Search for websites in your niche that have directory mentioned in their URL, using advanced Google search operators.
"topic" inurl:directory "topic" intitle:directory "city" intitle:directory "topic" + directory "topic" directories "topic" + "submit site" "city" + directory directory + "city" submit my site + "city" "topic + city" + directory "topic" + directories
Qualify each directory on the list by relevance to your audience, reputation, domain rating (DR) or domain authority (DA), and cost of listing.
The quickest way to qualify your list of directories is to use an SEO tool. The example below shows how to find and qualify a list of directories using Ahrefs, but you can do this with other SEO tools as well, like SEMrush.
- In the Content Explorer you can search for directories the same way as you would in Google. For example,
"Marketing agencies" inurl:directory.
- Filter the list by authority and remove websites that have a DR (domain rating) below 40 and above 80. Below DR 40 are websites with a low authority, so a link from them won’t bring much SEO value. Higher than DR 80 are big media websites that usually do not provide links back.
- View the list by Websites to only see the domains that have a directory. Export the list to a Google Sheets file to further review the websites and pick the directories that are the most relevant to your business. Manually check each website to see if:
- Their audience matches your audience.
- There is a way to submit your website to the list.
- They provide a link back to the companies listed.
Here is an example of how the final qualified list can look like. The directories marked as Qualified for outreach: Yes are the ones that have a relevant audience, link back to companies listed and are open to submissions.
Use a tool like Ahrefs, SEMRush, or MOZ to check your competitors’ backlinks for websites with directory in their URL.
If you use Ahrefs, go to Site Explorer and check your competitor’s website for backlinks that include the word Directory in title or URL:
- Remove websites with a relatively low Domain rating (DR).
- Download the list to further qualify the most relevant directories.
- Check each directory and see if their audience is relevant to your business, how much a listing costs etc.
Search Google for already-curated lists of directories that are the most relevant for your business.
Example search terms:
online business directories best business directories online local business directories online directories for business
Find review websites in your industry and list your products or services there to build trust, visibility, and authority in your industry.
You can find review websites for almost any industry such as fitness trackers reviews. Example search terms:
"Products" + reviews Find and compare + "Products" "Products" online reviews "Products" + customer reviews
Choose from already-curated directories and submit your website, where it’s relevant for your business.
You’ll be gaining a backlink, but more importantly you are building visibility and trust.