A key part of your search engine strategy is to get quality inbound links coming in to your site. Web directories are popping up by the dozens on a daily basis, so here are a few simple tips for getting your site listed.
1. Prepare your site
Most quality web directories will review your website, so get it ready. one of the first items to set up is a links or resources page that is linked from the main website. On this page you will be adding banners and text links of directories that require reciprocal linking. Some directories will want you to add their banners or text link on the main page, many will also want to see that their link is on a page that is indexed and that links from somewhere else within the Website Directory. The sooner you place this page up on your website, the quicker the chances the links page will be indexed by the search engines.
2. Prepare your content
This is critical. Why waste time trying to remember your keywords and site descriptions, prepare before hand. Write out a list of 10-20 relevant keywords about your site.
The most common items that are asked for are: Title, Site Description and URL. Some web directories go further in detail, but you'll find the majority have these basic fields.
Most quality directories accept only the official website or company name for the title, but some will accept a variation. Write at least 3 variations of your site title because this in most cases is used as the link tag to your site.
An example of this would be: 'Web Directory Review', 'Reviews on Directories', and 'Web Directory List'
It is good practice to also write 3 variations of your site description as well. Write a 30 word description, write a 250 character description and write a long text version of the description of your website. You will need these because each directory asks for different formats and lengths.
Save this information in a simple text file so that they are easy to copy and paste when submitting your information.
3. Get organized
You may have your own methods, but a simple spreadsheet will help you keep track on where and when you submitted your website information. List things like; site, directory category or type, URL, date submitted and whatever you feel is relevant. Using a spreadsheet is great because you can always refer to it in the future when you have other sites you wish to submit your information to. This way you will know what works and what doesn't.
4. Create a separate email address for submissions
For the most part, directories do not spam to their email list, but do on occasion send you information about their services. This will also help you manage who is accepting your submissions or not. A simple email forwarder is fine or you can create a separate email address for this. Try to keep the address on the same domain that you are submitting your site for.
5. Search for directories
Enter terms such as 'Submit your site', 'Add URL', 'Free website submit' in any of the search engines such as Google, Yahoo or MSN. If your site is specific to an industry or specific category, try to narrow your search results. Example: 'Submit your site webmaster directory'
6. Use form fillers
These tools are amazing because they assist in automating and speeding up the submission process. Search freeware or shareware databases for form filler tools. Some of them take a bit to set up, but once you have them configured, submitting your site to the common directories will become simpler.
7. Evaluate the site
Before submitting to a directory, check to see the quantity and quality of the site. Google Toolbar is a simple and handy tools to use to check page rank, back links and more. Also check to see if the category of the website is indexed or not. You may be submitting your website to a category that has been banned or in not indexed. This is a waste of time. Record you findings within your spreadsheet.
8. Check the links offered.
What you are looking for is direct links to your site and what you want to avoid is redirects to your site. The redirects provide no value at all within the search engines. Dive deeper and view the source code for the web directory.
9. Check the category links
Watch out for directory with long URLs for the category address. A good directory will have them named or 2-3 levels deep. Sites with long URLs may have difficulty getting indexed in the search engines.
10. Submit and be patient
After submitting your site to a web directory, move on to the next one. To sit and wait for your site to be approved is a waste of time. Most directory owners receive tens if not hundreds of submission per day. In most cases the approval time can be anywhere from 1-4 weeks to get your site approved.
Related Post: How to Write a Website Directory Submission