The buzzword of the hour is ‘SEO’. It has transformed the architecture of sites, brought about many new jobs, and is now considered vitally important for those that want to take their online operations to the next level. In its simplest form, search engine optimization (or “SEO”) is about doing everything you can to boost your natural ranking in the major search engines. The algorithm that ranks your site (despite variations across engines) is a compilation of many different variables. There is no one magic secret or special key you can turn. The goal is really to check off as many variables as possible from that algorithm. The kicker is that, for the most part, we don’t actually know what is contained in these algorithms that are so important to us. We can, however, make educated guesses. And there are several aspects of SEO that most, if not all, industry professionals agree on. One of those factors is the importance of link-building.
The Internet was built upon links. Sites link to one another to guide users through relevant information. Since these links basically mean, “there’s relevant information on this site,” each link pointing towards your site counts as a “vote” towards it. These votes help improve your natural ranking, especially when coupled with a well-built SEO friendly site. The big question is, of course, how do I go about getting other sites to link mine? Fortunately, the answer is an easy one, because there are many well run search engine friendly directories that would be more than happy to link to your site as part of their directory.
But the most popular directories receive thousands of applications to review. As such, they develop rules and guidelines for your submission. These rules are put in place to ensure that the submission and approval process can flow as smoothly as possible, as well as to help the directory select only the sites that are, in fact, relevant. And so the question returns: how do I ensure that my site gets accepted into the high-quality, top web directories?
It is very easy to adhere to the rules of a web directory with very little effort. In addition, because the editors of any directory are really looking for the same things, the rules from web directory to web directory tend to be very similar.
Count Those Characters:
One of the big rules imposed by directories has to do with the length of your title, description and keywords. If there were no limit, some people would write an essay for descriptions and cram in every possible keyword. Let me assure you that no directory editor wants to review a site application that could be broken up into chapters! Directories impose restrictions that essentially force you to be straight to the point. You might not be able to say everything about your site, so pick the most important points and go with that. Before you start submitting anywhere, sit back and write a few well-formulated descriptions that span 100, 150, 200, and 250 characters. One of those four levels will generally work in any web directory you come across. Once that’s done, most of the hard work is out of the way. Now all you have to do is look for the character requirements, copy and paste your blurb of that length, and you’re all set. The same thing holds true for keywords, so prepare a few different options so that, come submission time, it’s just a matter of picking the right one.
Would You Approve A Spam Filled Site Application?
Do not spam your directory listings. That can’t be more clearly stated, yet for some reason, people still do it. You are never going to get listed in any human reviewed directory when you try this tactic. An example of this would be that if you sell widgets, when you submit your information you repeat the word ‘widgets’ in your title, description, and keywords as many times as possible. Typically comprehension takes a back seat as the focus becomes cramming the word in as many times as possible. Directory editors hate this and it’s a very easy rejection. If you think that even attempting to spam like this is helpful, you might want to think again. If you spend time submitting to web directories with poorly articulated, spam-filled information, you are going to get rejected. You’ve then wasted a lot of your time and gotten absolutely nothing in return.
Choose The Right Category:
Web directories are sorted by topic and editors typically take great pride in ensuring that everything stays well organized. A tiny little bit of effort on your part to choose the right category can vastly improve your chances of being listed without any delay. The reason is simply that if you are an editor and you want to approve a site, you probably only have to click one button. But, if that site chose the wrong category, then you need to edit the application to modify the category (and now the editor has to find the correct category in the hierarchy!), which takes more time. If you are the editor sitting there with thousands of applications to process, it’s much easier to click the ‘reject’ button than it is to start fumbling through categories. So, put yourself in their shoes and do them a favor, because ultimately it’s you and your site that stand to benefit when you are approved.
A successful web directory submission campaign is when you maximize your time so that you get listed in the most directories possible. By following the above tips, you can help ensure you get approved, which goes a long way towards achieving your goal. With everything pre-written and good intentions to play by the rules, you’ll be flying through your submission campaign in no time.