Get Your First Beta Users: The Best Web App Directories to Submit To

by Rishi Shah on August 25, 2009

The best thing I did for my company right before we launched was submit our web app to as many directories as possible. This really put us on the map! Within a few days we went from 15 beta users to 400. This got my entire team fired up to deploy the product as soon as possible.

My main objective was to be better ranked on Google. Not only were we better ranked within 2 weeks but a bunch of bloggers reached out to us asking for interviews.

I compiled a list of the best and easiest web directories you can submit your web app to. It should take  6-8 hours to submit your site to the entire list but it is totally worth it. I promise.

Top 4* Directories:

  1. Go2Web2.0
  2. Feed My App
  3. CSS Mania
  4. Museum of The Modern Beta

* Based on the total amount of traffic it brought me. Your experiences might differ.

The Rest:

  1. Killer Startups
  2. Listio
  3. 2.0 websites
  4. Ziipa
  5. You Noodle
  6. Mashable
  7. Springwise - not a directory but if you “wow” them they will write about you
  8. CrunchBase
  9. StartupMeme
  10. 101 Best Websites
  11. LaunchFeed
  12. WebDev 2.0
  13. On The App
  14. Next Web App
  15. DIY Startup New
  16. Stumble Upon
  17. * Digg
  18. * Reddit
  19. Hacker News
  20. * Delicious
  21. AppUseful
  22. Startup Booster
  23. Paggu
  24. Robin Speziale
  25. Submit Startup
  26. Generation-y Startup
  27. Netted
  28. Appsumo
  29. Minisprout
  30. Startuplift

* Only submit if you have an active presence on these sites already. Best case scenario someone that has a ton of followers will submit your site for you.

Please note: I didn’t pay to submit my website to any of these sites. Feel free to skip the directory that asks you to pay.

Did this list work for you? Let me know in the comments.

Update 1 5/13/2011: Removed 2 non-working directories (thank you Christopher!). Added top 5 directories people should focus on.

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{ 24 comments }

Frank March 1, 2011 at 2:51 AM

Great list. Took me 2 hours. I opened all the links in tabs at once and copy/pasted my pitch to all of them.

rishi March 1, 2011 at 2:53 AM

Great Idea Frank. You really streamlined things. My only suggestion is to make sure you personalize the submission by inserting the blog or editor name. Studies have shown that response rates increase when you personalize the email.

Cooper March 7, 2011 at 2:54 AM

One more, maybe (I can’t figure out how to submit to it) http://www.appappeal.com/

rishi March 7, 2011 at 2:54 AM

Thanks Cooper. I can’t seem to find out where to submit to app appeal either.

Pranaya March 18, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Rishi,

Thank you for including us in your list.

Best,
Pranaya
Founder, StartUpLift

rishi April 7, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Hey Guys. Checkout this link: http://loudstartup.com – more awesome places to submit to.

Jelle May 12, 2011 at 4:41 AM
Rishi Shah May 12, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Nice add. Thanks.

Gelinlik May 13, 2011 at 6:28 AM

Thanks for nice sharing

Rishi Shah May 13, 2011 at 9:44 AM

My pleasure.

christophe May 13, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Rishi,

Nice list.
Went through all of them. Two sites are not operating anymore: All Things Web2 an Cloudomatic

Also, you may want to add http://www.getapp.com/ to your list. We only deal with apps out of Beta and targeted at businesses. We are are very focused but deliver results!
Thanks

Rishi Shah May 13, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Thank you Christopher! I updated the list and added your directory as well.

How does your site work? People list their app and you get affiliate commissions?

christophe May 16, 2011 at 1:46 AM

Thanks for adding us. GetApp.com is a vertical marketplace for web-based business applications only. There is a small listing fee which is one way for us to qualify relevant applications. We do a product review for a lifetime listing, so vendors get an immediate return on their investment: http://www.getapp.com/blog/topics/review/
Once you are included in our directories, there is an option to run PPC campaigns which gives you additional visibility. Being listed starts here: http://www.getapp.com/users/register
Thanks again!

Ziad September 7, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Here is another good one: http://www.openforbeta.com/

Kenson GOo April 15, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Great list, it helps me a lot in getting exposure for http://www.sidepon.com. Our team got more featured on more than half of the list.

David June 18, 2012 at 5:36 AM

Great List, thanks for sharing ,will spend the rest of the day submitting our web app :)

Rishi Shah June 18, 2012 at 8:52 AM

David – I’m glad you found it useful!

I checked out your website: http://www.looplr.com. Anyone that reads this comment please checkout David’s awesome website – it is really cool!

If you want to maximize the number of conversions you get from the initial traffic boost I strongly recommend the following:

#1 Focus on one call-to-action. Currently you have five (Sign in with Twitter/Facebook/etc and Download on the App Store). What is the most important thing you want the customer to do? Login with Facebook or Download your app? I would pick one and take the rest out.

See my blog post on Instagram:
http://www.gettingmoreawesome.com/2012/06/05/instagram-growth-hack/

#2 Your service looks awesome but I don’t see an irresistible offer in the headline. Currently it is “Get in the Loop! Shoot, Share, and Watch Video…” Since you are a new web app “Get in the Loop and watching videos from the loop community doesn’t really make much sense to me – since I don’t know anyone that is currently on looplr. Something new that your service does that not many people do is “Shoot Video and Share It With Your Friends, Download the app now!” – I would focus on that.

Good luck with the app – I’m sure it will be extremely successful with a little more clarity and focus.

David June 25, 2012 at 12:47 AM

Hi Rishi,
Thanks for your feedback, constructive advice is always welcome, yes i agree with you. we should lazer focus on the core benefit to the user and how he will perceive the value of the product as it relates to him, thanks for giving me a nudge :)

Bridget | Application Software July 16, 2012 at 6:10 AM

This list is long enough to make sure that app users will be directed to the right site. Thank you so much for sharing!

Emad November 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Hi Rishi,

Thanks for this awesome list! We spent a lot of money on Google Adwords but we have learned the hard way the value of this kind of SEO.

Keep up the good work!

Jason November 21, 2012 at 7:29 AM

Rishi – Thank you for putting this list together. Great info! Some of the sites do charge small fees but I can understand considering the large number of submissions they get.

Sachin November 26, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Thank you we got Vision Helpdesk http://www.thevisionworld.com Listed :)

Thomas Varghese January 30, 2013 at 2:05 AM

Good article..Please visit this site also..http://madonweb.com/ .Its really good for web applications

MyRecordList April 1, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Thanks for the list!

We’re off to get http://myrecordlist.com on the directories (our service allows people to list their vinyl record collections with a whole load of other helpful features)

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