Newsletter Ideas to Grow your Traffic

Newsletter Ideas to Grow your TrafficIt is true there are other ways to engage with your audience, but when it comes to getting closer to them, e-mail marketing is still king. Having direct access to your intended audience’s inbox is a great advantage you do not have with social media, live chats, blogs, and other methods of communication.

Successful email marketing campaigns can bring an ROI of $38 per dollar spent, making it an essential technique for any online business. But to start your first newsletter campaign on the right foot, you must understand the principles of a good email marketing strategy. Remember to put your customer and their needs first, then they will reward you with being loyal. Try to work with these three key pillars of customer experience marketing in mind:

  1. Is your message helpful for the customer?
  2. Is your message customer-centric?
  3. Is your message personal?

The key is to send the right message, to the right person at the right time. Not that this is easy, not at all, but with a good amount of testing and refining, you’ll start to understand your audience and get better engagement.

In this week’s webinar, we covered the main points from the technical aspects of creating your first email campaign, as well as segmentation, monetization, and strategies for both sponsors and visitors.

Useful links and tools mentioned in the webinar:

*Except for Campaign Monitor, 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 May 4th, 2022.

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Meet the new eDirectory Marketplace Widget

Meet the new eDirectory Marketplace WidgetWe are thrilled to announce a killer feature that changes the game for the online business directory community: the eDirectory Marketplace Widget. Publishers now have a perfect tool to showcase and sell their products or services directly from your directory with the click of a button, making your online directory a much more attractive option for new and existing sponsors.

This feature has been developed over several months by the eDirectory product team to be useful and easy to manage. You can maximize your online directory by offering more value to sponsors looking to sell online to a wider audience.

The Marketplace Widget is a brand new addition to eDirectory’s most recent release, and we’ll explore how to utilize it in detail in this article. Let’s get started.

Make it possible for your advertisers to sell products and services

Marketplaces have become some of the biggest and most valuable companies in the world. It is expected that B2B eCommerce site sales will reach nearly $1.77 trillion in 2022*¹, an increase of 12% over the past year as online business trends continue to influence everyday B2B operations.

Globally, 40% of all online spending post-pandemic*³ occurs on marketplaces, a number that is predicted to increase in 2022 as the world reopens. With the new eDirectory Marketplace Widget, your advertisers can offer their goods and services directly to their audience through your website.

Easily add a direct payment link (from any payment gateway) to the “Buy Now” button and that’s it! The sponsor can make sales and receive the payment instantly. They can also use the custom buttons to book services (book now, make an appointment, etc), which is something we will explore in more detail in the next topic.

We have a detailed article on how to use the eDirectory marketplace widget to its full potential.

edirectory marketplace widget

Offer services and book appointments from your online directory

If your advertisers aren’t selling physical or digital products, but are instead providing services like classes, consultations, or any activity that requires an appointment, they can use the products and services widget in conjunction with their favorite booking tool (such as Calendly or YouCanBookMe) to drive leads directly to their landing pages.

eDirectory Marketplace Widget

In niches such as Wellness & Health, where sponsors can offer services such as yoga classes, individual boxing lessons, nutritionist consultations per hour, and personal training sessions, this can be a very valuable feature for listing owners. 

For other consultancy or coaching-related niches, the “Book Now” button is also a differential that adds value to your online directory and could attract new clients, as these professionals work mostly on an appointment basis. Consider upgrading your eDirectory to v13.1 to take advantage of these and more features.

For Restaurant and Food Services

The eDirectory Marketplace Widget is also a killer feature for the restaurant and food niches because now your sponsors can create special offers that can be purchased or booked on the spot! 

edirectory marketplace widget - fajitas

For instance, the demand for personal chefs has grown significantly since June 2020, according to Fanny Suen Hiu-yan, founder of MobiChef, a Hong Kong startup that provides private chefs for hire*². Listing owners can then create unique offers combining products and services to uncover new revenue streams, such as adding a “Chef at home” service with a “Book Now” button linking your favorite booking app, letting the customer choose their own time and date.

eDirectory marketplace widget - Chef at home

In addition, a reservation service can be added so clients can book tables directly from a listing, thereby avoiding needless phone calls. Restaurants can also sell pre-cooked meals, wine bottles, condiments, and more.

Mix and match call to actions

It is possible to redirect clients not only to shopping links (like PayPal or Stripe) and booking links (Calendly) but also to custom pages, messaging applications, CRM applications, and so forth.

