Online Directories: The next big media vehicle for advertising agencies?

iphone-in-handOnline Directories: The next big media vehicle for advertising agencies?

As many publishers are scrambling to transition their publication to an online format, or at the very least offer a digital version of their publication, something should be said for the changes that we’re undergoing in the way we search, find and gather information. Saying that the world is moving more and more online is nothing prolific, it’s been in the works for the last fifteen years. But to think the print industry, dominated by paper-back books, grocery store gossip magazines and blockbuster papers like the Times, are re-inventing the wheel makes one wonder what bigger impact this might be having on all of us.

These publications set the standard on where and how people got their information. Need to find a business, open the yellow pages; want news, pick up the Times or Post. The yellow pages, perhaps one of the most staple print publications in circulation today is now planting its’ feet in the sand as a primarily an online information source. News aggregators like Digg and Reddit have revolutionized the way we read our daily news.

Where we used to browse several news sources to get different stories, aggregators pull together the best content from hundreds of news providers. This isn’t just the industry moving from print to online. The online world is embracing new mediums for publishing information, one of those being online directories and portals.

Let’s face it, we’re changing the way we search for and gather information and more importantly, we as consumers, buyers or readers are becoming considerably more demanding when it comes to the way we access that information. We’ve come to expect our data to be compiled, aggregated and presented in the most user friendly and time efficient manner possible and for many companies out there, there’s lots of catching up to do.

The pace of these changes will have several major implications for Web Designers, Developers, or even Advertising Agencies that offer those services. To date, over 25% of eDirectory’s business comes from Advertising Agencies or Web Design/Development shops. More and more companies are relying on ad agencies and interactive designers to develop blogs, networking sites and directories that provide easily accessible and centralized data.

Online Yellow pages, city guides, local search, business directories, product directories – all becoming more popular mediums for businesses to develop and publish content. Simply put, the ability to develop and design online directories is becoming yet another tool in the belt of agencies that stay on top of new media and technology. Twelve years ago there weren’t many companies developing sites in Flash. Today, you’d question their credibility if they didn’t have a designer inhouse with that capability.

At that same time banners were 728×90 leaderboards, sky scrapers or boxes, today there’s prestitials, interstitials and peel backs. The most successful advertising agencies are those that can keep up with the direction of online media. Given the current rave around SEO and SEM, and an online directory’s ability to account for great success in both of these arenas, electronic directories may very well be a primary advertising vehicle for most businesses in the near future.

There is, however, another opportunity for Ad Agencies and Web Designers to develop directories themselves and put into place an additional, and substantial revenue stream.

When it comes to the client base of agencies we’ve worked with in the past, we’ve found they can be categorized in one of three groups. In one scenario, the agency’s customers consist mostly of local, small companies as the agency themselves are small as well. If the agency or design company is located in Kearney Nebraska, most of their clients are stores, shops or businesses within Kearney. The second type of organization we’ve worked with has a strong industry focus.

For instance, some agencies only work with Pharma or Biotech companies, or another client of ours, for example only works with hospitality companies while the remaining group has no limitations, geographically or otherwise, on their client base.

For companies whose scope is more limited, directories often times offer your clients an excellent arena for marketing. If an agency caters more to local businesses, a city guide, or local search directory provides an enticing and powerful advertising vehicle to your client. For example, if you’re doing a website for Joe’s Computer shop in Kearney Nebraska, it would be a lucrative opportunity to also offer Joe advertising space in
GoKearney.com.

This provides a more holistic service to your client to help establish their presence on the web and helps their business gain visibility to prospective customers. The more local clients that you serve locally, the more powerful an offering a local search directory becomes.You don’t have to serve local businesses to effectively leverage a directory for your customers. As you learn more about marketing an online directory, you’ll learn that
a narrow, niche focus accounts for sites that are the most successful. Agencies that only concentrate, for example, in life sciences or software solutions have a highly targeted client base. Developing a directory of different CRO (contract research organization) services for biotech companies makes for a great addition to any campaign the agency is working on the client with. Alternatively, a product directory, where an organization can
list and promote their customers’ products provide unparalleled visibility for their software and services.

A site like Capterra is regarded as the Kelly Blue Book for businesses shopping for software. If, as an interactive agency, your business has a niche focus and limits its’ services to a select group of companies, leverage the narrow focus and industry knowledge to develop product directories or service directories. This provides not
only a valuable resource to your advertiser, but it also opens up another stream of recurring revenue for your organization.

