It’s amazing how many articles claim that directory submissions are an antiquated way of driving traffic to your website. Link directories are still extremely valuable, though, even if they’re not used in the way you think they are. Plus, they’re totally free to submit to, which means the only thing you’re spending is your time. That’s a small price to pay for additional traffic to your web pages.
“Yeah, but I’m already part of a directory: Google.”
Actually, Google may be the biggest search engine in the world right now, but it’s not technically a link directory. Directories organize links under categories and sub-categories. Search engines, on the other hand, comb the Internet to find whatever it is you type into the little box.
“Whatever. People aren’t looking through directories, though. They’re looking on GOOGLE.”
We know. The point of submitting to directories isn’t so that when one person looks for tips on how to potty train their cat, they’ll look through nine different sub-categories to get there. We realize that nobody is going to do that, especially when your best friend, Google, is just sitting there waiting to be used.
What you don’t know is that search engines use directories to return results. The more directories your website or web page is listed on, the better the chance that someone using a search engine will find your page. While you may not sift through a long directory to find exactly what you’re looking for, search engines will.
“Fine. How long is it gonna take me to submit my link, then?”
The bad news is that you have to manually submit your links to the directories of your choice. The good news is that once you sign up for a website, it’s a no brainer to submit your link. Yes, there are websites that will automatically submit your links without you having to lift a finger, but they’re not recommended. I know it’s a pain to add something else to your “To Do” list, but it really is beneficial to use directories that require manual submissions. Link reviewers check out your link before they approve it for the directory. This means that search engines will value those particular directories because they know the submitted links are of high quality. The more quality link directories your site is on, the higher each search engine will rank your page.
“So I have to submit links to directories and search engines, now?”
Nope. As soon as you submit a link to a directory, search engines will index it. Search engines crawl the Internet regularly to find and index created and updated links, starting with the links listed in directories. Plus, even if a new search engine rises up, they’ll do the same exact thing. You’ll need a list of directories that you prefer to submit links to, but you don’t have to worry about adding links to search engines on top of it.
“Isn’t this kind of the same thing as a link exchange?”
It’s better, actually. Web directories value websites and pages that have one-way, inbound links. These pages are deemed better than sites that use link exchange tactics to drive traffic to and from their pages. Link directories don’t ask that you list their name and link on your website, which means you’ll increase your one-way links. It’s also less of a hassle than a link exchange because you don’t have to update your website every single time you have a new link to submit.
“I learned a ton about SEO in 2012… Should I scrap all that knowledge?
Never! SEO is still highly valuable. One avenue of content marketing doesn’t make another less important. People are still always using keywords and phrases to search for hot topics, right? You can even use SEO when you submit links. Directories let you name your links, which means you can create an interesting title, complete with SEO keywords. This makes it even easier for search engines to catalog your links.
“I’d be on board, except I really can’t add another expense to my marketing budget.”
You don’t have to. Most link directories are free to use. You’ll have to sign up and create a profile, but otherwise, the only commitment you make is to yourself. Be wary of any directory that requires you to pay a fee.