Content Marketing Strategies For Online Business Directories

content marketing strategies for online directories

If you are launching an online directory there are a number of content marketing strategies to help you attract an audience and build engagement.  Content marketing is part of a larger marketing category called Inbound Marketing and is designed to attract your business’ target audience by building content pieces that provide information and reinforce authority on the subject matter.

In this article, we’ve outlined some of the key content marketing strategies that are most effective for building an audience.

  • Why is content marketing important for an online business directory?
  • How to get started with a content marketing strategy
  • 7 content formats to explore in your online strategy

Copyright: (c) Bakhtiarzein | Dreamstime.com

Why is it important to use content marketing strategies for online business directories?

Content marketing is part of a bigger category of marketing activities called inbound marketing, or attraction marketing as it is also known.  This is different from outbound marketing which takes the value proposition to the customers.

Content marketing offers several benefits such as:

  • Educate your audience about your niche;
  • Promote your business’ authority;
  • Generate engagement from your target audience;
  • Take a softer approach to convert users into customers;
  • Reduce your business marketing costs;
  • Expand your site’s organic traffic and visibility.

How to start a content marketing strategy for online business directories?

Now that you know the importance of utilizing content marketing strategies for your classifieds website, you might be wondering how to get started, right?

Well, contrary to what many people think, a content marketing strategy does not simply involve posting blog posts on your website at random but rather, researching, planning, executing, and measuring the results (and the use of different content formats).

So, before thinking about creating content for your online business directory, you should consider all the steps in this process and think about aspects such as:

  • Who are you creating content for?
  • What are the goals of your strategy?
  • How do you plan to promote them (channels and formats)?
  • How will you fit content into your business’s sales funnel strategy?
  • How will you measure your results (KPIs)?

All of these are critical to achieving successful results in your content strategy for online business directories.

Once you plan, execute and evaluate the results, you can make the necessary adjustments to the strategy to improve it further.

7 Content Formats to Explore in Your Trade Guide Strategy

A content marketing strategy is not based on just producing content sporadically and only in one setting (people often associate with blog posts). On the contrary, there are several formats that you can adopt, mix and reframe in your planning.  Here is an overview of a few successful formats.

1. Interview with Advertisers (video, podcast or text)

Create a sense of importance in your advertisers by inviting them to an interview by telling their story, and sharing their knowledge. Invite a prominent sponsor and record an interview in webinar format, highlighting their background, strategy and successes (as well as their mistakes).

To save time this can also be done via email, where you regularly send a set of questions to directory listing owners or other people in the industry, edit them and post as articles or blogs.

The goal here is to generate more engagement with your audience, creating identification with real people, so that other users can connect and interact through your platform. We recommend that you hold webinars or do a written email interview with a guest once a month and then feature it in your directory site and other channels such as social media or newsletters.

2. Create Local Itineraries

For local search directories, a great way to drive readership is by creating a virtual itinerary of good options for businesses and services offered in your guide. Contact advertisers and offer space within your itinerary, but be sure to curate it to give your audience a good experience. It can be regional food restaurants, craft and arts stores, street food vendors and other attractions that might be of interest.

You can structure the itinerary into a blog post, or article, including mentions of listings and advertisers, as well as videos and photos to enrich the material and rank higher on Google. You can create thematic itineraries based around holidays and events (watch the calendar). Renewing annually to update with new tips and content.

3. Create Top 10 Lists

Another great opportunity to generate engagement with your advertisers and visitors is to create Top 10 or Best of lists, with the best picks from your online business directory. Use “editor’s choice” badges to value the top-rated advertisers and offer this premium space in a top 10 of the year in key categories in your business directory, such as best restaurants, best dental clinics, best car dealerships, accounting offices, lawyers and others.

Top 10 lists are usually run annually, selecting the best services, products and advertisers. Send an email to selected candidates informing them that they are participating in the selection for the best of the year in their category. Define how the choice will be made and reward the winners with a special badge for that year and promote the result on social networks and groups of your online directory.

4. Create Infographics

Infographics about different subjects relevant to your directory can help capture attention by telling a story with information and images.

This format increases engagement and traffic to your site on search engines. First, think of a narrative (a story) that you want to include and what main data you should gather, for example: an infographic that shows the main attractions in your city center on a map, or an infographic that shows the reviews and prices for services (choose a category) in a particular neighborhood.

