It is time to turn our attention to
submitting to directories. To reiterate from the previous newsletter,
when submitting to directories like the Yahoo! Directory, Open Directory,
and Business.com you have to go to the directory site, select the most
relevant category, and find the appropriate link to their submission
form. For the directories you generally have to complete a detailed
form filling in all the blanks of required information. Paid Advertising
Placements and Pay-Per-Click campaigns will be covered in the next newsletter.
Tips & Techniques
Unlike the major search engines, directories are maintained by human
administrators. Some directories permit free submissions, while others
require you to pay – just like the search engines. Popular directories
· Yahoo! – http://www.yahoo.com/
· LookSmart/Zeal – http://www.looksmart.com/
· Open Directory – http://www.dmoz.org/
· About.com – http://www.about.com/
· Business.com – http://www.business.com/
When submitting your Web site to a directory you can
expect to wait a longer period of time before seeing your page appear
in their index. In general, you can expect to wait between two and eight
weeks unless you pay a fee for an expedited review.
For example, the directory aspect of Yahoo charges $299.00
for an expedited review. When you pay the fee, Yahoo will review your
site for inclusion within seven business days. There is no guarantee
they will include you; just a guarantee they will review your site and
consider including you. Figure 1 gives you a look at the Yahoo! directory
submission options available to you.
Figure 1: Suggesting a site to the Yahoo! Directory.
It generally takes longer
to be indexed in a directory because you have human administrators who
review every page submitted before adding it to the database. Make sure
your page is easy to use, visually appealing, free of errors and performance
issues such as a poor load time, rich in unique content, and prominently
displays the company name as well as the contact information. It is
the administrators who decide if your page is worthwhile before they
include it. Pages with that do not meet the requirements of the administrator
will not be added to the directory – whether or not your abide
by best practices in Web site development can make or break you when
it comes getting listed in directories.
Submitting to the Directories
When you submit to a directory, you will have to take the time to find
the best category for your site. Submitting your site to the wrong category
could mean a minimal increase in traffic if no one thinks to look for
you in the category you submitted to. Also, your site may not be added
if you select an inappropriate category.
When choosing categories you want to pick one (or two
if the directory permits you to do so) that consistently gets listed
near the top of results for popular searches and that accurately represents
your Web site. Use the keyword phrases you have gathered to date to
help you identify good categories. If local traffic is important to
your business you should look at submitting to the regional categories
found on most directories. Likewise, look at where your competitors
are listed in the directory for an indication on where you should be
focusing your efforts.
LookSmart’s Travel category contains subcategories
including Activities, Destinations, Lodging, Transportation, and so
on. These categories are then often broken down further into other categories
within the subcategories. The deeper you go, the more specific the category
Unlike in a search engine, your site’s position
in a directory depends much less on Web site design and more on the
initial submission process itself, which is why it is important to review
each directory’s submission procedure and submission tips. You
will be asked for a lot more information when submitting to a directory.
The title, description, and any other information you give them during
submission are what will be used to rank your site.
The keyword researched you performed for optimizing
your Web site is every bit as important when it comes to directories.
You must use your important keyword phrases when filling out the directory
submission forms. Again, for best results be sure to review each directory’s
When submitting to the search engines and directories,
take the time up front to develop the submission material carefully.
Organize the information in a logical order in a text file. Then, when
you go to submit, you will be able to copy and paste the content to
the appropriate fields on the submission form.
This approach gives you a starting point and will save
you time when submitting your Web site. You will need to tailor to each
directory submission because they all have unique submission requirements
and you want to be sure to follow them to a tee to lessen the risk that
a directory editor might change your submission entry to suite their
personal requirements. You want your listing to appear in your words,
with no edits!
Be sure to spell-check, check, and recheck everything
before you start. Spellcheckers won’t pick up misspelled “works”
if that word is also in the dictionary. The information prepared for
each page on the site to be indexed should include:
7-word, 10-word, 20-word, 25-word, 50-word, and
100-word descriptions for the page (Different directories allow
different lengths of description.)
List of related keywords for each page
Description of the ideal audience for the site
Category and sub-category you should be listed
under for the different directories you plan to submit to
Telephone and fax numbers
Pay careful attention to your titles and description.
When it comes to supplying a page title a directory will typically want
you to keep it restricted to your company name. In some cases they will
provide you with additional direction on supplying a descriptive tagline;
however, your company name will be required to accurately represent
your company or organization. Proper punctuation and capitalization
is a must.
It is a good idea to create a number of different descriptions
of varying lengths because the different search engines and directories
allow different description sizes. Start off creating a descriptions
consisting of 7, 10, 20, 25, 50, and 100 words. Make sure that you use
the right length description for each directory, because you don’t
want it to be altered when displayed in search results. Editors are
notorious for editing descriptions if your submission does not meet
the directory’s guidelines or even the editor’s style. When
submitting to a specific directory it does not hurt to observe your
category to look for a common theme in the descriptions and modify yours
to follow suit.
Your description should be compelling. When you get
your site to appear in the first page or two results of a search, the
description is what differentiates your site from the rest. It is the
description that will entice a prospective visitor to click and visit
— or pass and go to a more exciting site.
Always use keywords in your description. Apply the most
important keywords first because keywords used farther along in the
description are generally given less weight by the major search engines.
If possible, use keywords in combination with other keywords, but make
sure your description flows naturally. Round off your description with
a call to action. It is amazing how many people do what they are told.
When submitting forms to directories, be very careful
to fill in every field on the form. Some of the search engines will
reject your registration automatically if you have not filled in all
the blanks. When you have to choose categories, select them very carefully.
It would be a shame to have a great product, great price, and a great
site, but be listed in a place where your potential customer would never
think about looking for you. I cannot stress this enough - read the
FAQs or instructions first to ensure that you understand exactly what
information is being requested. Proofread your submission at least twice
before you hit the Submit button. It isn’t quick or easy to change
listings if you make a mistake. Your listing may be wrong for quite
a while before it gets corrected.
Create a log of all your submissions. Capture all of
the content entered during the submission process along with the directory
URL and any contact information acquired from the directory. This will
save you many headaches down the road should you need to request a change
to your listing.
Tools & Resources
For a refresher or if you missed the first two newsletters in the Search Engine Optimization series you can view them in the archive on by Web site at:
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 1
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 2
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 3
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 4
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 5
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 6
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 7
Link popularity is a closely related topic and I advise you to review the article on my Web site at:
Visit my Web site at http://www.susansweeney.com