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There are two sides to search engine optimization (SEO): on-page and off-page optimization. Off-page means getting links from other websites to point back to your site, which strengthens your site's position in search engine results. In this course, author Peter Kent dissects the anatomy of a link, explains how links affect page ranking, and reveals the properties that make an excellent inbound link. The course also evaluates reciprocal linking; link building via press releases, blogs, and articles; and the importance of using quality links that are search-engine friendly.
If the website you're promoting is related to a local business, an attorney, medical professional, retail store, plumber or whatever you really need to work on links from local directories. In fact, for a number of reasons one thing you should do early in a link campaign is to make sure you're registered in as many local directories as possible. This is actually a good thing on a couple of levels. Yes, you'll get good links back to your site. But you're also creating pages about your business linking back to your site in lots of different directories and those directories are tickets in the SEO lottery.
When somebody searches for your business type in your area, hopefully your business website comes up in the search results. But with luck some of these other web pages will pop up too. So you get not just one link on the first search results page but several. There are several really important local directories you should manage manually. First and foremost is Google Places. The directory of businesses associated with Google Maps. And that is use to provide local results to the Google search results.
You should also manage your Yahoo! Local and Bing Local results manually. You also need to submit to a directory service such as UBL.org which takes your data and sends it to hundreds of different directory services. I won't go into detail here though, because I've already done a video in this subject in my SEO course. I explained how to submit to those services in that video. But, there's more that you can do. You should also look for specialty directories and an easy way to do that is to search for your business type along with the word directory.
You can also search for your business type along with the name of your city and see what directories pop up. For instance let's say you're a cosmetic surgeon. Search for cosmetic surgery directory, plastic surgery directory, and so on. You can also try cosmetic surgery along with your city name and even cosmetic surgery directory along with your city and see what directories appear. You'll find various directories. Your job then is to find out how to get listed in those directories. In some cases, you'll find the only way in is to pay.
But often you can get a basic listing for free. For instance, one dental directory I saw recently included free listings and those listings include real follow links back to the dentist websites. You only have to pay if you add a photo and more information. It's not worth paying for a listing in most of these directories. But that's not to say some are not worthwhile, of course that's the subject outside this course. So let me just say that if you do pay for listings you should consider carefully whether it's worthwhile and track the traffic to your website and calls that you get so that you'll be able to see if it's working.
Another form of directory that is well worth getting listing in is what I call a local local directory, the specialized city directories. I'm not talking now about the big systems like Citysearch and Yelp, though those are important too. I'm talking about the small directories that focus on a particular town or city. There are mixed bag. Some are associated with the local newspaper or perhaps even with small towns, the local city government. Some are small independent sites. They're very professional and attractive. Others are somewhat more funky or downright ugly.
Some are actually sub domains of very large national directories, still, they're all worth getting links from. In some cases, you may find your business already listed as many of these directories are getting their data from sources such as UBL.org. Still, check to see if the data is correct and whether it contains a link to your site. These directories are easy to find. Search for your town or city name along with the word directory. You may be surprised to what pop ups. Better still go to Yahoo! Directory or dmoz.org and dig around in the regional search results.
And you'll often find local directories. Dmoz even has a guides and directories sub category which is often quite useful. You might be surprised that how many local and industry directories you can find if you invest a little time. Spend a while digging around and you'll discover lots of great link opportunities that provide really useful, relevant links.
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