they were eligible for a submission to WorkIndex.com under their “Legal Issues” category.
Keep in mind that you might have to go through several directories before you find some quality, free niche directories that are right for you; however, your persistence will pay off. You will find some great directories that will boost your link popularity and maybe even bring in some quality, targeted traffic as well.
Good luck and happy hunting.
Search Engine Marketing Specialist
Searchwiz Marketing – division of Webcast 1, Inc.