As a lead-gathering strategy, you can start off by offering some of the content for free in your business guide, and a more complete version accessible by subscribing to a newsletter, where the visitor leaves their name and email to access the material.

5. Create a Fun Contest

Here’s a fun tip to generate more likes and comments on your social media: a contest is always a good way to generate some buzz on your online directory! Host a photo contest of the best dishes from advertised restaurants in your online business directory. Is your location a coastal city? Even better! Award the best photos of the beaches in your region. Create polls open to the public to choose the best services, food and stores in the region.

Offer prizes to winning advertisers such as upgrades to your ads or free plugins. The better the offer, the more people will engage and participate in the contest.

6. Create Memes

According to scientist Richard Dawkins, “a meme is an idea or information that is propagated and multiplied among individuals, similarly to what happens with the gene in genetics”. This may seem far from the concept of memes we see on the internet every day, but it’s exactly the same concept.

The power of Memes comes from the fact they are meant to be shared – it’s a content format with potential to reach thousands of people. You can take advantage of this format by creating fun images that fit your niche. Believe me, there is a whole audience of the most diverse segments that consume memes produced specifically for them such as pet owners, cooks, nutritionists, lawyers, dentists… In short, look for your niche and pay attention to internet trends.

7. Ebooks, Templates, and Podcasts

Other informative content formats that draw attention and build authority are ebooks, templates, and podcasts.

Ebooks can further deepen a topic and still explain clearly and objectively the topics covered, in addition to serving as a tool for capturing leads. Try to create different ebooks in pdf format of various topics around your niche. Pay attention to what your users are looking for and create files to address their pain points and collect more leads.

Document Templates, which help businesses save time and create a professional image, are great for attracting leads to your business directory. Create ready-made templates of customer engagement emails your advertisers might use, or landing pages, or other things that might help their business like spreadsheets to plan or budget.  Businesses will download and customize them to fit their needs, and along the way they learn about your site and may sign up to become a paying member.

Podcasts are also great for attracting an audience.  You can plan, record and distribute audio content on subject matters that may be of interest to your audience.

Join the eDirectory Facebook Group

How to Distribute Created Content

Create an email marketing strategy

Email marketing is one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies.

A survey showed that for every $1 you spend, you can expect a return on your investment of $51. It is said that the ROI for email marketing is a whopping 4400%, that’s just amazing and shows how well email marketing strategies can perform. Make sure to customize your emails to your user base (this is key), keep your audience engaged with news and deals when it is relevant. Be sure not to spam your sponsors with too many blasts per week.

Content Marketing Strategies For Online Business DirectoriesSource: sendinblue

Do you want to build loyalty with your audience and establish a connection with your online business directory? An email marketing strategy can help you.

After defining the aspects mentioned in the previous topic, think of ways to build your email list with the contacts of potential customers who might be interested in your listing.

For example, invite your readers to subscribe to a newsletter where you will share valuable content and practical tips to your customers, free of charge and with the frequency defined in your planning (weekly, fortnightly, monthly).

Use Social Media

Social media is an extremely powerful tool in marketing campaigns for one reason: your potential customers are there on a daily basis.

Therefore, using them as one of the means of distribution in your content marketing strategy for trade guides is indispensable.

The great benefit of this means of distribution is that you can be present in the channels that make the most sense for your strategy and you can develop content that will really connect and create valuable relationships between your online business directory and your audience, all of it in a more present and frequent way.

Then, analyze which channels make the most sense for your strategy, according to your persona and objectives defined in the planning phase, and thus start thinking about ways you can engage your audience in these media through content production.

As you may already know, you can create a presence on social networks such as:

  • LinkedIn;
  • Facebook;
  • Instagram;
  • Twitter;
  • Pinterest, among others.

Reuse your content across different channels and formats

Who says content has to have the same format forever? A great way to put content marketing for online business directories into practice is to reuse your content across different configurations and channels.

How does it work? Well, blog content can become a more detailed ebook that you will make available to your audience and in return, you will get a contact that can be reused at another time; a live broadcast can become a longer blog post; a video can become a dynamic and useful infographic, among others. You just need to know how to fit the content to another purpose!

Use the video content format in your strategies

Videos, as well as blog posts, are excellent content formats to explore. This becomes more relevant every day as users consume more and more audiovisual content.

Also, producing content in video format is a way to make your content more shareable and thus reach more people. You can even embed videos in some blog articles and further optimize their content.

