Online directory optimization and cleanup

Image Credit – Farknot Architect/

Online directories are a thriving business model, yet many publishers are not taking advantage of the opportunities. Poor promotion, spam, plus the lack of clean data for a directory are just some of the problems facing directories, large and small. Do you want to get the most from an online directory? Then consider making these five improvements.

5 Easy Ways to Improve an Online Directory

Focusing on the user experience is central to improving an online directory. Here’s how you can put directory visitors and advertisers first.

1. Reduce Spam

An excessive amount of spam can radically devalue the quality of an online directory. Consumers don’t want to browse directories that are full of spam – and businesses don’t want to be associated with low-quality platforms. For a publisher to maintain a spam-free directory there are some tasks to address. This list includes tackling keyword stuffing, duplicate listings and fake addresses. Plus, listings from ineligible businesses must be prioritized.

2. Optimize a Directory for Search Engines

SEO is integral to a directory, as it ensures businesses get discovered organically through search engines. Best on-site SEO practices – including title tags, meta descriptions, headers and image optimization are critical. In addition, make sure to focus on internal linking, schema markup, loading times – and of course, Google’s principles of EAT (expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness).

3. Create Additional Content for a Blog

One of the important stages of creating an online directory is developing valuable supplementary content for users. In most cases, including a blog is the most effective way to publish this content. If a directory owner is not inclined to develop content themselves, publishing guest posts is an excellent way to get high-quality posts and build community.

4. Improve Listings Moderation

Not every submission to a directory will be a legitimate business that provides a helpful service to consumers. Therefore, for a directory to prevent the gradual deterioration of its platform it may be necessary to moderate new listings. Most low-quality listings will be apparent, and identifying these will not require a great amount of resources. In addition, a directory may choose to include a reporting feature. This means users can submit those questionable listings that need further moderation to your directory.

5. Consider a Directory Cleanup

Optimization is one of the keys for starting an online directory. Unfortunately, many directories are poorly optimized, and are regarded as being of low quality by Google and others. To counteract this issue, publishers can begin with a data cleanse using ADP’s clean data records to root out inconsistencies. Publishers may also take advantage of an SEO audit based on proven search engine best practices to identify the areas needing improvement.

Improve Your Online Directory With the Help of ADP

The Association of Directory Publishers is the premier community for print and online directory publishers. To become part of the association, join ADP today. Call (800) 267-9002 to learn more.