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Understanding Web Directories

As a website or blog owner, you know the importance of finding different ways for driving traffic to your website. While search engine optimization is paramount, there are some other techniques you can and should be implementing when marketing your website. One such technique is to have your site listed in a number of web directories.

What is a Web Directory?

A web directory is a specialized website on which other websites can obtain links. The sites listed on this type of directory are split up according to category and most directories will only let a webmaster list a website under a few categories. These sites don’t generally show up on search engines but are a great resource for those who use them regularly.

Web directories aren’t like search engines. The links are only categorized by the type of business represented and do not contain anchor text like you would use in a traditional search engine optimization campaign. The listings are usually for the site’s main page, not for sub-pages and deep links.

So if your listing won’t show up in the search engines, why should you be using web directories?

Garnering Direct Traffic

Believe it or not, there are people who prefer traditional directories over search engines. They know the type of business they’re looking for and they want direct referrals. If you are a plumber, your site will be categorized under “plumbing” and won’t necessarily be mixed in with a bunch of product sites and articles that simply used the keywords well. The traffic you get from web directories will be targeted to your niche.

High Exposure

Many of today’s hottest we directories, including those run by ODP (Open Directory Project) and Yahoo! are incredibly popular. Having listings in high-profile directories will, over time, help to drive tons of traffic to your website. That traffic will help to improve your site’s standings in the eyes of the search engines and, in turn, your SEO campaign and targeted keywords may receive more traffic as well. An SEO friendly web directory, allowing listings to contain keywords, can be even better for your site’s traffic.

Types of Web Directories

There are, of course, several different types of web directories to choose from. Some are free, allowing users to submit their sites as they wish. Others require site owners to place a link back to the directory on the website that was submitted. Some even require payments for reviewing the links before they are listed and some will place your listing based on the amount you pay. Others are no-follow, meaning the search engines may not even pick up on the existence of your link, whether it contains anchor text or not.

The use of a web directory can have a significant impact on the success of your website and its marketing plan. Make sure you spend some time submitting your site to some of the web’s most prominent directories. Before long, you’ll have more traffic than you know what to do with.

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