Videos also appear in search results, such as on Google, and therefore, can be optimized to better rank your portal in the most used search platform in the world.

Make your content relevant to Google – Write with a focus on SEO

One of the pillars of content marketing is blog content written with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind.   Understand which keywords groups are relevant to the topics you are targeting, and write with them in mind.  This will help you become an authority in search engine result pages for those topics.

A great way to do this in 2021, according to Neil Patel’s website, is to produce smaller, niched content and use long-tail keywords to occupy the more specific search positions on Google.

Also, doing keyword research work in your niche and developing content around those terms remains extremely important to getting good results.

Conclusion

Content marketing is a great way to attract an audience to your directory site and make your site the authority on the subject matter, and with the techniques from this article it’s not difficult to get started.  Make a plan and a schedule to try different strategies, and build on the ones that are most successful.

And if you’re still looking for a platform that integrates everything you need to successfully launch your trading guide, schedule a free demo with us today and see how eDirectory can help you!

Start Your Online Directory

Revenue Strategies for Online Directories

Revenue Strategies for Online Directories can be different depending on your niche.

Creating an online directory brings an amazing opportunity to generate a recurring revenue stream. From using the built-in payment tools that eDirectory provides to offering links to 3rd party affiliate products and services, opportunity abounds when it comes to monetizing your website!

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

This session took place on August 18th, 2021.

Questions? Shoot us a note at sales@eDirectory.com and join our Facebook Group.

Check our webinar schedule at https://www.edirectory.com/webinars/.

Benefits of Creating a Niche Directory

Benefits of Creating a Niche Website Directory

Building a niche directory can prove to be a very profitable venture indeed! With dedicated focus, a niche website is easier to launch and quick to attract paying advertisers, build community members and become profitable faster than other types of directories.

A niche website can be based on a specific subject, industry or region. The secret behind this business model is knowledge of your niche and an understanding of your target advertisers and readers. Your website content needs to be viewed as useful to attract readership and your advertising plans need to create a solution to a perceived problem or challenge your advertisers may be facing.

Niche Directory Market Size

Rather than casting a huge national or global net trying to encompass anyone and everyone, niche websites allow you to focus your energies on one particular market and subject and do it well!

  • Start out small – walk before you run and allow yourself to make your mistakes when you’re small so that you can get organized for success as you eventually grow
  • Focus on a smaller market that will give you more precise targeting options and better chances to achieve greater ROI on your investments
  • Create important partnerships early on that will create more opportunities down the road

Niche Directory Identity

It’s very difficult to be all things to all people. Honing in on your brand voice and identity unique to your niche is key early on.

  • Position yourself as an expert here becoming a key resource to a select group
  • Once your identity has been realized, this will help make generating content more consistent
  • Building on authority breeds trust which will help with growing your credibility

Niche Directory Location

If you can, start in one specific location or region and then begin to expand your reach once you have a good handle on your new business and better understand the needs of your community.

  • Master your back yard first – prove the concept where it is easiest to relate, travel, or be more proactive
  • Niche prospects will be in a more definable location across the web as well, as subscribers and consumers of industry or trade publications, geographic areas, or online groups or communities are in one “place” since it is a niche, it is easier to get yourself noticed

By building a niche directory website, you become a one-stop shop for bringing your community together and growing your online directory revenue goals. Focus on adding value, curating your niche community, and listening to their feedback as it will help you reach your goals more quickly.

10 of Our Favorite SEO Tools

10 Favorite SEO Tools

Keeping track of your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) can be difficult enough without having to spend so much time compiling the data for your links, page/domain ranks, indexing status and more. Luckily there is an abundance of tools online to make sure your data is accurate and organized while saving you an abundance of time.

These tools are critical to your organic search strategy because they allow you to focus on the elements of your site that Google and other search engines deem important.

Here are 10 of our favorite SEO tools:

1) Google Webmaster Tools

Cost: Free

A no brainer, right? Google’s Webmaster Tools is probably the best way to understand the way Google sees your site and get insight into how your site will rank. The Tools include beginner-friendly resources and data that help to explain the fundamentals of Google search and give you a good base to start your SEO research.

Use the Tools to check on your number of pages indexed or use Google’s Fetch as Google tool that allows you to see a particular URL as Google sees it, which is critical when troubleshooting for poor SEO performance. Use the information it provides to modify any pages in question to improve results.

