4 Key Benefits of Responsive Design

  1. No Need for a Separate Mobile Site:  With a responsive design you have one website and one URL. This saves you the time and money to not have to build an entire mobile website from scratch. It also saves you from needing to double your SEO efforts to cover another platform. Additionally, if you have a responsive website, you will be able to share social links for just one URL, and when the site does get shared, wherever the link is viewed – whether on a mobile, tablet, or on desktop – all of the content will be clear and easy to navigate.
  2. A Better User Experience:  You want to be able to share your site’s content with your users. Having a user-friendly site makes it easier for you to do just that. A responsive design places an emphasis on designing for the user. If visitors are browsing a site via their phone or tablet, they should be able to view all of its content as easily as desktop users. Going responsive is the most effective way to make the most of mobile and tablet traffic, and to offer visitors the best possible user experience.
  3. Google Recommends It:  That’s right, the one and only Google recommends responsive web design as the preferred way to reach mobile users. They even favor mobile-optimized sites in their search results done on mobile devices. This means having a responsive design for your site can be as good as gold when it comes to SEO.
  4. It Can Lower Your Bounce Rate:  If your site is not optimized for mobile users than chances are your bounce rate is going to be much higher than you’d like. If the content of your site can’t easily be distinguished or just doesn’t look that good then users aren’t going to stick around. However, with a responsive design the look and feel of your site will be functional and neatly organized. You won’t have to compromise on your content and your visitors won’t be looking for the door.

Check out eDirectory’s responsive design and the full list of features here.

 

5 Ways to Generate Revenue for Your Directory

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Revenue

Whether you are just getting started or you’ve been running a directory for years, eDirectory makes it easy to earn money from your site.

Here are 5 quick ways to generate revenue from your directory:

  1. Listings and Events

The Listings and Events modules make it easy to create different membership levels for your users to add their listings or events to your directory. Easily create different levels of visibility and features for each package (i.e. Silver, Gold, Diamond Level packages), showing fields like video, images, or more detailed contact information only for members who are paying more. You have full flexibility to configure and price what is in each level.

  1. Classifieds

The Classifieds module lets your site members sell anything they wish, using clean categorization and easy organization. Just like the Listings and Events modules you can control the package levels and create different options for each. Provide higher paying options to show more detailed descriptions, map views for location, photos and more.

  1. Articles

The Articles module gives your members the opportunity to contribute their own content. You can provide access to the articles by setting a price for your members who want to submit something. Sit back and earn some revenue while your members save you time and effort by creating content for you. As the site administrator you will have the control to edit and approve any new articles before they go live.

  1. Banner Ads

Provide the opportunity for your members or outside sponsors to display targeted banner advertisements on your site. eDirectory’s built-in options allow you to sell ads at different price points on the top banner (728 x 90), bottom banner (468 x 60), top right (120 x 90) and through sponsored links (180 x 66). You will have the ability to sell a spot and configure it however you wish, be that via price per impressions or for a set period of time. You can even take out some of the legwork of selling ads yourself and implement your own Google AdSense account to streamline your ad sales and start generating revenue with ease.

  1. Build Custom Packages

Develop custom sponsor packages to group any number of the above options together and offer at one set price, with discounts or special promotions. You can set up promotions such as offering a sponsor a banner at a discounted price when they buy a listing on your site. If you run multiple directory sites you can offer multi-site packages where sponsors can buy listings on multiple sites within the same order.

The package builder will even allow you to offer options for offline sponsorships. For example, offer a listing plus a tradeshow sponsorship, or a listing plus a print publication sponsorship. Anything you can imagine is possible with the package builder, use it to bundle up the things you believe your visitors will want and provide them with great value.

 

Payment Collection Made Easy

eDirectory’s built-in payment processing allows for self-service checkout for your members so you won’t have to lift a finger to generate some revenue. The integrated payment gateways allow you to set monthly, yearly or a custom amount of days for each recurring payment’s renewal period. The system is also set up to automatically send out email notifications to remind your members when their renewal is due and help you to automate your revenue collection process.

 

Reminder: SEO Crash Course Webinar tomorrow at 10:00AM

A quick reminder that we’ll be conducting a complimentary SEO Crash Course webinar tomorrow, October 10th at 10:00AM EST.

