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.