Take this Golf club example, players can schedule 1 on 1 lessons via text message directly to the club’s reception by clicking the Golf Lessons button. The offer appears on the listing and can be visited by the audience.

eDiectory Marketplace widget - Golf lesson

And If your advertisers want to get serious about tracking their conversions through the Products and Services widget, they can use Google Tag Manager or Google Analytics to track any URL or form submission on your online directory in order to take full control of your KPIs.

What kind of buying links can be used with the eDirectory Marketplace Widget?

This widget allows the use of any type of external link! Whether from PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, or WePay among others. It’s also possible to link offers directly to a store on Shopify, Magento, Open Cart, and drive the lead to a sales funnel, hence using the listing owner inventory and shipping options.

Leads can also be sent to a landing page with a custom form, and thus have more control to drive the prospects to a CRM app such as Hubspot, Mailchimp, Pipedrive, GetResponse, and so on.

Start Your Online Directory

Wrapping up

The Products and Services Widget is a great tool that empowers listing owners that don’t have an online store to sell products and services directly to customers. If properly used, this can change the way your advertisers use your online directory.

As a great value offer, you can include this widget only in the top-level listings of your online directory to attract more sponsors.

In  this article we covered:

  • An introduction to the new eDirectory Marketplace Widget (products and services)
  • Selling physical and digital products
  • Offering services and booking appointments
  • Restaurant and Food usage
  • Mix different types of links
  • What types of links can be used

Read the full list of enhancements of eDirectory v13.1 here.

Upgrade to the latest version of eDirectory today!

For active clients looking to take advantage of the latest and greatest eDirectory.com has to offer, simply fill out the Upgrade Request form or contact your account executive.

For new clients looking to launch an online business with all you see here and much more, please request a demo here, call us directly at +1-800-630-4694, or send an email to sales@eDirectory.com.

Join the eDirectory Facebook GroupReferences:

  1. https://internetretailing.net/marketplaces/marketplaces/marketplaces-clear-winner-as-51-of-post-pandemic-retail-set-to-take-place-online-23408
  2. https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/leisure/article/3152874/how-personal-chefs-became-covid-19s-must-have-luxury
  3. https://www.insiderintelligence.com/insights/ecommerce-industry-statistics/

Webinar: Optimize your Conversion Rates

Optimize your Conversion RatesCRO (Conversion rate optimization) is the process of optimizing web pages based on visitor’s behavior to maximize conversion rates, which means increasing the chances that visitors will take the desired actions on your site, such as form submissions, downloads, newsletter subscriptions, clicks, and other.

In order to optimize a website, there are two main elements to consider:

  1.  Design – How visitors will perceive the content they are searching for.
  2.  Copy – This is the text that will capture the visitor’s attention and will persuade them to take action.

For directory-based websites, you must also think about two verticals of optimization:

  1.   Conversion for visitors – drive them to premium content.
  2.   Conversion for advertisers – drive them to sign up for a plan.

In this week’s webinar, the eDirectory marketing team shared strategies on how to optimize conversion rates through data analysis and conducting multiple tests, tweaking content to make it more relevant to visitors, and drawing appropriate conclusions from the data.

Optimize your Conversion Rates

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 April 20th, 2022.

Want more tips? Shoot us a note at .

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Webinar: Meet the new eDirectory V13.1

Welcome to the new eDirectory v13.1In this webinar, see the most important features of the all-new eDirectory V13.1. We’re joined by Fernando Nascimento, eDirectory’s product manager, who offered a comprehensive tour of everything you can achieve with the new version.

Further, we discussed in depth the new Marketplace widget – for Products and Services – which is a killer feature that enables advertisers to sell both products and services and to make appointments, through external links to their service of choice. Moreover, the online directory owner has the option to monetize this feature on the top listings level.

The Marketplace feature (as we call it) is something that can change the usability and the value proposition of your online directory, so it is highly recommended that you watch this webinar and take some time to read through our new blog articles on the new eDirectory V13.1 release and also the new eDirectory App.

So take your seat and enjoy this session with us!

Welcome to the new eDirectory V13.1

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 April 13th, 2022.

Want more tips? Shoot us a note at .

eDirectory Facebook Group

 

It’s out: New eDirectory v13.1

Meet the New eDirectory v13.1

New eDirectory v13.1We are proud to announce a major release: eDirectory v13.1. It is filled with new features and new technology. It reflects the constant evolution of the most complete directory software.

According to Arca Solutions’ CEO, James Chubb, this new eDirectory version comes from a new set of internal processes for faster release cycles. It means more product features are being added with even more quality.

This release gives more flexibility and functionality, making it easier to launch and monetize directory-based websites.

