Saturday, January 26, 2013

Submitting Your Website to Web Directories

Updated 1/18/24 

If you have recently launched a website, you may be wondering how to get it noticed. New websites may take weeks to get “crawled” by search engines – a delay which can transform the heady, champagne-guzzling high of a website launch into a nail-biting, pillow-punching pit of despair. Ignored websites are like those trees that fall in forests in which there are apparently no animals with auditory capabilities.

Once you have passed that trial by fire, there is another one awaiting you. The search engines have found your website, but there is no traffic – other than members of various networking sites you have entreated to please visit! Now is the time to list your website on a web directory.

Web directories are not search engines. Search engines display lists of websites based on keywords found on the pages of your site. In contrast, a web directory lists websites by category and subcategory. Most web directories are run by people, usually volunteer editors. This can make the process of listing your site just as slow as a search engine. But it is worth the wait, because directories also include descriptions of the website's contents (written by you). A good, detailed description provides increased incentive for people to visit your website.

Important Tips for Website Submissions

Because website directories are organized by category (and staffed by harried humans), it is important to do the following:

  • Find the most relevant category for your website, including sub-category.
  • Include your most important keywords in your description.
  • Observe submission guidelines (read them first!)
  • Keep your descriptions concise and informative. (Your description is not an ad, avoid words like “best” and CAPS.)
  • Look at the titles and descriptions of websites in the same category. Make yours similar in tone.
  • Don't submit to a number of directories all at once. Search engines respond to a progression of new links each month.

Free directories

About Us

Currently, more than 9 million people visit each month. Aside from listing your website, AboutUs provides a great “Home Page Analysis” to help you maximize your SEO. The analysis not only indicates problems with meta-tags, descriptions, and images, but will explain how to fix them. (I used this feature to improve the subheading on my site listings.) Highly recommended.

R-TT Web Directory

This directory is organized by area of interest. It includes a section on "Arts." It doesn't get quite as much traffic as About Us or All the Websites, but it's free.

Paid Directories

Best of the Web

Best of the Web was founded in 1994 at SUNY Buffalo. It introduced the concept of recognizing the best sites online (through an annual vote). Best of the Web has long since abandoned their web awards, but it continues to maintain a list of high-quality, spam-free websites. The company employs a team of paid editors that search the web for sites with original content, taking into account user-friendliness and normative web standards. Best of the Web lists both commercial and non-commercial sites, which are reviewed by paid editors. (Best of the Web also maintain a Blog Directory which lists the best blogs online.)

As far as increasing traffic to your site, Best of the Web is considered one of the best directories to get into. 

Website Directories Lists

There are literally hundreds of directories out there. With the plethora of web directories, many of which may not apply to fiction writers (although most do list author sites), you may want to check out the most reliable and well-regarded sites before you start listing. Below are three well-organized and informative lists of directories. Go through these to find the niches that apply to you.

Best Web Directories of 2022

With a little research, careful planning, and a judicious selection of where to list your site, your author's website can achieve not only greater exposure, but some SEO that is better than … (something else with three letters).

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