Drive Traffic with Website Submissions: The Basics

Traditional Website Submissions

Website submissions are a fundamental SEO practice that increases search engine positioning and drives traffic to your website.  Website submissions allow your company to associate it's URL with target keywords and reach a new audience that may not have otherwise been exposed to your content or offerings.

You may have seen advertisements that offer to submit your website to thousands  of search engines and website directories.  These service providers prey on the naive  and offer little to no value.  They may even hurt your website ranking if your website URL appears on low quality sites or known link farms. Automated link submission services often don't work, as website formatting quickly changes and  non-human submissions are blocked.

If you want to gain exposure and drive more traffic to your website, you need to take a strategic approach to website submissions.  This requires hand submitting your website to a selective list  of directories and search engines that are going to provide the most value.  Finding and submitting your website to directories and search engines can be time consuming, but in return you'll receive an ongoing stream of traffic that doesn't cost your company a dime.

Where should I submit my website?

Search Engines
There's no need to submit your website to 1000 search engines when 4 search engines make up 99% of all search traffic.  If you have a new website or a website that has not yet been indexed, your first stop is to submit your website to Google (70%),  Yahoo (17%), Bing (9%) and Ask (3%).

Free Website Directories
There are approximately 50 quality, free website directories that will will list your site and that have a Google page rank of 4 or higher.  These are a great, free way to increase your page rank and improve your search engine positioning in search results. You can also associate your company URL with specific keywords, allowing you to boost your search engine positioning. Some examples of free website directories are DMOZ, Jayde, skoobe and microwho.  Make sure to review the top, free website directories before you submit as their rankings can change rapidly.

Premium Website Directories
By submitting your website to a handful of high quality, paid website directories, you can get backlinks from websites with page ranks of 5 and higher.  For a small amount of money you can put your site on a more exclusive list of websites that will more effectively categorize your site and generate higher rankings from the search engines.

Article Marketing Sites
If you write articles or a blog for your company, you can submit a select group of your articles to free article marketing sites.  Your articles will include backlinks to your website or key product pages.  People visit these sites to discover new articles and will also repost your articles on different blogs, increasing your distribution and reach dramatically.  There are thousands of article marketing sites out there, but only about 25 can get you exposure and build a new audience for your website.  Some examples of these are iSnare, eZineArticles, and ArticleDashboard.

RSS Feed and Blog Directories

Got an RSS feed for your blog or website content?  With more subscribers to your RSS feed you can increase your audience size and the number of click-thrus to your website articles, products or services.  Submitting your RSS feed to quality RSS directories is a great way to increase your readership.  There are roughly 50 RSS directories out there that receive regular traffic in high quantities.  Visitors on these RSS and Blog directories are looking for valuable niche content they can subscribe to and read on a regular basis.  Some examples of these are Yahoo! RSS, IceRocket, BlogDigger, Sindic8 and Feedage.

Podcast Directories
Are you producing audio or video content that is available on your website or downloadable to portable media players like iPods?  Podcasts are another option for getting your content out to your audience in a format that they can take with them anywhere and anytime.  The Apple iTunes directory is the 800 pound gorilla for podcasts, but there are a handful of other quality podcast directories that can help you build an audience for your multimedia content.  Some examples are PodcastPickle, Odeo, and Podcast Alley.  Best of all, their free!

Wrapping up Part 1
Those are the top tradition methods for submitting your website to search engines and website directories.  You can gain even more exposure and increase your page rank by using non-traditional search engines and website directories. In part 2 of this article we'll go over some of the non-traditional options for promoting your company online such as Business Directories, Trade Industry Directories, Press Releases Websites, Social Networks and more.

Associated Articles
Part 2 - Drive Traffic with Website Submissions: Niche Directories
Part 3 - Drive Traffic with Website Submissions: Local Business

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