So many people ask me how to get their businesses off the ground. One of the most basic things to do is to get yourself a website. But then, so many people do that, and then they say to me “so now what, I’ve got a site but it’s not getting any traffic.”
One of the simplest tactics I discovered very early was to google the following.
“non-reciprocal link directories” – or variations thereof. “Non reciprocal link directory”, “business directory”, etc, etc.
There are so many of these.
And then the hard work begins. Start listing your site on these. In South Africa two of the most well known ones are Gumtree and Vottle, but there are literally hundreds. There is some software that will do it for you, at a cost, but I always seemed to get better results by manually listing my sites. Somehow, you keep better control that way. This is an exercise in a marketing strategy that is simply never ending – because for one thing, most sites only list your business for a certain period of time, and then you have to resubmit (they usually email you to do this), and for another thing, new business directories come out all the time.
Why is this effective? Firstly because people do actually search those directories to find what they’re looking for and if you’re not on them, they’re not going to find you. Secondly, because the more quality back links you have into your site, the better it is for the search ranking, and you want to have as good a search ranking as possible, so that Google will find you. Some of these directories ask for a link on your site in exchange and it’s up to your discretion whether you want to place this or not. I usually don’t but there are a few exceptions to the rule.
If you’re in any doubt as to whether a link you’re considering is a good one to link to or place a backlink on, you can always check the page rank of the site by using Page Rank Checker. You can check your own page rank on here too. It’s a good tool to keep tabs of where you’re at.
It sounds incredible to say but the internet is under utilised in marketing virtual businesses. People wanting to start out will tell me that they don’t have a marketing budget and they can’t afford to market. I say junk. Why do you need a budget when you can list free on business directory sites, and make use of Facebook and Twitter? In the virtual industry, the world is our oyster and we must use it. This needs to be a part of your daily marketing strategy. If you do nothing else with regards to marketing, make sure that you get at least one mention of your website out there every day. It ties back to the post on initiative – use your initiative to find directories to list your business on.