When you have a limited amount of time to work on your website marketing every day, you need to spend your time wisely. Using marketing techniques that can get people to your website in multiple ways is a very efficient use of your time, and in this guide, we'll be talking about one of those techniques. Website directory submission puts your website in easier reach of the public in several different ways—some you may not have even thought of. Keep reading to find out more.
Get Your Website Out There: Why Submissions Matter
Some people think that a free website directory submission is only something that can bring in clients who are already looking through that specific directory. While that's certainly the most obvious way that someone can utilize your website directory submission, it's certainly not the only way.
Some directories freely take entries from each other, which means that one free website directory submission can sometimes end up on half a dozen websites or more. There's also a hidden advantage of doing website directory submission: every time you put your company's website URL into one of these directory services, you're building a new inbound link. Since many online directories have a high Google PageRank, the links you get from free website directory submission can be very high value for your own search engine rankings.
Can Free Website Directory Submission Make a Difference?
If you just submit your website to a single directory, it's likely that your website directory submission will only move the needle on your SERPs a little, tiny bit. But that's just one directory. Now, think about what happens when you submit to more than a dozen different directories. Suddenly, doing free website directory submission becomes a much more meaningful task for your rankings.
Google's search algorithms note what percentage of someone's links are coming from sites with high PageRank values. You can easily use a high PageRank website directory submission to balance out several lower PageRank links. This makes it less likely that Google will lower your SERPs for posting to low PageRank sites, and presents no real disadvantages.
Why Website Directory Submission Doesn't Always Work
While it's almost always a great idea to do free website directory submission, there are some precautions to take. Google notices when too many of your inbound links come from the same type of source. If you're using website directory submission as your primary means of getting new inbound links without trying to diversify, you might get punitive measures imposed by Google.
The other time that free website directory submission tends to come up short is when law firms simply submit to any directory at all, with little or no regard for its relevance to their practice. You don't need to get your website listed on every directory on the internet. In fact, it's a much better idea to be selective about where you do your website directory submission.
Finding the Right Directories for Website Directory Submission
Being selective means looking for directories that are contextual. That may mean that they have a number of other attorneys in them, or it could also mean that they're contextual to your practice in some other way—like a directory of local businesses, or a directory of websites having to do with a particular topic that relates to some area of your expertise.
Once you've found some directories that are contextually relevant for your site, you should check them out with a PageRank checker. SEOQuake is a good program for this, because it runs as a browser add-on and shows you information about every website you're looking at. You should generally try to do free website directory submission at the sites that have the highest PageRanks first. Lower PageRank website directory submission can still be useful, but not as much, so make these sites a lower priority.
Go Local: Finding Website Directories Near You
One of the biggest things that many legal marketing professionals forget to do is to make sure they're listed in local directories. Often, free website directory submission to these sites is a little bit trickier, because the websites may be older or less functional. However, because some demographics still make a lot of use out of, for instance, chamber of commerce websites, you should make sure that you're being listed in local directories even if their PageRank is low.
To assist in being found by local potential clients, you should also do website directory submission to Google+ Local. Free website directory submission here means that you can possibly show up in the first page of Google search results when someone looks for local keywords combined with keywords relating to your business.
Phone book directories are also a good idea for your website directory submission. People with low levels of technological literacy often turn to online phone books before other resources, ensuring that you're not just getting an inbound link from your free website directory submission—you're also getting a listing that will help people contact you directly.
Make Your Website Ready to Be Found
You should generally avoid making any website directory submission until you've made sure that your website is ready for prime time. If your website isn't looking great, no matter how much traffic your new inbound links produce, it won't translate to new business or an improved bottom line for your firm. Putting your directory listings up before your website is ready means that people are getting a bad, sloppy first impression of your firm—not the image that you want to project.
Take care to make sure that your website looks good not only from the browser and operating system you're using, but also from older browsers and even smartphones. Smartphones account for more and more web traffic, and are expected to actually be responsible for more loaded web pages than desktop internet access in just a few years' time. Once you've made sure your page really works for everyone, you can start the process of free website directory submission.