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Tips for getting listed in Web directories

The rules for being listed well in directories are completely different from the rules about getting listed in the search engines. Your Web site needs to be in the most appropriate category, and directories do NOT have the same categories. Plus, some directories allow a 15-word description. Some allow 30 words. Some allow 200 words. Directory submission is very time consuming because you need to have a strategy for different directories. Link popularity goes hand in hand with search engine optimization. Link popularity affects rankings in many major search engines such as FAST Search, Google, and Inktomi.

Web submission strategies:

  1. Research each directory and the directory categories individually.
  2. Determine the best description for your Web site for each directory.
  3. Add your home page to the directory first, then submit specialized topics within your Web site.
  4. Make sure your unique selling proposition (USP) is also in your directory description.
  5. Write descriptions of varying lengths and keep in a text file to cut-and-paste in the submission form.
  6. Check your site statistics software regularly to see when you have been added to a directory.
  7. Whenever possible, use the paid/expedited submission programs.
  8. How directories rank sites.

Research each directory and the directory categories individually.

One of the biggest mistakes people make during directory submission is not doing the necessary research. In order to be listed in a directory (which will be approved by another human being), you must prove that you belong in that directory in the category that you have selected.

The best way to do this is to select the most appropriate category and to write a concise, accurate description that already resembles descriptions in the targeted directory. Reason? Make it easy for the directory editor to approve your submission. If you are able to imitate the editor's style when describing your Web site, you can increase the chance that your site will be accepted and your site description will be unaltered.

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Determine the best description for your Web site for each directory.

Go to a directory and type in your most important keywords in the search box. Study the different categories and descriptions. Base your site-description style on Web sites that were already accepted in that directory.

If a directory does not have a category for your type of business, suggest a category that is similar to categories already in the directory.

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Make sure your unique selling proposition (USP) is also in your directory description.

Even though your description should resemble the description style of other sites listed in your targeted category, your description should be unique. So if your company specializes in 3 types of services, mention those 3 types of services in your description. If your company targets a particular audience, mention that in your description as well. Just be sure that your description is not identical to other descriptions in your category.

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Write descriptions of varying lengths and keep in a text file to cut-and-paste in the submission form.

Directories vary in the number of words they will accept in a description. Thus, when you write your descriptions, write 7-, 10-, 15-, 20, 25-, 30- and 50-word descriptions.

Make sure your most important keywords are in every description, but do not try and stuff too many keywords into the description. Directory editors do not want to read a list of keywords.

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Whenever possible, use the paid/expedited submission programs.

Since most of the major search services measure link popularity, the faster your site can be listed in the directories, the faster your site can receive referrals from the major search services.

We rarely use site submission software for directory submission. Submission software rarely accounts for the variables in the different directories.

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Check your site statistics software regularly to see when you have been added to a directory.

If your site has not been added to a directory within the lead time, then resubmit to the directory after 4 weeks. Keep track of your dates of submission, categories, descriptions, and titles.

In the event that your site is not accepted into a directory after 3 submissions, then it is safe to contact a directory representative directly.

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Add your home page to the directory first, then submit specialized topics within your Web site.

If your Web site has been approved for admission into a directory, then your specialized topic Web page stands a better chance of being selected for a different category.

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How directories rank sites.

If your title, description, and category contain keywords, then your site might appear toward the top of directory queries. However, if your company name does NOT have keywords in them, do not add those keywords in the submission. Directory editors will remove them anyway, and you do not want them to suspect you for spamming.

Always choose directory listings carefully, both the general directories and the industry-specific ones. Make sure your content is good enough to clearly belong in the categories you have selected, which means that your Web site must contain unique information.The keywords should always be in the right frequency and the right places for the search engines, but good content should always be on your site for the best directory placement.

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If you liked this Web site design tip, here are more links to related design tips and articles from Omni Marketing Interactive:

If you have any questions about Omni Marketing Interactive's search engine optimization (SEO), Web site usability, information architecture (IA), or Web design services, please call us at 847-426-4256.


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