Building a business directory

Profile picture of the author Kaizen5 by Kaizen5 Posted: 02/11/2013
I saw some threads that were confusing and not very goal-oriented. I apologize for opening a new one, but I think it will be beneficial for all interested members here.

I am planning to build a new business directory with a friend (business partner). I already contracted a freelancer to set up a small business directory based on the Wordpress theme Vantage from AppThemes, but with the new buisness directory we aim higher.

To start with - I created a dropbox folder and a onenote file to work on the project and keep all the brainstormed ideas written somewhere. It also helps to give a skype session a structure, so that we are all on the same page, whenever we talk together.

It is still a niche topic, but it should be highly profitable as the CPC (AdWords) for some cities averages more than 20 Euro. I also talked to a company in that specific field and he told me that he has to spend more than 7,000 Euro per month in advertising.

Our budget for the development (programming & design) is between 10k and 20k Euro. We want to set up a business directory that gives actual value to the customer who is looking for a supplier (service provider).

We want offer 3 different memebership plans, a free basic, a silver and a gold membership. Not to mention we focus on Germany and probably Switzerland and Austria.

Maybe someone, who has experiences, can help me with some questions I still need to figure out:

- Will it be possible in the future to have a chance, while Google is putting own services in front of the organic rankings?

- Is it possible/recommended to implement Google Places or Google+ business profiles into the directory listings?

- Has anyone experiences with automated payment procedures? (This will be solved by the programmer, but I want to hear some opinions)

- Do you think it is a good point to add a blog with topic-relevant articles?

- Is it possible to start a empty directory or do you think it is better to enter data and give company owners the possibility to claim their listings?

- Do you think a obligatory backlink for service providers who use the free membership plans is a reasonable way to gain authority?
#building #business #directory

  • Profile picture of the author ldiaz117
    ldiaz117
    I am thinking of starting a directory as well. Add me on Skype and we can talk.

    I plan to have a blog and setup google places.
  • Profile picture of the author Kaizen5
    Kaizen5
    I got one day off due to being sick and will start doing some more research on that.

    I am surprised that no one is interested in starting a business directory? :confused:
  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    jgant
    A directory is a lot of work. I've considered it given I do local affiliate marketing in a specific industry, but I really don't see directories ranking all that well and the traffic generated by directories isn't all that great. Therefore, I prefer, from an individual business perspective, to invest in other traffic sources.

    What this means is that it's not easy to attract paying businesses and to make the entire thing profitable. If you are in an industry and benefit beyond revenue generated by the directory, it might make more sense.

    However, I've never done it so I can't say for sure. I would certainly do a ton of rank checking in your industry to see how directory sites are ranking at the local level before starting the site.

    As a complement to an existing project/niche, directories might make sense. As a stand-alone project, I'm not so sure.
  • Profile picture of the author lucidbs
    lucidbs
    I agree that business directory is a lot of work. So if you have the budget, you can start small in your city to see if it works before you go for national directory of the niches. It's a hell of work to maintain too so I guess that's not a lot of people are wokring it.
  • Profile picture of the author vishwa
    vishwa
    Hi, Have you tried edirectory.com? they are providing good Business Directory Solutions.
  • Profile picture of the author StingGB
    StingGB
    I own and run a small business directory, and some of what has been said here isn't true. Providing the subject is specialized, and there is a quality information page attached to each link, Google doesn't penalize you at all. Quite the opposite in fact. I've gone from O to P3 in 6 months for my main keyword which has 240,000 searches per month.

    I think what doesn't work anymore are the old general listing directories where you set up the framework and they basically populate themselves. People only listed on them because they wanted the link, and Google eventually realized this. It's the same old story, there are no shortcuts in (e) business, but if you are prepared to put the graft in...
  • Profile picture of the author Danny Cutts
    Danny Cutts
    Beware of app themes... I bought their directory script and it is full of bugs... simple things like you cant list listings in multiple categories...
  • Profile picture of the author khooster1
    khooster1
    Content is King.
    Directory is out-dated.
    You can run directory only with strong content.

    Try targeting local market.
    You will probably get better results.
    Google is not so keen with directories based on recent updates.
    Too much bad links floating around.
  • Profile picture of the author iisark
    iisark
    Originally Posted by Kaizen5 View Post
    - Will it be possible in the future to have a chance, while Google is putting own services in front of the organic rankings?
    Yes, local directories will always work but not all of them. If you make your site useful and bring value to the users you will be awarded with good rankings.
    Originally Posted by Kaizen5 View Post
    - Is it possible/recommended to implement Google Places or Google+ business profiles into the directory listings?
    Do you mean to include a filed on profile page where companies can add their google+ profile? If that is your quesiton than -yes, you can do it.

    Originally Posted by Kaizen5 View Post
    - Has anyone experiences with automated payment procedures? (This will be solved by the programmer, but I want to hear some opinions)
    Automatic payment can work very well as long as you did i right.Offer all kind of payment methods (including Paypal) because this will put more trust on your directory + people are more confident when they are able to pay with safe payment gateways like Paypal.

    Originally Posted by Kaizen5 View Post
    - Do you think it is a good point to add a blog with topic-relevant articles?
    It is not good, it is "must" to have a blog with niche related artiles. You can also interlink you blog articles and your related directory pages
    Originally Posted by Kaizen5 View Post
    - Is it possible to start a empty directory or do you think it is better to enter data and give company owners the possibility to claim their listings?
    You can start both ways. If you can afford a huge advertising campaign, then start with empty directory and build your db slowly. If your budget is low you can fill your db with listings. Bare in mind that you have to offer value to the users. If you just fill your pages with millions of companies this is not going to work.

    Originally Posted by Kaizen5 View Post
    - Do you think a obligatory backlink for service providers who use the free membership plans is a reasonable way to gain authority?
    No, this is the fasted way to destroy your directory SEO. That strategy worked 5 years ago. Now is considered as paid links.
  • Profile picture of the author iisark
    iisark
    Also Kaizen5, building a good directory is not enough, you need to build a web brand. For this reason you have to choose very carefully your directory name, something short and memorable will be a good start. The other very important aspect of branding is the marketing. If I was you, I would spend a lot of time on choosing the best advertising methods for my directory. Many entrepreneurs destroy their online business even before start getting some traffic.

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