If you are a web site owner and do its SEO and promotion by yourself, you know that search engines bring huge traffic, and you do your best to climb the top of the search results. You know that quality text content and proper meta tags are very important, and you know how important are links which lead to your web site from other sites. There are several ways of getting links for your web site and submission to web directories is one of them.
1. Why submission to web directories is a powerful tool for your web site promotion?
Web directory is a web site that accepts web sites listings categorized into categories and sub-categories. When you submit your site to a web directory, a link to your web site is added. As you know, link popularity is an important factor for high rankings. When your link is placed on a page with good PR this is a plus to your web site link popularity, because your web site gets ‘piece’ of the page’s PR. The more links your web site has the higher your rankings in search engines but the links must be natural – i.e. relevant and one-way.
Yes, few years ago for high rankings in search engines it was enough just to exchange links with other web sites. Nowadays Google recognizes such schemes and considers these links not natural, and discounts their value in web site popularity and PR calculation. Reciprocal link exchange can still be used as way to get visitors to your web site if you exchange links with good high traffic web sites, but for building ranking one-way natural links are needed.
The links must be SEO-friendly: static, direct, and without ‘nofollow’ attribute; they must be on a page that has some PR, surrounded by text content related to your web site theme and not more than 30 other web sites links. More links on a page will devaluate “piece” of PR your web site gets from the page.
Web directory that offers such links is called SEO friendly web directory and is really worth even paying some small amount for submission because your link will be found and indexed by search engines in just a couple of days and it will be a “plus” to your web site link popularity.
2. What listing to select?
Usually web directory listing consists of linked title, URL, and description, and also can display web site home page thumbnail, Page Rank, detailed description, reviews by visitors, and other. Listings can be free, free with reciprocal, regular paid, and paid premium.
Free listing is a regular listing, its plus that you pay nothing for inclusion, but this type of listings doesn’t guarantee permanent place for your link because newly submitted links will move it to the further pages with lower PR.
Option of free with reciprocal link listing you can select in a paid directory if you don’t want to pay but want to add your web site. Some web directories consider this type of listings as a kind of premium, and give benefits of placement to your link until you keep their reciprocal link alive.
Regular paid listing you may pay for inclusion to a really good web directory, which is SEO friendly and will really give positive results to your web site promotion.
Premium paid listing is always placed above regular listings and can be added to top categories pages with good PR. Such type of listing guarantees permanent top place until payment expiration, which can be monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Often premium listing allows deep links submission, i.e. link to internal pages or sub-directories of your web site, that is good for your web site promotion.
3. How to find good web directories?
Of course you can use search engines but better is to use categorized list of reviewed and rated web directories at special web sites like http://www.criticdirectory.com, http://www.directorycritic.com, http://www.addurl.nu/, http://info.vilesilencer.com/ where the directories are reviewed by hundreds of webmasters so you don’t waste your time on submission to useless directories.
As you will see from the lists, there are general and niche web directories. Always start submission from niche web directories related to your web site theme, because links from relevant resources will be more useful for your web site, and then go to general web directories.
4. How to submit your web site correctly?
There are some tips and secrets and you really need to know them to get high ROI for your money and time spend on submission. Follow these 5 tips to make web directories work for your web site:
4.1. Make sure that it is a SEO friendly web directory
Links must be direct, static, and SEO-friendly, i.e. search engine robots will easily find and index your link. View the web page source code by right clicking on the page and selecting ‘View Source’ from the drop-down menu. Look at the page meta tags, namely ‘ROBOTS’ and make sure it doesn’t contain ‘NOFOLLOW’ or ‘NOINDEX’ attributes.
Look at the links codes – they must be placed within tag ‘A’, ‘URL’ in ‘HREF’ attribute must be pointed directly to a linked web site, not redirect from the web directory domain link. Links must not contain ‘NOFOLLOW’ attribute.
4.2. Find the best place for your web site link
The best place is page with good Page Rank, easily and shortly reached from index page of the web directory, that contain relevant text and links.
