In part 1, we had a look at making sure your website is actually indexed by search engines, and then leveraging the power of Google Maps. Now we are going to have a look at utilising directories to do a couple of things at the same time.
Directories can not only provide a place for people to find you in but can also be used to benefit your search engine rankings.
Directories provide a great place to begin your link building which we will talk about in the next article. As directories are often crawled regularly by search engines, it means your website can be easily found by them, and as your website will generally be in a section of the directory with other related websites, it gives the search engines a better idea of what your website is about. Subsequently, they assist to make searches more relevant. Since we all want people to be able to find us, we need to make sure that our website is considered to be as relevant as possible to our target area. Directories help to do this.
Let’s have a look at some great free directories to get listed in.
DMOZ.org – The Open Directory Project
2017/11/08 – EDIT: DMOZ has shut down.
DMOZ.org, the Open Directory Project is a great one to start off with, primarily because it can take a long time to get listed in depending on the category your website falls under, so the sooner the better. Head over to DMOZ.org and browse to the sub-category that best suits your website. There’s any number of ways of finding the sub-category that best suits you, but I find the most efficient method is to start with the “Regional” category and select your regional location. So if you are in Australia, jump to the “Oceania” category, from there, select “Australia” and finally, select your state. From this point, you could have a look at municipalities, localities or regions, and then locate the category that best suits. If it doesn’t exist, then you could start off looking for the category you need and then break it down to the nearest region and so forth, basically the same process but in reverse. Once you’ve found the right place to put your website, click “Suggest URL” from the menu at the top of the page and follow the instructions to submit your website.
Got that one under your belt, now let’s have a look at something a bit more local. Have a look for some local, state or country business directories, if they are directories specifically for your area, even better. If you can find larger directories on your topic area, such as a global design directory, then that’s great too. Some of these directories charge for a listing, some give free listings with a paid upgrade and so on. The Yellow Pages online directory is a great example, they used to offer paid listings only but now offer a free listing as well. Arm yourself with a list of directories, I have a few directories that I suggest starting with for Australian businesses, these won’t necessarily be relevant for other countries though unfortunately. If you aren’t in Australia, I recommend starting with the main business ones that offer free listings, followed by the free ones that are most relevant. I’m not going to go into paid listings in this article, if you are looking at one though, see if you can get a free or trial listing first to establish what benefit, if any, a paid listing might have.
Let’s have a look at the Yellow Pages, this one is pretty simple, just head over to http://www.yellowpages.com.au/ and click the “Submit Your Listing” link. Fill in your details and click “Submit”. The problem with the free Yellow Pages listing is that they will definitely try to sell you a paid listing and will likely call you to try and do so. In my experience with them up to this point, they won’t list your free listing until after they have tried to sell you a paid listing. If you stick to your plan to establish a free listing first to determine if there may be a benefit from a paid listing, then you should be fine.
Next up, let’s have a look at some other Aussie business directories. Hot Frog, Dlook, Big Roo and Street-Directory.
Hot Frog is one of my favourites as it is free, it’s easy, they aren’t pushy about selling a premium paid listing (I’ve had one email a year), and their free listings are search engine friendly. I often come across websites that are listed in Hot Frog and the Hot Frog results come up higher in search queries than their own website does! Ideally, you would want your website higher, but either way, it’s sending traffic in your direction so its a good thing. To add your website, just head over to the Hot Frog home page and click the big “Add your business now” button. It’s fairly straightforward and is broken down into 6 steps to simplify the process. Follow the instructions and you should be fine!
dLook is an Australian directory that offers both free and paid listings with an intuitive, easy to use search interface that allows users to search for your business based on the name, type or location and even allows a radius to be specified on the location. There are numerous links to submit your site to dLook, click the big “Get Started” button, “Advertise on dLook” link, or just head over to http://www.dlook.com.au/advertising.php where you can see a comparison of the free and paid listings and determine what is best for you. As with the others, I suggest starting off with a free listing. The paid listings do offer some nice benefits, such as a search optimised listing and other added functionality. However, if you have your own website already, the extra functionality will most likely overlap with functionality on your own website. Click “Add free listing” to go ahead with a free entry and follow the instructions. dLook does send out a regular newsletter to registered website owners, but I don’t find it to be much of a problem.
2017/11/08 – EDIT: Big Roo appears to have closed down as well.
Big Roo advertises themselves as being an Australian search engine and their homepage is similar in appearance to that of Google. They are quite easy to use and their listings are search engine friendly, so they will eventually show up in other search engines as well. Like dLook, Big Roo offers both a free and a paid “premium” listing. To add a free listing, click the “Add a Free Listing” link above the search box, or head to http://www.bigroo.com.au/Add_a_Free_listing.4.0.html where you will be shown a comparison of free and premium listings. Click the “Submit a New Free Listing” and you are on your way. Big Roo is very simple, so you shouldn’t have any trouble adding yourself. Big Roo sends out occasional emails with news or updates, but they rarely try to upsell you to a premium listing. In my opinion, Big Roo is probably one of the better directories if you are looking at a premium listing.
Street Directory is a great Australian directory as it provides a more map-based approach to the directory listings and allows users to search at the physical address level. To add your site, scroll down to the “New Sites” section and click the “Add Your Site” link, or go straight to here http://www.street-directory.com.au/sd_new/Login.cgi?LogReferer=http://www.street-directory.com.au/sd_new/AddBusiness.cgi. You will need to create an account using the “Sign Up Now” link and then follow the instructions to add your website.
The directories I’ve listed here are the main ones that I recommend any new Australian business website be added to since they handle numerous categories and have quite large user bases. Are there any other general ones I’ve missed that you use, or that you think should be in this list? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to have a look for directories that target your particular niche as well. It could be a photographer directory, a directory of personal trainers, sports instructors, food suppliers, clothing distributors or anything else. There are directories for so many topics, if they are related to your business area, they are all the better for reasons that I will be talking about in the next article on generating links from other websites to benefit your search engine rankings.
We are also compiling a list of directories that are worthwhile submitting your website to.
I hope the second part of our guide on free things you can do to help become the centre of attention has been useful to you, if you’ve enjoyed this article, keep an eye out for the next section on link building.
Part 3, links, is now available here.