Webinar: Revenue Strategies for Online Directories

Revenue Strategies for Online Directories

Generating revenue through an online directory can vary depending on the niche. The creation of an online directory provides an excellent opportunity to establish a recurring revenue stream. Monetizing the website can be achieved through various methods, including utilizing eDirectory’s payment tools or linking to third-party affiliate products and services.

One of the most effective ways to begin generating revenue is by providing high-quality content that is in demand among online users. You may consider setting up a members-only section on your website, similar to how newspapers operate, which only grants access to subscribers. Inviting guest bloggers to publish articles about topics that your audience finds valuable, such as restaurant recommendations, wine, books, movies, and other relevant materials, is another option.

Another profitable method is advertising your newsletter, which can contain a curated list of the best or latest services and products listed in your directory. Sell the ad spots to your sponsors to gain exposure for their brand in front of a targeted audience.

In this webinar, our CEO James Chubb shows the main methods of monetization used for businesses to generate revenue online.

Revenue Strategies for Online Directories

Online directories are one of the best media businesses out there because the production costs are low, and they gain traction on Google rapidly because of the constant content generation (mostly user-created) and they are relatively quick to launch.

Have in mind that promotion takes an important role as you need to make your website visible to your audience. Invest some time to study paid media strategies (PPC) and SEO to generate more organic traffic to your online directory.

And of course, have in mind that the key is to keep your sponsors on board and attract new users. Recurring revenue is the way to make your online directory become profitable in the long run and eDirectory is built for that.

This session was recorded on February 21st, 2024.

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Webinar: Creating Location and Category Pages for Online Directories

Creating Location and Category Pages

Creating Location and Category Pages

Creating dedicated location and category pages within an online directory is a strategic move that enhances the user experience by providing a shortcut to their search. Instead of sifting through a generic list, users can now easily navigate to specific locations and categories tailored to their needs. This streamlined approach not only saves time but also contributes to a more efficient and satisfying search process.

SEO fine-tuning for local terms

Incorporating Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and fine-tuning for local terms is a crucial aspect of optimizing these pages. By incorporating relevant keywords and phrases specific to each location and category, the pages become more visible to search engines. This not only boosts organic traffic but also ensures that users looking for localized information can easily find and access the directory. An assertive SEO strategy aligns the online directory with the target audience’s search behavior, making it a go-to resource for their needs.

Create additional revenue by offering premium spots

Furthermore, creating location and category pages opens avenues for generating additional revenue. By offering premium spots on these pages, businesses can highlight their presence, services, or products to a more targeted audience. This not only provides added value to advertisers but also bolsters the financial sustainability of the online directory. The premium spots create a win-win situation, where businesses gain visibility, and the directory generates supplementary income.

Use it as a Landing Page for Paid Traffic

Utilizing these pages as landing pages for paid traffic adds another layer to the marketing strategy. By directing paid traffic to specific locations or category pages, the online directory can tailor its marketing messages to a highly targeted audience. This targeted approach increases the likelihood of conversions, making the investment in paid traffic more effective. It allows for a more personalized user journey, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the marketing efforts.

Webinar: Mastering the Listing Template Editor

Conclusion

In conclusion, the creation of location and category pages in an online directory is a multifaceted strategy that not only improves the user experience but also boosts the directory’s visibility, revenue, and marketing effectiveness. By strategically implementing SEO practices, offering premium spots, and using these pages for paid traffic, the online directory becomes a powerful tool for connecting users with relevant and localized information, while simultaneously providing businesses with valuable promotional opportunities.

USEFUL LINKS AND TOOLS MENTIONED IN THE WEBINAR

This session was recorded on February 7th, 2024.

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Webinar: Exploring the eDirectory Marketplace Widget

Exploring the eDirectory Marketplace Widget

The eDirectory Marketplace Widget is more than just a new feature; it’s a game-changer for online directories, enhancing the user experience and providing opportunities for businesses to thrive. During the webinar, we delved into the core functionalities of the widget, designed to integrate into your existing eDirectory platform seamlessly.

At its core, the Marketplace Widget is a versatile addition to our platform that empowers directory owners and administrators to seamlessly integrate a marketplace directly into their websites. This feature enables you to showcase products and services, creating a more immersive and engaging experience for your users.

In this webinar, we demonstrated the capabilities of the widget, showing how sponsors can list the products and drive sales through external links. This is another excellent way to monetize eDirectory and offer listing owners more options to make their listings richer.

For directory owners looking to monetize their platform, the eDirectory Marketplace Widget opens up new revenue streams. Easily manage and monetize your directory by enabling businesses to list and sell products directly through your website.

Webinar: Exploring the eDirectory Marketplace Widget

Conclusion

In conclusion, the webinar offered an introduction to the capabilities of the eDirectory Marketplace Widget and its powerful features. Don’t hesitate to upgrade your eDirectory website to version 13.2 or later and have full access to the feature that can transform directory-based websites.

