Directory Submission is probably the oldest trick in the SEO book. It is a practice that dates back to a time before even the search engines (I call it the BSE era; I know, hard to imagine, but such a period did exist in the Internet past). Its real potential was understood and utilized only after the advent of search engines and there was even a period in its long and eventful history when Directory Submission was considered an almost mandatory SEO practice by experts everywhere, a period when directory submissions alone could go a long way in getting a site to the top of the SERPs.
Of course, when big players like Google began to get smarter and (even) bigger, the focus shifted a little to other methods and tactics. Regardless of that, Directory Submissions remains very prominently in the SEO picture, continuing to be the SEO method of choice for millions of website owners.
From SEO veterans with years of experience to new-to-SEO website owners, a host of people with varying levels of expertise turn to Directory Submission everyday, because they all realize that they have to first take the baby steps and be steady on their feet before they can make the giant leaps. Directory submissions are those baby steps, the ones that will place them firmly on the path to SEO nirvana.
Over the years, as is the case with anything enduring, it has come under fire for its effectiveness, or lack thereof (according to some), but my money’s worth is the fact that Directory Submission has continued to hold its own and is relevant even today, in what I call the Twitter Age, alone is a testimony to its effectiveness.
Many of us forget or fail to consider just what Directory Submission involves and how it can best aid our SEO efforts – indiscriminately submitting a site to a bunch of directories will hardly prove to be effective or helpful. There are numerous factors to consider before you submit to a directory – questioning the efficacy of the method if you can’t bother to follow procedure is unfair; and follow procedure you must. Smarter search engines, tougher-than-ever competition, innumerable new directories and ever-changing SEO trends have made it crucial that directory submissions are done with utmost care and any possible help from experts.
I’ll stay true to my role and do my bit to help you with your directory submission efforts. Listed below are the basic dos and don’ts to consider while submitting to a directory, follow them to make your directory submissions more effective.
1. Submit only to directories that are recognized/indexed by search engines. Don’t submit to a directory that uses the ‘rel=no follow’ attribute for a link, this will prevent search engines from accessing your site from that link.
2. Ensure that the directory has a well-organized category structure. Submit your site to the most relevant category. Sites submitted to inappropriate or unrelated categories may be rejected or removed.
3. Read and follow the directory guidelines before you begin the submission process.
4. Include your target keywords in your anchor text, but don’t resort to ‘keyword stuffing’.
5. Keep track of your submissions. Document your work for future reference, as directories don’t accept duplicate submissions.
6. Try to use the domain email while submitting your site. This increases the chances of approval.
7. Use relevant long-tail keywords instead of popular, head keywords as your anchor text/title. The competition for head keywords is very high; it is nearly impossible for a new site to rank high for such keywords. Instead use niche or specific long-tail keywords and key phrases.
E.g. “handcrafted lace dresses in Georgia” instead of “dresses”, if you have a site promoting a store in Georgia that sells hand-crafted lace dress.
8. Have as many titles and descriptions as possible. This will allow you to target multiple keywords in your anchor test and also eliminates the possibility of search engines disregarding duplicate titles and descriptions.
E.g. “Hand-Crafted Lace Dresses In Georgia”, “Lace Dresses In Georgia”, “Hand-Crafted Lace Dress” and “Dresses In Georgia” are some of the titles you can use, for the same site promoting a store in Georgia that sells handcrafted lace dress.
9. Keep submitting to directories from time to time – do not stop. You need to show Google and other search engines that you are serious about your site and its rankings.