Some things we’ll cover in the webinar
-What is SEO?
-A brief History of SEO
-Black Hat SEO
-First steps to Optimizing
-It’s All About the Keywords
-On Site Optimizations
-Off Site Optimizations
-Leveraging Social Media
-How can eDirectory Help?
-Additional Resources

For those interested in learning the basics of SEO and what you can do to better optimize your directory site, this is a great presentation.

Hope to see you there!

New Webinar Dates Posted

Check out the list of new webinar dates posted in the ‘resources’ section of our website.

A quick synopsis on each of the upcoming presentations

How to Steer Your Site to Success – an overview on steps to making your site have better potential for success. These include strategy in selecting a domain name, introductory SEO tips, engaging with your listing holders and putting the right partnerships in place to help your site

SEO Roundtable – Submit your site or watch live as your peers sites are critiqued on they could be better optimized to increase search traffic.

Free Group Training – Free of cost introductory training course conducted by Jessica Delucchi. Great for new users as well as those hoping to become a bit more familiar with the system

SEO Crash course – While a lot of people know about SEO, very few people know what goes into making your site a well oiled SEO machine. We’ll cover the history of SEO, the basics of on site optimizations as well as the best approach to launching a successful backlink campaign.

A Case for Calculated Image Name Optimization

I work with dozens of clients on their sites, from marketing, to SEO, sales and package creation.

I was looking over the Google Webmaster Tools account for a client that’s running a local search site. They get about 20,000 impressions a month and for a niche concentrated site, the traffic is pretty good. They’ve found success in producing unique content via the blog (news aggregation) and rank pretty well on alot of their targeted search terms.

One thing I noticed on their webmaster account:
Webmaster Tools

While this is a local search site, take a look at some of the terms their ranking pretty well on, and consequently, getting traffic from:
“You Serious Clark” and “Robert Stack”

Robert Stack is the famous voice and face behind the television show Unsolved Mysteries. We’ll let this video explain the other one:

I went through the blog and found well optimized images — the only thing that can explain WHY a local search site would get traffic on these types of terms.

The image was called “you-serious-clark.jpeg” and the other was called “Robert-stack.jpeg” Two completely off topic images put in a blog in a well optimized format which is driving traffic to their site. Imagine how well this can work on more relevant, appropriate images where you’re optimizing your site on such keyword-heavy terms?

Top 5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Directory’s Search Traffic Today

1.) It’s all about the listings. While it may be a bit difficult to generate traffic from long tail search terms via business listings, they will eventually be what bring people to your site, what keeps them on your site and what will bring them back in the future.
2.) Quick, easy and relevant back links. Find online publications, websites, blogs, forums and other relevant publications where you can market your site and what it offers. Remember, as much as it is a backlink, it’s also an opportunity to share your site with others and tell them what it’s all about.
3.) Pump out the unique content. Search engines love fresh content, so feed them what they’re looking for. Consistently publishing blog posts, articles or whitepapers is a great way to serve search engines the fresh, unique content they’re looking to index and serve up in search results.
4.) Be the authoritative voice of your space. Similar to #3, getting more involved in topics most relevant to your site’s subject matter and covering relevant stories through interviews, feature stories, grand openings, conferences, tradeshows or events. If you’re running a local search site and a Mario’s restaurant opens up in the neighborhood, a feature story about their grand opening and an interview with the owner or Chef are exactly the types of content people look for. In addition to producing unique content, you’re also producing content that is likely to get back linked. After all, how likely is Mario to post your article in his ‘reviews’ section on his website, or share the story on twitter, facebook, etc.
5.) Keep the site up to date. Out of date, inaccurate information can really damage the integrity of your directory. Keep your site up to date is huge to drawing more search traffic in. At the same time, keeping your site up to date gives your site visitors faith in publication. The more they know your site is getting updated, the more often they will visit your site.

What’s Buzzing in the World of Online Directories – Top 5 Types of Directories

One of the best parts of my job is seeing the creativity people bring into our software. The ideas entrepreneurs and businesses have to run sites that user our software are sometimes nothing short of mind blowing. From some of the biggest publishers in the world, to directories of certified mold inspectors, the truth is, we’ve seen it all.

A lot of people will call us or write an email outlining their idea and how they would use eDirectory power their site. What many people don’t often ask is, “What are the most popular kinds of directories” or “What are some of the most successful types of directories you see.” While some of the most successful sites using our software seem to often times be the most niche and obscure, there have been a trend of types of directories that are gaining traction.

