HomeInternet MarketingWhat is the point of a web directory?

What is the point of a web directory?

Author: Robert Gombos

The website owner cannot afford to ignore their potential benefits altogether, as the volume of web directories continues to grow. While there is much discussion about whether or not there is any benefit to submitting sites to web directories, there are several definite advantages in… doing so.

Piece of a cake, this is what web directories are…


Good web directories list quality websites, I am speaking about the so called human edited web directories. Knowing this, you can do the math if its beneficial to be or not to be listed in some of them.

There are several types of web directories:

  • There are web directories that are general purpose and serve as a quick means of directing a customer to a service or solution.
  • There are web directories that are devoted to a specific subject area or geographic region.
  • Some furnish content on a subject often to establish authority while others exist to create the largest, centralized collection of subject matter experts or providers for a specific solution.

Web directories are used to establish a brand’s online presence. Part of building an online presence is the potential for a company to be found all over the web. This is why a lot of companies devote a portion of their budget to resources that are able to submit their websites to many online web directories. Some even go as far as to submit their links to website directories after carefully screening them to see if doing so could complement a brand.

Web directories also serve as a means to cultivate inbound links to a website. Backlinks to a website can boost the site’s PageRank and potential for better SERP.

Inbound links from established, reputable websites do even more for the website in terms of visibility. Even though all web directories don’t provide the same level of benefit to a website, most are valuable in increasing the volume of inbound links.



Attracting customers is the entire point of building a website. Web directory submissions improve the chances of a business being found by a customer interested in a service. Just as the conventional phone-book successfully guided customers to businesses, the best web directories have begun to take the place of those traditional research tools.

It is true that the most web directories arent used by its visitors to browse businesses. While there are the well known search engines, why would they? However, good directories will send you a couple hundreds of targeted visitors/month. You just cant neglect that if you think that you pay once a submission fee and your listing will be visible for a lifetime.

Quality is always better than quantity

Well-maintained niche website directories work to the advantage of the website owner in most cases. Customers often rely on specialty directories to link them to a resource for a given service or product need.

Companies listed in quality website directories (check out the comparison list I made based on several criteria) will have an opportunity to be tied to being an authority. This rings true for website directories that also provide frequent and current content relevant to the niche audience.


10 targeted customers are better than 100 untargeted

Attracting quality website traffic is an uphill challenge for many companies. Despite optimization efforts and maintaining consistent website content, the site may still be unable to attract the best website traffic. Through website directories, a customer looking for a specific product or type of service can be directed to a website, meaning that the customer was focused on finding a specific product as opposed to simply stumbling on a website.

Popular web directories can attract better leads for many websites. The best and most reliable web directories are relied on by a certain type of consumer.

A customer finds that the reputable web directory has been successful in the past in connecting them to a desired product or quality vendor, so the customer’s relationship with that web directory is strengthened. If a customer has a relationship with a directory, the business that submits its website to that directory benefits from that relationship.

This puts the business in the position of attracting serious customers who have either decided or are actively considering making a purchase.


Bottom line

The web directory functions to guide users to a website, solution or product. A reputable web directory does through by maintaining reliable listings of providers and vendors or offering reliable content on a subject matter.

Defining the goals to be achieved in submitting a site to a web directory would be the first step in creating a strategy. The volume of links needed, the timeline for building those links, tracking tools to be used and web directory criteria should all be planned out before the formal submission process begins as this is a time consuming process.

Companies with limited resources may be put in a position to decide if volume or quality would make the most sense for their company’s objectives.


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