In the early days of SEO, web directories were the thing.
Back then, the Google algorithm was a lot easier to game. If your site was listed on a ton of online directories, it must be pretty dang special – or at least, that’s how the algorithm saw it.
The number of directory links you had positively influenced how well your site ranked in the search engines. Online marketers caught on, and schemed to litter the web with directory listings of their website.
It was a simpler time.
Where Do Web Directories Stand Today?
Links from a web directory listing are a lot less influential than a super relevant contextual link from a high-authority site in your niche.
That’s not to say web directories are completely meaningless.
According to Moz research, web directories and local citations still appear to be a small ranking factor – especially for local business. However, Google’s John Mueller himself has said that directory links “generally” don’t help with SEO.
What’s a marketer to do?
Move beyond viewing web directories as a source for links.
Instead, view directories as a source of traffic and trust.
Any business with a local presence needs to maintain their local citations with a consistent NAP, but web directories won’t help with your SEO much beyond that. The real returns will be from the credibility and traffic they drive to your business site.
As you begin your search for web directories, keep those two criteria in mind.
Consider these questions before you start filling out your listing:
- Is this a reputable site? Put another way: if a customer saw me on this site, would they view my business as more or less legitimate?
- Is my target audience likely to visit this site? If not, it’s probably not worth listing your business.
Now, let’s get into what you came here for: the web directories that are still relevant in 2019.
Web Directories That Still Have Value in 2019
In an effort to remain relevant, many web directories of yore have transitioned beyond basic listings to detailed review sites. Many of the sites I’ve listed below reflect this trend.
I could have included many more on this list, like Jasmine Directory, Aviva Directory, and Bloggapedia, but based on their current traffic numbers (and lack thereof), I’m not sure they’re worth the effort anymore.
Instead, I’ve chosen to focus on only those sites that are more than a mere citation opportunity for your business. These are all web directories with real traffic numbers that could translate into real value for your website.
Note: Unless otherwise noted, all traffic estimates were taken from SimilarWeb.com in December 2018. Also, with the exception of BOTW, Yahoo, and BBB, all of these web directories provide free listings.
Useful Web Directories for Any Kind of Website
Around since 1994, Best of the Web (or BOTW for short) is still a trusted online directory used by more than 16 million businesses.
It receives 70,000 – 90,000 visits per month, with 43 percent of that traffic being U.S.-based.
There’s also blgs.botw.org for blogs and local.botw.org for local businesses.
A lifetime listing (with a followed link) costs $299.
Originally formed as a business domain directory, About Us now allows all kinds of websites to be submitted and discussed.
The site receives 150,000 monthly visitors, on average.
Spoke is an online community for finding and discussing business people, companies, news, and more.
On Spoke, you can add a web listing for a business or a person. It receives over 80,000 monthly visitors.
For Blogs Only: One Web Directory to Rule Them All
Blogarama features over 143,000 blog listings which are actively updated by site admins.
Of the (very) many blog sites I added my own personal blog to, this is the only one that continues to send me consistent traffic.
Plug in your RSS feed and Blogarama auto-updates your listing with your latest posts.
The site receives over 230,000 visitors monthly.
Relevant Web Directories for Local Businesses
In some respects, Google My Business is now the granddaddy of web directories.
If you’re a SEO professional, you’re already familiar with the vast benefits that make listing your business on Google My Business not just a good idea, but a basic requirement of online marketing.
Having an optimized Google My Business listing is the best way to make sure you show up for the majority of internet users seeking what your business offers.
6. Bing Places
Next up is Bing Places, the Google My Business equivalent for the world’s second most popular search engine.
While less than 4 percent of the world uses Bing as their search engine, it’s important to remember that it’s the default search engine for Internet Explorer and Edge, and Microsoft still dominates the desktop computer market.
Make sure you reach those PC users by adding your business to Bing Places.
You can’t talk about Being without mentioning Yahoo, the third most popular search engine.
Adding your business to Yahoo Local (and six daughter directories) starts at $8.25 per month.
Yelp still reigns supreme as the review site for local businesses.
If you want customers to find your business, you need to be on Yelp – and you need to be getting positive reviews.
