Successful submission of your site to major internet directories, such as Yahoo, Looksmart, or the Open Directory, require a specialized approach, significantly different from that necessary to success with the standard spider based search engines.
The evaluation of your site by these properties will be done manually, via either paid or volunteer editors, who are charged with the responsibility for ensuring that only sites of the highest quality achieve listings in each of the directories. In this circumstance, overall site quality, in the areas of presentation, content originality, speed of download, and general navigational ease will present themselves as primary in ensuring that a listing is achieved.
Rankings within that environment, once listed, will rely strongly upon only a few basic areas, including given title, description, and the category of listing. As many of these areas are entirely managed by the editor responsible for your selected category, ensuring basic site appeal and value can strongly impact their willingness to use your suggested title, and/or description, thus ensuring a high ranking.
The following outline the basics of ensuring an appealing site prior to submitting:
Rule #1 – Create Appeal
A site that is clearly put together quickly, and unprofessionally, does little to interest an editor who spends his or her day reviewing all manner of properties, including the very best. Take the time to develop your site properly, or utilize a skilled designer if you have not the time, or the interest to do so on your own. As noted elsewhere at Online for Success, keep the navigation intuitive, the pages quick to download, and the content well organized. All of these factors serve to assist in achieving an editor’s approval.
Rule #2 – Don’t Jump Too Quickly
Before submitting your site, ensure that all aspects of its construction are complete. There is little that will turn an editor’s eye elsewhere more quickly than a site with non-functioning links, or “under construction” graphics. If the property is not at a state of perfection, save the submission until you achieve it, as to submit early will surely result in the denial of your listing request, and potential difficulty with re-submitting down the road.
Rule #3 – Follow Their Rules
Each directory property has their own terms of submission, which is generally incorporated into their submission page(s). Take the time to read and understand these rules, as a failure to do so can result in either non-inclusion, or at worst, permanent banning of your property from the directory involved.
Once your site is fully complete, and of absolute value to the editor, and visitors it will achieve, it is imperative to understand the impacts of your submitted title, and description, as well as the category you select for the listing request. All directories follow a similar process, though the actualities of how listed sites are ranked during a search remain largely unknown.
The most important factors to consider when preparing your submission to Yahoo, Looksmart, or the Open Directory include:
The title associated with your site is often dictated by the given name of your business. In most cases, directory terms of submission will inform submitters that all business sites must use their given name for listing. This is to help avoid scenarios where all ranking-aware site operators suggest names that begin with “A”, or “123”. As listings are generally alphabetical in the directory area, these issues can have a strong impact on traffic from that location.
It is also best to avoid listings that merely note your URL, such as onlineforsuccess.com . The combined format of this title would result in an inability of the search function to discern the keywords within that title, reducing the opportunity for search related success. Obviously, an important feature of your title is these incorporated keywords, which can often be dictated at the moment you select your domain name. Keeping this factor in mind early can be of substantial import at this juncture.
As noted earlier, the final site description is always the decision of the editor involved in the evaluation process. It is imperative to recommend a description that will be effective, based upon standard keyword strategies, and satisfactory to the editor’s intent to provide only an accurate outline of your site’s content.
Incorporate carefully placed keywords that relate entirely to your site’s content, in as appealing, and efficient a manner as possible. Avoid suggestions that are mainly hype, as they do little to impress the area editor, and can result in a description entirely generated by them, which may miss the mark you were aiming for entirely.
Take the time to review other site descriptions in your category of interest, following their example to determine what the appropriate number of words, and keyword selections are effective for them. Do a search to see which sites rank highest, and determine the most potent mix of keywords and category to achieve that type of ranking for your internet property.
Due care taken pre-submission will ensure a positive impact on your business via the traffic, and thus sales, that can stem from a solid directory listing on sites such as Yahoo, Looksmart, and the Open Directory. Research thoroughly, implement carefully, and then prepare for your own version of online success.