Web directories play an important role in internet marketing even today, helping website owners diversify traffic sources and find new customers. But so many directories have been penalized by Google or are no longer updating their listings. How do you know which ones you can still count on?
Let’s explore a few things you should look for in a web directory before submitting your website in 2018. Then I’ll share ten web directories that offer real marketing value—from ones connecting you with local customers to broader directories that have stood the test of time.
3 Things to Look for in Web Directories in 2018
The key to finding reputable web directories these days is looking for ones that offer real value and rise above the “link farm” herd. Here are three things to look for that will help you sort the worthwhile from the worthless.
1. Directories that market themselves to end users, and not just website owners –
When a directory is a true resource to your potential customers, it’s more likely those customers will search there for businesses like yours. Local directories are a great example of this, helping buyers find businesses they want nearby.
2. Directories with high editorial standards –
You don’t want links to your business website in “bad neighborhoods” with spammy and scammy websites, or with irrelevant ones. Quality directories don’t instantly approve listings. Editors review every submission carefully, and they’ll sometimes even add their own vetted suggestions. Remember, the higher quality the directory is as a resource overall, the more credibility it has (and the more credibility it lends you.)
3. Directories that focus on benefits to you that they can actually provide –
Years ago, Google penalized a lot of web directories it found to be of low value. It was common at the time for directories to promote themselves as sources of “link juice” for SEO. Those days are in the past. If you plan to use directory submissions in your marketing in 2018, focus on ones offering true value—connecting you with actual customers (or readers, or subscribers, or whatever you’re targeting,) In other words, look for directories that have a purpose beyond SEO.
Now let’s look at some specific directories you may want to consider.
10 Web Directories That Can Still Help Your Website
Here are 10 web directories still worth submitting your website or business to in 2018. They’re broken down into two separate groups to help you find what you need—general web directories and local business directories. And each group is sorted in alphabetical order.
General Web Directories
These first five options are general directories which publish links and profiles for a wide range of sites. Whether you run an online business or a brick-and-mortar store, these give you a good place to start.
Alive Directory is a well-established general directory that features strict editorial oversight to maintain the quality of website listings found there. You can submit your business website not only to general industry categories, but to appropriate categories within your geographic region, helping you connect with the right potential customers.
Aviva Directory was founded in 2005. While primarily a general web directory, Aviva Directory has something that sets it apart—it also features a separate blog directory. That’s a good way to separate content-focused sites seeking readers and subscribers from business websites trying to sell products and services. No matter what kind of website you run, Aviva should have a relevant home for your listing.vvv
Best of the Web (BOTW) is a general web directory that launched back in 1994. Similar to Aviva, it helped set itself apart from other general directories by adding more specialized ones to its site. In this case, you’ll find a blog directory, UK-specific directory, and local directory in addition to the primary general web directory.
Jasmine Directory, founded in 2009, is another option that made a name for itself for its human-edited standards (no automatic submissions) and the quality hand-picked sites editors added. Unlike most directories, Jasmine even labels editor-chosen listings to separate those sites from ones submitted by site owners. It might not sound ideal for you as a site owner, but it actually tells visitors your site was deemed worthy of being listed alongside those top hand-picked resources. And that lends your own listing more credibility.
Jayde is one of the oldest web directories, launched in 1996 as a B2B resource. While technically a “business directory,” Jade is general enough in scope that your website is bound to find a home here no matter what kind of product or service your company sells. Don’t stop with your submission though. Browse Jayde to find your next service provider while you’re at it.
Local Business Directories
These five local directories will help you find businesses near you, whether you’re at home or on-the-road.
Help Bing users find your business by claiming your existing listing or adding a new listing to this Microsoft-powered directory. By claiming your listing, you can verify and add information about your business, including photos and service information, telling customers what they really want to know before visiting or contacting you.
Directory Journal launched in 2007 as a general web directory, and has since turned its focus to local search. This directory makes it easy for visitors to search for business types near their location, or they can browse businesses by category to find things they may not have thought to specifically search for. DirJournal also offers an extensive collection of content in its network of blogs as well as online resources to help you better manage your business website.
Submitting your business to Google My Business is a no-brainer, especially if local customers are important. You’ll get more control over how your business information appears not only in Google’s usual search results, but also in Google Maps results (such as when someone searches for nearby restaurants or bank branches). For example, you can let customers know your store hours, website, phone number, and street address so they can find you.
Yelp might be most known for its customer reviews and ratings of businesses, but at its heart it’s still a local web directory. If you want to find local businesses to visit, you may rely on Yelp to tell you what’s around. While the reviews get the attention for their social proof, you want your business on Yelp mostly to help customers find you.
Yellow Pages is perhaps the oldest directory—and one of the best known—on this list. What began as a printed local business phone directory is now so much more. Today, the Yellow Pages brand represents a trusted source of local business listings online.
Do you have a favorite web directory not on this list that you’d still recommend? Why do you think it still has value today when so many directories have lost importance in recent years? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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