Browse a web directory categories and/or subcategories to find the best placement for your link. It’s very important because link, placed on a page with text content relevant by theme to the web site’s theme has more value in eyes of search engines. If your web site fits more than one categories or subcategories, select the one which is reached by less clicks from the home page, and/or has less other web sites links on the pages, this will give your link larger ‘piece’ of Page Rank.
4.3.Follow the web directory submission guidelines
If the online web directory meets all these requirements you can start composing your link. Always before starting submission you should read the submission rules or guidelines, because if your submission is failed to meet them, your web site will be denied.
Usually typical submission guidelines are quite simple and within the common sense rules – your web site must be legal, developed (no landing page or under construction), must not be related to racism, hate, illegal activities, etc.
If you try to submit such web site regardless of the guidelines, most likely your submission will be denied because most of web directories are human edited.
Another reason for your web site to be denied is that you selected wrong category for your listing – some web directory editor may fix it, but another one will just delete the listing.
Let’s also talk about deep linking – this is when you submit internal page of your web site like www.yoursitename.com/pagename.html instead of top level domain www.yoursitename.com
Deep linking is a SEO tactics for getting links, which look more natural in eyes of search engines, and it helps promoting certain web site pages or sections as well. Not all web directories accept deep links for regular listings – most of them offer this for premium paid submission only. If you want to submit internal page link to a web directory, read before starting what the directory submission guidelines tell about this to avoid deletion of your listing.
4.4.Write proper title and description for your link
Title of your link is very important because usually it will be linked to your web site as anchor text that has great impact on your web site search engine rankings, so do your best writing title for each link you submit, however do not stuff the title with keywords only because this may cause rejection of your submission by the directory editor. Write normal informative phrases describing your web site topics, services, products, ideas.
If the web directory submission rules allow using 2-3 keywords or key phrases in the title and description, do not miss that chance; however try to ‘mix’ the keywords with other normal words.
Do not exceed the allowed limit of characters otherwise your title will be truncated or the whole listing rejected.
Vary the link title and description at least slightly for each submission to make the links look natural in eyes or search engines. When search engines find hundreds or thousands of links to your web site with the same anchor text (title) and description, they just discount the links value and your money and time were wasted to no result in rankings. It’s enough just to change one word in title and phrases order in the description from directory to directory, and use different keywords for every 10th web directory to get natural links for your web site and improve its rankings for all the keywords.
Remember that human users are also interested in your web site listing and if will follow the link if they find its interesting and useful. That’s why to use normal language for the title and description, that takes attention of the users and prompt them to click the link.
4.5. Write down all web directories you have submitted your web site to
The first reason for this is to avoid repeated submission to the same web directory because this may cause the first submission rejection or deletion. Also it’s just helpful and handy to have summary list of where and when you submitted your web site, so in few weeks you can return and check if your web site has been added, because some web directories send notification about web site inclusion but some do not and you have to check it manually.
5.How often to submit?
When you start submission you may have list of up to 500 web directories. Process of reviewing and approval by editors usually takes up to several weeks, so even if you submit your web site to all of the 500 web directories at once, the links will not come up same day and your web site will not be penalized for too rapid links getting. However it’s better to keep submission limit reasonable, remembering that the links must look natural in eyes of search engines. So just submit about 100-200 links weekly and after 2 months you will see complete results.
New web directories appear every day and almost all of them are free at the beginning of their life, so you must be hurry to reserve a good place for your web site link because after several months the most of web directories will become paid, and their popularity and Page Rank will grow due to promotion efforts of the owners.
6.Automated submission vs Manual
Submitting your web site to web directories you will notice that some web sites offer automated or bulk submission to 500+ or even 5000+ web directories. Are the services worth trying them? Yes, if a submitter allows using different titles and descriptions for different directories, because if he submits 500 or 5000 links with the same title and description for your web site there is a risk of penalizing by search engines, or just they will discount these links considering them not natural, so you will waste your money.
Bulk submission is great when dozens of hundreds of web directories are owned or managed by one person or company and they can add your web site to all of the directories, however again, ask them if there is a possibility of using different titles and descriptions for different directories, at least for each 5th or 10th.