In this article, I hope to persuade you to look at site descriptions differently, and to convince directory operators to allow you to do it differently. Unfortunately, that last part is likely to be the more difficult. Briefly, I hope to offer ways in which you can make the best of descriptions, as a directory administrator or as a webmaster.
With few exceptions, when you are submitting your site to a web directory, you will be entering the URL to your site, your site title, and a description of your site in the fields provided on the submission form. If, like me, you have submitted your site to directory after directory, then you probably have a pretty good idea of what is suppossed to be entered into that field. If you’re not directly copying and pasting it, the wording probably doesn’t change much from one submission to another. After all, it’s the anchor text that matters, right?
Well, yes, to some extent, anchor text does matter, but that’s probably not the policy you use when providing content for your website. We all know that Google, Bing, and the others love content; the truth is that readers do too. Not only the content on your website, but anything connected to your website should be well written, informative, and unique. We understand this, I think, as it pertains to websites, but we sometimes forget that web directories are simply a specific type of website.
Would you add content to your website that you knew had already been published on several other websites? If not, then why use the same site description everytime you submit a site to another web directory?
Whether you are a webmaster submitting your site to a web directory, or a directory operator or editor, I would like to you to start thinking of site descriptions as content. Whether you own the directory or are submitting your site to a directory, you can learn to make the best of descriptions.
If you’re a directory operator, you want your directory’s pages to be indexed by the major search engines, and it is in your interests to ensure that a listing in your directory is valuable. Content is the key and, when you limit site descriptions to five hundred characters or less, and regularly strip out appropriately used keywords, you are doing yourself a disservice. It takes a little more work on your part, and a lot more work on the part of those submitting sites to your directory, but the potential is that site submitters could be adding valuable content to your directory.
If you’re a webmaster submitting a site listing to a web directory, you are asking for space on that web directory, so you should make the best of it. However many characters you are offered for a site description, you should endeavor to use it all. But you should also use it wisely.
You wouldn’t create ten pages on your website that all said the same thing, would you? In fact, even when you are saying something that has been said before, you probably do your best to say it differently. That’s the way you should look at site descriptions.
If you consider a listing on a particular web directory to be valuable enough to spend the time and money required to submit your site, you should do everything you can to make it even more valuable by submitting unique, well written, and informative content. When I say this, I am not talking about promotional spam, however well written it may be.
When you are describing your website, try to step out of the fact that it’s your website, and describe the contents of your site as if it belonged to someone else and your job was to provide a well written summary of the information that is presented there. For your next directory submission, make sure that you don’t repeat yourself.
You might look at your site from another perspective, or emphasize another aspect of your site. Where you may have repeated yourself, change the wording around, as if you were trying to avoid being caught in a plagiarism check. You might keep track of what you’ve used before so that you don’t use it again. Google doesn’t like duplicate content, and your site listing will be less valuable when the content surrounding it has already been published on several other directories.
Site submissions add content to a web directory, and content should be unique if it is going to have value. Site descriptions can be your friend, whether you are a directory administrator or a webmaster.
Unfortunately, I will have to conclude with a warning. Many web directory operators and editors do not understand the value of unique content as it pertains to their particular type of website, so much of your hard work is likely to be changed or entirely ignored by those who are reviewing your site submission. Keep track of that, too. After all, if one directory didn’t use your valuable content, you can feel free to submit it to another.