How to make your Directory Submissions Work for You

Directory links can still be very effective provided you know how to make the most use of them. These links can serve as the foundation for your backlink profile and help you target a broad set of terms, which would otherwise be very difficult to target with other link building methods. While getting links from directories cannot serve as the only link building strategy you engage in, it should definitely feature as one of the many strategies you choose to adopt – it adds to the diversity factor in your backlink profile. Refer to the previous chapter for an overview of how to structure your overall link building strategy.

It’s important that when doing directory submissions, your site is submitted only to directories that are indexed and cached by the search engines and where the links are seo-friendly (crawled and followed). We regularly check the directories for these criteria and are quite strict about the ones that go on our submission list.

What benefits can you expect from submissions to these directories?

  • The links you get will be permanent one-way links where you don’t need to link back
  • You benefit from a more diverse anchor text profile since you control your links with the titles and descriptions you write
  • You can expect improved rankings in the near term for well-targeted long tail terms that are not over-competitive
  • You can also expect improved rankings for broad based terms if your current link profile is strong and diverse
  • Further ranking boost for terms which are ranking already

What will your directory listings look like?

Most directory listings have three components –

  1. Title (anchor text) – this is the title of your listings and is what is usually the link to your site
  2. Description – A short description of your website
  3. Display url – The url of your website

Given below is a screenshot example of a few listings in a directory:

Best Practices Guide – Getting the most from your Directory Submissions

Ordering with Directory Maximizer is a simple two-step process – i) add the site details to your account, ii) choose from the submission options available and make the payment. Simple as they may be, these steps, especially that of adding your site details, are very important because filling in the right information is the key to the success of your links.

The key area of focus when adding your site details is the titles and descriptions you enter and the key area when placing an order is the quantity you choose. While there are no hard and fast rules for how you use these options, we have a few suggestions from our experience that should help your site get better results.  If you are unsure of how to add a site to your account and how to place an order, please refer to our step by step instructions on how to add a site and how to place an order. The purpose of this guide is to focus more on the best practices that you could follow.

Best Practices for Writing your Titles and Descriptions

We provide an option to enter up to 20 different titles and descriptions (technically, you can get more than 20 but that’s a topic for another discussion). So, how should you go about writing your titles and descriptions?

Well, there are two things you need to think about when writing your titles and descriptions:

1) Diversity in your Anchor Text Link Profile – you want links with as many different text variations so as to make your link profile look more diverse and natural.

2) Relevant and Worthy enough for Directory Approval – you want to ensure that you’re not only thinking about how your links are framed but whether they’re relevant and decent enough to be approved by the directories. Essentially, directories don’t want titles and descriptions that are too promotional and over the top, they should read well and reflect the sites’ purpose.

Our recommended strategy for achieving diversity:

The titles you write are what become the links to your site, so that is where you target your key terms and control your diversity. Your titles should ideally target a mix of:

40-60% brand/domain based keywords +  30-40%  long tail terms + 10-20% broad commercial terms

To be more specific to your site profile:

For Brand New Sites with little to no link authority

For a new site, we’d recommend that you start with 70% of your titles consisting of brand/domain based keywords and 30% targeting long tail terms.  From the second/third order onwards, you could reduce the ratio to 40% brand/domain based keywords and increase the target on long tail terms to about 40% while also targeting a few broad matches in the remaining 20%.

For Established Sites with a decent link profile

If you have an established link profile that consists of a natural mix of terms already, then you could start with 50% of the titles relating to your brand/domain name and the remaining distributed over a mix of long tail and broad based terms.  Over time, you could reduce the dependency on brand based terms to 40%. Ideally, you would still want to maintain a steady stream of brand based terms over time to ensure your link profile looks more natural.

Examples of Titles

Examples of brand/domain based titles:

For the website (dummy site), which is a real estate based site, the domain/brand based titles could be “Shelter Realty California”, “Shelter Realty, Inc.”, “Shelter Realty – Agency in California”. If the brand name is short enough and space permits, you could also incorporate some key terms after a hyphen. For example, “Shelter Realty – Houses for Sale in California”.

