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!

Register Here

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

eDirectory releases version 9.5

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

eDirectory releases version 9.5

eDirectory has released version 9.5, and with it, a significant restructuring of the base code in order to develop a more robust platform to build upon in the future.

While users won’t notice many changes in the layout or appearance of the sites in version 9.5, the eDirectory base code team, under the leadership of recently appointed Product Manager, Darren Cornwell, has made a multitude of changes in the way the code is structured.

Notably, the import tool has been completely redesigned to be a bit more effective and seemless upload process. Imports are now limited to 100mb or 100,000 lines. With only a single file able to import at a time, the system will see significant performance improvements in a shared environment.

“With the new release of 9.5, eDirectory is now considerably faster. The basecode has undergone major rewrites in various sections, there is now the addition of a new import / exporter which makes updating and retrieving data much easier, based on customer feedback. In addition to these, there are a whole host of tiny fixes and updates which serve to continue to keep eDirectory as the leader in the online directory space,” said Product Manager, Darren Cornwell.

Additionally, the blog has seen several updates to it in 9.5 You can now add banners to the blog, through an ‘Add to Blog” module in the banners section, as well as have the ability to feature and disable categories as well as add subcategories to blog categories. For SEO purposes, the sitemgr now has the ability to change settings regarding SEO on blog components.

Like the blog module, the Deals section also saw a few notable changes. Site owners can now show recent reviews on both the deals home page and deals results page and like the blog, site owners can now add banners to the deals section. Lastly you can now access traffic reports from deals section, as well as pull statistical reports.

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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!

News Aggregation: Why You Should be Doing it

Whether it’s through email, on a webinar or at a tradeshow, the most common question I get from clients is:

“What can I do to keep bringing visitors back to my site”?

For any site owner, let alone a directory site owner, it’s not an easy task to keep getting new traffic to your site. Most of the people come to a directory site to find specific information about a business, browse through the listings and find all the details they need to make an informed decision. This is largely what brings people to your site. The ‘long tail search terms’ that are either geared toward business categories or specific businesses. For instance, if I’m running a local search site, search terms are probably going to look something like this:

“Annandale Virginia Restaurants”
“Annandale Restaurants”
“Evergreen restaurant Annandale”
“Korean restaurant in Annandale”

These folks come in, find the restaurant they’re looking for and they’re off your site. With static data like listings, what can you do to bring people back? What content can you offer that promises to be different from one visit to the next? Start with aggregating news in your industry or area. In any town there are at least 4-5 news sources covering the area, each of which are largely reporting on the same stories. By aggregating the stories across multiple media outlets, you provide your visitor with tight, consolidated news headlines. Reddit, Digg, and other sites are run on this concept and it can work at the hyper local level, too.

Two Examples:
1.) A hockey blog that aggregates league wide news: http://blogs.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/empty-netters/30066-empty-netter-assists-10-02-11

2.) An online news aggregator for different verticals/industries:
http://www.marketingdive.com/

Let’s say, for instance, I want to aggregate news in Fairfax:

A reward is being offered for anyone with information on farm animals that were recently slayed in the Herndon area. [Fairfax Times]

Two people were killed in a car crash on Lee Highway last night. [Fairfax City Patch]

The airport board has backed down on their union preference for the Metro silver line. [Fairfax News]

Winery at Bull Run will be opening in Centreville. [Washington Post]

By aggregating the best news stories in your area, you offer a valuable, convenient resource to visitor, produces fresh, new content on your blog and will help increase search traffic and returning visitors to your site.

eDirectory releases version 9.3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
eDirectory releases version 9.3
Annandale, Virginia – May 16th, 2012 – Arca Solutions, the parent company of eDirectory.com, has launched version 9.3, which introduces new a variety of new features and capabilities in the basecode of the software.

Version 9.3 was concentrated mostly on a number of smaller, but impactful features, mostly those suggested by the customer base. One of the more notable aspects of 9.3 is a new real estate template, which can be used for those trying to create a real estate listing-driven site to showcase properties. The direction of future releases may be concentrated more on creating niche, vertical focused ‘templates’ that work off of the base code, but each offering a different set of features that are most pertinent to their respective focus. For instance, the gallery on the details page uses a slider as opposed to a popup window and the template as a whole only uses the listings, blog and banner modules.

“The Real Estate theme is the first of many beautiful, stylish new directory themes to come. This release makes eDirectory the best solution on the market for creating a professional grade, multilingual real estate site,” said Arca Solutions CEO James Chubb.

9.3 also offers category sitemaps, meaning users can now generate category sitemaps for all languages. Other additions include an email import notification, the date selection tool now supports all languages in the system and the listings section within the site manager has been tweaked to preview listings more easily.

Lastly, an RSS feed has been added to the deals module and the advertising page has been restructured to support both graphical themes as well as the newly released real estate theme. To learn more about these features, please contact a sales representative by calling (703) 914-0770.

eDirectory is a division of Arca Solutions, Inc, a digital media company headquartered in the Washington, DC metro area.