Directory Submission should be a key component of your overall online marketing mix and can, when properly implemented, provide a strong and relatively rapid boost to your site’s ‘online equity’ as measured by the major search engines by driving relevant links to your site from in particular well regarded and ranked directories.
Online directories specialize in linking to listed web sites by category and subcategory, based upon the nature of the website in question rather than analysis of a group of keywords or content on single pages.
The lower quality directories are simple automatic submission and listing sites whilst higher end (and higher value to your online marketing effort) directories require human editors to review the submission and site content to ensure relevance and quality before listing in one or more categories.
The weight of opinion and evidence supports manual submission into a targeted range of directories provides a better return on your investment than the ‘low cost, wide coverage’ solutions offered by certain companies. This eliminates the use of ineffective directories and avoids any negative ranking which can be caused by repeated low rent directory submissions.
Search engine criteria for determining value or ‘link juice’ passed to your site by a directory can be summarized as follows:
• Directories with an enforced policy of manual submission and editorial review (ie a human editor!) carry a lot of weight with the major search engines. A directory which will turn down payment rather than include a substandard entry carries huge weight with the search engines. Relevance and quality of content are highly valued and can only be meaningfully established by human editors - who in fact do the head work the search engines cannot!
In addition to this primary consideration, other qualities which should be considered when choosing directories to submit to are:
- Clear and declared editorial policy and quality control process
- Back links from authoritative sites on directory category pages
- Good returns from category listings when you test drive the directory
- Webmaster chatter about the site - is it positive?
- Regularly reviewed and pruned listings to remove outdated entries
- High profile brand ad placement - shows additional confidence in their listing and editorial quality
In addition to the obvious (Yahoo and DMOZ), we review the submission requirements as part of the overall SEO strategy and marketing mix. This allows us to focus not only on category listing but also article submission into those article directories which pass the most value to your business. This can include niche industry or trade directories specifically referencing your market space as well as those directories serving the marketplace as a whole.
A well thought through manual submission program targeting quality web directories will deliver additional targeted traffic, quality back links and one-way links, improved relevant search results and search engine visibility and a higher Google Page Rank, all driving your online equity upwards as in integral part of your search engine marketing strategy.