November 2023 Google Core Update

What is Directory Submission SEO – The Ultimate Guide

What is Directory Submission SEO – And How It Helps You Rank


Directory Submission SEO is a part of optimization often overshadowed by other aspects of Search Engine Optimization. By ignoring this part of optimization, which hardly takes 15 minutes, budding businesses miss out on a lot of organic traffic while their competitors thrive. Trust us, we’ve been there, and it’s painful.

So, we will tell you everything there is to know about directory listing. You’ll learn how to get listed in relevant directories.

You’ll also learn about some common mistakes that could be hindering the growth of your website. That free traffic isn’t going to wait forever, so let’s dive straight in!

What is Directory Submission?

Directory Submission refers to the process of listing your website in an online directory. It is an Off-Page optimization activity, which means it’s part of the technical aspect of optimization instead of the content/keyword part.

Essentially, you take your site’s URL and other details and submit them to a directory (A list of websites) to generate quality backlinks and traffic.

So, for example, if your website is about Lifestyle, you’ll submit it under that category. If it’s about Monty Python’s comedic sketches, then you’ll have to put it under reality and philosophy because those guys only spit facts.

But why should you even submit your site? What is the importance of Directory Submission in SEO?

Black background with an image of a directory with the text saying directory submission 101

Why are Directory Submissions Important for SEO?

Listing your website in a registry is perhaps one of the most impost aspects of Search Engine Optimization, especially for local businesses. It helps Search Engines categorize your website. So if your website is about Lifestyle, and I search for something lifestyle-related, then Google may give your website more preference.

Sounds confusing?

Think about it like this. You are walking through an unknown megacity, looking for a Mr. Joe. A stranger gives you a thick book of the Yellow pages (Phone directory).

By looking through the Yellow Pages, you can find your Joe easily.

So if you have a blog, you can submit it to a blog directory, so people can find it more easily. But visibility isn’t the only reason why you should register your website. Some of the other benefits include the following:

  • Faster Indexing and Crawling
  • May increase your Page Rank (Provided you do it right!)
  • Can generate more traffic for your website

You can also list your website in directories that cater to specific areas. For example, you could find a directory for websites in the UK or Canada.

Black background image with a warning sign and the text in white color saying importance of directories.

So, you could say it is the perfect opportunity to build brand authority through SEO. The possibilities are endless. But you can only benefit from it if you know how to do it properly.

So, here’s…

How To Do Directory Submissions

It isn’t that hard of a job to accomplish, especially if you have good research skills. We’ll break down the process for you into even simpler steps.

  1. The first step is finding a suitable directory/registry. A quick google search should give you some good results. You need to find the most suitable one. It’s kind of like Keyword Research, but for websites.
  2. Click on Add Article or Submit Link to submit your website. You may have to manually fill in information about your website, including the link and title. It hardly takes more than 2 minutes. 
  3. Every directory has multiple categories and sub-categories. Submit your website under the most suitable sub-category and category of a web directory.
  4. Once you submit your page or website, wait for the directory administrators or moderators to approve your suggestion. Usually, it is approved within 24 hours.
How To Do Directory Submissions step by steop

It sounds easy, doesn’t it? But remember when I said it would only help you IF you did it right!

So, how do you do it right? And what should you avoid?

Dos and Don’ts of Directory Submission

  1. There are three types of directories: Paid, Free and Reciprocal Link based.
    We recommend submitting to a high-quality web directory, whether paid or free. Paid directory sites usually offer yearly or lifetime subscriptions and are generally more beneficial than free directories.
  2. Free or Regular Submissions are free of charge: but they are far too time-consuming.
    When you put your website on these registries for approval, it may take days or months. It’s essentially a gamble that you shouldn’t take unless you’ve done thorough research.
  3. Reciprocal Links aren’t ideal because it’s essentially a mutual contract and may not provide good value: With reciprocal backlinks, you agree to link the directory on your website, and they’ll link your website to their website. Google doesn’t appreciate this, so it has hardly any value.
  4. Please don’t participate in shady, spammy listing schemes that promise hundreds of backlinks: Instead of improving your page authority, you might end up destroying it because of Google’s Penalization rules. There are hundreds of credible online directories like BOTW or AboutUS.
  5. Do a quick search of the Domain Name on Google: It has most likely been penalized if the website isn’t on the first page (or even the first 3 pages). Putting your website URL on any such website will only hinder your growth. You might even get penalized.
Dos and Don'ts of Directory Submission

When Should I Submit My Website To Directories?

There is no fixed time frame for submitting a website URL to a web directory. It would be best if you did it at your convenience, ideally when you have the time to search for good directories (We like SearchEngineJournals list) for SEO benefits. If you have a new blog, you must do it as soon as possible.

Also, you should submit a website for a directory only when you’ve optimized it. For example, you must fix all broken links, add quality content, add alt texts to your images, etc. By optimizing your website, the administrators will approve your website more readily.

Black background with spots and triangles in other colors with the text sayin when you should submit website to directories.

Does Directory Submissions Help With Local SEO?

Yes, these are especially useful for businesses and sites that want to be visible in a specific area or vicinity. How? Through a local directory submission. There are different registries for specific areas, for example, a car part directory for the UK or one about gardening for Canada.

The process remains the same overall, but you will need to find relevant local directories. Using Facebook and LinkedIn can also help your business stand out locally. So now you know why every part of SEO is worth it for small businesses. If you want to give your business some extra oomph, follow our 9 Best Tips for Local Business SEO.

Black background image with an icon meaning local seo and white text saying directories & local SEO.

Directory Submission SEO Summary

Directory Submission is an essential part of Off-Page optimization that could help drive relevant traffic to your website. But to possess its power, you need to do it properly. Otherwise, you could compromise the credibility of your website and all your hard work.

So follow the tips, and watch the traffic pour in. Even if you’re a hardcore skeptic, you’ll understand why Search Engine Optimization is not a scam once you see the results.


Kevin Jeppesen

I help eCom, Crypto & Online businesses to grow rapidly over time using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Paid Ads.

View more about me
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