Directory software is a content management system that is very specifically designed for 1 purpose: organizing large amounts of information into categories. These categories can be browsed down through, or searched. The Yellow Pages is a good example of a categorized listing system.
If you are reading this, you are likely aware of how directories are organized. However, the following links will give you a good indication of how they work.
- Open Directory Project – DMOZ: http://www.dmoz.org/
- Yahoo Directory: http://dir.yahoo.com/
- Google Directory: http://www.google.com/Top/
Why would you want to own this type of site? One reason….Revenue!
Directory sites tend to be very stable, long-term revenue generators. If you do your job and market your site properly, you should build a large, stable paying client base. In general there are two ways in which these types of sites generate revenue. These are subscription charges and advertising fees.
Some common uses for directory driven sites are:
- Local Search Sites
- Buyers’ Guides
- Membership Directories
- Yellow Pages Sites
- Product Directories
- Business Directories
- Classified Websites
- Restaurant Guides
- Tourism Sites
- Car Dealer Sites
- Real Estate Sites
Now for an example:
Let’s say you build a web site for used car dealers. They would pay you a monthly fee for an account which would allow them to post their vehicles. Most directory sites have “Membership Levels” which allow more features if members pay more. For example a basic level may allow 10 listings, while Gold membership may allow 50. It is your job to market the site and get your members traffic. Eventually some of these dealers may purchase banner ads to drive more traffic to their listings. This equals more recurring revenue.
After your site gains popularity other Businesses in your area will be interested in buying advertising as well. This equals more recurring revenue.
Recurring revenue is the best type of revenue. You can count on this revenue month after month and every time you add a new customer your monthly cash flow will increase – provided you retain your existing customers.
In general, good directory software allows the site owner to do full management of all the important site functions, and administrative tasks. A minimum set of features should include:
- Content Management System,
- Built in Search Engine Optimization Features,
- Payment Processing & Invoicing Systems,
- Member Account Management
- Template System to Modify The Site Look & Feel
The member account management feature is really only necessary if you will have paid members that will manage their own listings. Many directory sites are built from large databases (that may be purchased), and are administrated by the site administrator only. These sites rely on advertising as their source of revenue.
Since we started our Business, we have built literally dozens of directory sites. Our capabilities with respect to customization of the sites graphic design and functionality are the best in the business. Give us a call!