USEFUL LINKS AND TOOLS MENTIONED IN THE WEBINAR:

*We are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected to the tools and sites mentioned in the webinar.

This session was recorded on January 24th, 2024.

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How to create an event guide in 2024

How to create a professional event guide

To create an event guide, it is essential to map all the relevant information about an event so that your website can be a bridge of access between the producers and the users/visitors of the events.

An Events Guide is extremely relevant to the current post-pandemic context.

The global health crisis significantly affected the event segment, and many believed that it would not be able to sustain itself. However, as in many other segments, event organizers had to rethink how they offer their services and transform the business into something more suited to the modern world.

Currently, forecasts for this segment are very satisfactory and promising, as pointed out by a report by Statista, which indicates that the event ticket sales niche is projected to reach US$72.31 billion in 2022. The report further showed that the event ticket sales segment is expected to deliver revenue growth of 14.4% in 2023.

Thus, investing in this segment can be a very profitable and sustainable way to develop an online business.

Read on and learn how to create and monetize a professional and efficient event guide!

What is an event guide?

As the name suggests, an event guide is a platform developed to create interactions between organizers and visitors/users by promoting events in different niches and segments.

An event guide works as an exhibition showcase, where organizers and advertisers can offer their events more comprehensively, reaching a large number of interested consumers.

An event website simplifies the process of purchasing tickets, registering, and accessing events.

This business is an excellent way to monetize online, as it offers many opportunities and formats to grow steadily in your niche.

What are the possible niches for an event guide?

Creating an event guide gives you the opportunity to monetize different niche activities with many different services.

You can create an event guide focusing on just one niche or one that covers several segments. Either option offers benefits to the website’s creator as well as event organizers.

If you have a niche event website, you will be able to target a specific segment and become a leader in this market.

As you are targeting multiple niches, you will be able to reach a larger audience and promote a wider range of events.

  • Some niches to explore are:
  • Music, festivals, and entertainment;
  • Religious events;
  • Regional and agricultural fairs;
  • Sporting and fitness events;
  • Gastronomic events;
  • Technology events;
  • Professional and work-related events, etc.

How to create an event guide professionally

Creating a professional event guide is easy if you have the right tools. eDirectory is specialized software for creating classifieds websites, business directories, and of course, event guides.

To create your event guide using eDirectory, you need to follow a few simple steps. See below!

1. Choose the niche that fits your strategy

A niche is the starting point for all classified websites, including event guides, as it is through choosing a niche that you can begin to develop your marketing and monetization strategies.

Create an Event Guide - Category events

If you already have an online presence for your business, such as a website, social networks, or a blog with an established theme, take advantage of the identity in your event guide. If you haven’t defined your niche yet, consider choosing a subject that you have an affinity for or are interested in exploring. Believe me, this identification will make your work to populate your site with new events much more pleasant and fluid.

Bet on specific niches because, despite having a smaller audience, the tendency is for this audience to be more engaged with events of their interest. If you go for a bigger niche, try to target your reach to your region or city, and gradually expand the reach of your event guide as demand from advertisers grows.

2. Sign up for eDirectory to start your project

Creating an event guide from scratch is no simple task, and if you want to opt for WordPress events themes, for example, you will end up realizing that the offer of plugins is, at the same time, wide in quantity and limited in quality.

As it is a free platform, we are given the perception that is possible to build a robust and functional website, which will expand over the years at zero cost. This perception is far from being accurate, as you still must include domain purchasing and hosting expenses in your planning, in addition to themes and plugins that are usually paid on a recurring basis (monthly or yearly).

With a platform designed to create classifieds websites and events guides such as eDirectory, you have a ready-to-use solution at an affordable price with plans that include hosting and unlimited listings. In addition, eDirectory is a scalable and robust solution that will grow with your business.

Create an Event Guide - tier subscription plans

Have access to an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, complete control panel to add and edit new events, moderate reviews, add add-ons, descriptions, your advertisers can add external links such as websites and social networks, security certificate included, and many more features.

After the initial setup with eDirectory, you can now choose which payment methods your advertisers can choose when paying for plans and ads.

3. Define payment methods

Creating a simple, low-friction checkout experience is essential for an effective monetization strategy. Making it easy for your customers to pay for monthly subscriptions and other additional services is important for your event guide to generate recurring revenue.

eDirectory comes with support for the largest digital payment methods on the market, such as Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.Net. On top of that, you can enable recurring payments with the click of a button. To set up one or more payment methods, access the control panel and select the Payment Methods option:

Create an Event Guide - Payment Gateways

4. Manage features and pricing for each level

Next, you must define what will be the values and resources available at each subscription level of your event guide. With the eDirectory control panel, you give your advertisers power over every function of the event guide, from the most basic functions like email, phone, and description settings, to advanced options like including youtube videos, Facebook pages, and including a URL to another site.