As of September 2018, the site claims 171 million reviews and 69 million monthly desktop users.
Foursquare is nowhere near as popular as Yelp, but it does provide listings for all kinds of local businesses.
93 percent of local storefronts represent 2 million of the businesses who are already listed on Foursquare, and the site is visited by more than 50 million people.
10. Yellow Pages
Yes, this is that Yellow Pages.
If you’re wondering whatever happened to the company that used to drop off yellow tomes on your front doorstep, they went online.
Claiming your business is free, although you can expect to be pestered to opt into their advertising options upon signing up.
Beyond a business listing, YP stays relevant by offering coupons, providing listings for a large variety of industries, and regularly posting blog content to drive internal link equity back toward their directory pages.
Plus, this site converts. When people go to YP.com, they’re looking for contact info. 60 million people visit YP.com every month, 91 percent of whom contact a business within 24 hours.
ChamberOfCommerce.com is the online version of your local Chamber of Commerce (which you should also aim to get listed in, by the way).
Around since 1998, this website aims to be the most robust listing of small businesses online.
It also serves a small business owner resource center, through their free listings, paid ad options, and educational articles.
The site has more than 100,000 members, and monthly traffic numbers between 450,000 and 600,000.
Each month, 1.6 million visitors search the 120,000 listed businesses on HotFrog.
Businesses, sole practitioners, and anyone doing business with a physical address can add their listing for free.
Superpages is a local business directory with more than 1.6 million monthly visitors.
Businesses can add basic information, reviews, photos coupons, and, of course, a link to their website.
MerchantCircle’s premise is simple: “find the best local merchants.”
The site includes listings for all kings of merchants and contractors, ranging from attorneys and notaries to realtors and agencies.
Over 100 million consumers visited the site last year to search its listings of 2 million businesses.
The site gets around 340,000 monthly visits.
Having a listing on BBB and being able to reference that accreditation on your own site remains a major trust signal to today’s consumers.
You’ll need to apply for accreditation, but once you’re approved, customers can visit the site to verify you’re a business they can trust.
BBB is one of the top 1,000 websites in the U.S. and top 4,000 globally. It’s worth having a listing here.
16. B2B Yellow Pages
This site looks like it never left the 1990s, but it’s still a viable web directory of over 16 million businesses.
The site receives around 500,000 visits per month.
Brownbook claims over 38 million global business listings in 200 countries.
It receives around 100,000 visits per month.
Unsurprisingly, eLocal is a local business directory.
More than 50,000 monthly visitors use eLocal to find businesses, doctors, contractors, and more.
DexKnows is another local business directory, used by nearly 600,000 monthly visitors looking for businesses and sole practitioners in their area.
Alignable is a small business network first and a directory second.
It’s designed to help local business owners connect and collaborate with each other.
The site has racked up over 3 million members in under 5 years of operation, and receives nearly 3 million monthly visits.
This can be a valuable site for generating new business through referrals, partnerships, and more.
Local.com lists over 100,000 local businesses with websites and contact information.
The site receives nearly 1.9 million monthly visitors.
Beyond the directories listed above, there may be additional niche directories with high traffic that are pertinent to your industry, like Avvo for attorneys or Porch for home improvement professionals. You can find an excellent list of these, helpfully organized by domain authority, on BrightLocal.com.
There are also services online, notably Moz Local and Yext, that will create, update, and otherwise maintain your local citations across dozens of online directories. A listing on many of these directories will simply be a citation for citation’s sake, but these services will include the big names like Yahoo, Yelp, and others on our list.
Working with one of these services can significantly speed up the process of getting your website added (and take the work off your plate), which is why they aren’t free. Depending on how many websites you manage, however, they can be worth it.
The Bottom Line on Web Directories in 2019
Ultimately, listing your website on directories in today’s age of SEO depends on two key things.
- Do you increase the chances of your website getting seen by more customers?
- Better yet, will a listing on this site deepen consumer trust in your business?
If you answer yes to either of those questions (and ideally, you answer yes to both), that web directory can have value for your business.
Screenshots taken by author, January 2019.