The new eDirectory Mobile App

The star of the new release is the new generation of the eDirectory Apps. Formerly built using two different platforms (one for Android and one for iOS), the new eDirectory app is created with Flutter, an open-source framework developed by Google in 2015. It delivers native performance and visual consistency on different platforms.

Fernando Nascimento, product manager of eDirectory, says that web and app formats are now closer and the plan is to get them even closer in terms of design, features, and functionalities.

Read more about the New eDirectory App here.

There’s no doubt the new eDirectory App brings more flexibility but it also brings more opportunities for customization, to meet specific needs. ”The new version is built on the open-source Flutter platform, where the single code base can generate native iPhone and Android apps. Going forward this will dramatically increase the velocity of the app development, as well as make app customization much more affordable”, says James.

What’s new on eDirectory v13.1

Besides the new eDirectory App, the web version brings improvements and new features across all modules. As we have a blog post dedicated to the new eDirectory App, let’s see here the highlights for the web version!

New Widgets for the Listing Detail Page

Marketplace Widget

This feature allows listing publishers to create lists of products and services that
will be shown as a catalog on the listing detail page, and an external purchase link can be added so the end-user can purchase the offered item. Learn how to add this feature to your eDirectory site.

Header Widgets

A total of 5 new header widgets for design enhancements and to create fine-tuned templates for each category.

  • Thin Header
  • Centralized Header (3 different versions)
  • Header with Gallery (up to 8 images)

Contact Us Widget

The contact information is displayed on the default header widget but now it can be displayed anywhere on the listing detail page. It includes address, phone, an additional phone, website, and email.

Badges Widget

Similar to the Contact Information, Badges were displayed only on the default header but now can be added anywhere on the listing detail page.

Browse by Category Widget

Site managers can now select from which module the categories will be selected on any
of the “Browse by category” widgets. It creates more options to highlight the best content of your project, improving user engagement.

Twitter Feed Widget

With the sunset of the Advanced Social Media Plugin, the Twitter feed is now available for all new installations. Available for Listings and Events modules. LinkedIn clickable URL can now be added to the listing page.

Deals Module

Advertisers are now able to upload their own QR code, which will be displayed on the redeemed coupon, making it easier the deal validation. Fixed prices are now optional, allowing advertisers to create generic coupons such as “All products with 50% off”. Advertisers will be able to define if redeem codes will be generated randomly for each deal redeem or define a unique, customized coupon code that will be presented for all visitors who redeem that deal. Lastly, the Site Manager will be able to disable the display of the time left to redeem and the deals left counter. See how to use QR Code on deals.

General Settings – Maps and Banner Ads by level

Site managers can now choose which levels will display Google maps and Banner Ads on the detail page. Available for listings, events, and classifieds It allows to create or highlight the benefits of the premium plans.

Theme Layout Updates

New layout for themes Doctors, Wedding, and Restaurant. Improved default color palette for contrast and usability.

Claimable Listings export

New option to export claimable listings on the Mailing list section. Claimable listing is a powerful built-in feature so you can reach out to your potential advertisers, starting a conversation to engage and sell. This new export feature creates a faster way to pull this data and feed your preferred email marketing platform.

Read the full list of enhancements of eDirectory v13.1 here.

Upgrade to the latest version of eDirectory today!

For active clients looking to take advantage of the latest and greatest eDirectory.com has to offer, simply fill out the Upgrade Request form or contact your account executive.

For new clients looking to launch their online Enterprise with all you see here and much more, please request a demo here, call us directly at +1-800-630-4694, or send an email to sales@eDirectory.com.

The new generation of the eDirectory App

The new eDirectory App is here!

The new generation of the eDirectory App

In a mobile-first world, eDirectory has always been ahead of its time: from the early adoption of website design responsivity to the creation of its exclusive Integrated App Builder. That’s part of what makes us lead the online directory software industry.

The eDirectory App

Having mobile apps published on the app stores brings extra authority to any project as it shows the commitment to the online community it serves.

Since 2010 the Integrated App Builder creates both Android and iPhone apps. Twelve years later, eDirectory confirms its protagonism and leadership in the online directory software industry.

The eDirectory Integrated App Builder brings a huge advantage for Online Directory owners as they can manage everything within the same interface. In a few clicks, they can configure the look and feel of the app, manage the main menu, and create custom pages.

Through our powerful API, every content added to the website – listings, classifieds, events, etc – become available on the app. Its dynamic nature allows for quick design changes to reflect automatically on the apps without having to republish them.

