I have found that I can go looking for directory links and submit comments all day long, but my best results come when I get more creative.  As they say, the easier the link is to get, the less it is worth.   Here are some ideas you might try.

  • Offer to help with their website – I recently found a directory that had a member list in a PDF with no website links.  I also found a non-profit or organization site where the sponsors were listed as an image.  By offering to code these pages into HTML, I was able to secure links for my clients without the cost of sponsorship or membership.
  • Build your own directory  – I am not recommending building a directory that will only contain your website sites, and never changes.  You really need to commit for this to work, but if you specialize in a particular field it can be a great help.  We work with a lot of auto repair shops near us, so we built AutoRepairDelco.net.  I used a wordpress theme called DirectoryPress and for $80 I was able to create a working directory in about a day.  I am hoping that the directory will make for a nice ice breaker when approaching other shops.  “Hi, Id like to list you in our directory, do you need any help with your website?”
  • Encourage link exchanges – This works well in our world of local auto repair shops.  Don’t exchange links with just anyone, but if a body shop recommends a repair shop by linking each other it helps.  These can actually be a great source of direct traffic.  It never hurts to ask clients if they have friendly relationships with other companies in their field.
  • Donate to Charity and Join Organizations – A lot of non-profit websites will have a sponsors page with a link.  Again this works in our local SEO because the location of the organization helps our town name keywords.
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