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Top 10 Tools to facilitate web development
- Web development is very essential for guiding you past the traditional methods of website development and approaching to other more unique and efficient prospects in the IT field.
- Building an app or website is real but sometimes can be better facilitated through the testing and implementation phases of web tools.
- Entering the new age of the digital world is just impossible without proper deployment, scaling, and database management. And this where the best web development weapons are on standby.
Web development tools are necessary to adapt and integrate in the development environments since they help you create a webpage, gather metrics, discover layouts and designs. Web development is all about evolving and stepping up the game you are currently very proficient in. Along with that it doesn’t demand much money, require enormous sources or expect big money. The only thing development tools are incorporating is your boosted ultimate website performance. What is simply left is finding the right assistant on this journey. Here are the top 10 we have picked for you:
1. Chrome DevTool
If you are searching for a web assistant that would ensure your safety and optimize development, Chrome DevTool is sincerely recommended in this case. Taking into account that this is the most popular cross-platform browser of all, you should be certain that such a Chromium-based development technology will allow you to inspect, debug, and guide you through the browser.
While varied development tools are primarily focused on setting up websites, creating online stores, and launching blogs, Chrome DevTool is highly helpful in inspecting and tweaking. Although it is a bit hard to navigate through so many tabs and functions, Chrome DevTool offers you numerous panels for boosting productivity, analyzing load performance, and enhancing better user-friendly experience:
- Elements panel
- Console panel
- Sources panel
- Network panel
- Performance panel
- Memory panel
- Application panel
- Security panel
Such a division gives you a more fixed structure on elements and commands that you can apply depending on the existing page you are willing to diagnose. In order to access Chrome DevTools, you won’t even need to pay for anything, as it is built into the browser itself. Here is how you can open it.
Good software development company’s support can facilitate your user experience with its comprehensive and all-inclusive approach even more. VironIT offers you a list of the new age web development tools and services to create a highly adaptable website or attractive web application.
If you wonder what kind of development tools are combined in one software, it might actually vary from AR&VR development (augmented and virtual reality) to IoT Software development (data visualization and analysis). Such a useful package of cross-platform tools in one place makes it easier for you to write, maintain and promote better development and react to possible vulnerabilities. In addition, it guarantees you rapid functionality of apps, programs, websites and its well-organized software designs.
There is nothing more efficient than a versatile service providing the fast and most secure web frameworks. You share the main goal.
3. React JS
- It is also error-free since all technical mistakes can be spotted during compilation.
- It is easier to write templates, especially when you are familiar with HTML.
You have no clue what the new age of web development means if you don’t try out GitHub. This web platform enables you not only to manage the web applications by coordinating the tools and its usability, but also to deploy regular teams and campaigns to the completion of these same applications or projects. GitHub accesses you a lightweight, branch-based workflow that helps you experiment with taking over new tasks and managing the existing workflow.
- It helps you make changes, reviews without affecting other involved branches.
- It offers a smooth documentation process that often complements the quality coding process.
- It can modify pages’ content and style remotely via the web or locally on your computer
Why GitHub? The suggested privileges of breaking down barriers within a team when the project is implemented and keeping everyone focused on having the best performance. In the same way, it can let your business flow run smoothly and consistently at any point in time.
5. Novi Builder
You can’t even imagine what excellent sophisticated features you have been holding back when you were not a member of the Novi Builder community. This easy-to-use development tool offers you facilities for HTML drag and drop builder, access to all existing and future templates including free of charge themes. Also, it provides you with 20 must-have plugins and elements, such as Social Plugins, Contact form, Sliders, Countdown, Google Maps, and more.
The functionality and designs are exactly built for beginners developers who want to evolve and rise up on their IT working ladder. It is a great chance for deepening your understanding of website creation and ensuring solid knowledge of application development.
Along with the above-mentioned features, here is what else Novi Builder has to offer:
- It offers advanced code editor support.
