The process of developing an online directory after its initial setup requires a lot of work in order to attract prospective net surfers into using the service. The process of further promotion as well as growth of an internet directory requires time as well as continuous efforts in order to reach out to the prospective clients. However, this hard work is suitably rewarded afterwards when the internet directory web site starts getting a large number of hits as well as revenue upon its promotion.
The first step should be to sign up with suitable search engines as possible in order to improve the visibility of your online directory. It is advisable to sign up to only those search engines though, which can provide indexing facility to the internet directory automatically. However, other search engines may require the directory owner to input the data for indexing manually. Moreover, it can be a good idea to go for search engines which are built specifically for certain niches such as real estate, science, accounting, etc.
The next vital step includes optimizing the web site content from the view point of being search engine friendly. The methodology of SEO should be put into use in order to rewrite or develop content such that it can be instrumental in improving the page rankings on the search engines. A web facility such as Google AdWords can aid in this respect by showing the utility of the content from view point of the entered keywords, besides providing suggestions for new suitable as well as additional keywords.
Newsletters as well as mailing lists subscriptions may also be employed beneficially in order to update the subscribed customers about the new listings, as they are constantly added. Newsletters can also be a powerful tool to communicate special offers for premium listings in your directory as well. Additionally, whenever the visibility is a primary concern of the customers due to the large number of listings, the online directory can be easily promoted by providing for paid or featured links.
Another way of popularizing the online internet directory includes blogging about the same. The blog should provide suitable information regarding the day-to-day happenings on the web site of the internet directory in order to keep the people updated about the new information besides highlighting the previous ones. A more important part of blogging includes making very regular updates, in order to keep the interest of the people in the same alive.
Social bookmarking tools such as Twitter and Facebook can also be employed in order to promote the growth of the directory. Create a free twitter and facebook account for yourself and tweet regularly. Depending on the directory software, that you use, you may even tweet automatically, as new listings are added
Another great way of growing an online directory is to participate in the myriad forums. These provide a cheap yet attractive way of drawing attention to the internet directory. However, while participating in the forums with quality content as well as avoiding spamming, one should be very careful in commenting on selected forums, which are neither too general nor too obscure.
The last and the obvious tip might be to promote the online directory in the real world via print material such as fliers as well as stickers.
Always start with a completely free online directory, where users can submit their listings for free. As the number of listings increases, the individual listings lose visibility, as they get embedded inside category pages in the directory. That will be the time, when you can introduce paid and premium listings. Premium listings can enhance visibility of listings, by displaying them at the top of the directory pages.