Another great feature of Google Webmaster Tools is PageSpeed Insights. This tool measures the speed of both your desktop and mobile site, which is valued by Google. The PageSpeed scores range from 0 to 100 and the higher the score the better.

2) Moz Pro Tools

Cost: Free 30-day trial, then plans from $99/mo – $599/mo

Moz Pro is an advanced all-in-one SEO tool that will help you track and improve your site’s rankings. Moz has a great set of research tools that enable subscribers to identify SEO opportunities, track links, examine social reach, identify errors, compare against competitors and optimize your overall efforts.

The Moz Pro dashboard will provide you with data on your search visibility, domain authority, site visits over time, keyword rankings, external links and more. There is also a Crawl Test tool that employ’s Moz’s own web crawler, nicknamed RogerBot, to analyze up to 3,000 links on a URL of your choice. Once completed, you will then receive an email report that details the data for each page the site links to. This is very useful to identify crawlability factors such as duplicate content and redirects that could be influencing your SEO performance.

3) Woorank

Cost: Free 14-day trial, then $49/mo for a Pro Plan or $149/mo for a Premium Plan

Woorank’s provides in-depth site analysis to help site owner find opportunities for improvement. This analysis is easy to understand and divided into eight sections: Marketing Checklist, SEO, Mobile, Usability,Technologies, Social, Local, and Visitors.

Such a wide range of information and insight makes it easy to always find new opportunities and discover areas for improvement with your site.

4) Check My Links

Cost: Free

Check My Links is a browser plugin that allows you to check if the links on your webpage are functional and working properly.

While checking for broken link it easy for anyone controlling a site to make corrections or double check before a page goes live. The tool will highlight all the good links in a green color, and those that are broken in a red color, which makes it easy to spot the ones that don’t work or are no longer active and need to be updated or removed.

5) SEO Report Card

Cost: Free

With SEO Report Card you can analyze your site to determine how well it stacks up against some chosen competitors.

The SEO Report Card will supply you the following:

  • Rank Analysis: A snapshot of how your website ranks on Google, Yahoo, and Bing! based on the keywords you provide.
  • Link Building: The number of websites that link back to your site.
  • On-Site Analysis: Tracks how well you have incorporated your main keyword throughout your site.
  • Website Accessibility: Data on your site’s speed and ease of accessibility for crawlers.
  • Trust Metrics: Information on your domain’s level of trust and authority.
  • Current Indexing: Data for how many of your site pages have been indexed.

6) HubSpot’s Website Grader

Cost: Free

HubSpot, the pioneers of inbound marketing, created the Website Grader. It is an online tool that creates personalized reports based on these areas:

  • Performance: Tracking your site’s page size, requests, speed, and more.
  • Mobile Readiness: A check to see if your website is mobile-friendly in terms of responsiveness and viewport settings.
  • SEO. Tracks data like page titles and meta descriptions to see how easily your site can be found on search engines.
  • Security. This checks on the SSL certificate as well as the overall trustworthiness and security of your domain.

Your website URL and an email address is all that you need to get started and they will then provide you with a score (1-100) as well as a detailed report.

7) Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Cost: The Screaming Frog SEO Spider LITE version is free and the paid plan is $160/year

The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a program that crawls the URLs of the domains you enter for common SEO issues. It saves a ton of time by compiling the data and examining all of the URLs for you.

The Java program is fairly intuitive, with easy-to-navigate tabs. Plus, you can export any or all of the data into Excel for further analysis.

8) Found’s SEO Audit Tool

Cost: Free

The SEO Audit Tool is a tool for site owners looking to identify and fix any SEO errors that may be on their website.

Simply enter your URL and receive an SEO audit with information for three main areas:

  • Technical issues: This looks for errors with things like domain canonicalization and XML sitemaps.
  • Content issues: This focuses on keywords and meta data for your site.
  • External link analysis: This evaluates the quantity and quality of your external links.

9) Varvy’s SEO Overview Tool

Cost: Free

This SEO auditing tool provides users with analysis for your domain strength, links, image SEO, social counts, page/technical SEO, page speed, and more.

The complete report dives fairly deep into different aspects of your website’s performance and provides colored indicators to help you identify any issues.

One of our favorite features is the detailed image overview. This section focuses on the images on your website by analyzing the alt text. It checks to see if you are using too many words, missing alt text, or if the alt text appears weak, the tool will notify you so that you can make any necessary changes.