Using the integration with Google Firebase, app owners can send real Push Notifications, increasing user engagement and retention. Only native apps have this capability.

Formerly written with Java (Android) and Objective C (iPhone), we totally revamped its base technology and design for an increased amazing experience for visitors and advertisers.

Flutter

With the release of the new version 13.1, our exclusive Integrated App Builder now writes the apps using Flutter technology. This open-source platform was created by Google back in 2015 and it allows more agility in app development.

Flutter combines the quality of native apps with the flexibility of cross-platform development. It’s been used by companies like BMW, Alibaba, eBay, GroupOn, NuBank, Google itself, and many others.

Among the several benefits of Flutter, we can name its versatility, high performance, customization, and reliability of the code delivered. It means that its adoption on our Integrated App Builder allows the eDirectory Apps to become even more powerful, with even more features, and easier to be customized to meet specific needs – and for affordable pricing.

The Process

While we’re passionate about what we do, the new eDirectory app isn’t made “to suit our passions”. The (re)creation of the eDirectory app is the result of more than a year of research, hypothesis validation, data verification, prototyping, and a lot of effort by the entire team. It is the result of a process that involved customers and professionals from all areas of the company.

Led by the Design Team, the process started with several interviews with heavy-use customers around the world to map a wide range of different perceptions, needs, and desires about the eDirectory App.

After completing this step, professionals from all areas of the company (admin, sales, marketing, infrastructure, support, design, and product team) put all hands on this deck to analyze the raw data and build together the roadmap of this new journey.

Priorities set and technical needs over the table, it was time to tackle the challenges and beat them all, one by one, completing all of the planned stages. Nothing was left behind.

Finally, after months of teamwork that involved building, testing, validating, and rounds and rounds of quality control, the new eDirectory App is here, ready for the world again.

The new eDirectory App

The new eDirectory App, despite bringing many new features, still maintains the same nature as the previous generation: it is an application focused on the end-user.

Using Flutter allowed the app’s design to be refreshed and more closely aligned with the web/responsive version, while also including many of the web version’s features and functionalities.

See the highlights of the new eDirectory App:

Listing Template Design: through the Listing Template Editor you can create custom fields and unique designs for the Listing Detail Page – fitting general listings and/or one template for each category. With the new version of the app, all custom fields are displayed on the app, following the design of the associated Listing Template.

Exclusive Content: one of the great advantages of the app was the perception of users and advertisers about the authority of the project. With the new version of the apps, this authoritative item gains an important ally: the offer of exclusive content through the apps.

Stories: similar to the Instagram feature, site managers now can promote listings, deals, latest news, and more, with an eye-catching featured section on the app. Different from Instagram, these stories won’t vanish with time and are stored in the app, this way your users are able to review them at any time. Learn how to create Stories to promote your content.

Deals: advertisers (and site owners) can create deals exclusive to the app. It helps to promote even more your mobile apps, increasing user engagement. Learn how to create app-exclusive deals in your eDirectory app.

Banners: banner ads are now displayed within the apps and can be created exclusively for the apps. The home screen has one slot for the native banner ads. The results screen also displays banner ads in the middle of the results. Learn how to create banners for the apps.

Customizable Home Screen: now you can choose, rename and reorder the elements on the Home Screen. This allows a fine-tuning of the content according to your project and commercial strategy.

Sliders: apps always had their own exclusive Sliders but it was mandatory to link them to existing content such as Listing, for example. Now the Sliders can be just images with no link or even linked to external content.

Inbox: with the new version the users will have access to an Inbox feature that stores all the Push Notifications sent to the app. It may increase the interaction rate as they will have the chance to check the notifications at their own pace. Learn more about the Inbox feature.

Apple ID: we added the Apple ID option for account creation and log-in.

What’s next for the eDirectory App?

As we mentioned before, our process of re-creating the eDirectory App took into consideration the most different needs and requests from our customers. The first version of the new generation delivers new features but inside its already known focus: the end-user.

The next steps are to increase the capacity of the app, including features specific to the advertisers, where they will be able to manage and edit existing content right through the app. The screens are already designed and we are currently working on technical aspects of the development.

We are immensely grateful to everyone who took part and helped with the new eDirectory App. This marks a new stage in our history of leadership in the online directory software industry.

Thank you!

Questions, suggestions, or comments about the new eDirectory App? Please shoot us a note here or send an email to marketing@eDirectory.com.

Upgrade to the latest version of eDirectory today!

For active clients looking to take advantage of the latest and greatest eDirectory.com has to offer, simply fill out the Upgrade Request form or contact your account executive.

