|I have taken a look over your directory and it looks good and navigates easily.
Before we agree to add our listing, I would like to know if your site will be easily picked up by the search engines.
We have listed with a few sites in the past and been very disappointed with the lack of response.
If we do decide to list, can we do it easily through your site?
It is very early days for the directory, and it will take time more than anything, we would estimate around a year for it to get really running, which will be around December 2006.
However, we are confident it will. We create websites for a living, full time, this is the third for ourselves as a pose to a client, the first being The Bed and Breakfast Directory, and then The E Camping Directory. We do sell ourselves on where our clients rank in the search engines.
If you look for the tyre pressure for your car, or look for a transformer manufacturer you will be looking at one of our clients sites.
The E Self Catering website is as search engine friendly as we can make it, there are a couple of pages that could be tweaked a little better if it were all done manually, but for ease of maintenance we have let this go.
We admit, you are unlikely to get many or maybe even any enquiries over the early days, it will take that long for many search engines to index most of the pages, and there is Google's new site filter to overcome; which is predominantly a case of time.
But will it in the end? Yes, I think so. I think it is better than most, it's easier to navigate, you don't have to search, though you can if you wish, and every page will be found by the likes of Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc.
Though you are unlikely to get enquiries early on, there is an advantage in going on early, as your full page will have more relevance, more length of time in the index than newer pages, more likely to come up in the results straight in the search engines as a pose to the directory.
It is easy to add to the site, as easy as I can make it, and it is free .... it is our interest to have as much accommodation as possible listed, and then aim for a small percentage of them to find paying for the optional extras, such as extra pictures, listing higher, having feedback / guest comments, and recording enquiries is worth while.
We looked at more than fifty accommodation directories before starting work on the site, and more since I've really finished the engine behind, and I haven't found one that I think works better or is any more Search Engine friendly.
There are improvements i have pencilled in, such as a wishlist for visitors, larger pictures for the premium entries, etc. but these are better added over time, this will have greater impact in the likes of Google. I would also like to break say for example, New Zealand down into regions, but until the numbers are higher it is to be avoided, there's no point having thousands of pages with no content, better to have a few hundred with good content.
I hate going to directories, clicking on say Africa > Sub Sahara > South Africa > Pretoria and when I've finally got there it says "we have no entries in this location" ... I've tried to avoid that, you will only ever have links to places where at least one cottage, villa or apartment is listed.
Will the E Self Catering Directory work? Yes, I believe so and I am quite good at this, but I can only shorten the time it takes a little.