If you have any questions, or would like to further discuss how to improve the way you’re marketing or selling your directory, we would welcome a phone call or e-mail anytime.

eDirectory 10.4 Released with New Site Manager

Welcome_to_the_Site_Manager_-_Demo_Directory

We are proud to announce the launch of eDirectory v10.4.  In addition to a number of SEO Improvements, this version features a fully redesigned Admin (Site Manager) area.  We overhauled every pixel, from the navigation on down, for usability and simplicity.

Take a look at some of the new features and improvements:

Image upload has been simplified with seamless drag and drop functionality allowing you to quickly upload multiple photos in a single action:

photos

Integrated promotional features to help you get the word out, including quick access to marketing resources, a retooled SEO Center, new badges and more:

badges

New custom page builder for your mobile apps with tools to add images, headings, text areas, quotes, lists and even video:

custom app page

And much more…. visit our demo at www.DemoDirectory.com and change the Website Role to Site Manager or download the full 10.4 changelog here to see all the updates.

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.

 

New Release With New Theme, Lead Gen Features, Google Tag Manager, and More

We are excited to announce version 10.2 is now available with a long list of improvements including:

  •  All new theme, built using the Less framework.  We are calling it the “Contractor” theme
  • A new Leads area in the Sitemgr, and eDirectory now saves leads and allows advertisers and sitemgr to respond or forward them.
  • Capability to customize questions on a lead generation form, so the form can have questions like “tell us about your project?  what is your budget? what is your timeframe?” etc.
  • Schema.org structured data markups, which allows Google to display ratings, price range or date for listings or events on it’s results pages.
  • Google Tag Manager integration
  • Beginnings of a sitemgr style overhaul
  • And much more…. Visit our demo at www.demodirectory.com or download the full 10.2 changelog here.

Contact sales@edirectory.com or call us at +1 703 914 0770 x1 to request an upgrade.

 

 

eDirectory Version 10 released with Responsive Flat design

eDirectory version 10 has been released, and it’s our best work ever.

It has an all new, beautiful flat design on the front, with all new typography. It’s a responsive design, that resizes automatically for different screen sizes, and it is simply stunning on mobile devices.

However the best changes are under the hood, we redid the front end code from the ground up, based on the Bootstrap framework.

What this means for you? Custom designs can be done faster and easier.

 

New and Renewed Features

Version 10 also comes with improved  features that will change the user’s experience in your site.

Search Filters: The results pages now have a filter feature, allowing visitors to quickly narrow down to what they are looking for.

Events Calendar: A new events widget shows upcoming events for the week.

Listing Detail: Listing owners can display video description, Facebook fan page and the features for their businesses.

Deal Map View: Deals are easier to find with the new map view on deals detail page.

A bunch of smaller tweaks are included as well, including ability to change the top background imageFacebook like button on Home Pagenew fields for Contact Us and much more.

Check our demonstration site – www.demodirectory.com

 

Changes

The responsive version of eDirectory includes nice changes such as:

  • Email to friend removed from Default theme – replaced by Facebook like button;
  • Link “print” removed from detail pages;
  • Link “share” removed from summary and detail view (replaced by the main social media button, i.e: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest);
  • Search Engine verification section within site manager area updated;
  • Page “Map tuning” removed from site manager and members area (it can be done using the main form to add and edit items);
  • Site manager change themes interface: added a message asking if users want to create the categories automatically or not when Dining Guide is chosen for the first time;
  • Dining Guide: Label “Make a Reservation” changed for “Contact this listing” on listing detail view.

 

Download the Changelog – here

If you are interested in ordering the new version, or upgrading, contact our sales team at +1-800-630-4694 or sales@edirectory.com

 

New! Filters & Map View for the Dining Guide

For the last month we have been cranking out some great new features for the Dining Guide edition. These features will also be coming to the main eDirectory theme in the next release a few weeks from now.

Filters:
Refine your search results by Category, Location, Price, Rating or if the result has an available deal.

Map View:
We have added an entirely new map view which allows you to show all results on a handy map – super simple.

In addition, there’s a huge list of fixes, enhancements such as an updated photo gallery, new search bar, new header, and more.

Go and see for yourself - www.demodirectory.com

 

 

Next Release – Talk about being Responsive….

We’re well on the way to releasing an all-new default theme…

  • A fully responsive design, looks just as awesome on a phone as it does on a desktop.
  • Fully integrated with our iOS and Android applications.
  • Built on the Brilliant Bootstrap framework.
  • Grid layout with ‘Blocks’ making customisation far easier across the board.
  • Did we mention it’s stunning? It’s gorgeous.

This (pretty awesome) new front-end will be available in a few weeks. Stay tuned, we just wanted to give you a sneek peek.

www.edirectory.com

Change logs are here…

For all our customers a little more involved with the platforms, we’ve added complete change logs to the main eDirectory site. Just so you can keep up with what we’ve been working on. We’ll be adding to it as time goes on.