Create an Event Guide - Level and pricing plans

If you still don’t know where to start, we suggest having a free basic plan so that your advertisers can familiarize themselves with your events guide and, from there, learn about the advantages of the other plans and move on to an event subscription.

Just remember to save the most important features for your most important plan so advertisers will want to sign up.

Need to change some option or value for one of the plans, just go back to the payment options and adjust your membership level offers whenever you need to as your business grows.

Whatever is your business plan to create your event guide, eDirectory delivers the tools so you don’t miss any opportunities.

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5. Create categories and subcategories for your event guide

One of the most powerful features of an online event guide or an online business directory is its categories and subcategories. Essential for the organization and sectorization of a website and for indexing and ranking in search engines (SEO).

Inside eDirectory, you, as the event guide manager, define how many categories your site will have, being able to expand according to the needs of your niche. Aggregate subcategories to segment your event guide and allow your advertisers to find the option that best fits their events.

Create an Event Guide - categories and subcategories

6. Create a new event

And finally, the most important part: how to create an event. Through the control panel, advertisers can easily create and edit events within minutes.

Set event name, date, location, add photos and videos, opening hours, links to external websites (purchase tickets), map, social media feed (Facebook and Twitter), and more.

Create an Event Guide - Event creation overview

Advertisers have control over SEO settings such as description, title, and keywords. With eDirectory it is also possible to obtain reports on leads and the performance of each event created, making it easier for advertisers to analyze information.

Next, we’ll show you how to monetize your event guide.

How to monetize your event guide?

You can monetize your event guide with eDirectory in a variety of ways, ensuring a recurring source of earnings. Check out how to do this:

  • Creating plans for your events: You can create up to three subscription plans (basic, intermediate, and premium, for example) and offer users various options and price ranges.
  • Banners and classifieds: another form of monetization is to sell advertising spaces with banners so that advertisers can advertise.
  • Offer additional services: by creating an event guide, you can also offer additional services such as design, video, and digital marketing. The classifieds section can be used to advertise event-related products such as musical instruments, accessories, etc.

Benefits of eDirectory for creating an event guide

You may have already realized that creating an event guide can be very beneficial for entrepreneurs looking to build a profitable online business.

By using eDirectory you create your website with several useful tools for advertisers and users, such as:

a. Recurring events – create and display

The advertiser will have access to the recurring event’s configuration, where they can create a list of events that occur frequently, for example, annual, monthly, biweekly, or weekly.

b. Monetization from free to premium events

As mentioned before, you will be able to create plans for your events, thus establishing various monetization possibilities.

It is possible to create from free events to premium events. In addition, you can also monetize classifieds and more with eDirectory.

c. Widgets for displaying events (featured/recurring)

Use widgets to highlight your events and reach more users and visitors. This is a great way to create relevant content and keep your users engaged on your page.

d. Multiple categories

eDirectory also allows you to position your event in multiple categories, which greatly increases the likelihood of your event being found in searches by your site’s users. Advertisers see this option as a big differentiator, which certainly makes their event guide more competitive.

Wrapping up

See how an event guide can be beneficial if you want to build a profitable online business? Now you know the best tool to make you achieve the success you want.

Ready to create an event guide professionally and efficiently? So, don’t hesitate to test out eDirectory in a free guided demo right now to get the best and richest experience in creating event guides and classified portals.

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Market Your Directory Site with these 8 ideas in 2024

Market Your Directory Site with these 8 ideas

“If you build it, they will come.”

Not so fast.

This well-loved quote is a bit of a fallacy, especially when it comes to how to market an online directory.

Because the truth is, once you’ve built a directory website, you’ll need to promote it. (Don’t worry, both building your directory project and marketing it can be easy and fun.)

Because once you learn how to market an online directory like a pro, you’ll be getting your business out in front of not just more eyes, but the right, relevant eyes.

Meaning, promoting an online directory can help get more leads. 

Marketing an online directory is essential – It’s as equally important as the building phase of the project.

So, let’s dive in to how to advertise a directory site and proclaim, “If you build it, then market it, they will come.”

What Makes a Good Business Directory?

Gone are the days of waiting for a giant yellow book to be tossed onto your doorstep for you to access a decent business directory. Today, good directories are not only digital, but they also look (and work) amazing.

And while everyone’s business directory is different, there are a few key elements that many good online directories share:

  • A blog with relevant content to draw in more traffic.
  • An option for visitors to sign up for your email list so you can market to your subscribers.
  • High-quality, visually appealing, and organized listings that are easy to navigate.
  • Online payment provider integrations so you can make sales online.
  • A self-service sponsor area that lets advertisers create and manage their own listings, so you save time while offering them flexibility.
  • A banner system for directory owners to earn revenue through advertising space on your website.
  • SEO-optimized content to help your listings and website show up higher in search rankings.
  • A membership website integration to accept recurring revenue for things like exclusive members-only content.

So now that you’ve got an idea of some basics to making a business directory good, let’s see how to market an online directory (now that you know yours is great).

