Every webmaster is spending a serious amount of time online in order to promote a new site or even an older one. We are all talking about quality of content and layout and truth is, for a site traffic is also important. If nobody has got chance to see your work, then it just doesn’t count. This is why we all try to index our sites in as many search engines and directories as possible. The good news is there are plenty of them to chose from, but are they all good?
In this article I will try to highlight some of details we should have in mind when creating a web directory or just a small link section in our site. Since we all submit our links to big or specialized directories, I’ll redirect my advice to people who are already running one or have intention of starting such a project.
I have come to conclusions I’ll describe after spending some time doing promotion work for my sites and having to get in touch with a variety of directories and search engines. Some of them were a pleasant encounter, but there were also projects that offered me a lot of frustration. After this I came with a set of ideas I also try to apply in a small webmaster directory I own.
1. The way site/directory looks
In our daily life we have come to conclusion people tend to respect us more when we are wearing a costume or a nice outfit in general. Unfortunately, although we are sure it’s just a sign of superficiality, people tend to rate our sites just as they do with our person. A nice looking site will always attract people and gain respect we want to receive for our work. Having a good directory is not a layout creation feat itself, but collection of links has got to be presented in a pleasant manner.
Some quick tips for a better look for our directory site: • As in a “normal” site, use a nice color theme and try to put an image or two of good quality, crisp and clear. From start your directory will remain simple and fast loading, but it will be also nice looking • Try to make links change color on mouse hover. It’s a simple CSS trick, but it’s so nice and easy to manage. It immediately gives your visitors a sense of a “dynamic” site • Make sure all elements look good and page is constructed logically and easy to see and read.
As a conclusion, spend some minutes trying to get best color theme you can come up and take care of details and afterwards you’ll be ready to work on content and promotion of new directory.
2. Have a clear navigation and categories
The best directories are easy to navigate, with clear categories and links. This is what your directory needs to achieve too. Whether it’s a specialized directory or a general one, you have got to make sure people can find ALL they need in there. A good idea would be to visit some similar projects and try to understand how they are constructed and what category organization is and perhaps why author has made directory that way.
It is important to have your own ideas and principles, but this could help you organize your job better and perhaps won’t let you forget some other categories that would be suited for your site.
For a directory site, categories and links are content and most important section, this is why this problem has got to be dealt with great care. You should make sure people can find their way through site. Place “add site” link on a good spot so that people are able to see it.
3. Submission ways
This is part you have to think about seriously: do you want to be paid for indexing or do you provide this service for free? There are some directories that offer only one of two solutions and some others that have blended them. If I was to give you advice on this I’d say it’s better to keep it free and validate links as soon as possible. It gives people sensation that it’s reliable and good. You can make some money by placing ads and perhaps some “sponsored” links.
In end it’s your decision, but make it clear for visitors. The problem is you’ll have less sites indexed if you ask for payment, since many people won’t pay for this, and having an empty directory won’t help with success either. Since there are literally hundreds and thousands of directories online, people might go with free ones only. I have done same thing and I cannot complain about traffic either. Even in Yahoo I have indexed my site for free and it gives me relevant results.