You have a directory online, but not sure if it looks interesting to the users. Here are a few simple tips for an engaging directory website.
Design comes first, because – even though we are taught not to judge a book with a cover, no one ever likes a website with bad design.
Well, there are no fixed parameters for a ‘good design’. Different types of directory websites can have different designs based on their niche, target audience, purpose, etc.
But for directory websites, try to go for a simpler design. A directory website is a little more complex than simple business or blog sites – therefore, keeping the design simple helps. Try setting good color schemes, to highlight the important points, and a clutter free design to avoid confusion.
2) Page Speed
Ofcouse speed is important. You can use a tool like Google Page Speed insights to find out the speed & the areas that you can work on to reduce the load times.
Faster page load times adds to the user experience of your site, reduces exit rates and increases the session times. Also, it is look upon by search engines as one of the qualities of your websites to rank you.
3) Detailed Listings
A directory website is all about the listings. Be it a listing for place, an event listing, a job listing, a classified listing, a detailed listing is what works the best. It should have all the fields to be able to convey complete information about a place/event/classified item or anything that a listing is about.
If your WordPress directory theme supports custom fields, you must think about any additional detail that can add more value to the listings. For example: On a website for event listings, adding the detail “dress code” makes sense.
To make your website – an engaging directory website try to properly categorize your content.
Proper categorization helps keep your directory listings organized. The website users can quickly find the listings based on the category they are interested in. And this adds to the user experience.
Even for blogs – if you are maintaining them on your website – insist on creating categories that so the reader can easily switch to the category of their choice and find something interesting to read easily.
5) Blogs for engaging directory websites
Give your viewers/readers something to read and engage. What better than blogs to share information and deliver messages!
Regular blogs helps keep your visitors in a loop. This gives your visitors something to come back for, and spend their time on your website.
6) Keeping comments enabled
Comments on your listings/blog posts enable the visitors to voice their opinion on your website. It helps them review a listing, or post their opinion on a post or listing.
The comments on your website is also a source of fresh, relevant, and original content on your directory website and individual listing.
7) Enabling the front end submission
Ofcourse this is one the most common features in an online directory website. It lets you create a community where the visitors can post their listings and contribute to the content on your site.
If you already have the front end listing submission enabled on your website – you can check the submission process and make sure that the submission process is clear and doesn’t confuse the users who want to submit.
You can check the whole submission flow, create text files explaining the process, how to submit, etc. to the readers, check the submission form, and make sure it is as easy and confusion free as it could be.
8) Powerful payment packages
Paid listing submission through front end is one of the best ways to make money through your online directory website. But what plays an important role in how efficiently the paid submissions work for your directory website depends on the type of payment packages you offer.
9) A very intuitive homepage
This is the page where the visitors on your website land. Of course it is the most important.
The homepage should be simple yet all inclusive. It should reflect the real purpose of your site and should be insightful enough to help your visitors quickly recognize what they want to do next on your directory website.
Obviously, there’s no ideal homepage structure that works for all businesses, but for a directory – the following are some of the things that a homepage must have.
- Highlighted – quick link/button/CTA for listing submission form
- Link to the important listing page
- Links to all the important categories on your website
- An Easy way to choose the city/category/location
- Proper search/filter facility
- Newsletter subscription form
- Contact form link
10) Run offers
Running discount offers and seasonal discount always helps. Besides, you can offer freebies, like free event tickets, free eBooks, etc. Such offers easily catches user attention and inspires them to take the required action.
11) Display advertisements that makes sense
If you are displaying advertisements on your directory website, you should make sure that they don’t annoy the visitors.
This can be done by making sure that you don’t show completely random advertisement, or ads with offensive/unacceptable content. When displaying static advertisement banners, you should also make sure that advertisements banner don’t overlap the content or disrupt the view of the visitors.