Make sure to check out how to create a directory website if yours isn’t set up yet.

How to Market an Online Directory (8 Tips)

If you’ve already published your website, but you’re still asking yourself how to market an online directory, this post will help.

Let’s go ahead and check out the top ways to market an online directory.

1. Populate Your Listings

It’s going to be hard to sell your directory to advertisers before it’s fully developed.

Once you’ve got a directory website up, it can be tempting to start reaching out to potential sponsors immediately. But before you do that, you’ll need to build some of your directory yourself. After all, a local business directory that has no listings won’t get much attention.

It’s best practice to always show leads a fully functional, populated directory. This will help tell a story to your lead about how your directory site can help bring more visibility to their business.

So, filling it with data yourself not only makes your site look professional, but it can also bring in more traffic, which is super important. Because without website traffic, your directory has no value to someone who may be interested in paying to be listed there.

Sure, it takes a bit of elbow grease to populate listings yourself as you build your online directory, but it’s absolutely worth the time. Your content and listings are the heart of your directory site. Without them, it’s nearly impossible to achieve organic growth through search engines.

2. Use Social Media

Social media is a great platform to market an online directory. This is because no matter your niche, your target audience is definitely using social media (and they’re ready to engage with you on those platforms).

People love interacting with brands on social media. Which is awesome, because not only does it build brand awareness and bring you more website traffic, but it also develops trust while getting your directory’s name out there.

For example, hashtags are an excellent tool to help generate some quick and easy interactions and visibility. You can use hashtags on most social media channels like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Brands using hashtags see an average of a 50% increase in engagement, too.

Some examples of this could be a recipe or cooking directory asking people to post photos of what they’ve prepared with hashtag “#itswhatsfordinner”. Or a golf course directory asking players to tweet photos of their clubs and equipment with the hashtag “#inmybag”. You can then re-share these posts on your own social media (a wonderful source of user-generated content). Plus, to make the most of these hashtagged posts, eDirectory lets you connect your Twitter feed to your directory website and automatically display your feed to your website visitors.

Don’t forget the power of advertising your sales, contests, and promotions via your social media channels too. People who follow you are ready and willing to hear what’s going on with your brand, so tap into that.

3. Run a “Best of” Contest

Another popular way to market an online directory is to hold a contest that asks people to vote on their favorite businesses in your niche.

For example, a local parenting directory could run an annual contest that honors businesses in the community by asking visitors to nominate the “Best Swim Class”, “Best Playground”, or “Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant”. You could pick and announce winners yourself, or you can have website visitors nominate businesses for you.

Image Source: cherryvalley.macaronikid.com

It may take more work, but having the public vote is fantastic for business growth because:

  • Businesses will share the contest with their customers by word of mouth and invite them to vote.
  • You can see more traffic as voters visit your website.
  • Your brand will get more exposure as people share the contest on social media asking for votes.
  • You can grow your email list by asking for the email address of everyone who votes.
  • Your other listings will get exposure and notoriety if they’re “nominated” in a certain category, building trust with your sponsors and authority for your directory website.

And building trust is incredibly important to make sales. Why? Well, trust is now the 2nd most important factor people take into consideration before making a purchase, just after price.

So just like in these online directory advertising examples, lean into the interests of your target audience. Choose categories by selecting the restaurants, businesses, people, or locations that fit your industry best.

4. Use Google Ads

When using Google Ads to promote an online directory, it’s important to understand the power of keyword targeting. By choosing the right keywords, you can make sure your ads are shown to the right people, who are searching for the type of products or services your directory offers. Google Ads also allows you to set your customized budget, so you can control your expenses and ensure that you never pay more than your monthly cap.

Another great feature of Google Ads is the ability to display ads to people searching in a specific location. For local search site owners, this can be a game changer as it enables them to reach a more targeted audience and drive traffic to their site. By choosing a specific location, you can ensure that your ads are only shown to people who are in your area, which can help increase the chances of getting conversions and growing your business.

Google Ads also gives you the ability to control what’s shown based on the time of day searched, which can be useful for businesses that are open at specific hours or for those that offer time-sensitive promotions. This way, you can make sure that your ads are only shown to people who are searching for your products or services when you’re open for business.

In conclusion, Google Ads is a powerful tool for promoting an online directory and driving traffic to your site. By using the targeting options available, you can reach a more qualified audience, get more site traffic, and increase conversions. Don’t forget to take advantage of the $100 credit offered by Google to start a new account, which can help you get started with advertising at a lower cost.

Start Your Online Directory

5. Trade Free Advertising

If paying for advertising is out of your budget, or you’d like to learn how to promote an online directory for free, bartering can be a solid option.

You’ve got a fantastic resource for offering free ads right on your directory website. In the same banner area where you can place Google Adsense ads that earn you revenue, a good directory website software will give you the power to place your own ads there as well. That way, you can sell or trade that ad space.

