Category Sponsors vs Directory Listings

We receive a fair amount of questions from people about our different products and services. More and more each month – there is a direct correlation with traffic and customer care. While most of the inquiries are specific to a user’s individual circumstance, many of them are somewhat redundant – or frequently asked.

To address the increasing amount of FAQs, over the course of the next few months, we will post those questions, and their appropriate answers here.

The first of these FAQ is one from this morning:

I was going through your site, and I was just wondering what is the difference between sponsoring a category and submitting a site to a certain category?

Kind regards,
Joe Webmaster

There are a few specific differences between the two, and depending upon your type of site, your mileage may vary with one as opposed to the other. So knowing the specifics of the two may help in determining which is right for you.

Sites are listed in the BOTW Directory according to relevancy. Whether you submit a site or sponsor a category, the site must be relevant to the category. Degrees of relevancy may differ though.

Directory listings (sites submitted to a category) are listed within the most relevant category, and may also be listed within an applicable Regional category. For instance, a website for a store in Fort Lauderdale, FL that sells collectible figurines would get a listing in both Business/Shopping_and_Services/Antiques_and_Collectibles/Figurines/ and Fort_Lauderdale/Business_and_Economy/Shopping_and_Services/ Directory listings are given a proper title, and a description of what the user can expect to find on the site. Descriptions are typically short, containing no more than two lines of text. Descriptions are also devoid of any marketing hype, and do not contain any prices or phone numbers. Reviews for directory listings are free for non-commercial sites. For commercial sites, and those seeking an expedited review, we currently offer either a $49.95 annually recurring review fee, or a one-time review fee of $149.95. For more information see the submit site page.

Category sponsors are able to tailor their message, and display their listing in a more lenient fashion. To maximize exposure, category sponsors are located at the top of each category, above subcategory links, and category listings. Category sponsors are limited to three advertisers per category, but advertisers may choose multiple categories for sponsorship. Though each advertiser must be relevant to the category, the sponsored listing does not need to be in the most relevant category. For instance, in the aforementioned example, the owner of the figurine site would be able to sponsor a category further up the directory – Business/Shopping_and_Services/Antiques_and_Collectibles/ and reach users interested in more than just figurines. The same site owner would be able to also sponsor the Arts/Crafts/ category and reach a new audience.

Additionally, category sponsors are prominently displayed in BOTW search results. Advertisers are able to choose up to ten keyword phrases that they would like to appear for. Category sponsors are displayed along the right hand column of the search results, with advertiser message and description. So, our figurine site owner would be able to choose up to ten keyword phrases (figurines, antiques, antique shops, figurine seller, online figurines, etc…) and appear along the right hand side – see here Category sponsorships are a great way to boost your online visibility, and are priced competitively. Category sponsors are FREE for the first 60 days, and are $39.95 (third spot) or $49.95 (top two spots) per month thereafter. For more information see the category sponsorships page.

In summary, for most webmasters and site owners, a directory listing will suffice. A listing in a relevant category describing your site using descriptive keywords can really help in your online marketing efforts. However, for webmasters and online marketers seeking greater control over their marketing message, or seeking a listing outside of their most relevant category, a BOTW category sponsorship may be the right choice. Or, you could always choose both :)


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