- It supercharges your projects just from scratch
- It can install an app and make it live in several hours at low cost
- It empowers and modifies your existing HTML website with additional application integration facilities
Unlike the rest of the feedback tools, this one doesn’t misuse or distort gathered information. It does exactly the opposite by testing development phases and saving your existing project from bugs. If you are quite hesitant it takes too long to collect BugMuncher feedback, you should remember that it is not about your colleague’s professional suggestion, a customer as a prime source of feedback. They can deliver you the most constructive criticism that would help you hone your business’ website or app development.
Moreover, ready-made blocks of code and flexible layouts needed for HTML, CSS can be easily customized and used in accordance with your project’s requirements. The greatest Bootstrap’s features of all are:
- Extensive list of components
- Solid guarantee of the project’s responsiveness
- Useful icon library
Notepad++ is your great assistant in text editing, syntax highlighting, plugin maintaining and this list of handy features can actually go on. Although it is available on Windows only, it can still be supported by GitHub, a primary distribution party.
Additionally, Notepad++ supports 27 programming languages. If you go to the Binary Translations page you can easily choose the language you need. Alternatively, you can open User Language Define System to help you define the definition of keywords or regular expressions. Moreover, if you are advanced at coding in languages like C++, Batch, and HTML, Notepad++ is just an ideal service for you. Imagine that:
- You can find every instance of a word and perform actions on it.
- You can access the replace function and get a change reference for each word.
- You can also save time by typing the keyboard shortcut and skipping the appeared code next time or previous time.
Doesn’t it sound amazing to apply a word-search and text-editor tool like this with just a quick installation and some default language setting? You should definitely try it out.
9. Source tree
We wouldn’t bet on the wrong horse if we said that most of you are intermediate or even advanced developers who’d rather focus on coding than interacting with the Git repositories. SourceTree is a free web development tool available for Mac and Windows and perfect for database visualization and management. However, Source tree equally claims to serve both powerful experts, as well as absolute beginners. Yet, understanding the interface specs is easier than you can even think:
- Bookmark windows represent database you are aligned with
- Toolbar lets you take action without any command line
- The sidebar is where you access the information about your current project
- Repository history and code diffs share control to monitor previous changes
From now any coding changes will be demonstrated in real-time and with the aggregated view on all of your work.
10. Lambda Test
Now, you are completely forearmed to successfully lead the war of web development. Getting an application done or an advanced code supported has never been easier. Try these top tools out and you will not regret it.
Why behavior analysis is important online business
- A typical consumer now owns an average of 3.6 devices which means a person’s journey may start from a laptop and end on a mobile or a tablet.
- In the ecommerce business, the cart abandonment rate is the thing that haunts most of the business owners.
- Developing analytical skills can help you better manage these obstacles.
- MD of SEO Discovery shares a guide to help you understand Cohort Analysis and Behavior Analysis to eliminate roadblocks and improve engagement.
In today’s digital age, the customer journey is getting complex day by day and if you are doing online business then it’s vital to understand your customer journey. A typical consumer now owns an average of 3.6 devices which means a person’s journey may start from a laptop and end on a mobile or a tablet.
In the ecommerce business, the cart abandonment rate is the thing that haunts most of the business owners. According to Statista, 88.05 percent of online shopping orders were abandoned in March 2020 worldwide, which means over 88% of people added selected products into the cart and left without buying for various reasons. This is a massive business opportunity loss for ecommerce players.
Developing analytical skills can help you better manage these obstacles. Without adequate knowledge of analytics, your marketing won’t work because you won’t know what worked and what didn’t work. All the marketing suits come with analytics tools to help perceive the behavior, engagement metrics, and demographics of the visitors coming to a website. The most common web analytics tools are Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Kiss Metrics, and Mixpanel. They generally come with the following features and capabilities:
- Real-time analytics
- Mobile analytics
- Attribution modeling
- Ecommerce tracking
- Funnel analysis
- Cohort analysis
- Cross-device tracking
- In-page analytics (Session recording, click tracking, heatmaps)
- Goal conversion tracking
- Event tracking
- A/B testing
Every feature has its own data sets which can be compared to help you make informed decisions. Today we are going to understand Cohort Analysis and Behavior Analysis to eliminate roadblocks and improve engagement.
What is a Cohort Analysis and why is it important?