Here are some great trades to ask for when offering free ad space on your website. Ask for:

  • A day where you can hand out branded promotional materials at their location.
  • To be mentioned on their social media channels.
  • A link on their website to yours.

…and there are plenty of other creative ways to go about bartering.

The important piece is to remember to use the space you have available on your website to your advantage. You’ll likely be surprised how bartering leads you to new opportunities, connections, and growth for your business. Bartering isn’t exclusive to local directories, but if you’re wondering how to start a local business directory, this type of promotion can be extremely effective.

Offering free ads is a fantastic way to you leverage your community to create content for you.

6. Write Blog Posts for Other Sites

Guest blogging is a powerful tool to consider mastering when learning how to advertise an online directory. Creating good content takes a lot of focus, so the idea of writing posts to give to someone else’s website for free can seem counterintuitive at first. But truthfully, not as many business owners and entrepreneurs take advantage of guest blogging opportunities as often as they should.

Guest blogging is a great way to:

  • Get traffic to your website by getting in front of a new audience.
  • Build a strong reputation with search engines that helps you rank higher.
  • Find leads that are already visiting sites within your industry and expressing interest.
  • Gain authority by sharing your subject matter expertise.
  • Build relationships with other thought leaders in your field.

Guest blogging is not unlike “product placement” in the entertainment industry. Leads are made aware of your existence through another medium, which just happens to be someone else’s blog. It’s a popular method, with the average blogger writing 1-5 guest posts per month.

Image Source: Referral Rock

Some people find guest posting outreach daunting, but it’s actually standard practice these days. Many website owners are looking to consistently publish new content, so offering a guest post can be a welcome offer that some site owners will be happy to accept and publish your post. Just don’t forget the important of sending over a high-quality piece of content that’s helpful and not full of self-promotion so they’ll actually want to publish your piece.

Simply set up a technique to repeat for finding sites you want to guest post on and reach out to them offering a unique and relevant post just for their site.

7. Email Your Subscribers

Email marketing has an astounding ROI of 4200%. Meaning, for every $1 spent, $42 is earned. With numbers like that, it’s easy to see why email is one of the most powerful ways to drive engagement for your business.

Promoting your online directory through your email can be done in lots of ways, but here are some popular methods:

  • Send out promotional emails letting people know about timely events, exclusive content, or deals and offers (great for direct response advertising).
  • Send an informative, helpful, weekly newsletter that doesn’t sell anything so that it builds trust (to help get those promotional emails to convert).
  • Segment your list so you can send different emails with customized content to your customers vs members vs leads.
  • Promote your “Best of” contest before, during, and after it runs.
  • Create multiple drip campaigns that automatically send a series of pre-built emails. Popular drip campaigns include nurturing leads, onboarding, and recommendations.
  • Set up automated renewal reminders so listing owners are automatically notified when their listings are expiring, saving you time and money.

 

8. Provide Door Stickers to Storefront Customers

Printing and giving stickers to those listed in your directory is an exceptional marketing tactic if you’re running a local directory site. In an increasingly digital world, this tactic is a great way to get a step ahead of the competition.

Large directory websites like Yelp use this tactic often –  you’ve probably seen a Yelp sticker on the door of a local restaurant, inviting you to rate them. This is a fantastic way to market an online business directory by building awareness and driving website traffic.

Additionally, sending promotional materials is a perfect conversation starter or icebreaker for businesses that aren’t listed on your site just yet (bringing you more leads).

Get the Tools to Promote Your Online Directory

Hopefully, this post on how to market an online directory has given you some excellent and effective promotion ideas for your own project.

We know business directory advertising is no small feat. That’s why many successful directory sites use software like eDirectory to help them get there.

eDirectory is the most complete directory website builder available. It’s an easy-to-use software that offers every tool you need to build, manage, and promote a successful directory site, and plenty of extra perks. The robust feature list includes some fantastic tools to help you market your online directory like:

 

  • Beautiful Listings: Easily create professional directory listings with images, video, and coupons inside a beginner-friendly and intuitive interface.

 

    • Flexible Customization: Customize your pages to meet your project’s exact needs. Use a visual editor to build different types of category templates for every listing type imaginable.

 

  • Social Media Integration: Seamlessly integrate with the most popular social media platforms and encourage advertisers to promote their own listings with social sharing links. Plus, display your Twitter feed directly on your website in just a few clicks. 

 

    • Events Page: A stunning page to display and promote upcoming events for your directory.
    • Advertiser + Member Dashboards: Let your advertisers and members create, edit, and control their own profiles.
    • Membership Site Capabilities: Create member profiles and tap into the power of recurring payments by repeating collecting dues.