10) Remove’em

Cost: $249 per domain or a subscription option starting at $99/mo

Artificial or unnatural links (such as purchased links and spammy content) can seriously damage your SEO and do harm to your search rankings. Remove’em is a tool to help you clean up any of these damaging links.

Remove’em will scan your backlink profile and create a list of contact information for the links and domains that you should reach out to have removed. Plus, you can also use the tool to export the list of links to have Google disavow them using this tool. (With this tool you can ask Google not to take them into account when assessing your site.)

How to Run Effective Social Media Campaigns in Under 30 Minutes a Day

social media campaigns

I know what you’re thinking, “I can waste 30 minutes to an hour on Facebook and Twitter without even thinking about it so how could I possibly run successful social media campaigns in less time than that?

The answer is simple if you focus on 3 key areas that will greatly reduce your time commitment and also bring results to your campaigns:

  1. Keyword Monitoring
  2. Scheduling Posts
  3. Create Twitter Lists

Keyword Monitoring

It’s important to keep track of two main areas when monitoring posts on social media:

  • Mentions of your brand
  • Posts including relevant keywords and phrases to your product or industry

To track the mentions of your brand you can set up e-mail notifications to help make sure you aware of any of these posts. Pair this with manual checks for each social platform individually to ensure you don’t miss anything and be sure to respond to these mentions accordingly. Interacting with your followers and being an open source of communication will always be beneficial.

For overall keyword monitoring, I would recommend using tools such as Mention or Hootsuite to track posts for the keywords you are interested in. This will help to organize your monitoring and save you the time of having to perform several individual searches manually. Try to be as targeted as possible with your keywords and set notifications for the ones that are most relevant to your site and the type of audience you are looking to reach. You can refine these keywords as you go and even target them geographically. After you have set up the initial search criteria, you will only need to do some minor tweaks from time to time. Be sure to share the posts that you find the most interesting and take note of interesting industry trends that may lead to new content for you in the future. Follow as many top influencers as you can and try to engage them in post sharing whenever possible.

Scheduling Posts

The next task that can save you a lot of time is to schedule your posts ahead of time. Hootsuite along with Buffer are great tools for doing this. At the beginning of a week or month you can set a schedule to be sent out at optimal days and times. It is a good practice to take some of your better performing post you have sent previously and resend them out with a mix of new ones. You should also make sure to not be sending too many self-promoting posts, your followers won’t appreciate this. Send out interesting articles and links to other sites to ensure you are a good user to follow and not just a link spammer.

By setting a schedule at the beginning of week or month you ensure that you will have a steady flow of content going out on a regular basis and you can check back in with your social accounts when needed or if you have some extra time here or there.

Create Twitter Lists

A great way to better organize your social media accounts and save you some time is to create Twitter lists that separate the most influential users in your industry, or the accounts that share the best content. Use these lists to ensure you only see posts from the top accounts that you follow, maybe the top 50 instead of all 500 of the users you follow.

If you can narrow these lists down to small enough groups of essential sources, you’ll be able to scan through each list very quickly and locate the most relevant content from each list. You can now retweet, share and mention these top users in a shorter amount of time and get more effective results.

Conclusion

After implementing these 3 items you can now check your mentions and top keywords, have a consistent stream of daily content going out and quickly browse your top users and most relevant content in 30 minutes or less or day.

Always keep in mind that it’s important to stay SOCIAL on your social media accounts, meaning you should always be communicating, sharing and engaging with people online. Have fun with it and use it to your advantage 🙂

How to Price Listings, Banners and More for a Directory Site

We received an interesting question inquiring as to what was the best way to price listings, banners and more for a directory site.

First, there is no one correct way to price your listings and there’s no one standard or uniform equation to pricing out your listings.

In our experience, having dealt with hundreds of clients and also having experience in the publishing industry, your pricing model should be competitive to your market specifically. The price of a diamond level listing on a biotech or pharmaceutical directory where sponsors include multi billion dollar companies like Amgen or Genentech is going to be drastically different than a diamond level listing on a local search site in Billings, Montana (no offense Montana).

Look at the advertisers you’re looking to attract and find out where they are advertising.

These are likely your direct or somewhat direct competitors. They’ve set a market rate for these businesses and established a standard upon which they’re used to paying. This is your best guide to determining the right pricing model for your site.

