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Thread: Local Directory Rant - darn SEO monkeys

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    Andy101's Avatar
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    I found the burden of dealing with spam on my own directory, classifieds, and forum too great. These days we have to raise the time/$ cost of submissions to cut out the garbage. Rob: For your listings from real business owners that are useless from a marketing perspective, I suggest refusing to let them directly publish their business details and offering a paid listing service where you write the copy for them to help them and you. Local businesses should have a budget available for placing ads, printing flyers etc.

    An online form to submit a local business listing doesn't make sense to me. I would visit the businesses with a presentation folder showing print outs of my site, and traffic stats etc. and sign them up with a paper contract form.

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    Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy101 View Post
    An online form to submit a local business listing doesn't make sense to me. I would visit the businesses with a presentation folder showing print outs of my site, and traffic stats etc. and sign them up with a paper contract form.
    In theory your idea sounds good.

    Here our the downfalls that I would see IMO

    1. You would have NO traffic starting out for you would have no info on your site unless you plan on giving some listings away at the start.

    2. Visiting every place would cost you a bunch and that would drive up the ad price.

    3. This would turn into a full time job visiting every place the ad cost would be huge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy101 View Post
    An online form to submit a local business listing doesn't make sense to me. I would visit the businesses with a presentation folder showing print outs of my site, and traffic stats etc. and sign them up with a paper contract form.
    This could only be justified if the directory is able to charge thousands of dollars per year for a listing. Otherwise, the expense related to personal visits and contracts could never be justified.

    To get to this point, the directory has to first develop a reputation for driving business, which today is very expensive to build.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


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    To start with you would most likely create some information resource about the local business community such as the location of business parks (like exist in the UK). And include data about the kinds of services and products that are available. Infographics for example.

    And to kick off traffic and interest in the site, feature local things such as markets and go visit the meetings of local business people to network with them.

    Well, this is what I would do if I could speak the lingo in my area.

    I don't see how personal visits to local businesses is any more costly than going to the theater or a pizza parlor. Probably cheaper. You can easily walk down a street of shops and call in each one to greet the business owner for zero cost in your spare time. Well, I have done door to door selling and cold calling on businesses many years ago, it just cost me some spare time.

    Ah, maybe it's different in America? In the UK you can walk on foot around a town center to visit many stores and small businesses in a short time with your presentation material and big smile.

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    Hi,

    I was not thinking as a town Dir That would work if your town is big enough. The town I did live in had 2 stores and 169 in people.

    I have a friend that is putting a Dir for places to see/shop on Route 66 that is a 2000 plus mile Dir That was what got me thinking driving would be like out of the question.

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    For example, I used to work in Bracknell, Berkshire, UK. That town has a high concentration of businesses in a small area that is best traversed on foot IMO. It could be done in a lunch break of your day job. Or you drive your car to the center of your walking area. I used to do this as well in another town when I was marketing in my lunch break.

    Last edited by Andy101; 2 April, 2014 at 11:39 AM. Reason: Added linked image

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    Originally Posted by Andy101
    An online form to submit a local business listing doesn't make sense to me. I would visit the businesses with a presentation folder showing print outs of my site, and traffic stats etc. and sign them up with a paper contract form.
    A local directory that covers an entire nation (along the lines of Yahoo Local or Google's version) doesn't lend itself to physical visits. You build those by starting with a known database (or several), allowing those already present when you open to claim their listing and update it, and allowing others to submit. In this case there's an option for a free listing and a premium (with more fields) listing.
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    Here's a cute one I found today. From "About Us":
    We Are a Family Owned And Operated Full Service Insurance Brokerage Located In The Village of Amityville Since 1994. Call Us For a Free No Obligation Quote & Start Saving Today On All Your Insurance Needs.
    On what planet is the best way to do all sentences in a directory submission in title case? Why the fuck would someone do that? I'm not taking the time to fix it, I just hit the delete key. Who is this stupid? It baffles me to guess what they're thinking (if they think at all).
    -- Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup. --

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    What the article really suggests is that Google now favors large companies and large web sites.
    There is an upcoming Google Panda update - the softer version of Google Panda that is especially designed to help small businesses to increase their rankings in search results page.

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    A local directory that covers an entire nation
    Isn't that called "Yellow Pages"?

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