Friday, 15 August 2008

Basics of Web Site Optimisation - Rule 8

This post is mainly aimed at small to medium businesses that are just starting out and are keen to get something going, or have just gone live. I can't tell you how many times I have taught people over the past few years just a handful of strategically important things. So...here goes again, this time in a way that I can now simply refer to. As for my credibility - I would rather not divulge that here, read my Web Site Optimisation Rules and you decide. They are, after all, common sense, and common knowledge....like most things I blog about!

My number 8 rule: Register on Web Directories

Web Directories are huge databases of links and brief descriptions of web sites, and usually are maintained by actual humans. They are not Search Engines, but in some ways they are similar because they try to get (encourage web masters/site owners) to register on them so that they become ever bigger repositories of information that is similar to library catalogues.

To be accepted, your site needs to be up to a certain standard - which is a good thing! The editors of these Web Directories see 1000's of sites and it should be reassuring to you that someone has assessed your application form, and your web site, and found you/your idea/your web site acceptable to the rest of the world!

For more up to the date information of the Web Directories, access wikipedia's List of Web Directories and get registered everywhere suitable!

Your time is obviously limited and therefore over time it is apparent that in general the most important one is the Open Directory Project. Be very careful to select the right categorisation for your web site. VERY CAREFUL! Like all good information clustering, and all good search engine ranking systems, things need to be as aligned as possible for optimal benefit. Be as specific with your categorisation as possible, and make sure your web site is reflecting that profile!!

Reasoning:
1. All of the major search engines use the web directories as a starting point for their "entire web crawl".
2. Search engines rate sites that are reviewed by real human editors of various Web Directories and accepted in them, quite highly.
3. Search engines will use the web directory classification of your web site to create a cluster for your site, and clustered information/sites rank more highly than complete "unknowns" for search engines.
4. While you are registering, and you are accepted, you will find competitor web sites that you can examine for marketing insights.
5. After you are accepted, it should be possible for you to form alliances (link swap) with some of the other sites registered in the same area, or in similar but alternate categories of the web directory - a very good thing!

And that is my Rule 8. I will be uploading the others as time allows!

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