What is a directory and why should you want one?
Directories collect an immense amount of information within specific fields. This is attractive to anyone needing information within though fields – which may sound obvious but can have the effect of driving traffic to your site through keyword matching.
A good directory will be searchable, comprehensive and easy to update; broken links are not a good look and can impact the perceived trustworthiness and reliability of the whole site. This applies whether you’re putting together a list of local businesses, a staff listing or something more ambitious.
RightMove is a directory, at its heart, with around 20k registered users as of this year. The property portal recorded 152 million visits in January 2020, which is a lot of traffic. It’s taken a while to build up to that level but they have done so by creating a comprehensive and easy to use directory of property in the UK.
A directory on your WordPress site can inform, attract traffic and provide the good content that ranks well for SEO.
How do you build a directory?
There are a lot of WordPress plugins that will let you get a directory setup on your site, with varying degrees of effort on your part and functionality for the end-user. Getting started quickly and easily needs something more than most plugins can provide, and that’s where Formidable Directory comes in.
The Directory feature of Formidable Forms allows you to set up a directory with custom fields, premium listing facilities and the backup of a support team of actual humans should you get stuck. You can easily start from scratch and create a fully bespoke directory but to make your life easier the plugin comes with three templates orientated towards, Business, User and Staff directories.
When you put your directory structure together you are building it for two kinds of users. It needs to be logical and easy to navigate for people searching it but equally, it has to be easy to create and edit listings in the first place. This is particularly important for a business directory, where the number of records is likely to be significantly bigger than an in-house staff list. After a point, it becomes impractical for the site admin to build new listings themselves so a practical and user-friendly structure is essential.
If you’re working through Formidable’s directory templates, you will follow these steps;
- Pick what kind of directory you’re building
- Work through the setup wizard and name your submission and user pages
- Customise the fields to meet your requirements
- Add premium listings if necessary
- Check the auto-generated pages
Once you’ve been through this, you can go back and adjust the format until you’re happy with the look and content. For simplicity’s sake, always draw up a list of what you want to feature before you start, that way you can add and remove fields during the initial setup, which saves a lot of time!
Populating the directory can be done by the administrator or by those businesses wishing to be listed. Formidable Directory wins out over freebie plugins by allowing for paid listings, which lets you begin monetising your directory right from the start if that’s what you want.
The plugin has numerous integrations baked in, even in the cheaper plan. PayPal is available as standard, as is MailChimp and the ability to display your forms in multiple languages. The higher, Elite subscription adds more, including Shopify, providing more and deeper data analysis to show how your directory is performing for its clients. When listings need to be updated, the process is smooth and simple, with no additional expenses.
The plugin is user-friendly but should you need support you have access to the Formidable Forms support team with priority tickets, so you can get back up and running as soon as possible.
- Directories drive traffic and add value to your site for customers
- They offer multiple paths to monetisation
- Formidable Directories offer the facilities and support to make building directories a breeze
Directory software lets you implement a user-friendly, highly functional and attractive directory on your WordPress with ease, no matter what you need it to do.