Another great article from the most helpful Web Design & Digital Marketing Agency in Hertfordshire

Submitting your website into directories is a method which can help your website to be found. The idea is that whilst your own website may not be found directly in a Google search, potential customers may instead search for your service or product, and discover it within a category listing of a directory, which may come up higher in the search engines. To get your site listed in a directory, many of which are free, you simply submit all your business details with a request for listing, but is it still a good idea?

Since 2011, Google has released the Panda and Penguin updates to their search engine algorithms, Google's intention in releasing the updates was to lower the search engine rankings of poor quality websites. However, it is possible that 20% of directories may now be considered to be poor quality websites, which could potentially actually have a detrimental effect on your own site ranking by Google.

And so it is prudent to be careful which directories you submit your website. For a period many webmasters created directories with the view that businesses would list their websites in them, and they could generate income by charging fees for inclusion. Whilst some website owners responsibly promoted their sites gaining good rankings and making it potentially worthwhile to list your site, many are filled with poor quality content and it may be detrimental to submit your website to them. Customers are looking for trusted businesses, and local business directories may help you to be found.

Only a few years ago it was the case that the printed Yellow Pages was the only directory businesses needed to be featured in. Yellow Pages owned a seemingly unassailable near monopoly in the directory promotion of the local small business sector...how the mighty have fallen!

Yell has had something of a troubled time of late staving off bankruptcy and making massive losses year upon year(one and a half billion pound loss in 2011), and changing their name from the well known Yell, to the somewhat bizarre name Hibu!

So some directories like Yell that you perhaps thought were good well known brands delivering value are by some considered in the digital age to be overpriced, potentially financially unsound, and not good value, because they are still trading on their reputation from over a decade ago. Many businesses feel they no longer offer as good results, and are a poor return on investment on the paid adverts, although it won’t do you any harm to get a free listing.

So which UK directories are worth submitting your website to, and is it a valid way of promoting your website? How can you determine the directory you are thinking of submitting to is a good quality site?

We suggest using this checklist which will help identify the best directories for you to submit to:

  1. Check if the directory is listed in Google. If it’s not listed or de-indexed, it’s unlikely to direct any traffic to your site. To find out type the URL name of the directory website, preceded with the search operator "site:" If you don't see any search results it means it may have been de-indexed by Google.
  2. Check to see if the directory comes up if you type in the site name in a Google search.
  3. Try searching for keywords on Google and see if they come up with the directory site.
  4. Find out what the page rank of the directory is. If it’s a high page rank, it means that it’s considered a valuable site by Google.

We have compiled a list of 45 directories of PR rank 4, or above:

PR6 - www.directory.thesun.co.uk/
PR6 - www.ukinternetdirectory.net
PR6 - directory.independent.co.uk/
PR6 - www.smartbusinessdirectory.co.uk
PR6 - www.scoot.co.uk
PR6 - www.business-directory.org.uk/
PR5 - www.business-directory-uk.co.uk
PR5 - www.touchlocal.com
PR5 - www.applegate.co.uk
PR5 - www.businessmagnet.co.uk
PR5 - www.yalwa.co.uk
PR5 - www.freeindex.co.uk
PR5 - www.2findlocal.com
PR5 - www.britaine.co.uk
PR5 - www.gb.kompass.com/
PR5 - www.zettai.net
PR5 - www.splut.com
PR5 - www.locallife.co.uk
PR5 - www.businessmagnet.co.uk
PR5 - www.cityvisitor.co.uk
PR5 - www.thegoodwebguide.co.uk/
PR4 - www.4ni.co.uk
PR4 - www.citylocal.co.uk
PR4 - www.ukdirectory.co.uk
PR4 - www.b2bindex.co.uk
PR4 - www.web-design-directory-uk.co.uk
PR4 - www.brownbook.net
PR4 - www.hotfrog.co.uk
PR4 - www.lacartes.com
PR4 - www.dotukdirectory.co.uk
PR4 - www.allinlondon.co.uk/directory/
PR4 - www.carryonsurfing.co.uk
PR4 - www.theukwebdirectory.com/
PR4 - www.thetradefinder.co.uk/
PR4 - www.uksmallbusinessdirectory.co.uk/
PR4 - www.thebestof.co.uk/
PR4 - www.uksuperweb.co.uk/

If you do add your site to a directory you should do it for the right reasons, which is that you consider that your potential customers may look on the directory for your services. Don't add your site with the intention of using it as a link strategy to try and gain an advantage in Google searches by having more links.

Many sites may have a free submission, or a paid submission, which usually gives a premium page size, position, or additional information. If you choose to pay extra for your submission, it’s unlikely to have a greater effect upon your search engine ranking on your site. Instead, view the listing as an equivalent to display advertising in a newspaper. If you feel this type of directory will get you visitors go ahead and pay for an enhanced listing, but just don't expect it to help your site search rankings.

A few final tips. Do not use automated software to submit to the directories, but instead submit each one manually with different description wording for each submission.  Don't stuff keywords into your descriptions, and only use your domain name for the title.

Thank you for reading our article and we hope you found it useful.  If you would like us to assist you with any of your marketing material for your business please contact us on 01438 906200, we would love to help you.

Good luck with your marketing from Advenzia, the most helpful Web Design & Digital Marketing Agency in Hertfordshire.