Off-Page SEO

Directory Submissions

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Jul 4, 2023

Directory Submissions

What is Directory Submission?

Directory submission means adding your website to a special list/catalogue sites that collect links and information about different websites.

These directory sites put the websites into categories by topic or industry. Some well-known examples are Yellow Pages and Best of the Web.

The reason you would submit to these directories is to try to get more visitors to your site. When people search on a category you're listed in, they'll see your site and can click to visit.

It also helps with SEO by improving your site's visibility and rankings.

Why are directory submissions important?

Directory submissions are important for several reasons:

Improved visibility

It helps improve the visibility of your website online. This can lead to more traffic to your website, which can translate into increased sales or conversions.


You can build more backlinks to your website. Backlinks are important for SEO as they signal to search engines that other websites consider your content to be valuable.

Increased domain authority

As you build more backlinks to your website through directory submissions, your domain authority can also improve.

Brand building

Directory submissions can also help with brand building. By submitting your website to relevant directories, you can increase brand awareness and establish your brand as an authority.

Types of directory submission

There are several types of directory submissions that you can use to promote your website:

Free directory submission

Free directories let you add your website for no cost. You give them your site's URL and details, and they put it in their listings.

The downside is it usually takes longer for them to approve and actually list your site compared to paid directories. And they might not give your website as much exposure or traffic.

Paid directory submission

Paid directories require you to pay money to add your website to their listings. Unlike free directories, you usually get approved faster after paying.

Listing in paid directories can also come with more benefits. Your site might be placed prominently or advertised widely on the directory. This gives you better visibility to potential visitors.

Reciprocal directory submission

Reciprocal submission means finding another website that also has a directory, and agreeing to trade links.

For example, your website could add a link promoting their directory pages. And in exchange, their website agrees to add your site to their own directory listings.

The benefit of this reciprocal deal is it can increase the visibility of both sites.

Niche directory submission

Niche directories focus on listing sites related to a specific topic or industry only. For example, an education directory would only accept and showcase education-related sites.

Getting your website into relevant niche directories is a smart way to put your site in front of the right audience.

Regional directory submission

Regional directories only list websites and businesses from a particular city, state or other geographic area. For example, a Seattle business directory would focus specifically on that city.

Local/regional directories work well for businesses that mostly serve customers in a certain physical location.

Top directory submission sites

Some top directories that you can submit your website to include:

  1. BOTW - “Best of the Web” is a popular paid directory that has been around for over 20 years. Getting listed here can bring quality links/traffic.

  2. - A paid directory focused on business websites. Good for reaching a business audience.

  3. Yelp - Free directory for local/small businesses to get found by nearby customers.

  4. Google My Business - Free tool to create a listing that helps your local business show up better in Google searches.

Process of directory submissions

The process of directory submissions typically involves the following steps:

Choose the directories

First, pick directories that make sense for your business and customers. Find ones visited by your target audience.

Look for well-known directories that are seen as trustworthy sites. Sites with higher "domain authority" tend to be better quality and more valuable to get listed on.

Prepare your website information

Before submitting your website URL to directories, get all the details that they will ask for.

Have your website address handy along with a description of what it's about. Write a few keywords that summarize the site topic as well.

Also prepare any contact info they require, like business name, phone number, or email address.

Submit your website

Once you've got all your website details ready, you can start adding them to directories.

For some directories, you'll first need to make an account on their site. Then you can fill out their submission form with your website information.

Other directories allow you to instantly submit your URL without an account. Just follow the steps on their site to provide your website's title, description, contact details, etc.

Wait for approval

After adding your site to a directory, you'll have to be patient and wait for it to get approved.

Directories need to review all submissions before they publish listings live. This is to filter low-quality or spam sites.

The approval time can range from a few days up to several weeks, depending on the directory.

Track your progress

After your website shows up in directories, it's good to keep an eye on some things:

  • Check if more visitors are finding your site from directories. See if traffic is increasing.

  • Monitor search engine rankings to see if you are showing up higher in results after directory listings went live.

  • Use analytics tools to learn more about the specific directories sending you traffic and leads.

This tracking will reveal if being in directories is actually helping your website and by how much.

What are the best practices regarding directory submission?

The following key points must be kept in mind during directory submissions.

Check indexing status

Before submitting to a directory, you should see if search engines can find it. This means checking if the directory is indexed.

To confirm, just look up the directory's name on Google. If you see it in the search results, then Google has indexed it.