Cohort analysis is a subset of users grouped by shared characteristics. It simply allows you to compare the behavior and metrics of different cohorts over time.
Cohort Analysis Example – Finding Engagement Drop
Let’s suppose you have an online food ordering website/app and using acquisition date (when users started their first sessions) cohorts you can find out when in the customer lifecycle your users tend to drop off.
The best way for visualizing this data is to chart out the retention curve, portraying retention over time.
This retention curve clearly reflects the most important insight – around 75% of the users stop using the website after the first day. We can see a downfall in the engagement. Hence, it’s evident to improve the overall experience and abet customers through daily offers/coupons to boosting retention.
Cohort Analysis Comparison – Organic vs Direct
The below cohort analysis indicates that organic traffic has a better retention rate than direct.
Visitor behavior analysis and its importance
It’s a process of tracking user behavior on a website and there are some great tools in the market that give accurate information. Tools like Hotjar, MouseFlow, Crazy Egg record visitor sessions to see how visitors are navigating on the website. They also offer click tracking and heatmaps to analyze the most engaging and ignored (skipped) elements on a page.
If you look at the above heatmap, you would notice that no one bothered to click on “PORTFOLIO” in the top menu, which means people aren’t interested in see the portfolio. Maybe we have to replace it with something more interesting (like Case Studies, Achievements, and more) which grabs a visitor’s attention. These kinds of insights help you add/remove elements to improve page engagement.
Using filters, you can further segment your audience to dig deep and pull out actionable insights, see those filter below:
In Google Analytics, behavior flow gives you a visual presentation of how people are navigating on your website. You can apply segments to get a deeper view of their behavior and it also enables you to apply different dimensions on top of these segments to get actionable insights.
The power of these analytical tools lies in the fact that it allows you to view which customers leave and what’s making them leave your website/app – so that you can fix it. You can also hire a professional digital marketing agency that can help you find these hurdles and remove them to enhance your overall engagement.
Mandeep Singh is the MD of SEO Discovery. He’s mission is to provide affordable digital marketing services to startups and SMEs. He’s an official member of Forbes Agency Council. You can find him on LinkedIn.
Top 15 Chrome extensions for social media marketers
- When it comes to the internet browser, Google Chrome, with its extensive list of extensions is the indisputable chart-topper.
- As a digital marketer, you have to keep track of so many things – different projects at various stages of development, research, reporting, new leads, existing clients, et cetera.
- Bhavik Soni shares a list of the top 15 Chrome extensions that will make social media marketers more productive, smart, and efficient.
- These are categorized into extensions for – Productivity, research and tracking, content creation and implementation, and digital marketing. Dive in!
When it comes to the internet browser, Google Chrome, with its extensive list of extensions is the indisputable chart-topper. From simple theme-based to technical coding-related, the extension list in chrome is practically endless.
This extension-packed list also boasts a wide variety of efficient social media extensions that boost professionalism, punctuality, and productivity. And, who wouldn’t love a convenient free plugin that makes life easier!
As a digital marketer, you have to keep track of so many things – different projects at various stages of development, research, reporting, new leads, existing clients, et cetera. These extension apps create a focus-orientated and organized work environment by keeping marketers updated on project developments, sending to-do reminders, enhancing content, and more.
In short, these install-and-use plugins act as the ace up their sleeves for social network marketers. They work as useful gadgets and trained assistants. They are the must-have social media marketing tools for every marketer.
You can optimize and make Google work for you in a jiffy by adding these 15 Chrome Extensions to your browser today.
Chrome Productivity Extensions
1. StayFocused: App block & website block google chrome extension
Designed to boost productivity, the StayFocused extension limits the amount of time you spend on vanity Googling. It offers the brute force you need somedays to anchor your focus to what’s more important.
2. Momentum: Personal dashboard new tab chrome extension
Perhaps, Momentum is the best Chrome extension for productivity. It steers your focus from idle to important by motivating you with quotes, encouraging positivity with mantras, and inspiring with serene photography. Features like Daily Focus, To-Do, Countdowns, Metrics, Event Reminder and Links help you browse the internet with intent. What’s more? The plus version is available for just $3.33/month.
