Article Directory Website Design: Clean Up Your Content!

By: John McQueen

Article directories have taken the internet by storm. That is a good thing, as it allows authors to distribute their content and allows publishers to grab content for their website, but unfortunately, many article directories are offering a huge disservice to authors and publishers due to poorly designed directories. Listen up article directory owners; let’s think about some ways to serve our visitors in our article directory designing!

Style Elements

I have stumbled across many article directory websites where there are a number of mixed alignings, ten different color combinations, excessive bold and italicized fonts, and numerous style “enhancements”. While these different design elements can be good, there comes a time when, as the webmaster, we need to be okay with simplifying the visual end. When a visitor enters your directory, or website for that matter, their eyes cannot help but to expect unity and clarity. If they are presented with a jumbled, disorganized mess, they will do one of two things. They will either (1) quickly jerk the mouse to the back button or (2) continue to browse your site but grow frustrated from the chaotic presentation and then eventually leave. You obviously want to prevent both of those things from happening.

When applying style elements such as colors, size, and images, we need to make sure these things help bring the visitor in contact with the content and message of the website. There comes a time when a line is crossed between beneficial and distracting. I have visited some article directories in which images and graphics push the navigation bar down the page. You do not want to have your visitor scroll down the page to have to find where click to other portions of your site. Make it easy on your visitor to get around your directory. Keep your navigation bar towards the top of your site. If your visitor does not know how to get around your article directory they will get frustrated and leave. Bring your visitor in contact with the content!

To expound more on the use of font colors and styling, remember to maintain consistency. Choose three or four colors to create a color scheme for your article directory. Stick with this color scheme. This provides unity in your content and makes the visitors viewing experience a lot more pleasurable. Continually ask yourself the question, “Is my article directory home page easy to read? Is it organized? Is the directory inviting?”

Advertisements and Images

As the webmaster of your article directory or web content site, it is obvious and understandable that it is a must to push your ads and affiliate programs so you can generate income. However, do keep in mind while placing your ads that you want your visitor to receive your web site’s content. Your visitor wants to find valuable information. That is why they visit your website. They do not come for the ads! Understanding that, make sure your ads relate and apply to your directory’s content. It is vital that your ads do not block your website’s content. Integrate your ads so they do not intrude on your website content.

Before you start plastering your article directory with ads and “cool” styling, keep it mind that your website’s content is first and for most. Overall, people are coming for your content—they could care less if you used pastel pink or neon green! Article Source: www.niche-article-library.be

 

Brett McQueen is freelance author, web designer and programmer and the administrator for the Article Cat article directory at www.ArticleCat.com.

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Published in: on August 13, 2006 at 8:14 am  Comments (158)  

How To Setup Your Site\’s Article Directory

By: ed Duvall
How To Setup Your Site\'s Article DirectoryUnless you\'ve been living in a cave on the edge of god
only knows what wasteland, you\'ve heard that having
your own article directory filled with relevant articles
gives your site a content rich, search engine friendly
site that will drive unlimited visitors to your website.The problem is how to go about setting one up and
what tools you need to help you get the content that
will drive search engine traffic to it.

The tools are the easy part, this of course depends on
whether you want to go the free route or pay high prices
for software programs to automate the process. You
can do it either way. I\'ll give you the free tools and a
method that you can use to get started immediately.

What\'s your first step?

The first thing you\'ll want to do is set up a folder on
your website for your article directory and article pages.
You can call thix anything you like but for this article
we\'ll call it /articles

So the link to it would look something like this:
yoursite.com/articles

Inside this folder you\'ll have a page named index.htm
This will be your main article directory page where you\'ll
list the categories your articles will cover.

You can see an example of how one looks here:
http://www.cashway.com/articles

Let\'s say for example your site is about dogs. Some of
the main categories might be:

– Dog Training
– Dog Grooming
– Dog Health
– Weight Loss For Dogs

The best way to do this is to create a template page
that you can use throughout your directory so as to
keep the look the same.

Remember, the main goal of the article is to provide
relevant content for you visitors as well as attract the
search engine spiders in order to help improve your
site rankings.

You also need to keep in mind that you should spend
some time optimizing those pages for the search engines
so that you present a well developed directory loaded
with content that the search engines will want to return
to again.

OK, so you\'ve got the main index.htm page set up so
now you need to create a sub folder for each category
of article you\'re providing to your visitors.

The structure should look something like this:

/articles/dogtraining
/articles/doghealth
/articles/doggrooming
/articles/dogweightloss

And again inside the sub folder you will have an index.htm
page On the index page you will list the articles with the
link that leads to it. The link path will vary depending on
whether you set up individual pages to the article on your
site or whether you provide a direct link to the article on a
different site.

Either way works, and a combination of both is good
because it gives you outgoing links for the SE\'s to follow.

Once you have the basic structure in place and a template
page to work with then the rest is simply a copy and paste
process that can be done a few articles a day. If you add
just 2 articles a day you\'ll have more than 60 articles by the
end of a month

That\'s good, solid content rich pages that search engines
love.

Step 2 – Where do you get articles?

I think you\'re going to love this short cut I\'m going to give
you here. You can get all of the Free articles you want
about your particular \'niche\' by utilizing the search engines.

But, you\'ll want to pursue one search method above the rest
because I\'ve found that it gives you very high quality, targeted
articles that will provide useful, relevant content for your site.

Click on the following link:
http://news.google.com.

Once you\'re there then look at the upper right hand corner
for the \"Advanced News Search\" link, and click on it.

