How Do I Register with Online Directories?
The eMarketing experts all agree that getting inbound links to your website is very important in improving its visibility and keyword performance. One quick way of generating links is to sign-up for online directories. This article explains what they are and you you go about getting your link online.
What are directories?
A directory is a list of businesses organised in pre-defined categories, available to people searching for a particular service.
The categories will depend on the type of directory, but for a business based directory the category structure will normally reflect industry sectors or products/services.
Traditionally when you think of a directory you might think of the Yellow Pages or the BT telephone book. Today, a lot of directories are moving online to help the customer find a service at the click of a button. The Yellow Pages has been doing this for years through www.yell.com, a paid online service where businesses can be found by business type, name or location.
Why use directories?
There are two good reasons:
- Directories can improve your search engine rankings because they provide a trusted link to your site, and
- Many web users go to directories to find the products/services they are after so you can increase traffic to your site.
So in short, you can advertise your business to a wide audience and drive more traffic to your website.
A directory listing can benefit any type of business but it pays to target those directories that are most relevant to your business. For example, as a plumber you might register with www.yell.com because this is a general consumer listing but an electronics company might use www.applegate.co.uk which specialises in electronics and business services. But you can register on as many directories as you choose.
Some directories are free and others are chargeable so decide how much you want to pay before selecting a directory. In some cases you have the option of a free, simple listing or a bigger, paid advert.
The benefits can be seen in ‘Why use directories’ such as creating a higher search ranking and increasing traffic to your website. It is also worth noting that in some directories you do not need to list a website, your business can appear with other contact information such as telephone number.
But of course, if you have a website it is worth including it because search engines regard clicks from directories to websites as trusted links which can help your overall search position.
Usually a basic directory listing will ask for the category of business, name, address, contact information and services. If you opt for a more advanced listing or advert, you will have the option to include more specific information on your business.
Which directories should I register with?
It depends on the nature of your business, but the first thing to do is register with the general directories that the search engines make use of when compiling their index. Google uses a directory called DMOZ and Yahoo has its own directory called the Yahoo Directory . Other major directories are listed on the ISEDB website www.isedb.com
When you have registered with the major general directories consider other industry specific directories. Examples include Applegate, a business directory focused on industry, manufacturing and technology, or
The Engineering and Manufacturing Directory which provides a list of companies providing engineering and manufacturing products and services in the UK.
You should also consider local directories which classify companies by their location. Research has shown that many search enquiries are for products and services within a 10-15 mile radius so it is important to associate yourself with a town, city, district or region to pick up these searches. Some examples of local directories are Thomson Local , Google Local and Up My Street
Google Local is a dedicated facility on Google’s search engine, displaying companies
in localised searches on a location map. To find out how to register in Google Local and appear free of charge download download our free instructions.
How do I find relevant directories?
There is no quick way; it is a case of searching the net and finding them. However this is made easier by the fact that the major web directories will also list the industry specific directories, so for example DMOZ has a page for engineering directories. Make sure that directories are relevant for the market you are trying to sell to.
What Should I Avoid?
Unfortunately there are lots of low quality directories out there. You may even find yourself targeted by people offering to list you on a 1,000 directories for #50. Such offers should be ignored and you should avoid sites that don't look right or that also list adult sites, instant weight loss tablets etc.
You can also check the Google PR rating for sites by installing the Google Toolbar on your browser or using websites such as Prchecker . It is probably best to choose directories (or other websites) that have a PR of 3 and above.
Author: Steph Williams, The National B2B Centre, email@example.com