Directory submission vitals

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Search marketers submit to directories for two reasons: to aid search engine rankings and to increase traffic to their sites.

Outside the few well-known directories (e.g., Yahoo, Business.com, DMOZ), how do you determine which of the other general directories and the thousands of business and vertical directories are worth your time and money? Here are the vital details you need to consider:

Evaluating a new directory

If your main goal is to aid your search engine rankings, ask the following questions:

ò Are links search engine-friendly (not in JavaScript, not buried behind form fields, not behind no-follow tags)?

ò What is the directory home page Google PageRank?

ò What is the home page SEOmoz Page Strength?

ò What is the quality of the sites in the directory? (If you find only spam, it's not worth your time.)

Selecting the right category

When evaluating a large directory such as Business.com, you will often find multiple categories that could be a perfect match. When this happens, choose the most accurate category and consider:

ò Pagination and where you think you will be placed within the pagination (the closer to the category main page, the more value passed to your site).

ò Total links on the page (the fewer the better).

ò Number of clicks from the home page (the fewer the better).

ò The category that scores the highest across these elements is the one to choose.

Submitting your site

Before submitting, read the terms of service and guidelines thoroughly. They will specify items such as what can be included in the link text and whether you can be listed in multiple categories.

Write your description to match the writing style used in other listings for your chosen category.

When you are ready to submit your site, use a corporate credit card and generic e-mail address so that the information is tied to the company and not to an individual who may leave the position or the company.

Tracking the vital details

When submitting to directories, log all information, including submitter's name, phone number, e-mail address, name on the credit card and last four digits of the credit card number.

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