audiology-seo-ranks-300x270I get questions all the time about should I be listed in directory listings like HeathlyHearing.com and similar sites. I do recommend your have a basic listing, but you need to make sure YOUR website outranks any directory listing. The listing should add to your search engine optimization not be your only strategy. There are plenty of backlinking strategies to help get you ranking better on Google and the other search engines and getting your business and website listed in directory listings is a very powerful tactic. There aren’t too many directory listings that I would pay for, there are too many freebies out there.

Natural linking to add related one-way links to your website is an accepted method for boosting search engine ranking.  Done properly, the results will be worthwhile.  If you are determined to take shortcuts, consider the consequences.  There are valid services (like MedPB.com, that’s us!) who will hand submit your URL to directories, and the best will provide evidence of value for money paid.

None of the services can guarantee you will be approved and listed to all that receive your submission.  Each directory has rules, and although some will automatically add your URL, most are reviewed by a human editor prior to approval.

This is something you can do yourself, but the work is tedious and you need to ask yourself if your time is worth the effort or if you have a staff member doing the work, are they really trained to do it correctly?  Unless you hand submit your www domain to website directories, the quality backlinks you expect from a staff members who don’t know what they are doing could leave you wondering if your efforts were in vain.  By physically visiting each site and reviewing their guidelines, you improve your chances of being approved.  More importantly, the rules change.

For example, I developed a list of 150 well established directories that accept free listing of your URL.  For natural listing, I choose to submit 5 per day to avoid a spike in backlinks that may be perceived as spam by the search engines.

In the course of submitting over several months, I discovered some directories change policy due to the large number of sites submitted and then they do one of three things.  They charge a fee, require a reciprocal link, or temporarily discontinue accepting free submissions.  Broadcast submissions will fail without picking up this valuable information, so many will not be approved.

The first step is making sure your website is ready to submit.  Be prepared with a website that matches the quality of care you provide (most in the industry do not), have quality content and then do search engine optimization review prior to submitting to website directories.  Use these guidelines to determine if your site is worthy.  Keep in mind these are general rules, and may vary from one directory to another.  Each listing structure may be organized with variable categories, so an automated system may not properly evaluate the rules.

Do not submit:

  1. websites under construction
  2. more pages other than your home page
  3. too unrelated categories
  4. hate content sites
  5. sites in languages other than English
  6. pages with plug-ins, pop-ups, or flash only design
  7. any graphic only sites with unreasonable load time
  8. just your sitemap, a pdf, or catalog only page
  9. a site designed primarily with ads
  10. a mirror site with duplicate content to another URL
  11. the same URL disguised to try to get multiple listings
  12. to unique niche directories if your site is unrelated

Some website directories will tolerate minor violations of the above rules.  For example, some may allow you to submit multiple pages of your www domain.  Most will not list subdomains from free hosting services.  If you have built high quality unique content on a free hosting service, some directories may make an exception.  By physically visiting each directory, you have the opportunity to evaluate each based on first impression, other sites listed, and any special rules that may affect your approval.

Bonus Tip:  Do not use a free service email address when submitting to directories.  Most require that you provide a working email address to qualify for submitting your URL.  Some may not tell you, however, most expect that the email address provided includes the same ending as your www domain.  The editors are often too busy to respond to each site submitted, so if you are not approved, they won’t tell you.

Finally, if all this seems like a lot of work, it is.  The preparation and time to submit requires long hours.  Fortunately, you may spread out the task over time to make the job easier.  Once you’re ready, do 5 a day for natural linking, and your listing in 100-150 directories should be accomplished in less than 4-6 hours a day over 30 days.

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