Examples of titles targeting the long tail:

A  long tail term is basically one that is not as frequently searched for but whose search volume when combined with other long tail phrases can account for a quite a bit of targeted traffic. These terms deliver lower traffic volumes but ranking for them is substantially easier because of the lesser competition and hence they make sense to target. Using the same site of a real estate agent as an example, some long tail terms could be “Find a Real Estate Agent in {City Name}”, “View Listings of Houses for Sale in …” It’s good to have a mixture of such terms in your titles and to keep changing them ever so often with every subsequent order.

Examples of titles targeting the big broad terms:

The remaining titles could focus on your ‘money keywords’ like “Homes for Rent”,  “House for Sale”, etc.  While these titles will target the broad and highly competitive commercial terms, it’s necessary to have some of these links as well, which when coupled with links from other strategies targeting the same terms can work remakarbly well.

Adding Titles & Descriptions in Directory Maximizer

We allow you the option to add up to 20 titles and descriptions initially when adding a site. These can be edited anytime using the “Edit Site” feature. Given below is a sample screenshot of a site being added with 3 different titles and descriptions in Directory Maximizer.

How you can control the the submissions ratios of your titles and descriptions:

Let’s say you want to target 60% brand name keywords, 30% long tail and 10% broad terms and you wanted to submit 10 variations of your titles (the more variations you use, the better). So what you could do:

Option 1

Enter 6 titles and descriptions targeting your brand term. Now all these 6 don’t have to be the exact same terms, ideally you’d even want to use variations in your brand name targeted terms by including some terms after a hyphen if possible, e.g. “Shelter Realty”, “Shelter Realty – California Agents”, etc. If you wish to just stick to one version, it would still be recommended to enter 6 different descriptions because it can only help in diversifying your link profile. Once you’ve entered the 6 titles, you would similarly add another 3 titles targeting the long tail phrases and then another remaining 1 title targeting the main term. These titles would then be rotated equally in your submissions and if you chose to submit to 100 directories, it would go in the same ratio of 60, 30 and 10 submissions each.

Option 2

An alternative to option 1 would be using the “Distribution Ratio” feature to prioritize your titles. You would use this option if you didn’t want to enter too many repetitive titles and descriptions – this would serve as a shortcut to serve the same purpose.

Set Distribution Ratio

You can assign a distribution ratio of 1 to 10 to your titles and descriptions (10 being the highest). By default, the distribution ratio is set to 10 and if all titles have the same distribution ratio set, it would result in equal distribution of the titles and descriptions. If one title has a distribution ratio of 10 and the other 5, it would mean that the first one would be submitted twice as many as times as the second. In this case, to achieve an approximate ratio of 60-30-10, we would have the first title set at 10, the second at 5 and the third at 2. So for an order of 100 submissions, how it would work is: 1st title => 10/17 [total weight of all ratios] * 100 = 59 submissions; 2nd title => 5/17 * 100 = 29 submissions; 3rd title = remaining 12 submissions (100 – 59+29).

Setting a distribution ratio is only an option and we would still recommend the first option where you repeat the same title but you write a different description for each. Given below is a screenshot sample of the distribution ratios set:

Using the Distribution Ratio Feature

How Many Directory Submissions are Ideal for a Site?

We get asked this question ever so often from our customers.  We recommend starting with submissions to 500 directories and using our “slow submission” option to spread it over 5 weeks. Once the initial order is complete, we’d then recommend subscribing to the option of 100 directory submissions a month. This will ensure a steady stream of links over time.

However, to repeat ourselves and more important than the quantities you choose, it’s important to regularly edit your titles and descriptions to ensure an ever evolving link profile that only becomes more diverse over time.

Next Post: How to Effectively use the Premium Paid Directory Service?

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