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4. Make it simple
This is most important thing to have in mind when trying to make your visitors add a site. I have prepared a list of some tips for this “make it simple”:
• Don’t make people create an account just to have site indexed.
Reason: any webmaster knows SEO work means having site listed in as many locations as possible. That means having to submit link (personally it’s better that with auto submitters) and you are working with 400 or more directories and search engines. Now imagine having to create accounts in all of them just to place a link! Result: people tend to leave to other places where they don’t have to surpass so many obstacles.
• Don’t ask for too many details
As a webmaster myself I just hate directories that ask me for all information possible: age, location, address, shoe number and so on. Keep it simple, again. To index my link you need following: URL (you could do rest by yourself with crawler you have on your directory) or some more information: site name, a short description, some keywords (if you really think it’s necessary) and perhaps category in your site you think my site can go. That’s all.
You don’t need my address, phone number, fax and all other info some ask. A very complex submission form can have again result described above: I leave to another place and you lose a link or more.
• Don’t make people have to send an email to submit site
The greatest mistake of all. Making visitors open mail client and send mail. I don’t think 10% would do this .. percentage could be smaller. Provide people with an online form they can fill in 1 minute most and then let them go. Everything that’s more complicated than that means they’ll just leave.
I’ll repeat this again: we have to visit many similar projects and unfortunately many of us are too lazy and occupied to go into too much detail. I usually open 10-15 directories in separate tabs and look for 2-3 seconds on them. I look foe fast, easy and free site submission. Everything that’s paid, too complicated and too detailed as information I need to provide goes, just gets closed and forgotten. In this way I can keep up with my schedule and get fast and good results.
5. The indexing itself
We are at point submission form has been received and I wait and wait … still nothing. Again .. you need to work this aspect too, if your “clients” have to wait for more than a week. I can understand there are some huge directories that could have such a delay, but we are not all DMOZ. So let’s speed it up a bit. The solution could be a script that can offer you listing to be viewed and validated and 3 important buttons: visit (so that you can go directly to see site), add and delete. This is how it works for me: • I log into my admin account into 2 directories I own once or twice a day. • I see “new listings”. • I visit pages listed, takes me 2 seconds to know if it’s OK or not, “add” link when I’m pleased with it and “delete” if I know site doesn’t belong to my webmaster resources directory or Martial Arts one. It takes me 10 seconds to validate a link. That’s all. I don’t keep people waiting for days or weeks, usually site is indexed in a matter of hours. When you cannot cope with crowd anymore, get 3-4 people to help, give them access to validation section and you’ll be again fast and reliable.
Whatever you do, seek perfection and quality. Remember these tips, perhaps they will help you. A good looking, very well organized, easy to navigate and use directory will always be successful. That means a lot of traffic, respect from your visitors, some good page impressions and why not, revenue. This article has been created based solely on my own ideas and feelings towards this. I think some hints are very important although we sometimes forget basic rules of a good directory. Best of luck with your project and may you have many links ...
Ramona Iftode is the administrator of wtricks.com or Webmaster Tips & Tricks. She is a freelance webdesigner and an web development articles publisher.
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