No matter what type of website you have created, whether it is a custom e-commerce store or a blog – chances are you did not create the website to have it sit there and do nothing. One way to get more traffic, and to let your target audience know that you exist, is to submit your site to directories. Unlike search-engines, in order to appear in directories on the web you usually have to create a profile with the directory and submit detailed information about your business. Some directories also charge a yearly fee.
There are several major directories, and a few not so major ones. The more you get your name out there, the better your chances of success. However, if you have never submitted your website to a directory before, you might be wondering where to start. Here are some tips to get you started.
Choosing The Directories
When you are first starting out with a custom e-commerce store, you may have grand illusions of appearing first on Google’s search results. The truth is, it takes much time and effort to get there. The first thing that you need to know is that while search engines crawl the web each day to discover new sites that have been created, you will have far more luck in submitting the website to the directories yourself. In general you will find two kinds of directories. General, and local. These are not usually mutually exclusive.
Start off with the major directories – this will save you time and effort in the beginning. When you submit your site to the major directories, some smaller directories will also pick up your listing and include it automatically in their own so you will get greater exposure for less effort.
Dmoz – http://www.dmoz.org/ (free)
Yahoo – http://dir.yahoo.com/ (monthly fee and free options)
Make sure you submit your site to local directories because a significant proportion of searches are local ones especially on mobile devices. Google officially says http://searchengineland.com/google-local-now-40-percent-of-mobile-proximity-becomes-a-ranking-variable-97654 that 40% of mobile queries are related to location. All the major search engines also have a local directory that you can submit your business to. These are must-have listings for anyone seriously looking to get found on search engines.
Google Places – http://www.google.com/places/
Yahoo Local – http://local.yahoo.com/
Bing Business Portal – http://www.bingbusinessportal.com/
There are many thousands of business-specific directories and these are a great source of relevant traffic. It requires a significant effort to find the best ones for your business. Don’t just submit to any site. You have to make sure the directories you submit to are legitimate and will help your business. Otherwise you will find your efforts could back-fire and instead of improving your site’s ranking you are lowering it.
Don’t be afraid to seek out help. If you had a company create your custom store, why not ask them to help with website directories as well? Many companies who offer hosting services and website building services also help build up your website’s presence by submitting your custom e-commerce store to the website directories for you. If they do not offer this service you can always opt to outsource the work.
Submitting your custom store can take a bit of effort, but avoid getting sucked into the quick fix option. Do not fall victim to the ads that claim they will submit your site to hundreds, if not thousands, of directories for a fee. There is no quick fix, each submission requires manual input of your website details and the more quality submissions you have, the better your chances of success.