For new clients looking to launch their online Enterprise with all you see here and much more, please request a demo here, call us directly at +1-800-630-4694, or send an email to sales@eDirectory.com.

5 niches for online business directories to explore in 2022

 

5 niches for online business directories to explorer in 2022

Online directories are guides that list companies, products, and/or services from multiple commercial niches. Directory websites have evolved from newspaper classifieds and the old Yellow Pages, which featured companies and professionals from a wide range of areas.

Since the internet boom in the late 90s and early 2000s, online directories have proven to be a lucrative business opportunity and continue to be so, even today. Here we present the 5 niches of classified portals that will be hot in 2022.

Define your niche well to succeed

To get started, we’ll help you take the first step by finding the right niche. You need to follow three rules:

a. Be Specific

As opposed to what many might expect, to be successful at creating an online business directory, you need a specific focus. In fact, a very diverse directory would compete with numerous other sites (such as marketplaces and other directories), in addition to not passing the credibility of an expert in a certain field.

Select a niche you are familiar with and that has a consumer base that is willing to pay to be listed on your online directory. Gather services and products in this niche and choose a name and domain that reflect what your site offers.

b. Stay hyper-focused to beat the competition

One effective technique to beat the competition is to stay hyper-focused.  Instead of an overly broad directory in terms of categories or geographic areas covered, narrow it down to a niche you can win.  You can always expand the focus later.

In highly competitive niches, you may need to invest in paid media (such as Google ads or Facebook ads) in order to compete.

c. Better chances of success

Niche markets with less competition are already more likely to be successful. Despite this, to ensure your project’s success, it must, above all, be relevant.

One strategy that has gained traction over the past couple of years is the concept of unbundling. The aim is to break up larger and multi-layered businesses such as newspaper classifieds, yellow pages, or even Craigslist into smaller niches, and specialize in them while offering excellent services and advantages over their original sources.

Below, you’ll find the top 5 online directory niches we believe will have the greatest probability of success in the year 2022.

Main niches for online directories in 2022

1. Wellness and beauty

Do you have any idea of how big is the beauty industry? Globally, it is expected to grow to $716B by 2025, from $483B in 2020 to $511B in 2021, with a compound annual growth rate of 4.75 percent worldwide. Led by personal care products, skincare, and cosmetics, this can give you an idea of how strong this niche is.

Online Directory Niche: Beautysource: Commonthreadco

In the fitness department, 2022 is expected to surpass pre pandemic times in terms of revenue and sales for fitness equipment. Market size is estimated to be worth US$ 8.9million in 2022 while the entire market is worth nearly 160 billion in 2021, the fitness industry is expected to grow 171.75% to 434.74 billion USD by 2028.

Fitness market growth Source: IHRSA Global Report fitness

Which gives us plenty of reasons to recommend this niche as a viable option for you to explore in 2022. Aim for your local market and make your online directory a source of qualified listings.

2. Investments and finance

(I think this section isn’t clear about what the guide is supposed to focus on, which I think is probably investment products (stocks, bonds, investment funds, stratagies around them, and also insurance products and retirement planning, maybe with a bonus add in digital currencies)

As fintechs (financial startups such as Acorns, Stash, and others) and financial influencers on social media have popularized investments for the general public, it has become easier than ever to make investments from your smartphone.

According to Gallup research, 56% of US adults own stocks and keep other investments, showing the steady interest in investing in the US.

Even though investing is highly sought after, many people still have doubts about how to begin. Therefore, an online directory covering this niche will be relevant in 2022. Include listings for investment brokerages, events related to financial education, accounting firms, and tax consulting services for companies.

Investment online directory niche

3. Origins and beliefs (foods, religions, Culture)

(let’s find some other way to say race, too hot to touch, maybe culture?)

Starting an online directory based on the diversity of your region could be an effective way to achieve commercial success. You can offer listings and events that reflect the values and culture of your selected nationality, such as food and drink, language tutoring, cultural events, arts and crafts, products, and services.

Another segmentation method is the division of religions and their subdivisions, which create several niches that can be targeted to aggregate religious services and products regardless of beliefs. Understand your niche and provide services (classifieds, events, text articles) that speak to this audience.

Edirectory Free guided demo

4. Weddings

In the United States alone, around 2,5 million weddings are expected to happen in 2022. A considerable growth from the 1,9 million celebrated in 2021.

Weddings are, without a doubt, back to pre-pandemic levels.

Upon the return of major in-person events at the end of 2021, weddings are back in full force. Market revenue for the Wedding Services industry is expected to reach $57.9 billion in 2022.

