If you have made the decision to use a web directory to promote your business, you have made a smart choice. Directories are growing and becoming increasingly effective in driving targeted traffic to websites. However, web directories are not created equal. That is, some web directories have more to offer online marketers and business owners than others.

You may already know that a good web directory can get you more visitors that translate into customers than some search engines. Bad web directories can leave your site off in la-la land — languishing and lonely. Distinguishing between the two will take some investigation on your part. Following are some tips for helping you distinguish good web directories from bad ones.

Five Criteria for Distinguishing Between a Good and Bad Web Directory

  1. 1A good web directory does not accept every site submission. Instead, all submitted sites are examined and listed only when quality and ethical guidelines are met. A bad web directory lists less discriminately and may even list every site submission automatically. You should always test prospective directories by searching through websites they have listed.
  2. A good web directory is organized in a way that makes sense to online users. Websites are listed under proper categories and those may even be broken into subcategories. A bad web directory may be a hodge-podge of listings and resemble a junk drawer more than anything else. Depending on your particular category, you may wish to choose a directory with a narrower focus.
  3. A good web directory has a good search tool. Careful attention is paid to topics and search phrases and when visitors enter keywords, they are rewarded with results. We have all used search tools that could not seem to find the information or product we wanted when we knew the information was there somewhere. It simply was not findable. Such issues are a sign of a bad web directory.
  4. A good web directory has quality content of its own and uses proper spelling and grammar. An excellent web directory may even offer searches in other languages. When it comes to doing business on the internet, communication is integral. Good directories communicate well. A bad web directory pays little attention to grammatical rules and language and can cause visitors to run long before finding your website.
  5. A good web directory has been around for a while. Almost anyone can own their own web directory. The hard part comes in with managing, optimizing and marketing the directory. Generally, if you are paying for your site to be listed, you will want to use an established directory and forego the new ones. While new is not necessarily bad, the amount paid should be equal to the online presence presented.

Established directories will get more traffic. However, if the other criteria are met, submitting to a newer directory with lower pricing may be well worth your time and money.

Expect to spend quite a lot of time and energy sifting through web directories and making a list of the ones you feel will best promote your business. Finding the good ones may take some extra time but that time will make a huge difference in whether or not your business succeeds. Good web directories have the ability to take your online business further than you have ever dreamed.

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