Every directory has their own set of guidelines that they follow when approving sites. Summarized below is a general set of guidelines that most directory editors would follow when deciding on whether to approve a site into their directory. Ensuring that you follow these guidelines when submitting your site will give you a better chance of getting approved.
These guidelines have been broken down into the 7 aspects that most editors would look into with regards to your submission:
- Url / Domain
- Site Content
Each directory has its own criteria where titles are concerned.
Some directories do not allow the usage of keywords in the title and only allow for the company or website name. In such instances, you should only use the official name of your site without any keywords, e.g. for our site http://www.directorymaximizer.com, our official company title would be ‘Directory Maximizer’ – note that there are no keywords included.
There are many directories, though, that accept titles with keywords to describe the site. In such cases as well, there are a few points you should keep in mind when writing your titles:
- The title should be relevant to the purpose of the site and aptly describe (in a few words) what the site is about.
- The title should be meaningful and not just contain a list of keywords.
- The title should not be too promotional and read like an ad text, instead it should be as objective as possible.
- The title shouldn’t be too lengthy (anywhere between 20 to 50 characters is usually fine).
- THE TITLE SHOULD NOT BE IN ALL UPPER CASE.
- Avoid the use of an exclamation mark ‘!’ in the title.
- Avoid repetition of keywords.
- Avoid words like ‘best’, ’leader’, ’cheapest’, ’greatest’ or any other exaggerated adjective.
Most, if not all, directories require a description for your site. The general guidelines for writing acceptable descriptions would be:
- All the points mentioned above for the title
- Do not mention any pricing details or any other promotional details that are subject to change with time. Again, a description should ideally just describe what the site offers (you may include features and benefits as long as it doesn’t make the description sound too promotional)
- Most directories wouldn’t want you to mention a phone number and address details in the description – so it’s best to avoid putting in those details.
- Avoid Capitalizing The First Letter Of Every Word In Your Description.
- Try and avoid ending your description with ‘and others’ or ‘etc’ or even ‘…’
Most directories aren’t too strict about what you enter in the keywords field but just make sure you don’t repeat any keyword more than once and also make sure you have the keywords entered in the format required. Some directories may require you to enter each keyword separated by a comma, e.g. keyword1, keyword2 – while some may require the keywords to be separated by a space. So just make sure you follow their guidelines.
Quite a few directories are very particular about you choosing the right category. Many people make the mistake of selecting the category too fast without checking if there would be a more relevant category. Take the time to go through the directory’s choice of categories and choose the most appropriate category. For some directories, where you’re not able to find a suitable category, you may even suggest a relevant category (if the directory allows you to do so) and if the directory editor finds it suitable, your site would be added under the newly created category you suggested.
- Submit the domain or url in the correct format. Most directories accept a url in the format of http://www.mydomain.com while some directories accept it without the http://
- Do not submit parked domains and domains that have no content
- Do not submit domains that redirect to another site.
- Unless specified, only submit your home page url and not a url pointing to one of your inner pages, e.g. http://www.xyz.com and not http://www.xyz.com/this-page.html Also, when submitting your home page url, do not include the ‘index.***’ portion of your url – it should just be http://www.xyz.com
- Some directories are particular about adding a forward slash ‘/’ at the end of the url. Remember to do so where mentioned.
- Very few directories accept domains hosted on free hosting services or domains that are not registered – avoid submitting these kind of domains.
A few directories are particular about not accepting sites where the email address included belongs to a free account like yahoo, hotmail or gmail. This is applicable in very few cases. It is preferable to include the email address of your site domain, e.g. if you’re submitting http://www.xyz.com, try and use firstname.lastname@example.org Although don’t worry too much about this as there are very few directories that are particular about the email address entered.
Apart from following the guidelines given in each directory about the kind of sites that are acceptable to them, here are a few other general guidelines about a site’s content that most directories are particular about:
- Never submit a site that is under construction or is about to launch. Make sure your site is fully operational before you have it submitted.
- Do not submit sites that have no content.
- Some directories don’t accept sites having just one page. It is preferable for your site to have a few pages.
- Your site should have a substantial amount of content and not be full of affiliate links or contain just ads all over.
- A few directories do not accept sites with ‘mirror content’, i.e. sites having the same content but different domains.
Many directories get plenty of submissions a day and it could take just one reason for an editor to reject your site. So be careful and try and stick as close to the guidelines as possible.
At Directory Maximizer, we make sure that we follow these guidelines as closely as possible. To save the time and effort involved in submitting to all seo friendly directories, you may want to consider using our directory submission service.