1.) Green Directories – Everything today is about being more conscious of our carbon footprint, and most importantly, recognizing our environmental ignorance for the last few thousand years. Hybrid cars, solar powered buildings and shopping bags, much of our world is focused on green-powered products and online directories can serve as a great resource to connect people with all that is green. Whether that is businesses, products or events, eDirectory’s software has powered countless numbers of green directories. This trend isn’t going anywhere, either.

2.) Local Search Sites – Still perhaps the most popular use of our software, local search sites and portals are on the rise with the buzz and growth of local search. We’re seeing local search site owners compete with newspaper and other print publishers in their market.

3.) Magazine Directories – if you run a magazine, online directories can not only provide an additional revenue stream to your business, it can also provide a valuable tool to your site visitor. Supplier/Vendor/Parts-Acccessories and other industry-related directories are becoming increasingly popular with magazine publishers.

4.) Dispensary Directories – with the growth of medicinal marijuana dispensaries in states like Colorado and California, we’re starting to see a significant increase in dispensary-related directories that help patients find nearby facilities.

5.) Legal Directories – in addition to other professional directories, one that seems to always be most popular are legal-related directories. The trick here is developing these types of directories in either a limited geographic region or with a limited scope of practice.
Examples: Pittsburgh Attorney Directory or a Nationwide Medical Malpractice Attorney directory. Either a thin vertical focus or thin geographic focus.

If you’re interested in discussing your directory idea or strategy, shoot an email to marketing@edirectory.com

Case Study – American Ceramic Society’s Implementation of eDirectory to Increase Member Engagement

It’s not too often we have the opportunity to talk about the work we do with non profits and member-based organizations. When you think of online directories and the implementation of eDirectory, you often think of local search sites, buyer’s guides, yellow page sites, dining guides or vendor/supplier directories that are focused on driving traffic and generating revenue.

While most of our users are focused on revenue and site traffic, non profit organizations use eDirectory as a way to improve member engagement. Most not for profit industry organizations, like the American Ceramic Society, have a strong editorial presence in their field, producing magazines, journals, yearly reports and other online content. The other facet to their organization is very much member focused. These organizations work to understand issues going on in their industry that may be causing their members pain, and providing the resources and tools to help advance the industry as a whole.

When I learned that the American Ceramic Society was using our software, I was interested in sitting down with their Director of IT and Web Services, Scott Freshour, to understand how eDirectory worked within their organization. I found that after developing an internal system, and working with one of our competitors, they came to us to try and develop a advertising and marketing vehicle to their members, but also, develop the foundation for a directory that would also be printed to a paper-based directory.

New Webinar, Training and Roundtable Dates Announced

We just posted a bunch of dates for webinars we have coming up in the next four to six weeks.

Training – Free One hour group training on how to use the software. Great for new clients or those users that haven’t had a great deal of time to invest in using the software.

SEO Crash Course – SEO is a word a lot of people throw around a lot and sometimes it can be a bit intimidating. If you’re looking to learn about the basics of SEO and how to implement them into your directory site, this is a great introductory session.

How to Steer Your Site to Success – Strategies on selecting a path for your directory, where to focus your attention in the beginning and how to leverage partnerships to make your site a success in the long run

SEO Roundtable Discussion – Existing eDirectory clients can fill out a registration questionnaire to have their site evaluated live on this demo. We’ll walk through common things site owners forget when optimizing their site, as well as offer strategies on how to improve the SEO of their website.

Sign up today!

Where have all the advertising dollars gone?

A few days ago, I was reading a pretty interesting article about the circulation, and ad revenue for the New York Times.  Granted, the article was a few years old, but what it showed was that those who read The New York Times print issue only comprises 10% of their total audience.  Not a huge surprise considering the drastic shift of media from print to online, but things get more interesting …

While 90% of their audience is reading the New York Times online, NYtimes.com advertisers only contributes to 10% of their total revenue.

Wait…what?

Nearly perfectly inverse economics.  So the medium in which only 10% of their audience is using to access their content generates 90% of their revenue?  So Print isn’t dying?!?!?!?  Well… not so fast.

While the preferred method of accessing the content is clearly online, the advertising dollars are slow to follow.  This means that there’s a gaping hole of opportunity to hop on all of the advertising revenue that will trickle from print to online.  If the shift in ad dollars is anything as drastic as it was for the shift in media itself, it will be more like a flood, not so much a trickle.

One more thing to note:  According to Forbes Magazine — 65 Billion Dollars will be shifting from print to online this year.  65 Billion dollars…