Manual Directory Submission vs Automated Submission
While directories don't hold as much authority as they use to, they are still of good value to any link building campaign and they are still popular. Unfortunately, people and businesses are becoming lazier when it comes to submitting their own sites, and that's easy to do given the number of automated directory submission tools available. Or so it seems. It should go without saying that it's best avoiding these automated tools when it comes to submitting your own or client websites to directories. However, not everyone knows the harm they can do to their sites by using these ‘time saving' tools. These tools, automated, or semi-automated are submitting your site to vast numbers of unrelated and spam directories, which are of no benefit to you, or anyone, and can have negative effects to your site. Why would you pay to damage your site?
Automated Tools Are Not Recommended
When submitting to directories, you're generally either looking to get your website indexed, or improve your website ranking, or both. An automated tool that submits your site to nonsense directories isn't going to help you to achieve either. The cheaper tools on the market use the same title and description, which has the opposite effect of what you're hoping to achieve. Search engines want you to build links naturally, and there's nothing natural about picking up 4,000 links from directories overnight, using the same title and description. That's not to say all directories are bad, because there are a lot that can bring benefit to your site. You just need to know which ones they are. I would be devaluing my services if I was to tell you here, but if you are thinking about a directory submission service, then take my advice and have it done manually & naturally to get the moat from your link building.
Manual Directory Submission
Researching appropriate directories yourself or getting an expert to do this for you is the best way to build links. Finding suitable directories for your business/website and knowing if they give you link value, is worthwhile. Optimising your listings is also an important part of this process. Varying your headings and descriptions will add value to your submissions. While submitting to directories can be a time-consuming event, you will reap the benefits in the future. They're built to provide link juice (although there are many built to make money, most of which should be avoided) and can help boost your search engine rankings, or get you indexed if that's what you're looking for. Niche directories are more likely to send you quality traffic, but generally directories are used for links and not traffic.