10 Tips for Designing a Listing

Twenty years ago, homeschoolers who needed resources or services poured through catalogs, attended homeschool conventions with notebooks in hand, and relied on the recommendations of friends in the homeschool community.

These days, homeschoolers still seek out advice from friends, but searches are much less frequently conducted on paper over catalogs and in convention halls and are much more likely to be conducted while sitting at a computer running a Google search.

So, how can companies ensure that they will be found by homeschoolers?

Explore Homeschooling eliminates this challenge by directly connecting companies with homeschoolers who are searching for resources and services.

BUILDING A SOLID LISTING

A successful listing on Explore Homeschooling is one that draws attention, offers clarity about a company or service, and encourages homeschoolers to visit the company’s site for more information. Depending on the type of listing, companies may wish to highlight a new product, draw attention to an upcoming event, or promote special offers.

Here are some tips for designing an attractive listing:

  1. Take a look around. Before you begin to contemplate your listing, visit Explore Homeschooling with the eyes of a homeschooler. What listings stand out to you the most? Which ones are overwhelming? Take notes to help you as you build your own listing.
  2. Gather all information in advance. Think ahead so that you know what you want to communicate about your product or service. As soon as you purchase a listing, you will receive an e-mail providing instructions for submitting your information. Be sure to reach out and let us know if you have any questions regarding the form or the information requested.
  3. Be clear. As homeschoolers conduct searches on Explore Homeschooling, they are looking to quickly find companies and services that meet their needs. A listing that is unclear about what it offers will get lost in the shuffle of a search. Clarity attracts attention.
  4. Be succinct. It is tempting to try to communicate every detail about your company, website, or service. Too much information, however, can bog down a listing. Instead, give quick summaries and engaging overviews that draw customers to want to learn more.
  5. Proofread! While one of our editors will be on hand to give your listing a final copy edit, they won’t automatically know if the specific information about your product or service is correct or incorrect. So, it’s a good idea to read back through your information to double check and make sure everything is correct. (You’ll also have the opportunity to review your listing once it has been created.)
  6. Don’t stress about the coding. As you peruse the listing information upload form, you’ll notice several spots where html coding is permitted. If you have coding skills or have access to someone who can help with the design, don’t hesitate to utilize those skills for these sections. But, keep in mind that a very attractive listing can be created even without coding. If html is not in your skill set, focus more on ensuring everything else is spectacular, and you’ll still have a great listing.
  7. Utilize images. This is especially true if you do need to avoid html. Make sure you include images that are mostly free of text and give a clear visualization of your brand, product, or service. Note the image size instructions in the upload form and make use of online resizing and compression tools such as those found at iloveimg.com.
  8. Utilize free downloads. Using a “hook” will encourage visitors to take action on your listing instead of simply gathering information. The “Highlight” section is a great place for this hook.
  9. Use trackable links. This allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your listing and consider changes as needed.
  10. Keep all information updated. While you do not want to change the information too often, you will want to make sure content is current, prices are accurate, and any special events or offers are maintained. Make a note to check on your listing once a month or so to make sure that all information is accurate. If you need to make an update, simply use the upload form to submit new information or contact us via e-mail.

When combined with a package incorporating social media, web, and e-mail marketing, your listing will be able to establish awareness, create interest, drive conversions, and maintain interaction with your customers.