As an online business owner, one of your preoccupations is increasing your site traffic. If you have been in business for even a short period of time, you know that the key to getting more hits is by optimizing for the search engines. Most people use the search engines to find the sites they are looking for, so it is in your best interests to achieve as high a page ranking as you can.

Search engine optimization is vital to your business, but you should not overlook another method for increasing your site traffic: getting listed in an internet business directory. Internet business directories work in the same way that yellow pages work for traditional pages. To wit, they are listings of the various businesses operating on the web. To make the listings more tenable to use, the sites are grouped according to different categories. Sites can be listed by topics or regions, for example. Different business directories use different criteria to categorize its sites.

The reason you want to get listed in an internet business directory is simple: people use directories to find sites. While getting listed in an internet business directory is not as important as getting optimized for the search engines, it can nevertheless contribute to an increase in your site traffic. People use directories to find a wide variety of sites pertaining to topics they are interested in. Obviously, not being listed is a disadvantage.

To have your site listed in an internet business directory, you must first identify the directories that you feel will be most conducive to your business’ success. Next, you will have to submit your site for possible inclusion. If your site is legitimate, you should have no problem getting accepted. After being reviewed, your site will be indexed in the most appropriate category.

Here some excellent examples of internet business directories:

AME Info (www.ameinfo.com) – A business directory listing almost 200, 000 Middle Eastern companies.
AT&T Directories (www.att.com/directory/index.html) – This site can help you find a persons and/ or business by name or phone number.
Big Book (www.bigbook.com) – A listing of businesses within the United States. You can search for a business using its name, location, or category.
BizEurope.com Resources (www.bizeurope.com/bsr/manu/resource.htm) – A listing of European companies involved in importing and exporting.
British Companies (www.britishcompanies.co.uk) – a listing of British consumer product companies.
British Services (www.britishservices.co.uk) – a listing of British service providers.
Business.com (www.business.com) – This site also doubles as a search engine. You can find products, services, companies and jobs here.
Corporate Affiliations (www.corporateaffiliations.com) – lists companies that have merged, changed names, or gone out of business.
Europages: European Business Directory (www.europages.com) – Europages lists the addresses of half a million companies from thirty European countries. The site can be viewed in six languages.

This listing is not meant to be an exhaustive one, but it should be sufficient to get you started. Remember that internet business directories can help you increase your market reach, so you should never overlook them!

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