You could advertise services such as ceremonials, catering, clothing rentals, photographers, and decor, as well as promote events in the area and write articles in the niche.

Wedding online directory niche

5. Events

Parties, graduations, birthdays, concerts… Events are back in full action in 2022. Among dozens of other possibilities, events are a great source of material for an online directory.

Just to paint the scenario, the 2021 edition of Lollapalooza in Chicago racked in over $300 million dollars in revenue. A bump up over the $248 million over the 2019 edition.

Look for relevant events in your niche and don’t disregard online events, which will still be high in demand. You can easily offer tickets, discounts, and easy access to events through your business directory.

Partner with public agencies to promote events including city halls, the secretary of culture, NGOs, and others.

eDirectory is the ideal tool to create an online business directory in your niche

Create an online directory using eDirectory, the most comprehensive platform available. Besides its ease of use, its greatest advantage is that, even if you have no prior knowledge of coding and/or design, you can have your website ready to generate revenue in just a few steps.

eDirectory gives you all the tools to create something unique. Whatever your idea is, eDirectory is the ideal software to get it off the ground.

Wrapping up

We outlined the main points to consider when selecting a niche to start an online directory. Even though it is important to consider the points mentioned, you should choose something you are familiar with. If you’re in the medical field, go for a specialty within the health area. Working in the law field, aim for legal services and consultancy in your city.

Remember the three rules:

  • Be specific;
  • Choose less competition;
  • Better chances of success.

We also brought the top 5 niches for online business directories to invest in 2022, which are:

  • Fitness and beauty;
  • Investiments and finance;
  • Origins and beliefs;
  • Weedings;
  • Events.

In addition, we introduce the leading platform to bring your online directory to life, eDirectory.

Even if you’re an absolute beginner, eDirectory has a completely free guided demo to get you started, along with an extensive support team.

Request your free demo today!

Join the eDirectory Facebook Group

Benefits of Google Tag Manager

Benefits of Google Tag ManagerIn this week’s webinar, we covered one of the most useful Google web tools: Google Tag Manager (or GTM). If you own a website or manage one but are not a developer, you most probably already felt the need to implement snippets of code from Google itself or other services such as tracking pixels (Facebook), social media sharing, and a myriad of widgets. The benefits of Google Tag Manager are both in the ease of use as well in managing your tags.

And speaking of Tags, think of them as plugins, these snippets of code can make your site smarter by adding several types of tools in your website. Examples of tags are Google Analytics, Hotjar, remarketing tools, CRM integrations, submission forms, and the list goes on.

Prior to GTM, trivial things such as tracking codes would need to be hardcoded on your site by a developer.

According to the official documentation from Google Tag Manager, these are the basic concepts of Tags and Triggers:

  • Tag: A tag is a code that sends data to a system such as Google Analytics.
  • Trigger: A trigger listens for certain events, such as clicks, form submissions, or page loads. When an event is detected that matches the trigger definition, any tags that reference that trigger will fire.

Source: Orbit Media

The tags work in conjunction with triggers, which are what release the tags to start tracking. It basically tells GTM when, where or how to fire a tag. These triggers can be set by page views, link clicks, form submissions, or even scroll depth.

Watch the webinar and discover the benefits of Google Tag Manager for eDirectory

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 above.

This session was recorded on April 06, 2022.

Want more tips? Shoot us a note at marketing@eDirectory.com and don’t forget to join our Facebook group.

eDirectory Facebook Group

 

Keyword Research for Online Directories

Keyword research for online directories is a key element to understand the opportunities your website has to rank higher on search engine result pages (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc).

eDirectory’s code was written with SEO in mind. The structured code makes it easy for search engines to index and understand what is important.

In this webinar, our CEO James Chubb, along with the marketing team, shows how to determine which strategic keywords to target in your website’s content, and how to craft that content to satisfy both users and search engines.

This session was recorded on March 23, 2022.

The second part of the webinar demonstrates how to use professional keyword research tools such as the Google Ads Keyword Planner and SEMRush. Following that, we showed how to add keywords to your eDirectory website.

Here are the links discussed in the webinar. Feel free to use as a reference for your SEO strategy:

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

Want more tips? Shoot us a note at marketing@eDirectory.com and don’t forget to join our Facebook group.

eDirectory Facebook Group

 

The Online Directory Business Model (and how to succeed)

The online directory business modelStarting a new business with an online directory is a very attractive option for several reasons. Online directories are one of the most effective business models within the online media space and can be used by agencies to grow revenue or by entrepreneurs to launch a new digital company.