One thing to keep in mind are the differences in print and online competitors. A 1/2 page ad in a print publication that boasts a circulation of 15,000 is drastically different than a 728×89 leaderboard with 15,000 impressions.

One thing we encourage all of our clients to do is to focus on maintaining the value of your sponsorships. Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re working on bringing in a new client and quote them $100 a month for a featured (diamond) listing. At that time, maybe you’re getting 10,000 page views a month on your site. $10 CPM isn’t that bad. Now let’s say 6 months down the road he comes back to you to purchase the advertising — or perhaps even renew his existing contract with you. The price he last saw was $100 a month for 10,000 page views.

Now your site has reached 30,000 page views and you’re charging $200. You’ve tripled the traffic to your site and only doubled the cost of your sponsorship and your CPM is down to $6.66. At the end of the day, you’ve created a more cost effective advertising vehicle for your sponsor, but him justifying a 2x increase in ad spend from what it was last time can be very difficult, despite the substantial increase in audience size. So what to do in these situations?

Price your ad units at competitive or slightly above competitive lines out of the gate. If you had come in at a $200 price point with 10,000 pageviews ($20CPM), it may be a little steep, but you can ALWAYS have value ads in the deal with your advertiser, such as buy 4 months and get a 5th free to make the cost sting a little less. This way, your sponsorships (listings, banners, etc) maintain their value ($200 a month) and you don’t have to worry about constantly increasing your costs to reflect the growth in your site traffic.

Many marketers can understand and justify the price increase above, but in many cases, when you’re running a local search site, you’re not dealing with savvy marketers, you’re dealing with small business owners who are trying to keep their operational costs to a minimum. Some things to remind them of when trying to reinforce the value of your site’s sponsorships:

  • Guaranteed impressions – In their print publication, they’re sold a circulation number, but this by no means reflects how many people actually read the publication or saw your ad for that matter.
  • Relevance  Use Analytics information (search terms, time on site) to SHOW your advertiser that people come to your site to FIND businesses like theirs.
  • Reporting – Provide your advertiser with a detailed report on how many page views their ad got, how long the average visitor stayed on the site, what they were searching for when they came to the site, how many people clicked on their listing, redeemed a deal, etc.

Questions? Comments? Thoughts? Leave them in the comments section or email marketing@edirectory.com

The Importance of Great Web Design

download__1673×3548_

People are going to make snap judgments. Within the first few seconds of viewing a new site, visitors will make up their mind as to whether they are going to stay and look around or head elsewhere.

This is why it is so important to get to your design right for your website. Paired with great content and engaging copy, a good-looking site with a clean design will draw new visitors in and keep them interested in what you have to say.

Your Website Defines You

How a site looks and feels will define how the visitor perceives your business and the brand as a whole. A visitor will make assumptions about the amount of success, level of expertise and overall personality of the brand based on how the site looks to them visually.

If your web site looks modern, sharp and professional, your potential clients will think you run a modern, well-organized and professional business. On the other hand, if potential clients visit your site and think it looks outdated and cheap, then that’s exactly how they’ll perceive your business as well.

This is an opportunity to cultivate a brand identity that commands respect and trust amongst potential new clients. Perception is everything, so make sure you have a clear idea of what you want your brand to stand for and make sure your site portrays that.

Navigation

The navigation of a website is a key element of its design, this is especially true for websites packed with many pages (such as online directories!). Website navigation typically includes a navigation bar and the various other page links that differentiate the sections of the website.

Good navigation should be simple, clean and inviting. It should be very intuitive and require little thought for someone to understand how to make their way around the site and find what they are looking for. This is typically achieved their proper spacing, great-looking graphics and clean, concise copy throughout the design.

High Resolution

Speaking of great-looking photos, advancements in digital photography and the screen resolution of computers, laptops and mobile devices provides website owners with a great opportunity to display some stunning images. Many of the most popular trends in current web design themes include the use of prominent, high-resolution photos or graphics that help to provide an impressive accent.

A single image can be used to define your site and your brand. The proper image can portray ambition, excellence, beauty, excitement or stature in ways that are difficult for the written word to achieve.

Content

Your content is the backbone of your site, especially for directory sites. How this content is presented can be equally as important. Good-looking design that invokes thoughts of expertise and knowledge will help your site and your brand achieve a high level of respect and trust.

This is how a site with a great visual design can command attention and provide confidence to its visitors that this is the content they have been looking for.

