Online directories are locations where people go to find websites, the same way they do with search engines. However, there are considerable differences between the two. In order to be successful at increasing website traffic, it is crucial for people to understand these differences.
Whereas search engines usually accept almost any site that is submitted to them without looking at its quality, directories typically only accept sites that offer quality content. Since humans review all websites submitted to directories, low quality sites rarely get accepted.
Therefore, it makes sense to make sure that your website is ready before submitting it to any directories. Remember that directories list sites, not pages. In most circumstances, you should only submit the front page of your website to directories.
WHICH DIRECTORIES SHOULD YOU SUBMIT TO?
You should always begin your website promotion agenda by listing your website in the most popular online directories. These directories can significantly affect your search engine ranking so it is a wise move to list your website here before you submit to the search engines.
Directories can also send significant traffic to your website. Make sure you are listed in all of the major directories before you try any other promotional methods. In this way, you will have laid the groundwork for a successful marketing campaign.
Submitting your website to the directories is an easy process, requiring very little effort. However, making certain that the site will be accepted is the difficult part.
Since directories are far more selective than search engines and require much more preparation, you must become familiar with their policies before you submit your website. If you do not follow their instructions carefully, your website will be rejected.
If you are unsure about the appropriateness or quality of your website, research web page design articles to see what works and what does not. The primary goal of a webmaster should always be to have unique, high-quality content and lots of it.
OPEN DIRECTORY PROJECT: The best directory to start with is the Open Directory Project. Make sure you read their instructions carefully before you submit your website. The editors usually review sites quickly and will not reject them unless there is a good reason for doing so.
The Open Directory Project is free of charge, making it a perfect place to start. Once you are successful at listing your website on the Open Directory Project, you should move on to the number two directory.
YAHOO: Try to get your website listed in the Yahoo directory. Commercial websites are charged a fee but it is worth the price. Non-commercial websites are free. Again, make sure you read their instructions and guidelines carefully before you attempt to list your site.
LOOKSMART: The third biggest directory is Looksmart. A good listing in it can send a lot of visitors your way, but it is expensive. Looksmart does not draw as many visitors as Yahoo or the Open Directory Project. However, MSN, Altavista and Dogpile all use Looksmart’s data in their search results, making it attractive to a lot of people.
Now you know where you should submit but how do you get started? It is quite simple. The first thing to do is to carefully read the rules and instructions on how to submit. They are usually displayed when you are beginning the submission process. Read them over a couple of times and follow them to the letter.
Most directories consist of various categories and subcategories. Each category consists of sites related to the category’s name (e.g. the Business category will only have sites relevant to business). You need to find the category (or more often, subcategory) that most closely fits the subject matter of your site.
You can accomplish this by browsing around the directory or by doing a search on the keyword or keywords that are most relevant to your website. There may be several categories that fit your website and you will have to choose the one that most closely describes it. Make sure you submit your website to the most accurate category for your site since submissions done to the wrong categories are usually thrown out.
All directories will ask for the title and description of the website you are submitting. Give careful thought to your choice. A good title can significantly boost the amount of traffic you receive. A bad title can work against you and decrease the amount of traffic you obtain from the directory.
Your title should be brief and include your most important keyword and start with a letter that is close to the beginning of the alphabet. Many directories list websites in alphabetical order and getting listed near the top can boost your traffic.
Since the title has to be the official title of the site and it must be used on your pages, you might be required to change the name of your site. The title must sound like it just happens to start with a letter near the beginning of the alphabet or it will get edited. Do not use hyperbole (best, unbelievable, etc.) or all capital letters.
As with your title, do not stuff your description with cheap filler words (greatest, cheapest, fantastic, etc.) Never use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Write a short (20-25 words) description that exactly describes your site and includes one or two of your best keywords. Your description should flow smoothly. If the editor thinks your description is just a list of keywords, he/she will reject it. Try to make it sound like an objective review.
After you have entered all the information, check and re-check for any possible typos or spelling errors. Be very careful typing in your URL as a typo in it would result in your site never getting reviewed. When you are ready, hit the submit button.
You will be notified by email if your website if accepted but not, as a rule, if it is rejected. Therefore, it is difficult to know whether your site has been reviewed and rejected or if it has not yet been reviewed. Give them enough time to process your submission and wait a few weeks before you resubmit your site.