Submitting to an unindexed site won't help people find your website later through search.

Use diverse keywords

When adding your site to directories, make sure to use a mix of descriptive words and phrases that match what your website or business offers.

Having variety covers more of the things searchers may type when looking for sites like yours. Using diverse relevant keywords casts a wider net to get your listing seen and clicked on.

It also helps avoid getting all directory backlinks with the same anchor text. Search engines see diverse links as more natural and valuable to boost your rankings.

Manual submission is key

While some directories let you submit your site using automated tools, it’s usually better to sign up and submit manually.

Manually filling out forms allows you to put your website details into the right categories and sections. Automated submissions may not always place your listing properly.

Explore niche directories

Instead of generic ones, find targeted directories that match what your business offers. For example, if you have a gym, look for health and fitness directories.

Getting a listing in a focused niche directory related to your field or location looks very natural. Since you're extremely relevant to that directory's audience, search engines see value when they link to you.

Diversify your link-building

Submitting to directories shouldn't be your only source of website links. It's better to combine several strategies.

In addition to directories, consider writing guest posts on other sites in your industry, or getting backlinks by creating useful content that other sites want to share.

You could also directly reach out to other sites like influencers or partners to try securing a link back to your website.

Follow submission guidelines

Every directory site has its own rules that you need to follow when adding a new listing. These are called submission guidelines.

The guidelines tell you important things like:

  • What details do you need to enter about your website

  • How to format the listing (e.g. title, description, etc.)

  • Rules for the text you use that links to your site

It’s crucial to read and precisely follow all submission directions given by each directory site. If not, your listing could get rejected.

Use diverse anchor text

Don't use the same anchor text in all directory links.

Instead, mix it up using different options like:

Having diverse anchor text pointing to you looks more genuine to search engines. Overusing exact-match anchor text can appear manipulative.

Update your submission regularly

Don't just submit your website to directories and forget about it. Come back to update your listings every so often.

You’ll want to check if all the details are still current. Update your contact info if anything changes. Add in new products, services or descriptions over time.

Keep track of your submissions

As you submit your website to various directories, be sure to track details like:

  • Name of each directory

  • Date when you submitted

  • Whether it was accepted or rejected

Keeping a log like this helps you stay organized across all the directories you interact with.

Bad practices regarding directory submissions

The following practices should be avoided during directory submissions:

Submit to irrelevant directories

Submitting your website to irrelevant directories can harm your SEO and waste your time. Make sure you choose directories that are relevant to your business or industry and avoid general directories that are not targeted to your niche.

Use spammy techniques

Using spammy techniques like keyword stuffing, hidden text, or automated submission tools can result in penalties from search engines and harm your SEO. Stick to ethical and legitimate practices when submitting to directories.

Ignore directory guidelines

Failing to follow the guidelines of a directory can result in the rejection or removal of your listing. Make sure you carefully read and follow the guidelines for each directory you submit to.

Submit to low-quality directories

Submitting your business details/website to low-quality directories can harm your SEO and reputation.

Avoid directories with low domain authority, a bad reputation, or a history of spam.

Overuse exact match anchor text

Using too much exact match anchor text (i.e. using the exact same keyword phrase as the anchor text for all your directory submissions) can be seen as manipulative by search engines and harm your SEO. Use diverse and natural anchor text instead.

Ignoring submission guidelines

Each directory will have its own set of submission guidelines that you should follow to ensure your submission is accepted. Ignoring these guidelines can result in your submission being rejected or removed.

Using automated submission tools

Using automated submission tools can result in your website being submitted to low-quality directories and can harm your SEO.

Instead, manually submit your website to high-quality directories that are relevant to your business or industry.

Using the same description for every submission

Using the same description for every submission can be seen as duplicate content and harm your SEO.

Instead, create unique descriptions for each directory submission that accurately represent your website and its content.


Submitting your website to directories can help people find it and bring some website traffic. But you have to be careful about which directories you pick.

It's best to only use high-quality directories that fit your website's topic. Make sure your listing has current and accurate info.

Low-quality directories or outdated details won't actually help your website or traffic much. Some directories might even harm your search engine reputation if they seem spammy.

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All Replies (1)
Muhammad Nafees

Muhammad Nafees

On Dec 16, 2023

Can we submit one SEO optimize Description on multiple Directories?

Shahid Maqbool

Shahid Maqbool

On Dec 24, 2023 Founder

Yes, it is possible to submit the same SEO optimized description to multiple directories.