Increase your traffic
using Website Directories
Directories are places where users go to
find websites, just like they do with search engines. However, there are
significant differences between the two. For people who are trying to
increase visitors to their sites, it is important to understand these
differences in order to succeed.
Search engines normally accept almost any
site or page that is submitted to them without looking at its quality, but
directories usually only accept sites that offer quality information.
Because all sites submitted to directories are reviewed by actual people,
lower quality sites rarely get accepted.
So, before submitting your site to any directories, make sure that your site
is completely ready. Directories list sites, not individual
pages. In normal circumstances, you should only submit the front page of
your site to directories.
Which directories are the most effective?
The most important ones your site
should get into are Yahoo, Looksmart and DMOZ, also known as Open
Directory. There are a few other interesting ones you might want to submit to, but
they are far less important than the "big three" above. Do
submit to them if possible, but focus on Yahoo, Looksmart and DMOZ, since
they provide much more traffic.
Submitting is relatively simple. Most directories consist of different categories and subcategories, each
consisting of sites related to the name of the category. You'll just need
to find the category (or more often, subcategory) that best fits the topic
of your site.
This can be done by either browsing through
the directory or by doing a search on the keyword that best describes your
site - often the directory will return a few categories that are relevant
to your site and you'll just need to choose the one that seems to be most
accurate. Usually, it is best to submit to the most detailed category that
applies to your site; if your site is about programming in C++, you should
submit to >Computers>Programming>C++ instead of
It is wise to spend some time to search the
most accurate category for your site, since submissions done to the wrong
categories are usually just thrown out. In addition, the category you
submit to will be the category you're going to be stuck with for the rest
of your site's life, and getting stuck in the wrong category might cost
you some heavy traffic.
The submission process
After you've found the right category for
your site, it is time to move on to the actual submitting process. This is
an even more delicate part than the last one, so keep on your toes. The
first thing to do is to carefully read the directory's 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.
Nearly all directories will ask you to give
the title of your site and a description of it when you are submitting.
Put some thought in creating these, because they can significantly boost
or reduce the amount of traffic you'll get from the directory. When
writing your description, don't stuff it with words like 'best' or
'cheapest', and don't use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Write a short (15-25 words)
description that accurately describes your site, and try to make it sound
like an impartial review.
It would be also a good idea to check how
the descriptions of the other sites in the same category are written and
use them as a model. If possible, make sure that one or two of your best
keywords are included in the description, but don't just stuff them there.
Your description should sound like it's a natural sentence. If the editor
thinks your description is little more than a list of keywords, he'll
reject it and write a new one that may not include even a single keyword.
Having one or two of your most important keywords in your description
often helps your site to be found when a user searches the directory
instead of browsing it.
If you later decide that the description
you entered the first time isn't good enough, it is possible to contact
most directories and try to get your description changed to a better one.
Unfortunately, it is usually very difficult and very time-consuming to get
directories to change the description of your site at a later date. Thus,
it is heavily recommended that you try and get it right the first time.
Your title should be brief, it is not a
place to list all your products and services. If possible, the title
should include your most important keyword in it and start with a letter
that is near the beginning of the alphabet. 'Automobile World' is better
than 'World of Automobiles', because many directories list sites in
alphabetical order and getting listed near the top can boost your traffic
from the directory.
Since the title MUST be the official title
of the site and it must be used on your pages, this might require you to
change the name of your site. In addition to this, the title must sound
like it just happens to start with a letter near the beginning of the
alphabet, or it will get edited. The same rules that apply to the description apply to the title - no
promotional hype, no all capital letters.
After you have entered all the information,
remember to check it for any possible typos or errors in spelling. Be
extra careful with your URL, since a typo in it would result in
your site never getting reviewed. Then, cross your fingers and hit the submit button. Good luck!
You'll usually get an E-mail if your site
is accepted, but rarely if it is rejected. It is thus sometimes hard to
know whether your site has been reviewed and rejected or if it is still
unreviewed. If you don't get an E-mail after a few days and your site has
not appeared to the directory, don't panic. Wait a few weeks until
resubmitting your site; many directories are flooded with submissions and
will get annoyed if you don't give them enough time to process the
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