Directory Submission is probably one of the most straight forward ways of getting links to your website. Links play a major part of a website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts. You can think of links as votes, the more votes a site gets the better is its chances of ranking higher on the Search engine.
Before Search engine evolved, web directories played a major role in achieving the web and categorizing them in a way that made sense to people. So if someone was looking for a Real Estate business in Dallas, he could easily go to one of the online real estate web directory and look under the appropriate category. However, after search engines came along directory became a bit irrelevant. Moreover due to the increasing number of spam and poor maintenance of some of these directories search engines also started to trust directory links less and less over the years.
So here are 5 solid tips that can help you to get the maximum benefit out of your Directory Submission efforts:
- Relevancy is the Key: Search engines always value links which are relevant. If you are an real estate agent and you are submitting your website in a gardening directory just to get that one extra back link, then you are not doing yourself any good. Very likely that either the directory owner won’t accept your real estate website on a gardening directory, or even if it somehow slips the eye of the moderator – Google won’t be valuing that link as much as it would have if it were a real estate directory. So don’t try to send your website to every directory on the planet. Do your own research and figure out which directories are more relevant to your website and to your business. If you are submitting your site in a general directory make sure that you choose the right category for your website.
- Write a neat description: Many website owners directory submission is wasted because they don’t often think that website’s description is important! Many of them often just fill in the name and the URL and leave the description box empty. Having a nice description which is unique and helps to describe your website really increases your chance of being accepted into the directory. The directory moderators gets thousands of links everyday to moderate, and in most cases when they see a website with a nice ‘non-spammy’ description, they just accept it without even actually checking out the website. For some more renowned directories this may not be the case, however, you will definitely have a better chance of catching the attention of the moderator, if you have a neat description without any unnecessary keyword stuffing and spamming.
- Include a Call to Action – Directories shouldn’t be all about links! Humans do visit directories and often in very difficult situations. For example a desperate home owner might visit several real estate directories to find an agent who can really “do” the job rather than giving false hopes. So when you get that 250 chars for writing your description, make sure that you include your unique selling proposition (USP) to attract visitors back to your website. Since most of the sites in your category are likely to have a very generic description, yours will definitely stand out from others.
- Mix it up – Don’t trust those automated submission software/service that lets you submit your website to 1000 directories in 2 hours. Directory submission should not be about quantity but quality. You really need to mix things up in your submission and that’s how you would get the most benefit. For example instead of using the same Name/Title (e.g. Dallas Real Estate), you can be creative and use different titles on each time you submit to a directory. By varying the Name/Title, you are actually varying your anchor text which means that you are less likely to be caught by the search engines as a “link spammer”. If search engines finds out that the same anchor text has been used to get 1000 of links within a short period of time then it will raise some serious suspicion.
- Consider going for Paid Subscription: Many of the free directories are poorly maintained which explains why so many spam sites can easily get on them without being noticed. This is one of the reasons search engines are now giving less value to the directory links. However there are many paid directories out there which are well maintained and are highly moderated. Thus they only let good quality website to be a part of their directory which makes you part of a good link neighborhood. Some good paid directories are – Yahoo Directory, Business.com, BOTW etc.
So the next time you go for directory link hunting, don’t forget to use one of these tips to get the most value out of your submission. Good Luck!