Website Directories | Free (or not so free)
By Nick Erber
There are many SEO (search engine optimization) strategies out there, so many in fact your head will soon begin to hurt when you start reading articles about SEO (at least mine did). I will share my bits of knowledge I have gained in this process so that other counselors/therapists won’t have to go through as much headache in getting their website optimized.
As I mentioned, there are many ways to optimize your website so that search engines (like Google) will pick up your site and your site will climb higher on the Google search list. The procedure I describe below is labor intensive but does help with your site gaining some legitimacy on the web and ranking higher in searches.
Website directories a.k.a. web directories/link directories are websites that basically act like phone books. They contain several categories and sub-categories (exactly like the yellowpages) and websites are submitted to them to create more links in the web (this is why it is called the “web”). This criss-crossing of links is what search engines use to “crawl” the web and find the most relevant information when you search by a keyword. The more links, the more relevant the site is to the search. Some examples of web directories are:
A couple things to think about if you decide to take on this adventure.
First, the process is easy…
…go to each of these sites and look for the “submit your URL” button or something like that. Each site seems to have a different way of phrasing this. Then simply input your information such as your name, email address, and URL. Many of these will require you to do an email verification to prove you own the email address and you are a human.
Second, avoid “robots”…
…to have a site submit your site to “hundreds of site instantly!” This is a bad idea and can potentially get you blacklisted by Google or Bing. These also usually cost money and the goal of this is to do it for free.
Third, stick with as many free ones as you can…
…and pay only for a couple of the larger sites. I haven’t yet, but I would consider paying for bestoftheweb.com because it is one of the oldest and most reputable of the directories.
Fourth, what you will see on many of these sites are the following options:
• Free listing
• Reciprocal listing
• Paid listing
The page will state something like if you chose the free listing it will take their “human reviewers” up to 3 months to verify your site and they can guarantee site verification within 3 days if you do the reciprocal or paid option. I say ignore this and go with the free option. Many of the directories I used said this, but I received a confirmation email within 1 week that my site had been verified. Reciprocal listings are offers to review your website faster if you “back-link” their site on your site by putting a badge on your site stating you are a “member” of theirs. Avoid this because you don’t want your website cluttered with tons of these little random buttons that have nothing to do with your practice.
Nick Erber, MA, is a Licensed Professional Counselor that specializes in individual, couple, and group therapy in Traverse City, MI. He has over 9 years of experience as a professional counselor and is a graduate of Western Michigan University. He has broad areas of expertise including depression, anxiety, couples counseling, anger management, grief counseling, work and career issues, stress management, addiction and recovery, wellness counseling, LGBTQ counseling, and men’s issues.
Lake Side Counseling, PLLC