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If you are reading this article, more likely than not you own a website that you would like to see become a success. To achieve that level, you need traffic to your site. But where does traffic come from?
One of the better ways to get traffic for your site is to submit your site to the many directories that exist online. Online directories are similar to your phone book yellow pages: These directories are categorized (education, entertainment, health, etc.), and when you submit your website, you suggest a category for your website. Often, you will even be able to submit to a sub-category within a major category. For example, suppose your website is about aromatherapy.
In your submission request, you would suggest “Health” as your main category, “Alternative Medicine” as your sub-category, and “Aromatherapy” as a further sub-category.
Some of the leading online directories are Yahoo!, MSN Small Business, and the DMOZ directory. Unlike search engines, however, listings in online directories are usually not free. As of this writing, you can submit for free to the Yahoo! Directory (http://dir.yahoo.com), but there is no guarantee on how quickly your website will be reviewed for listing.
If you need your site reviewed faster, you can pay Yahoo! $299 US for “expedited” service and they will review your site within seven days. However, this fee is a yearly recurring fee. Your website is subject to a yearly review, and is guaranteed neither initial inclusion or to remain listed year after year.
The MSN service is $49 US, and it functions more like a search engine submit service. Their submission service incorporates inclusion in their own small business directory. DMOZ, on the other hand, is free, but because it is operated by volunteers, it could be a while before your site is included. Your best options are to submit to DMOZ and pay for the MSN and Yahoo! services.
But why should you spend money? Can’t you just optimize your site for the search engines? You can, but not everyone goes to a search engine for what they are looking for. For example, if someone is searching for gourmet dog treats, they may not use a search engine. Instead, they might go to one of the online directories and look at the listings, much like someone would use the yellow pages in their phone book. Your investment in gaining inclusion in the online directories will pay off for you in a multitude of ways:
1. You will increase traffic to your site. Your site will be included in the online directories, as well as the search engines, and this will help you gain traffic as people search directory listings and find your website.
2. You will increase the number of backlinks to your site. If the directory pages are listed in search engines, the link they provide for your site will be listed in the search engines. This benefits you by creating more ways for people to find your site. Ultimately, this will provide more traffic for you.
3. Submitting to directories is a quick way to gain links. Optimizing your site for the search engines is very difficult and time-consuming.
It can take a lot of time to learn how to write for the search engines. In the meantime, any links you can get will help you with the search engines, and submitting to directories will get you links.
4. Submitting to directories is relatively inexpensive, and a good investment. As stated earlier, you can submit to Yahoo! and MSN for less than $350. DMOZ is free. If you run a search for online directories, you will find many more where you could submit inexpensively, or even for free.
In short, submitting to online directories is one of the best ways for you to build traffic to your website. In the end, you need traffic to survive online. So get started!