Submitting your website to Internet directories is a great way to build inbound links and increase your search engine rankings.
Directory submissions should be done when your website is fully functional and ready for viewing. All the pages should have content and all the links should be live. Even if it is only a one or two page site, everything should work. Once your site actually has some content it will almost always get listed in the Internet directories.
When choosing directories to submit to going for the paid ones can often be better because many of the free directories seem to automatically delete links after a year or so.
Submitting to a combination of both niche and general directories is usually a very good idea.
For most businesses there are a variety of niche directories out there - the best way to find them is to use a search engine. Do a search on Google, Bing or Yahoo for directories in your niche area - those that come up in the first few pages of results are usually the best ones to use.
With general directories it's better to go for those that are more established. The older directories are often the best.
Before submitting, have a good look around the directory and get a feel for which category your site should be listed under.
It's important to make sure that the content on the directories site is "relevant" to the section in which you are trying to list your business. Check and double check, and if you can't find a category that explicitly describes your products or services, go for the nearest descriptive terms.
Some directories will let you use a search phrase as the link back to your site. Other directories may have stricter policies and insist that you use your business/website name.
It is best to keep your descriptions brief, cold and detached - with no superlatives - as you are not trying to aggressively sell anything on the directory. The aim is to get a back link so the search engines can find and visit your website.
It is a good idea to have several different descriptions and titles (anchor text) for the various directories to which you submit your site. You could write perhaps five or six different descriptions and anchor texts. This variation in descriptions could help with the amount of key words on which you are trying to compete.
Many directories allow you to add extra links directly to the internal pages of your website. But quite a few don't, so you need to be discerning before attempting this. A good idea is to check out the linking policies of all the directories you visit.
If the directory allows you add extra links to your internal pages you should take turns in linking to different pages of your website using different variations of the phrases you're targeting on each page. Using the same anchor text to link to the same page over and over again will appear unnatural to the search engines and this could work against you.
There is not a fixed number of directories you must get listed in. It's best to work out a twelve month directory submission budget for each site and then do so many each week or month for the full duration.
Be warned that most directories have human editors and often frown severely on multiple submissions. However if you have a big site with multiple categories, you can place your subcategories as sub domains and submit in different sections of a directory.
All the directories want to offer a first class service. If they are good at listing what people and search engines are looking for, they will get plenty of traffic. To achieve this, they need interesting, relevant listings. This is why some people find it hard to get listed. Unwittingly, a lot of sites try to get listed on paid or unpaid directories without submitting content under the right categories and even try to send multiple submissions using the same words and phrases. This will definitely make directory submissions hard to get. You might even be blacklisted.
However, the more directories that link to you, the better it is for your website.
Most SEO consultants submit to hundreds of directories, and there are free and paid resources that can help you (in a semi automated fashion) to do the same. Be warned, any software that guarantees full automation is probably lying, since most directories now use graphical images to verify whether the entries are being made by humans or automated software.
Here are just a few paid and unpaid directories to get you started:
You should always keep it in mind that you are submitting to directories in order to increase your back link count. And the good news is that search engines consider links from directories to be very good, since the links have been vetted by the human editors on the directory.
Read more articles about PC repairs, Web design & SEO...