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Niche Business Directory In-a-Box: Instructions | The Man Who Sold the Web Blog


Niche Business Directory In-a-Box: Instructions

20 Sep

Here are the step by step instructions for setting up your Niche Business Directory In-a-Box site.  We’ll have your business directory up and running in no time!

Now, I hope you already have your niche and domain chosen.  Ideally, for SEO and branding purposes, I recommend picking a domain name that reflects the niche.

 

STEP 1 – Point your domain to our cloud.

From your domain registrar,you will need to update a couple DNS settings.  Check out these detailed instructions provided by Google (for Blogger) for the major domain registrars.

http://www.google.com/support/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=58317

When following the above directions, be sure to use the values below instead:

  • Set the “A-record” to our IP:  207.58.186.35
  • Set the CNAME for “www” to: bizdir.themanwhosoldtheweb.com

If you have any issues doing this, you can email me directly at dave@[this domain].

 

STEP 2 – Claim your domain on our cloud and pick your niche.

Log in to your control panel.  Click to ‘Basic Settings’ on the left side.  From this section, update the “Domain” field (the first editable field) with your domain name.  Do not include the “http://” .

Now, scroll down and select a business niche from the dropdown menu.   There are over 500 niches to choose from.

Click ‘Update.’  Once DNS has fully propogated (which can take up to several hours), your site is up and running.  You can visit your domain to check.

 

STEP 3 – Customize your site.

Now, you want to make your site original and effective.  To do this, there are a number of areas that you can customize to fit your exact vision.  In the left pane navigation, under your site’s domain name, you should see a menu with 8 options.  We will go through each option one by one and walk through the various options and features at your disposal.

  • Basic Setup
    Before you proceed to any of the pages, complete the fields in Basic Setup first.  In other words, if you’re short on time and want to only do the bare, bare minimum for now, then completing the fields in this section would be that bare, bare minimum.
     

    • Domain – You already specified this in step 2.  Don’t change this, as this value tells us which domain is yours.
    • Site Name – Type in the name of your site.  Keep it short.  Limit it to only the name of the site.
    • Google Analytics Code – This is an optional field.  If you wish to use Google Analytics, you can copy the tracking code in here.  If you wish to use a different provider’s tracking code, you can insert it in its place.
    • Homepage Text (Above) – This is the text that appears above the search form on the homepage.  You are welcome to use HTML.
    • Homepage Text (Below) – This is the text that appears below the search form on the homepage.  Again, HTML is supported.
    • Business Niche – You already specific this in step 2.  Don’t change this value, either.
  • Look & Feel
    The options on this page have to do with the design of your site. 

    • Logo – Upload a logo to replace the default image.  It’s highly recommended you use your own logo to maintain a professional look for your site.  If you don’t trust your own graphic design skills, you can have a logo made for $5 using Fiverr.
    • CSS Code – This is an optional field.  Your site is driven by CSS classes.  You have the ability to overwrite the existing style by inputting your CSS code here.
  • Global Settings
    Your Global Settings include content that will appear across your entire site.
     

    • Top Bar – Notice there is a top bar that scrolls down when the page loads.  This is the text goes into that bar.  It is ideal for an advertisement (e.g. a Google Adsense 728×15) due its to prominent placement and eye catching animation.  You can use HTML here.
    • Search Label – On the top-right of most pages, you will see a search form.  The “Search Label” is the text that appears right above the search form.
    • Search Field Text – This is the text that appears inside the search form.   If you leave this empty, it will default to “Enter 5-digit zip code”.  If are creating a geography-specific business directory, I recommend you reflect that in the “Search Field Text.”  For instance, if your directory is only for Florida, then you can use “Enter a Florida zip code”.
    • Niche Keyword – This keyword or phrase will be used for purposes of SEO. We recommend keeping this short and not be anything more than the niche. E.g. Cardiologists, Jewelry Stores, Bowling Alleys
    • Footer Text – This text appears at the bottom of your pages, about the “About” and “Terms and Conditions” sections.  This is a good place for a leaderboard advertisement.
    • About Text – This is the text appears at the bottom of your pages, occupying the “About” section.
    • Terms & Conditions Text – This is the text appears at the bottom of your pages, occupying the “Terms and Conditions” section.
    • Privacy Policy Add-On Text – At the bottom of all your pages, there is a link to the privacy policy.  By default, your privacy policy will be populated with enough content to satisfy Google AdSense’s requirements.  However, you are welcome to add additional text to your privacy policy.  You can do so here in this section.
  • Autoscale Settings
    Depending on your package, each month, we will be adding 250+, 500+, or 2000+ business listings to your directory.  With the settings here, you can help us prioritize our efforts by geography.  Both of these fields are completely optional. 

