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Posted 03 October 2003 - 12:01 PM
I ‘d be very grateful for some advice and opinions regarding a directory I am currently working on.
The directory is a shopping directory listing only online shopping websites. We currently have a database of around 10,000 websites covering many categories. The problem we are having is whether to use site descriptions in the directory or not.
For example, we have a page on bookshops listing only websites where you can buy books online; the page contains links to the sites.
Website A – Link
Website B – Link
The problem is whether to include the site descriptions, so the page would be:
Website A – “Site Description” – Link
Website B – “Site Description” - Link
The initial research we have done goes against the current format of the larger directories as people have said there is no need for the site descriptions as they know what they are getting from the title of the page, in this instance bookshops.
The research has surprised me a little and we now can’t decide whether to have a directory with site descriptions or without.
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
Posted 03 October 2003 - 12:15 PM
Look at it this way, if you just have links... with no organization of relevancy or description, how will your site be better than a search engine or major web directory?
The things you have to do to become sucessful are:
1.) have a unique selling propositon or reason for others to use your service - maybe give some of your profits to charity, or give them back a percentage of your profits
2.)keep the links reguarly updated - no dead links- you may want to use a spider or something for this
3.) have a value added description which tells the user the unique items available or why they should shop in each spedific shop.
also if you have no descriptions you will not have much content, and you will most likely not acheive top rankings in search engines. if that is the case, you really need to follow # 1
Posted 03 October 2003 - 12:23 PM
How useful would a list of links like this be:
A book store
Another book store
Yet another book store
<---haven't seen that one used yet...so what the heck!
Posted 03 October 2003 - 12:25 PM
I think having a brief description is a good idea. One might assume these things would be self-explanatory, but a description would give each site owner the opportunity to set themselves apart from the other sites listed on the page. Without that, the user has to click every link to find what they're looking for, or just settle for the first one they find.
By the way, could you PM me the URL (if the directory is already up and running)? I'm working on a site right now that would probably benefit from being in there.
Posted 03 October 2003 - 12:35 PM
I would agree with you all, which is why I was surprised with the findings of the research we did. I do want to include the site descriptions but my colleagues seem to be against it.
But as with your example Jill, although it is not very useful to have:
A book store
How useful is it then to have (like many directories)
A book store – we sell books
Another bookstore – ah yes, we also sell books
I’ve seen the above done in many directories, I guess it ultimately depends on the quality of the site descriptions and how informative we can make these.
The site is not currently up and running, I’ll let you know when we have it up.
Posted 03 October 2003 - 12:37 PM
Amazon - offers one click shopping, free shipping on orders over $25. Amazon also has a used book marketplace where you can buy from individuals or smaller independant book stores at discounted prices.
BarnesandNobels - offers free shipping on orders over $25. also has a readers advantage program which enables you to save an additional 5% on book purchases. BarnesandNobles also features an exclusive meet the author section where you can learn about many of todays top authors.
Posted 03 October 2003 - 12:54 PM
We have a directory called Arizona Builders Zone which besides being a resource for the Arizona construction and home improvement industry, lists many Arizona based construction and home improvement company web sites.
Most listings contain a company name, address, phone number, maybe a description and a URL. We are currently working on removing the address and phone number info because who cares about that anyway? We want people to visit their site. So instead of contact info, we will make sure every listing has a well written description. Not only will that be more beneficial for the end user, but it will help give those pages a boost because well written descriptions tell a SE more about a page than addresses and numbers.
So I definitely recommend descriptions for each listing.
Good luck with it!
Posted 03 October 2003 - 01:31 PM
What then, would you say makes a good site description? Should we standardise the length of the site descriptions, the other problems we have thought about goes back to Aaron’s site examples
“free shipping on orders over $25”
What happens when sites change? How can we keep this sort of information accurate and up to date for end users?
Thanks for all your advice.
P.S Anybody wanna help me re-write 10,000 + site descriptions ?
Posted 03 October 2003 - 01:38 PM
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