In this article, we focus on how you can get your site an optimum listing in the Open Directory. Even if your site is already listed in the Open Directory, you should read this article to find out how you can get multiple listings in the Open Directory.
Before you submit your site, go through your entire site and ensure that there are no missing graphics, no links leading to empty or non-existent pages and no “Under construction” symbols. Also, check for typos and grammatical errors. Furthermore, your site must provide good content. If your site simply contains links to various affiliate programs, you will find it difficult to get through. The Open Directory does not mind sites containing links to affiliate programs, as long as you provide proper content.
You now need to select the two most important keywords for your site based on their popularity. If you don’t yet know the keywords which are applicable for your site, have a look at my article on “Choosing the correct keywords for your site”, available at http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/t.cgi?4901&keywords.htm In this article, I have mentioned that while selecting the keywords for your site, you should look at both the popularity of the keywords as well as their competitiveness. However, for the purpose of this article, don’t worry about the competitiveness – select keywords only on the basis of popularity.
We now discuss how you should write the Title and Description of your site’s listing in the Open Directory. You don’t really have much choice regarding the Title as the Open Directory insists that the Title be the official name of your site. There is no way around it.
When you write the description, your aim should be to make the Open Directory editor’s job as easy as possible. You should not give the editor the feeling that he/she needs to edit your description in any way. The moment an editor starts to edit your description, you risk having your keywords removed from your description.
Your description should be a single sentence which conveys what your site is all about and contains the two keywords you are targeting as close as possible to the beginning of the description. However, your description should not just be a list of keywords – the description that you use should be a proper sentence and should be grammatically correct.
Broadly, here are the rules that you should remember when forming the description:
i) Make sure that the description can tell a visitor what your site is all about. Things like “Have a look at our site” or “Welcome to my site” does not tell a visitor what your site does.
ii) Avoid hype of any sort. Avoid using ALL CAPS or exclamation marks. Phrases like “The best web site dealing with widgets!!” or “Offers the BEST QUALITY, CHEAPEST WIDGETS you can find anywhere” are inappropriate.
iii) Don’t capitalize every word in your description – capitalize only the first word. Of course, if some of the words in the description are proper nouns, then you should capitalize them.
iv) Write the description in the third person. Don’t say “We offer financial planning and credit counseling services”, say “Offers financial planning and credit counseling services.”.
v) Don’t make your description too long – limit yourself to 15 words at the most. If you are lucky, you may be able to get accepted with a description longer than 15 words. However, longer the description, higher the probability that the editor will want to edit it.
vi) Check your description for typos and grammatical mistakes.
vii) End your description with a period. If the editor has to add the period to the end of your description, she may also end up editing the description, which is not what you want. Your aim is to have the editor accept the exact description that you had written in order to ensure that your keywords are not removed from the description.
Now, we come to how you can select the right category for your site. Go to the Open Directory, and search for the two keywords you have established. Does a particular category come up at the top for both the keywords? If so, go to that category, and see whether the sites present in the category are similar to yours. Also see whether that category has a Description and/or a FAQ. Read them and find out whether that category is applicable for your site. If so, this is the category you should submit your site to.