Looking for great web design on your directory site? Give us a call at 1-703-914-0770 or email sales@edirectory.com

9 Ways to Drive Directory App Downloads

9 Ways to Drive Directory App DownloadsBusiness_Listings_with_eDirectory

So you have a great looking directory app for your business with a ton of powerful features. The issue now is that you need to get users to actually download and install your app so you can start taking advantage of its capabilities.

Here are 9 ways to help drive downloads and get more people using your mobile app:

  1. Offer Something for Free

People always love getting something for free and you can use this to help drive downloads of your app. Offer something for free from your store or business that is inexpensive and doesn’t put you out too much, such as a small fountain drink, a bag of golf tees, a small cookie or similar. Offer it to customers who show you they have downloaded and installed your app. Continue with this strategy until you have an adequate amount of app users.

  1. Screenshots, Descriptions and Icons

Quality screenshots and icons are essential to the promotion of your app. It is the best way to showcase your app and make it appealing to potential users. Make sure to start with a solid library of high-resolution images and icons that you can use for marketing materials and advertising your app to potential users.

  1. Promote it on Your Website

One of the simplest ways to get user’s to notice your mobile app is to use the medium that you already control, your website. Use this space to create and display some visually appealing graphics that promote and describe your mobile app and the benefits that will be available to your users. You can use write some promotional copy such as “Receive exclusive offers through our new mobile app!” or “Be the first to hear about upcoming events from our mobile app.”

Be sure to provide links to download the app from the app stores to make it as quick and easy as possible for people to view the details of your app and download it to their accounts.

  1. Handing Out Cards for Your App

Another easy strategy is to create some simple cards, notes, buttons or fliers that include instructions on how to download your app. Keep them in your business and hand them out to anyone who stops in or walks by. Include the name of the app and tell them the best search term to enter into the app store to easily find and download the app.

  1. Social Media

Work to build a following and build up some momentum on all the relevant social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Follow media members who carry influence in your specific industry or would be followed by potential customers for you business. Send out posts, links and images for you app to build up some interest and further share the app features that your users will benefit from.

  1. App Store Optimization

App Store optimization is a method of finding good keywords that people might search for and making sure to put them either in your app title, description or keywords for your app listing. If you already have users downloading your app, reach out to them and ask how they discovered your app, and if that was on the app store, which keywords they searched. Be sure to include all relevant keywords and phrases associated with this feedback and further build on them.

  1. Localize your Description and Keywords

Take #6 even a little bit further and look for ways to localize your description and keywords. If you app or business mainly serves a local or regional area then be sure to include keywords and phrases that call out this specific location. Example: “san jose shoe store” or “morris county delivery service”. This will help to increase the amount of relevant app users who can take advantage of a localized app.

  1. Trade a Download for a Service 

If your business does not have items it can give away for free (#1), then maybe you can trade a download for a service. Such as a salon offering a 15-minute massage in exchange for a download, or a cleaning service offering 10% off your next appointment after you download the app. Use what resources you have available to offer some value in exchange for an app download. 

  1. Mobile-Only Discounts

A key strategy to promoting your app to potential users is to be able to communicate the value they receive if they have the app. One of the best ways to detail this is to offer mobile-only promotions through coupons, deals or loyalty cards that can only be received and used through your mobile app. Post these promotions online or in your business for customers to see and add a tagline such as “Available to Mobile App Users Only” or something similar so they know to download your app right away to gain access to these deals.

Looking to a build an online directory with a mobile app or in need of adding one to your current directory? Send an email to: sales@edirectory.com


Interested in creating mobile apps for all kinds of business types? Looking for features that drive business, like mobile coupons, custom loyalty cards and more? Check out the new www.lumeapps.com or call 1-703-914-0770 to learn how you can start building mobile apps that people will love.

Lume_Apps_-_Mobile_App_Builder__Build_Custom_Apps_for_Apple_and_Android

Why Advertisers Love Directory Websites

directory advertisersThe last several years have seen a growing shift of advertising dollars leaving the more traditional mediums of print media and moving to various areas online. Within this realm it can still be a challenge for advertisers to sift through the expanses of the internet and find the best places to spend their money online. This is where online directories have been able to gain a solid foothold in the market. Most modern advertisers see directories websites as an attractive option, the two main reasons for this are fairly simple: highly targeted audiences and easily measurable ROI.