Feel free to check them out here: https://www.edirectory.com/edirectory-changelog/

 

eDirectory Dining Guide Edition Available Now

With a beautiful, fully responsive design, and all new mobile apps, we’re excited to launch the new eDirectory Dining Guide edition.

On the Web

Here are a few of the great features in the Dining Guide edition:

  • Beautiful Design
  • Fields and Layout highly customized to function as a dining guide.
  • Responsive design – works equally well on the desktop, the tablet or mobile.
  • Brand new matching mobile apps, which are also gorgeous.
  • Tabbed Listing Detail pages which include sections for Menu, Videos and Reviews
  • New, “Best Of” page, showing the highest rated listings from across the site.
  • New “By Location” page, show all listings via a new customised search.
  • New “By Cuisine” page, browse by categories.
  • Like/Dislike system for reviews.
  • New fields for advanced search (rating and price range)
  • New theme Settings page within site manager area (listing price configuration and background image settings)

 

Mobile (iOS & Android)

Something as stunning (and quite frankly different) as the Dining Guide required us to re-approach how our mobile applications were working, end result – brand new apps just for the dining guide. This app is more heavily based upon category searches (Food Type), and a cleaner, clearer way of displaying information to your users. We also took the opportunity to spice up the user interface a bit. We think it’s really great, let us know what you think.

Available after next week on both Android and iOS.

 

What’s Next?

 

We’ll give you some time to sink your teeth into the new release, but before we leave, he’s a sneaky peek at what you can expect a few weeks from now – That’s right, a brand new members area, we’re already working on one of our most requested features it’s going to be amazing.

 

 

Arca Mailer – Send Gorgeous Email Newsletters

You’ve been asking for it, we’ve delivered – ArcaMailer is here. A full-featured stand alone email newsletter system – you don’t need eDirectory to use it, but of course we have eDirectory integration as well, and if this feature is enabled, it will allow visitors to signup for a newsletter right from the homepage.

Our system has a ton of great features including A/B testing messages, detailed reporting, complying with various spam laws, reporting on delivery and open rates, list cleaning, social monitoring, in fact it’s probably better just to check out the detailed features page: ArcaMailer Features.

It’s completely free to try, signup, create and account and have a play with it, we won’t charge you a cent until you actually send a campaign. Try it out here: ArcaMailer Trial

 

Designed to be Simple

 

Sign up, log in and get creating beautiful campaigns with the minimal of fuss. Everything is a few clicks away, meaning you can get your message across with the minimal of fuss.

Customer tracking, simple sign up forms, social integration, it’s a whole new beast. Check out the full site for all the information – we think you’re going to love it, we do.

See the Complete Feature List

 

Beautiful Templates

 

Beautiful Templates – No issue, visit our brand new templates page http:/www.arcamailer.com/email-templates/, download the one you want and then simply import into Arca Mailer -you’re done. If that’s too much, use our built in template builder and craft your own templates with the minimal of fuss.

 

Track absolutely everything…

Track your campaigns from the moment they are sent. Use our innovative world-view to view progress in real-time, see where and when people open your emails, where they clicked, what they shared all in real-time.

Complete oversight on your marketing – brilliant.

 

Does it work with eDirectory?

It sure does. Just login in to you’re eDirectory (9.82 or higher) and select Arcamailer from the sidebar – follow the instructions and import into Arca Mailer – nothing could be quicker or simpler.

Now you have a way to send targeted campaigns to differing sub-sets of your site clients, keep them up to date with what’s going on, offer promotions, or just spread the word – it’s your platform.

Have a look at what we can offer - www.arcamailer.com

These are the news – v.9.8.2

eDirectory version 9.8.2 is here,  and with it, some new funcionalities and layout changes that the Site Manager will  notice right away.
One of them is the new Dashboard, that now shows the important information just like you need it to – a click away to approve, edit or delete a new item. Keep track of your process with your Revenue and Visits numbers!

 

 

 Some other important feature that will impact directly your advertisers and visits is the new Signup Process.
 A new interface has been designed by our team to ensure that to add a new item or become a member of the site is simple as 1, 2 and 3.

 

 

Need more? We got it!
 In eDirectory version 9.8.2 you’ll also see a brand new interface to manage Accounts Permissions, SEO fields included in the import file for Listings and Events, Package reports with information about the account that bought the package and now is possible to have trackable url for newsletters campaigns.

 

Check all these features and much in our demonstration site:www.demodirectory.com. And to purchase version 9.8.2 to go Orders page or contact us – sales@edirectory.com.