See what’s new with eDirectory v11.1

Once again we are very proud to announce the release of a brand new version of eDirectory: the v11.1.  We’ve prepared a hard-hitting lineup for you: new features on Base Code, added Stripe, 3 new layouts to choose from, SEO improvements, and much more made to meet your expectations!

Check out what´s new on eDirectory v11.1!

Stripe – New Payment Gateway Integration & Free Trials

eDirectory has added Stripe to the list of payment gateways so site managers will now be able to not only add this as a payment option but Stripe users also can now offer the ability offer free trials to any of your listing levels and plans. Please note that the trial feature is exclusive to Stripe.

Stripe_Transparent

New Theme Updates

Choose from the beautifully re-designed default theme or choose from 3 additional themes, each of which have their own home page look and feel with unique display and behavior options too: The Medical Guide, the Restaurant or Dining Guide and the Wedding Guide.

Enhanced Membership Level Editor

Strong enhancements to the Membership Level Editor which now include the ability to associate classified ads and multiple deals or coupons with their listing owners. Classified ads are perfect for job listings, merchandise, services and real estate. We are sure advertisers will love these new updates!

Enhanced Email Editor

eDirectory.com´s email editor now allows the site manager to design and send email notifications automatically right from the platform with your personalized headers and footers. Modify your automated email notification with shiny new templates and updated default messages.

Are you ready to see your site online with v11.1? Sign Up today!

Are you already a customer that wants the latest and greatest? Request your upgrade!

Read here the full list of enhancements of  v11.1

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.

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.

“Your software isn’t cheap..”

Having been at eDirectory for several years now, we’ve run into our fair share of competitors. We’re confident that out of most of the solutions on there on the market, there isn’t a more powerful solution for the price. With a steady growth in the market, we know we’re not outpricing ourselves, but many people come to us and say that our software is over priced, too expensive or outright not affordable.

A few things to consider:

Script Vs. Software One thing that makes me cringe is when people refer to eDirectory as a script. It’s not that a script has a bad notation necessarily. It’s just to me, a script is something you buy for $25-$200, are sent an automated email with a link to download the script, which you have to install yourself. Support is limited or non existent and you’re likely ONLY getting a program that runs business listings.

What are you getting for the price? eDirectory, a software solution, provides our clients with near 24/5 support from a global software organization. Additionally, our software has many features that simply aren’t included in most others, which include, but aren’t limited to:
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  • Daily Deals
  • Classifieds
  • Events
  • Banner Advertising
  • Automated billing
  • Click to Call
  • Send SMS to Phone
  • Advertising Package Builder
  • Multi-site feature
  • Android & iPhone Apps
  • And many, many more…

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This is what distinguishes us from the $75 script you’re looking at. Enterprise features, elite support and a product dev team pumping out new releases every quarter.

Build Vs. Buy A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with a client of ours at a non profit organization, the American Ceramic Society. They have a directory of businesses in the ceramic industry and use it to not only engage more with their members and those in their community, but to also increase their visibility. For them, eDirectory was their ‘charm’ as they had first tried building the system in house and then tried going with one of our lower end competitors. While this may have been an interesting case because he had tried both an in-house solution and a competitor, I would confidently say that 30% of our clients have at some point come to us and purchased eDirectory after trying to build the solution in house. For every time one of our sales executives is told ‘We’re going to build it in house’ by a prospective client, I tell them to make sure to follow up with that prospective client in 3 months and see if they’re still as committed to developing it on their own. It’s simply not cost effective.

The average PHP developer will cost about $55 dollars an hour. So after you lay out a project proposal and spend time defining your requirements, let’s say you’ve already put in 4 hours explaining to a developer what exactly it is and how it’s supposed to work. You’re already down $220.

Our software costs $1799. So at this point, are you still confident in thinking that this developer can finish the project for less than $1579? If you are, this means your developer is capable of building something in 28 hours what has taken us 7 years and a team of 10 basecode developers to come up with.

Could you do it yourself ? Sure. Would it take 750+ hours. Yes. But why reinvent the wheel? Even if your site needs customization, at least bring the already-invented-wheel to a developer of your choice and have him customize the foundation, which has already been built.

$1799 to invest in a business? With so much developing with the growth in online directories, dining portals and local search sites, and so much advertising opportunity accordingly, is $1799 a cost prohibitive price point to developing a successful online publication? People come to us and share great ideas about how they envision leveraging our software to create unique and information packed websites. It’s like their eyes glow just thinking about the possibility. From experience, $1799 rarely stands between a person or business with vision and ambition from developing a successful online business. If it does, maybe there’s more to consider about that venture before continuing to pursue it.

Feel free to give me or one of my sales reps a call to talk about your directory.

Jared Elder
Marketing Manager
jared at e directory dot com