I am in the early stages of creating some directories for specific niche markets of service providers. For example, I have one that I want to do that will be for accountants that focus only on small business.
What I want to do is create a directory and people can search when they are looking for a professional in this area. The fee to be listed with be paid for by the service provider as a form of advertising. My question are...
1. What types of information should I have for the service provider that they can include?
2. What other features/content besides the listings should the site have to rank well in the SE and hopefully attract traffic and links from other sources. After all, I am selling exposure for these service providers so I need to have traffic going there to accomplish that task.
3. I would love some very low cost ideas on how to promote this site. I am trying to do this on a shoe string.
If these are niche markets, as in LOCAL biz, I'd look to LOCAL radio, TV, print instead of SEs. Bribe the newspaper boy (still exist?) to wear a jersey with your link. The SEs will ultimately find you anyway, but will not initially drive your market. If scope is beyond that, ie. international, then, with no disrespect, a rehash of google/bing/yahoo as a directory is not going to rise that high.
I concur with tangor - local advertising will give you the best initial response. I know a local company whose niche directory is doing quite well with radio ads on the local "news, traffic and weather" channel.
As for the SE's... microformats [microformats.org]. Learn 'em and use 'em. They are the new "meta" tag.
you can get the data from service provider
like service specification, experience, quality, price, time, guarantee.
you can use various promotion methods to promote the directory, like add your directory to free directory lists of major web directory, you can publish press notes, and press release...etc
|If these are niche markets, as in LOCAL biz, I'd look to LOCAL radio, TV, print instead of SEs. |
The issue is that each directory is a national directory, but the people searching will be looking for a local provider. For example, it doesn't matter if you live in Iowa or California, you go to the site, type in your zip code and the results appear. So your point is well taken, but if I try and run local advertising in tons of different markets to drive traffic to the site I would be out of business before I started. I can't imagine how much it would cost to buy radio spots for every market my directory would serve.