You\'ll be sent to a page with a form that you can list your
keywords to search for the kind of articles relevant to your
site.

There are 4 different search types so you can experiment to
find the content you want. Google Advanced News Search
searches over 4500 sources for new and old articles that
can provide content for your site.

Let\'s say you do a search for \"dog training\" and it returns
60 or more articles. You can copy and paste the summary
of all of the articles listed on the pages returned in the search
into your template page or you can go to each article and
copy and paste them to individual pages that you host on
your website.

Either way you choose to add the articles to your pages,
you now have loads of fresh, relevant content for your site.

Copyright 2005 Ed Duvall.
Guru\'s drive unlimited traffic to their sites – why can\'t you?
Free ebook shows you how: \"8 Steps To Claiming YOUR
SHARE Of The Enormous Traffic Available Everyday From
Search Engines…\" AND get Free marketing tools weekly
http://www.cashway.com/biz_rm.htm
Resource box must remain as is if republished.

Published in: on May 13, 2006 at 9:06 am  Comments (3)  

Webmaster Interview : Article site owner

By: Lee Munson
yfs1 is an experienced webmaster and prolific forum poster who has recently started a new article submission site, http://www.ArticleDepot.co.uk Within just a few weeks he is receiving hundreds of new articles and also many hundreds of visitors each day.Below are his answers to questions we put to him on June 3rd, 2005.

What is the philosophy of your organisation?

The main goal for Article Depot is to provide a two-pronged resource for webmasters. The first is a place where they can distribute their articles and gain the SEO benefit of the links contained within. The second is to provide them with related and useful content to supplement their site and gain greater exposure. We combine these two things with a "Keep It Simple" philosophy. There are no confusing signups or new code to learn. Most article submissions take less than 20 seconds from start to finish.

What are the organisation's plans and goals?

Our goal is to become a leading article distribution site by constantly adding new features that benefit the people that make Article Depot what it is, the webmasters.

What do you consider to your site's strengths and weaknesses?

Our strength is our ability to adapt. We always have features in development. Our biggest one right now is to have an RSS feed which webmasters can put on their site and display articles in their chosen category as they are submitted. This would mean they could have fresh content and wouldn't even have to come to the site. Our weakness may be our passion for this type of site. We are always trying to see things through webmasters eyes which can be difficult when you have the level of involvement with a site that we do.

What made you decide to run an article site?

I am a webmaster myself and I saw a need for a certain kind of article site. I struggled to find it so at first decided to build one to meet my own needs. It has now taken off with over 2,000 submissions every two weeks and unique visitors increasing 10% a day. I believe in it and feel it's the future of SEO. Content will always be important and can often help protect you from Algo shifts.

As the owner of ArticleDepot, what do you find to be some of your biggest challenges?

By far the biggest challenge we face is SPAM. With any distribution site, most times you are judged on the value of your site by the quality of the articles. This is why each article is viewed by a human reviewer before being added. This ensures the quality of our database and ensures you are getting the quality you expect when you come to Article Depot.

Do you think that content is still king?

I still believe in Content as King in an overall sense. Most SEO's these days have taken to the phrase “Links are King, Content Is Queen” but I would disagree. I don't disagree for a moment that links are essential and important, especially with Google. What I would argue is that if content is used correctly it can excel in places links can't. The sandbox is a prime example. No matter how many links you manage to get, it is unlikely you will be able to escape the sandbox. However, by using content during this time, you can actually rank for 1000's of less competitive keywords that aren't held by the sandbox. Many times those 1000's together bring in significantly more traffic than the one competitive keyword.

How do you ensure that the quality of your content remains high?
The only way possible which is human intervention. Each article is read and reviewed to be sure it has the quality we expect at Article Depot. Most webmasters have a lot of pride for what is being distributed in their name so for the most part the majority of articles are approved within two hours.

Of all the articles that have been submitted to ArticleDepot, which one sticks out as your favourite?

In general some of my favourite articles are those where people show a passion. Recently we had an article where someone basically meant to vent out their frustration with returning something in a store. What followed was one of the funniest and well written pieces I have seen in a long time. If that person applied that passion to all of their writing, they would probably be quite successful.

What are your tips for writing a good article?

Write on what you know or have a passion for. This comes out in the article and gives it a quality you just can't fake. An authoritative article is better than a rehash every time.

Are backlinks from your site SEO friendly?

Absolutely. This was a major issue I saw with other articles sites. Most of them either limit the location of the links to areas that do not make sense or pass them through their own site in an effort to stop any benefit going to the webmaster. This goes against the ideals of a world wide web and at Article Depot we are very sensitive about the importance of links from both a SEO perspective and a visitor one.

Why should someone submit their article to your site first?

They should submit an article to us first because of the quickness in which our articles are spidered (Currently between 2-5 days), the SEO friendliness of our outbound links which are all static, and the fact that we have more and more webmasters coming to Article Depot to get content for their sites.

Most people submit articles to gain links to their sites. What, if any, other benefits do you see from posting articles to your site?

Its also about exposure. Many times in peoples' rush to just get links they forget about the benefit of having control over the content that surrounds those links. Most of our submitters see a signifigant rise in conversions (whether that's a sale or a signup) because people are more likely to click on a link when it is surrounded by content they are interested in. Footer links will never go away but the real power has always been in above the fold natural links.

About the Author

The author is a wannabe interviewer who has begun questioning prominent web site owners about their success. More interviews in the series can be found at http://www.info-sales.co.uk/webmaster-interviews.htm

Published in: on March 24, 2006 at 10:06 pm  Leave a Comment