Some advantages of the online directory business model:

  • Easy and affordable to setup;
  • Provides a valuable service for people making purchase decisions;
  • Much of the content is user-produced, meaning the business can be run with a small team;
  • Low ongoing maintenance;
  • Generates high-margin, recurring revenue.

In this article, we’ll cover the foundation of the online directory business model, as well as learn how to monetize the business and get the first customers.

What is an online directory?

An online directory is a guide that assists people in making a purchase decision, whether it’s a local guide for restaurants and hotels, a niche product, such as a guide to help set up a wedding, or a business-to-business guide for buying factory equipment or enterprise services.

Online directories provide information about specific businesses including their names, addresses, contact details, associations, services, and products offered in the form of listings. Businesses are typically categorized based on their location, activity, or rating, and the directory must ensure that all the information in its listings is accurate.

In this business model, there are several niches to be explored and each one of them generates value differently for users and clients (which we will discuss in the next chapters).

How does the basic business model work

The basic business model is creating a site that has a list of all the relevant suppliers, which includes detailed information about what they offer, photos and videos, ratings, and reviews.  The model originally was used by yellow page companies, which in the US was a 20+ billion-dollar-a-year industry globally.  Also, niche B2B media companies often published vendor and supplier directories.

The online directory business model has been in use since the late nineties. Did you know that Elon Musk himself, when starting his climb in the business world, created an online city guide with maps and yellow pages, founding Zip2?

Back then, the company’s strategy was to create a physical database to promote this service to major newspapers and media publishers. He managed to close deals with major publishing houses like the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and others.

In short, in February 1999, he sold the company to Compaq for $307 million. With the $22 million he received for his 7% stake in Zip2, he next launched an online bank called X.com, which merged with Confinity to form PayPal in 2000.

Interestingly, since then, the online business directory model has grown more and more, attracting the attention of different brands, products, competitors, etc.

eDirectory Business Listing Online DirectoryBusiness listing information example and how the information is displayed in an online directory.

The power of curation

Online information is everywhere these days – you can find information about a business on Google, Facebook, and many other sites. So why would people need a directory? The value is in the curation. The directory shows all the suppliers, ratings and reviews, and other information making it the authority to help make the purchase decision. There is so much information out there that curation is especially valuable, filtering out the noise and delivering only what’s really valuable.

By exploring the best content available in a certain niche, your online directory will be recognized. Customers value the diverse perspectives offer about the topics and interests that interest them. So get to know your audience, what are your customers looking for? What are their pains and needs?

Pay extra attention to the following points in order to have an effective curation process:

  • The kind of audience you are trying to build
  • The segment of customers you are trying to attract

Knowing your audience (and your niche) is key. Remember this.

As a source of curated content, your online directory’s purpose is to share listings, events, deals, and classifieds that your audience wants. It acts as a funnel. It is one of the most important ways to build trust between you and your audience. The better the content you provide, the more likely you are to receive clicks and referrals.

Get to know the types of online business directories

There are several types of online business directories to meet the most diverse interests and segments you could think of. Here are the most commonly used today:

  • Online local businesses;
  • Classifieds;
  • Real estate classifieds;
  • Job boards;
  • Freelancers;
  • Domestic services;
  • Events;
  • Weddings;
  • Doctors;
  • Travel, hotels, and food,
  • Softwares and apps;
  • Auto sales.

The key elements to having a good online business directory

For your online directory to be of higher quality, it must consider the following parameters:

  1. Breadth and depth of data for the categories the directory covers, so it has all the relevant listings and all the relevant information about each listing.  We have an entire Webinar dedicated to this topic.
  2. Provide relevant related content to attract more traffic (blogs, videos, social media);
  3. Present advertiser listings in an attractive and organized, with good descriptions and images;
  4. It is essential to have integrations with providers for online payment, allowing sales through this channel (check your local and major gateways);
  5. An online sponsor dashboard would allow sponsors to fully manage their listings. This saves time and allows greater flexibility for advertisers;
  6. To ensure a higher position in the search rankings of your listings and websites, it is essential to have content optimized for SEO;
  7. By providing maps and information related to the locations of listed companies, the directory site becomes much more useful to users.
  8. Reviews are important to make other users from your audience to have based purchase decisions.
  9. Invest in good quality photos and videos, hire a photographer or an image specialist. Good photos make your online directory look and feel more professional, and also make the sponsors sell more.
  10. And curation, as we mentioned before. Stay in your niche, promote an Editor’s Choice Award and other creative contests to engage with your audience.

How to get the first customers for your online directory?