Highly Targeted Audiences

With common uses including local search sites, product directories, membership guides, and yellow page sites online directories by nature are highly focused sites. They typically have a common focus by geographical location, industry, subject matter or all of the above. This format tends to bring people together, typically very like-minded groups of people who share the same interests and habits. This provides the ideal landscape for potential marketers and advertisers who are looking to reach a very specific type of audience to get their ads in front of.

Think Niche

Many niche businesses and industries have benefited through the use of online directories. They have made it easy to build sites with focused subject matter and relevant listings and pair them with a blog or set of articles and social media posts that are all related to a very specific industry or niche.

No longer would you need to read a national golf publication to find the best local courses and instructors in your area, instead you could a find local site like LakeNonaGolfDirectory.com and be able to quickly find golf course and instructors right in the area of Lake Nona. This level of targeting is beneficial for both the user and for potential advertisers. From the advertisers perspective they would be able to know that any ads listed on this directory site would be targeting a predominantly male audience between the ages of 35-55, who live in the Lake Nona area and are interested in golf. Gaining access to this highly targeted audience is something that many would be willing to spend their advertising dollars on.

Additionally, platforms such as eDirectory utilize a search feature. This can help potential sponsors to know exactly what keywords and phrases site visitors are searching for and which ones they would like to pay to be found under.

Let’s see an example:

There is an online directory site for Los Angeles area salons. Right off the bat, advertisers would already know that these site visitors are from or near the Los Angeles area and that they are interested in things that a salon can offer, such as beauty products, hair styling, make up, manicures, pedicures and more. Taking it one step further, the directory site owner can share with potential advertisers that the most frequently searched term on their site is “gel manicures”. This can provide a perfect opportunity for a local Los Angeles based salon to post ads related to their gel manicure pricing options and upcoming specials. Plus they could pay for a Premium listing on this directory and make sure they include “gel manicures” as primary keywords in the settings for their listing, ensuring they would show up during searches of this term.

Measurable ROI img-newsletter-how-to-monetize-3 As a marketer, web banners, sponsored content, and email newsletter sponsorships provide keen insight into the success of promotional messages, advertising offers and how responsive a given audience is to that message and offer. These are key factors for marketers and advertisers to be able to gauge their success and determine whether they find their spending to be worthwhile and something they will continue to invest in. A lack of such data can be nerve-wracking at best for an advertiser and lead to rash, uninformed decisions being made.

Luckily, this data is easily attainable through online directory site analytics and reporting, plus pairing your site with platforms like Google Analytics and Saleforce can provide an even higher level of insight. This nformation will provide a directory site owner with valuable selling points that can be shared with potential advertisers to portray the potential for success and gaining a favorable return on investment (ROI) from their ad.

How many people see the ads? How many people clicked on them? Of those people, how many people visited the ad’s website? Which pages did they click on when they were there and at what point did they abandon the site? How many people opened the email, how many people that opened that email came to the company’s site, or furthermore, how many people made a purchase because of that ad? The ways to break down and dissect the numbers into cost per lead, cost per conversion, cost per click—they’re all limitless.

Here is a good article by Forbes about the 10 Online Marketing Metrics You Need to Be Measuring. As a directory site owner, one can use these metrics to not only learn from the data and improve their site but also to gain insight on their site users and gather information that can be shared to help sway potential advertisers and sponsors to become involved with the site.

Interested in developing a profitable directory? Want to discuss ideas about how to better monetize your existing site? Send an email to: marketing@edirectory.com

Market Your Directory Site with these 8 ideas in 2022

This article was updated on 11/15/2021Market 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

Paying for advertising is a great way to promote an online directory. And when it comes to online advertising, Google Ads is the gold standard.

Once you set up an account, you can pay Google to have your site’s advertisement show up whenever someone searches for specific keywords.

Google Ads lets you:

  • Choose the specific keywords and phrases you want.
  • Set your customized budget so you never pay more than your monthly cap.
  • Display ads to people searching in a specific location.
  • Control what’s shown based on the time of day searched.

…and many more ways to optimize your reach to your ideal customers. This is an extremely high level of targeting and a great way to get extremely qualified leads and more site traffic.

Local Search site owners also have the luxury of advertising at a relatively affordable rate with Google Ads. Google periodically offers a $100 credit to start a new account, so this can be an awesome way to drive traffic to your site and get returning visitors 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.

Join the eDirectory Facebook Group