Research and tracking extensions
3. Diigo Web Collector: Highlighter and bookmarker for chrome
Diigo is a research chrome extension that lets you highlight important phrases, bookmark and save pages, write notes, and collect references at a single place. It comes in handy for social media marketers, who generally invest hours in R&D for planning a campaign, learning trends, and comparing the competitor’s strategy.
4. Google Analytics URL Builder: Online UTM tracking
This is a tracking extension that lets you build UTM parameters. With the help of this plugin, you will be able to gauge the effectiveness of the UTM tags used in the campaigns. Google Analytics URL Builder also allows you to share templates with others, saves time when you have to generate URLs manually, and shares progress with clients.
5. Ghostery: Makes web cleaner, faster, and safer
Ghostery is designed to block ads and trackers, this productivity chrome extension makes a great social media marketing tool. With its help, you will be able to learn the trackers on the competitor’s sites that they use to attract, engage, and convert the visitors.
$11.99 USD /month/user*
6. SpyFu: SEO and PPC tools for professionals
Yet another efficient tracker extension that lets you peek into the competitor’s site data. Spyfu reveals extensive information, including where the competitor appeared on Google in the past nine years. The social media marketing (SMM) plugin also shows all keywords bought on AdWords, every ad variation, and every organic rank for $33/month.
Content creation and implementation
7. Canva: Design is all around us
How social media advertising will perform relies a lot on visuals. Photo-driven platforms like Instagram and Pinterest yield better ROI than content-driven Twitter or Facebook. It is because photos get more engagement. To ensure you can make most of this social media trend, creating impressive and attention-grabbing posts become imperative. It is where Canva comes into the picture.
8. Figure it Out: Solve your time zone pain
A digital marketer works for clients and target audiences in different time zones. For them, Figure it Out proves to be a handy tool. It is an extension that lets you keep track of up to 10 time zones, and makes scheduling posts accordingly.
Free and paid ($3/month)
9. WhatFont: Identify fonts on web pages
We get it, fonts are tricky. Download an app, and it gives you hundreds of fonts that are too similar-looking, too familiar, or too quirky for your campaign. One day you browse a site – may be a competitor’s – and find just the font you were looking for but have no clue which one it is.
That’s when WhatFont comes to the rescue. A single click and it reveals not only the name but also the family, style, weight, size, line height, and color of the font.
10. Unsplash Instant: Beautiful photos in your new tab
For every social media marketing post, there is a tedious task to find high-quality, professional stock pictures, usually for free. Unsplash Instant lets you find great photos ranging from flowers and skies to desktops and artsy portraits. You can save them for free and use it for all kinds of commercial use.
11. Colorzilla: Advanced colorful goodies
Colorzilla allows you to hover over any color shown on a webpage and learn about its hex code for future use in a social media ad post. With this plugin, you will be able to create consistent color themes, appealing visuals, and come up with perfect palettes.
12. Sniply: Drive conversion through content
Social media promotions through third-party content are more effective when they include a tempting call-to-action that takes the reader to your own online space. Sniply helps you make those conversion-generating posts by letting you add custom CTA to any piece of content. On the dashboard, the plugin will show how many clicks your links are getting and the level of engagement for tracking purposes.
Digital marketing extensions
13. IFTTT for Marketing and social media automation
14. Buffer: Share content easily
With this social media extension, you will be able to schedule and manage posts across different platforms. Buffer will also let you follow up with analytics to track the performance of each post.
15. LastPass: Free password manager
By downloading the LastPass Chrome extension, you will not need to remember dozens of passwords to each social media platform. This free password manager will do it for you. You could also create a master password through LastPass.
Let’s sum it up
Here’s a guide to 15 best Chrome extensions available for social media marketers. From saving bookmarks to managing posts and passwords, these plugins will work as assistants to digital professionals.
Note: Details like pricing are subject to change as per the respective tool provider.
Bhavik Soni is a Creative Writer at Auto Monkey. We provide an original analysis of the latest happenings in the social media industry. Connect with Latest Social Media Trends and News plus tips on Twitter, Facebook, and other social tools on the web.
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