 

  • Google Maps Integration: Watch pins automatically appear on an interactive map as new listings are added.
  • Renewal Reminders: Automate your payment collection process by notifying listing owners when their expiration dates are approaching.
  • Deals and Offers: Drive business to your advertisers by letting them create their own coupons and offers, right from their listings. Activate the power of viral sharing when someone redeems an offer on Facebook and shares the deal to their feed.
  • Banner System: Sell or barter banner space in a variety of areas, with granular control over where they show up. Plus, a Google Adsense integration to further monetize your traffic through ads.
  • Online Payments: Securely accept payment over your website via PayPal or credit cards, and even set up automatic recurring payments.
  • Blog: An easy-to-use, built-in Blog Module that lets you create beautiful content to drive traffic and sales.
  • App Builder: Create your own app with no-coding knowledge directly through the site manager’s mobile application builder. Modernize your brand by going mobile and get your app to show up in Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store for extra visibility and awareness.
  • SEO Center: Control every aspect of your site’s SEO with Titles, Meta, and your own keywords. Set rules for pages, use keyword-optimized URLs, and sitemap generation.

…and so much more.

With eDirectory, you’ll have everything you need to create and grow an information-packed, interactive directory and membership website.

So don’t wait!

Sign up for an eDirectory demo today to start promoting your online directory project right away.

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How to Create a Directory Website in 8 Steps

How to create a directory website: essential tips to launch a successful directory

how to create a directory websiteTo create a directory website, follow these:

  1. Choose the type of directory you will launch.
  2. Sign up for any eDirectory plan
  3. Define your Top Level and Sub-Level Categories
  4. Create your Membership Levels or Pricing Plan options
  5. Create or import your first listings
  6. Create quality content
  7. Optimize and publicize
  8. Include new features

1. Choose the type of directory you will launch.

The great thing is, a directory website can be launched for almost any industry or purpose with an opportunity for members to add all kinds of great content like videos, articles, special deals, and photo galleries. There are several ways to create a directory website that you can choose from. The most common ones are local business directories, professional service provider directories, and membership directories or association websites. To make it easier, you can start in the area that you have the most experience in or the location where you are residing. For example, if your city does not have a strong local business or tourism guide, you have a good opportunity to create an online community that generates recurring revenue. If you are a special service provider, you can create a directory for your industry, starting with you and your colleagues and ultimately making some money from your competitors while featuring your business at the same time. Or perhaps choose an interest or topic that you are passionate about and create a national or international directory website or membership community around that. There’s room for a lot of innovation with the online directory business plan.

2. Choose the technology partner for your directory software

There are several different approaches here. You can, for example, hire a developer and a web designer to build your own directory script, yet the chances are they will most likely use an inexpensive off-the-shelf product that they charge you a lot of money to maintain. Worse yet, they disappear or get a bigger job and you’re left behind with a directory solution you can’t use. Another approach is that can go with a low-cost high-maintenance option like a WordPress directory theme and WordPress directory plug-in. They still require you to have someone with technical knowledge on your payroll to maintain. Also, the difficulty to build a directory with WordPress is that WordPress was not built for directories, it was made for publishing blogs, so you’ll have to invest a lot of time patching various components together and it is not best suited to scale for a powerful directory solution. With eDirectory, you can create your professional directory website quickly and easily. The monthly plans make it affordable to start quickly with all the essential features for a successful directory website right where you need them so you can focus on the directory business plan rather than back-end maintenance.

3. Define your Top Level and Sub-Level Categories

A directory website is really just a large amount of information (business listings or member profiles) that is highly organized for visitors to search, browse, and connect. With top levels and perhaps various sub-levels of categories for visitors to search through, online directory websites allow users to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. If you need general business categories, eDirectory will provide them free of charge. You can also add them manually. 25 top-level categories with an average of 10 sub-levels for each is generally sufficient, yet with eDirectory you can go down to 5 sub-sub levels for a very granular search experience. Your members or business listing owners can also be charged to appear in more categories, which in essence creates more visibility and this impressions, and conversion. This is another great way to build a “ladder” with your pricing levels to encourage the sales of your most premium membership level, by limiting the number of categories your directory website listing owners will appear in.

4. Create your Membership Levels or Pricing Plan options

Early on the name of the game is to get people to join your online community website, so a Free membership level is highly recommended. Free members add a ton of value early on as they will contribute content (although limited), provide invaluable feedback, share their listing to their social media, and may upgrade to a paid listing down the road if you really give them some quality attention from the beginning. With setting up the remainder of your pricing levels, make sure to have the top level get everything under the sun to really encourage purchase, even do some promotional discounts on the first 100 paid sign-ups with 20-50% off, perhaps even free banner ads for a month or two. With the pricing level(s) in the middle, make sure they get enough to warrant the price they’re paying for yet to limit or restrict the most valuable directory website features, so maybe they can only add 1 special “deal” to your deals engine for example. Do some testing knowing that nothing is set in stone and that you can adapt your directory website pricing and update your directory business plan as you learn and grow.

eDirectory Facebook Group

5. Create or import your first listings

If you have a list of businesses or members to import, that’s great! With the eDirectory.com directory solution, all you need to do is use the import template and you’re ready to go. You can also add a few listings manually for businesses or members you hope will join. Start including several listings and gradually add more. You can start with a goal to include, for example, 10 listings per day. Once members join, encourage them to share their listings to social media to gain more visibility to your directory website. As your online community starts to grow and get noticed by people, they will come to you and create their own listings by themselves. Until you reach that point, you need to assert by yourself or hire someone to do it for you, if you plan to scrape a few public sites for example. In this other blog post, we shared a few other marketing ideas as well.

