Gone are the days sifting through the yellow pages for business numbers. Now, in the century of techno-geeks and online savvy people, online directories are most often used. But what makes for an efficient and informative online directory?
We look at seven fundamental characteristics that separate the good online directories from the bad:
- Categorically speaking
An online directory in any industry must feature all the elements of that specific industry and it must do so in a categorical sequence, in order for it to be considered efficient. Take the interior housing industry for example: you would expect it to feature categories on architecture, interior design, electronics, furniture, flooring, lighting, outdoor elements and indoor elements, as well as featuring elements pertaining to all rooms found in a house. Basically, an online housing directory would be a house represented online.
Featuring new trends, new products and new suppliers, an efficient directory gives the user up-to-date information and informs the user of all ‘hot and happening’ aspects within that industry.
- Contact us
An efficient directory is one that provides contact details, whether it is in the form of an email address, a phone number or a web address. Informative directories don’t just give you a name of a supplier and expect you to waste time Googling the contact details thereafter – they either list all the contact information or go the extra mile and take you directly to the supplier’s website with one easy click.
- Introduction please
When a directory only provides a list of suppliers’ names and numbers, it is basically of no use. Company and suppliers names can be deceiving and wasting time looking through all the names, trying to find the supplier you need, is inefficient. Informative directories are those that write a snippet or brief introduction about the supplier or the product itself – allowing the user to choose correctly, and quickly, according to his or her need.
- Shopping spree
Who needs to go to the shopping mall when you can shop online? With one simple click you’re able to purchase goods within a specific industry. Shopping on resourceful online directories saves you time and money – how efficient is that?
- Local is lekker
When considering its efficiency, an online directory must feature local suppliers and products. Local, in this instance, can mean local to a particular city or region, as well as territory, state, province and, on a larger scale, country.
Stacey Woensdregt is a Johannesburg-based freelance writer who loves writing on a broad variety of topics. Stacey writes on behalf of Home to Life, a online lifestyle direcotory for kitchen designers and decor suppliers.