Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The benefits of submitting to niche directories are:

In the previous posts, we discussed Local Channels, which are websites that target a particular location or region, hence the term ‘local’. When people see that your business is locally near them, they will more likely take a closer look and make a buying decision.
With “Niche” channels, we will now focus on websites that are targeted to a particular industry or topic; for example, a blog, directory or search engine that strictly shows information for electronics only. A niche channel is another area where you can find targeted prospects for your business. The ideal strategy to use is to combine local and niche channels together in your marketing.
So if you’re selling furniture in Texas, then you would want to target websites that are locally in Texas and are about furniture.
Here are different niche channels which you can utilize to market your business online.
Niche Directories
Niche directories are directories that only allow submissions from businesses that are related to the niche. For example, if your business sells classic cars, then you should submit your website to directories that specialize in classic cars only.
The benefits of submitting to niche directories are:
1. Search Engine Optimization
Major search engines such as Google and Yahoo rank the niche directories high for keywords related to the niche. Since the directories have a link to your website, the latter will rank high for the keywords also.
So if your business sells accessories for vintage classic cars and it appears in a classic car directory under the category Accessories, then you may rank higher compared to other businesses for the keywords “classic car” and “accessories”.
The number of related websites with links to your business website affects your ranking in the search engines. The more the merrier.
Your task is to find as many niche directories as possible, and submit your business website to them. A lot of these directories are free so the only cost is your time for the submission process.
There are some niche directories that accept payment to be listed in them. These directories normally have fewer listings because most business owners don’t want to pay. However, the quality of these paid niche directories are better than the free ones and normally rank well on the search engines.
If you’re considering paying for a listing in a niche directory, spend some time and look at the directory you’re considering. See if the Google™ Page Rank is high compared to the free Niche Directories. Page Rank is Google’s way to show that a website is an authority in its industry. A Page Rank of 4 or higher is good.
To check a website’s Page Rank, you can install the Google™ Toolbar at Alternatively, if you don’t like to install an extra toolbar on your browser, you can check a website’s page rank at
If the niche directory has a good page rank (i.e. 4 or higher), then you can also check to see if it gets many visitors.
For a rough estimate of how much traffic a website has on average, you can use the Alexa tool at Just type in the URL of the website and get an estimate of how much traffic the website receives.
Next you can do an online search for the niche directory and read about other people’s views. You will know a lot about a directory based on other people’s feedback in forums and blogs.
Based on the PageRank, traffic and other people’s comments, you can justify to see if it’s worth paying the money to be listed in that particular paid niche directory.
Here’s a list of niche directories:
Alternatively, you can use the search engine and type in <> directory e.g. camera If your customers want to find accessories or spare parts for their classic cars, then no doubt they would have spent a lot of time searching on the internet for information. It’s very likely that they would have visited a classic car directory during their search.
By listing your business website in the targeted categories of the directory, you are exposing your products and services to targeted buyers. Think about it.
People who visit a niche directory and have dug deeper within the categories, are there for one reason only. They have a need and they’re looking for a solution. They’re looking for businesses that specialize in what they want. Plus they want to buy.
When they see your business listed in a certain category, you have a chance of making a sale. It now depends on the decision of the buyer, whether to purchase from you or your competitors who are also listed in the same categories.
Their decision will depend upon whether your business is located near them, if you have a telephone number they can use to call someone, the prices of your products and services, and the professional way on how your business is described in the listing.
Niche directories are very important for listing your business websites. They can get you targeted visitors to your website and help you rank higher in the search engines for your keywords.
The best part is submitting your website to niche directories is cheap and free most of the time, an excellent way to market your business online in an affordable manner. Great for all budget ranges.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

One of the things I most enjoy about working in digital marketing is that there are no such things as certainties, and something you knew for sure yesterday may turn out to be complete rubbish tomorrow. Sometimes this can be really scary - any book you buy on the subject will be out-of-date the moment it's printed so you can't even rely on the traditional pillars of wisdom - but it can also be incredibly exciting.

An idea you had in the shower one morning can become a major plank of your marketing strategy the next day. A throw-away suggestion at a conference can ricochet round the blogosphere and be the hottest topic of debate within hours.

But that’s all about theory, and the inconvenient truth about theory is that in practice it’s only ever theoretical! How on earth can a marketer hope to cope with these ever-shifting ideas where there seems to be nothing concrete you can hold on to from one day to the next? Just how do we evaluate every new possibility against the myriad which we’re already juggling? More to the point, how do we assess which things are going to change the world and which are going to fizzle out like a damp firework?

A breakthrough moment for me was when I finally realised that it's OK to experiment, and accepting that there are going to be things that don't work. For many marketers - indeed for many organisations - that’s such a fundamental change to the paradigm that they just can’t get their heads around it. Can it possibly be OK to gamble marketing budget knowing full well that the odds may not be that high? Should we push out that new piece of functionality into our software knowing that we might take it out again in a year because nobody needs it any more?

I believe the successful 21st-century enterprises will be the ones that are prepared to make this shift. I think there will be four key characteristics of these companies:

They will look at every new possibility - whether that be a new technology like Twitter, or a phenomenon like user-generated content - and consider if they can make use of it. They probably won’t jump on the bandwagon immediately, but they’ll want to be in the early adopter phase of the classic uptake model.

They won’t ever do something just for the sake of it. If the new tool or practice doesn’t fit with the brand, then they won’t do anything until it does.

They will evaluate everything carefully - not just in terms of ROI, but also in terms of how it’s fitting in with what everyone else is doing. You never want to be the one still wearing brown when everyone else has decided that blue is actually the new black...

Once something isn’t working they’ll drop it. This is, I think, the most crucial point. There’s no point carrying on with a particular technology or idea if the world has now left it behind (unless of course, there’s still an opportunity to use it distinctively).

Software tools such as Lyris HQ can really help with this. It’s now a case of simply hitting one button to add a link so recipients of your email marketing can post your message to Facebook or Twitter - and it’s then really easy to set up a segment in the Web analytics tool to see what sort of difference it’s making to the Web site. Marketers can now easily experiment. What happens, for example, if you use the new Twitter feed on the Lyris HQ dashboard to identify people who talk frequently about your product or service, and then use email marketing to send them advance information ahead of everyone else?

Making it up as we go along is hard, but I believe that in this brave new world where nothing is certain anymore, it’s our only hope. So let’s throw caution to the wind and see what happens!