6. Create quality content

Publishing and curating high-quality content is an important factor to bring new and qualified visitors to your site. If you have a local directory, talk about what makes that local directory business unique and highlight its qualities. Think about what type of content would be useful to your readers and write it down, schedule based on priority, and get started with a content-creation schedule for your directory website that you are comfortable with, like 1-2 hours per week for example. You can also invite and encourage contributors and members to add content to your online community website. If you have an online directory website for specialized dentists for example, they usually will be happy to contribute valuable content to your directory solution so they can start to be seen as authority on that subject, showcase their practice, and help visitors get to know them a bit better before making the connection; all of which helps bring them more views and traffic.

7. Optimize and publicize

Once you start the process of quality content and attracting target customers, keep it going by consistently asking yourself these questions:

* How can I make my directory website so appealing that members will visit and want to join my online community and contribute content as a paying member? Take the lead!  Build a directory website you would want to join.  With our easy directory software at eDirectory, you can get started right away on adding all kinds of great content like blog posts, articles, industry or local events, even classified ads that can be used for all kinds of purposes like jobs, business opportunities, and even products to be showcased on your directory website.  

* How can I make sure that the listings have enough depth to ensure a high utilization for directory website visitors? Listings with just title and phone number are less attractive and useful than listings with photos, videos, maps, deals, classifieds, and descriptions. Invite every new member to create content, talk about their mission/vision, and share a video about themselves and what they do.

* How can I monetize my directory? Online directory websites have many ways of generating revenue, which really adds to your directory business plan. The model is so successful because once you have a large captive audience, it creates many more opportunities to generate revenue like with membership dues every month or year, leads you sell to your members, affiliate links to other ecommerce products or services, banner ads you sell to publishers and members, sponsored social media posts, donations, and you can also connect a storefront to your online directory website with the new eDirectory Storefront MOD.

* What type of content will bring more visitors? There are always opportunities for content creation with a potential to bring a lot of visitors to your website. Find out who the other players in your industry are as far as direct and indirect competitors, complimentary service providers, industry publications, forums, portals, and even social media groups. Get inspired by what works well for others and even what may NOT work well for your brand or community (sometimes it makes things a lot easier to get started when you at least know what to focus on).

 

8. Include new features

Treat every new member and newsletter subscriber early on as GOLD! Ask them what they’d like to see available to them on your site as far as any new features or functionalities. Try to truly identify what your niche can be with this as well. You will learn this by making an effort to connect and ask questions. You may be surprised by what you learn and it could create new opportunities for your online directory website. As you start to grow the directory website builder in you, you might find it useful to add a Community Forum, integrate with services like Infusionsoft or Salesforce, or perhaps connect an eDirectory storefront in the MOD Store. All these services can provide the perfect environment for growing your business.

These are a few tips to help you to create a directory website. Contact us if you have any questions and we will make sure you have a dedicated account executive to answer all your important questions before getting started.

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Webinar: Local SEO for Online Directories

1. What is Local SEO for Online Directories

Local SEO is a specialized digital marketing approach to refine a website’s visibility within local search engine results. Its core objective is to tailor online content and strategies to resonate with nearby audiences and attract local customers effectively. This optimization involves a multifaceted approach that encompasses various techniques, such as optimizing website content with location-based keywords, ensuring accurate business information across online directories and platforms, enhancing Google My Business profiles, and actively encouraging customer reviews and ratings. By implementing these strategies, businesses can significantly improve their chances of appearing prominently in searches made by individuals seeking products or services within their specific geographic area, ultimately driving more foot traffic and leads to their physical locations or online platforms.

  • Location-based Optimization: Enhancing website content, metadata, and online profiles to target specific geographic areas.
  • Google My Business: Claiming and optimizing listings on Google My Business to appear in local searches and Google Maps.

2. What is Google Looking For

Google values accuracy, relevance, and prominence for local search rankings.

  • Consistent NAP: Name, Address, Phone number consistency across all directories and online platforms.
  • Reviews and Ratings: Positive reviews and high ratings signal credibility and trustworthiness.
  • Local Citations: Listings in reputable directories that validate a business’s existence and relevance.

3. Local Keyword Research

Local keyword research serves as the cornerstone of an effective local SEO strategy, providing invaluable insights into the specific phrases and terms potential customers use while searching for nearby services or products. This process involves identifying and targeting location-based keywords, including city names, neighborhood identifiers, or regional descriptors, to align website content with local search intent accurately. Moreover, delving into long-tail keywords, which are more detailed and specific phrases, allows businesses to mirror the precise queries made by local users. Analyzing competitor strategies aids in uncovering effective keywords that successfully engage the local audience. By strategically incorporating these findings into content and metadata, businesses can significantly enhance their visibility in local searches, attracting more relevant traffic and potential customers to their website or storefront.