To get started, you need to develop some marketing strategies to promote your online directory and attract your first customers. It is a job that requires a certain amount of patience to take the right steps and achieve the desired results.

Next, we will present some tips to attract the first customers to your online directory site, which are:

  1. Build listings on your site to grab users’ attention as an empty business directory doesn’t grab anyone’s attention. You can scrape listings and start filling your website by yourself.
  2. Use social media to promote your online directory, as your target audience is in these spaces and willing to interact with brands;
  3. Take advantage of the opportunity to establish a relationship with your audience by electing your visitors’ favorites in a certain niche;
  4. It is interesting to start using paid advertising, such as Google Ads, to increase traffic to your online directory quickly. Bing ads are also an option;
  5. Drive traffic to your directory site and build authority for your brand by writing relevant content and using guest blogging. Organic strategies typically require a longer time to work;

These are just a few suggestions to get you started in making your online directory popular and profitable.

How to monetize your online directory?

Certainly, most online business directory sites make money by providing visibility to their partners. This happens both with the dissemination of products and services and with the use of spaces for advertisements.

Additionally, some websites offer premium advertising and spaces. Once you have your online directory, it’s time to monetize it. It’s what generates business and profits.

Other forms of monetization can also be found in niches and differentiated business models, for example:

  • Affiliate Marketing;
  • Sales of leads;
  • Sponsored newsletters;
  • Disclosure on social networks.

Edirectory Free guided demoPaid advertisement inside the online directory business model

The option of paid advertisements to earn income in the online directory business model is the most used and applies to several types of online commercial guides, such as:

  • Stores;
  • Restaurants;
  • Subscriptions to scientific articles or videos;
  • Job vacancies, among others.

In this type of monetization, businesses pay to have their brand appear at the top of search results in their category. This is certainly an effective method of gaining visibility.

In addition, this type of listing generates recurring revenue, as the company can pay a monthly membership fee to have your name displayed throughout the month at certain times.

The listing is displayed on the first page of its categories, depending on the type of plan that is chosen by the companies. For example, a plan might offer three levels of memberships, such as:

  • Bronze ($30/month): Featured listing in a category and 2 photos to upload;
  • Silver ($50/month): Featured listings in 3 categories, 5 photos to upload and 1 social media account link;
  • Gold ($100/mo): Featured listings in 5 categories and 1 rotating ad slot, 10 upload photos, and linking 5 social media accounts with active feed updates.

In this example, it is clear how the advantages of each plan are increasing and how you can choose the one that best fits your budget.

Interestingly, the amount charged by companies to advertise their services and products directly relates to the quality of the directory site. Thus, the better your online directory, with a lot of good listings, the more you can charge for these plans.

As well, the more traffic your site has, the more opportunities you have to attract advertisers.

Ad spaces available

You can also monetize your online business directory by selling ad spaces, i.e. banners. Initially, you can offer free advertising space to encourage sponsors to start using your online directory.

You can also use the rotating banner to sell the same space to different companies. This requires defining a marketing plan that can be weekly, biweekly as well as other options.

One way to charge for ad slots can be Cost per 1000 impressions (CPM) or cost per click (CPC), or by setting a monthly fee for a certain space in a specific location on the page.

Take advantage of every opportunity to advertise your online directory. Some ideas can generate good results, such as promoting events related to the niche market in which it operates. Or even promoting articles, classifieds, and everything else that may be related to your business and generate an audience.

How to get started?

This is a critical step in getting your business directory started and on its way to success.

With the tools available today such as directory templates, themes, or online directory scripts, it can be overwhelming to build and update your online directory yourself or have to rely on a developer.

A company that specializes in online directory site software has a lot to offer for your online business model. For example, eDirectory is an extremely complete and commercially available directory website builder.

It offers its users all the tools to create, manage and promote a successful directory site. It also offers a robust list of resources, including some essential tools to help you market your directory online, such as:

  1. Ability to create professional directory listings with images, videos, social media feed, and coupons within an intuitive and beginner-friendly interface;
  2. Customize your pages to fit your needs, using a visual editor to create different categories for each listing you create;
  3. Seamless integration with the most popular social media platforms and encouraging advertisers to promote their own listings with social sharing links;
  4. Automatically integrate with Google Maps as new listings are added;
  5. Providing automatic payment reminders to listing owners as their payment due dates approach;
  6. You can generate business for your advertisers by allowing them to create their own coupons and offers directly from their listings. Additionally, you can sell them banners ad space;

To get a better idea of all these eDirectory benefits, go to edirectory.com and schedule a free guided demo. You will be surprised!

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