Thursday, October 11, 2007

Website directories: vital for success

If you really want to get your website a lot of exposure, you're going to have to get it listed in website directories. Why? Three reasons:

1. Search engines will use your websites' inclusion in them (two in particular: Dmoz and Yahoo) as a sign that your website is an authority on your keywords, and rank your site much higher in placement for your keywords.

2. You'll receive traffic from the directories

3. Your Page Rank and keyword weight will increase when you've got lots of backlinks with your keywords in the anchor tag (see my other posts) and you'll get a higher ranking in a search for your target keywords.

The two most important website directories to submit your site to are Dmoz (The open directory) and the Yahoo Directory. Google's search algorithm gives a high advantage to websites listed in these two directories. Both take forever to get yourself included in, and Yahoo is not free, but it's worth the wait and money if you're looking for real exposure. Make sure your site contains quality content and is well-built, submit your sites to both of them, and wait (a while - sorry) for your traffic to increase upon your site's inclusion.

Smaller directories are worth getting in to for two reasons: visitors to your website, and backlinks. While you may not get a lot of traffic from each, multiply 10 visitors per directory times a hundred directories, and you've got yourself 1000 visitors. Not bad for a day's (or an hour's - see below) work. Also, the backlinks you get from the directories will add to your PR.

Make sure you have your target keywords in the title you provide the directories - they'll use that as the URL anchor text when linking to your site.

Also, stay away from paid listings at first if you're doing this on the cheap - paid listings are useful later once you've built up a bit of traffic to your website and increased your PR. Just go with free directories - many will add your site for free if you backlink to them.

So, the general method here is to find a list of website directories, visit each one, enter your info, submit the listing, and wait. If you have to do this manually, it will take forever. So what I do is use a program called Directory Submitter. It is a nifty program that has a list of over 2500 directories built-in, and when you visit a directory within their program, it will autopopulate all the fields with the desired information, saving you *tons* of time - you can submit to 10 directories with this program in the time it would take you to do one manually. It's great for me too as it tracks multiple websites you want to submit and tracks who you've submitted to - a huge time saver. If you've got multiple sites and want to submit to a lot of directories, then Directory Submitter will do the trick nicely.

The added traffic you'll get from submitting to directories is really worth it, so if you're trying to build traffic to your site and you haven't submitted your websites to the Big Two directories and the smaller guys, give it a try and watch your traffic soar.

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