  • Focus on Location Keywords: Incorporate city, neighborhood, or regional terms in keywords.
  • Long-Tail Keywords: Utilize specific phrases that mirror local search queries.
  • Competitor Analysis: Analyze keywords used by successful local competitors for insights.

Webinar: Mastering the Listing Template Editor

Conclusion

Local SEO for online directories requires strategic optimization, emphasizing local relevance and targeting. By leveraging precise keywords, consistent information, and authoritative directory listings, businesses can enhance their visibility in local searches, driving more targeted traffic and potential customers to their websites.

USEFUL LINKS AND TOOLS MENTIONED IN THE WEBINAR

This session was recorded on December 20th, 2023.

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Edirectory Free guided demo

Webinar: Prepare your Website for the Holidays

Prepare your Website for the HolidaysWebinars

During the end of the year, there are plenty of opportunities and chances to take advantage of. In that regard, we discussed some guidelines to prepare your website for the Holidays, keeping your eDirectory website running smoothly.

In our discussion, we talked about end-of-year promotions and how to make your planning for the year ahead. As part of the design segment, we also offered ideas for making your website more holiday-themed we have two easy-to-use professional tools to help change colors, images, and the sliders on your website.

eDirectory also offers possibilities for automation such as recurring payments, welcoming new users, sending newsletters, and more. Prepare your articles/blog posts and banner ads for your sponsors, let your directory app following the same theme too.

Find out how to balance new sales opportunities, tweak some design elements, and save time by enabling the automation features of eDirectory.

Watch now: prepare your website for the Holidays

USEFUL LINKS AND TOOLS MENTIONED IN THE WEBINAR:

*We are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected to the tools and sites mentioned in the webinar.

This session was recorded on December 6th, 2023.

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Webinar: Mastering the Listing Template Editor

Mastering the Listing Template Editor

The Listing Template Editor is one of the most powerful features of eDirectory. With it, you can create or edit listing models for any type of niche or scenario you might need, adapting the widgets with the visual editor, adding or removing them easily but also creating custom fields that will make your listings tailored to your sponsors.

The Listing Template Editor resources

  • Where you’ll build the Listing Detail Page
  • Drag & Drop visual editor
  • Use one template for all listings
  • Create templates for individual categories
  • Create custom fields
  • Adjust/Modify design

eDirectory Listing Template editor

Remember: content is (still) king

The most effective (tried and true) method to keep users coming back to a website is by having great quality content. Avoid spreading content too thin on your online directory and aim for very detailed descriptions with current data and depth of content, with rich images and videos whenever possible.

Go for the basics, following the instructions mentioned above and try offering unique data that users won’t find on other sites, this creates a need that only your online directory will fulfill.

Lastly, this is one of the most time-consuming tasks when creating an online directory, and it is exactly when the Listing Template Editor comes in handy. Once everything is set up, it will speed up the process of sponsors posting content on your website.

Webinar: Mastering the Listing Template Editor

USEFUL LINKS AND TOOLS MENTIONED IN THE WEBINAR

This session was recorded on November 22nd, 2023.

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Webinar: The eDirectory Real Estate Theme

How To Build a Real Estate Website

A well-designed real estate website is crucial for the success of any real estate business. It helps to connect buyers and sellers and provides a central location for all relevant information. Furthermore, it can help to streamline the buying and selling process.

The eDirectory’s Real Estate Theme is designed for desktop and mobile devices. It ensures that users can easily find what they’re looking for, whether it’s property listings, filters, contact information, or other essential features. This reduces frustration and enhances overall user satisfaction.

In this Webinar, we’ll cover the main aspects of how you can configure your eDirectory Real Estate Website using a pre-determined setup of Listing Categories and Listing Templates.

First, create 3 main categories: Real Estate Agencies, Realtors, and Properties. Based on these 3 profiles you will create 3 new Listing Templates, feel free to add or remove any widgets and other fields you believe are important for each profile. Pro tip: don’t forget to turn on the real estate fields in the Property template so it will give you access to all information needed to list a property such are type of operation, pricing, area, number of bedrooms, and so on.

Webinar: The eDirectory Real Estate Theme

Conclusion

Our eDirectory Real Estate theme was created after gathering extensive feedback from both our customers and the market. Unlike a plugin, this theme is included in the newest version of eDirectory and can be found under the Design Menu, themes. If you are not currently running eDirectory V13.3, please visit our website and fill out a form to request an upgrade.

*We are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected to the tools and sites mentioned in the webinar.

USEFUL LINKS AND TOOLS MENTIONED IN THE WEBINAR

This session was recorded on November 08th, 2023.

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Edirectory Free guided demo