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Any thoughts on what I should add to the pages to flesh them out a bit? I've seen people add local weather links but that doesn't have much to do with the niche I'm in.
Ideally I'd like to have something somewhat automated but I can if neccessary hand edit (the entire directory and structure is hand edited).
There is no other source for my kind of news on a daily basis that can compete with me, nor is there likely to be one. I have a growing mailing list and send out the headlines with story links in a text-only email once each week. I'm surprised by how many people the weekly mailout brings in, considering that the news is there on the site every day for everyone to find.
The news that I choose to report is almost always related to my industry. I highlight stories from my region as I find them. I also take stories from outside my region when I think that they will interest my readers.
The reaction has been extremely positive and has turned my directory into a much more interesting, sticky site that keeps people coming back for more. This makes advertising much easier to sell and much more effective.
joined:May 21, 2005
It also costs major cash and research to do this properly. If you get the content side wrong,then it can really screw up (what was) a pretty good site. Most site owners don't have any experience of their site's industry eg - never worked in the industry or even related industries, which is why they can't put content ideas together, as they just don't know what people are looking for/or how to make the site helpful. I've spoken to numerous people who want to get on the web and launch some great site, and I ask them what experience have they got, and the answer is mostly either none or very little.
In this niche most visitors will actually be looking for the directory listings and little else. It'll be in, get into their city/town, grab a listing and leave. The niche is that narrow.
However I'd like to flesh out the pages a bit, make them a bit more relevant for the SE's and try and avoid any potential dupe content penalties or filters.
joined:May 21, 2005
A news feed? hmmmmmm, that costs for the service. And the free feeds are just no good, as the feed operator can easily withdraw or not update the news as you aren't paying for anything hehe.
Problem is a directory with a news feed is JUST a directory and nothing more. It won't drive much more traffic and might begin confusing people as to a site's purpose. You can't be everything at once or at all - I've seen really nice sites get ruined by opting into the this portal game. Very difficult to get right.
Couldn't agree more. Having a personal knowledge of the industry a site is targeting is sometimes "key" to anticipating the search patterns and behavior of the target audience, i.e. figuring out which keywords and keyphrases to shoot for. And I don't mean the keywords and phrases that you can find using the google tool, but the kinds of phrases that really come from knowing your audience and what they are looking for.