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How to get your web site description accepted by directories

A listing in Internet directories is important for your web site. It brings traffic to your web site and it increases the link popularity of your site so that it gets higher search engine rankings.

If someone searches on a search engine site, then the search query must match the words on your web page. If someone searches on a directory site, however, the query must match words or phrases in the directory's description of your web site. That's why the description is the most important factor when submitting your web site to Internet directories.

Give your description a lot of thought and be very precise in your wording, otherwise editors will re-word it to their liking. You run the risk of losing your important keywords and phrases in the description. Keep your tone down. Your first goal is to get listed and show-up on a search for your main keyword or phrase. Let your web site do the selling.

  • Your site description does not have to be identical to your META Description tag. You're free to enter any description you want as long as it follows the directory's submission guidelines.

  • Don't just submit a list of keywords but 2-3 sentences that convey what your site is about.

  • If the directory demands both a title and a description, then don't repeat the title in your description. You will just be wasting copy, because it will get edited out.

  • Look around in the category you want your web site to be listed in and try to mimic the general wording. Many directory editors have a certain style that they like to see.

  • Speak of yourself in the third person. Don't use the "we" terminology, for example don't say "we offer kitchen furniture" but say "offers kitchen furniture". The directory sites cannot use the "we" word because it would imply that they are the ones offering kitchen furniture instead of your company.

  • Avoid superlatives, exaggeration, hype and marketing speech as much as you can when filling out the submission form. For instance, do not submit titles such as "The best company for kitchen furniture" or "#1 radio manufacturer world wide" (even if it's true). Describe your site in functional terms, not the usual promotional copy used for your visitors.

  • On a related note, don't use all capital letters and exclamation marks. NOT even once! :-)

  • Include only your most important keywords or key phrases in the description. Don't use all the keywords you can imagine.

  • Keep your description short. Editors always edit for brevity, clarity and accuracy. The longer the description, the more likely the editor will have to edit it. If you describe your web site as "Provides a directory of the best affiliate programs on the market where you learn how to build a new income stream", the editor might reword it as "Provides associate program information".

  • Don't use expressions that have no real value and that don't describe the purpose of your site, for example "Welcome to the kitchen furniture site" or "Try our products". Directory editors always delete such phrases.

  • Don't add pricing information in your description. On the one hand, it doesn't describe the purpose of your site and on the other hand, it's often difficult to get your description changed once you've been accepted in the directory.

  • Always spell-check your description. This means that you shouldn't start crafting your description in the submission form on the directory web page but in your word processor application. If you can, let someone else proof-read your
    description.

If you follow these tips, you can be reasonably sure that your description won't be edited and that it will contain your most important keywords.

We recommend using IBP 3 to submit your web site to search engines, directories and even industry-specific sites.

Next week, we'll tell you why your web site might not get listed in Internet directories such as Yahoo.

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November 2003 search engine articles