    • Prioritize by State – If you set a state priority, we will first add all the businesses within the specified state before moving on to other areas of the US.  You are free to change this at any time.
    • Prioritize by ZIP Code – To get even more specific, you can tell us the exact zip codes to attack first.  You can add as many as you’d like here.  Once a zip code has been accounted for, it will disappear from this list.  In terms of order of priority, the zip codes come before the state prioritization.
  • Listings Page Content
    This section governs the content displayed on your “listings pages.”  A listings page is essentially the search results page.  It displays all the businesses found within the vicinity of a specified zip code.  Here’s an example of a listings page for Beverly Hills.  All of the fields, with the exception of the Google Maps Key, accept geography variables.  Geography variables allow you to create dynamic content.  There are 3 geography variables: 

    • [city]
    • [state]
    • [zipcode]
  • When you use any of the geography variables, when the listings page is loaded, instead of displaying the variable (e.g. “[city]“), it will display the corresponding geographic value (e.g. “Beverly Hills”).
    • Meta Description – This is the text that will appear in your meta description tag.  Geography variables accepted.
    • Meta Keywords – This is text that will appear in your meta keywords tag.  Geography variables accepted.
    • Heading – This is text that appears at the top of the listings page.  It is the text that will be contained with <H1> tags.  Geography variables accepted.  See the diagram below to see exactly where this text appears on the page.
    • Google Maps KeyAcquiring a Google Maps Key is highly recommended. It makes your site look a lot more professional and it’s completely free. To get one, just go here, agree to the terms, enter your domain, and click “Generate API Key.”
    • Top Text – This text appears just below the Heading and above your business listings.  Geography variables accepted.  See the diagram below to see exactly where this text appears on the page.
    • Bottom Text – This text appears below your business listings.  Geography variables accepted.  See the diagram below to see exactly where this text appears on the page.
    • Right Column (Top) – This text appears above the Google map.  Geography variables accepted.  See the diagram below to see exactly where this text appears on the page.
    • Right Column (Bottom) – This text appears below the Google map.  It may be a good spot for a 336×280 AdSense banner. Geography variables accepted.  See the diagram below to see exactly where this text appears on the page.

  • Business Listings Management
    Within this section of your control panel, you can manage all the business listings in your business directory.  This includes making changes to existing listings, deleting existing listings, and adding new ones.  This page is divided into two primary sections.  The top section lists all the businesses in your directory (2o listings per page).  To modify any of these listings, just click the “modify listing” link to the right of the entry.  The bottom section of the page includes a form that allows you to add a new business into your directory.
  • Sponsored Listings Management
    So, what are sponsored listings?  Sponsored listings are prominently displayed listings, appearing above your regular business listings.  These are highly desired spots that are typically paid for. For most business models of business directories, a primary source of income is through selling sponsored listings.  In this section, you can create and modify sponsored listings.
  • Custom Page Management
    Depending on your package, you have a certain number of custom pages you can create.  A custom page can be anything you want to be.  It’s essentially a blank sleight for you to fill–with text, with HTML, with ads, etc.  These custom pages appear in your top navigation.  It can be an internal page or an external link.  Commonly created pages include: About Use page, Contact page, Advertise page, articles, Press page.

 

Q&A

To be added.

This keyword or phrase will be used for purposes of SEO. We recommend keeping this short and not be anything more than the niche. E.g. Cardiologists, Jewelry Stores, Bowling Alleys

3 Responses to “Niche Business Directory In-a-Box: Instructions”

  1. Tom@Englisch Test Online November 17, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    HI Dave, checked your example site and found an error when using the search function (for entering city name). When entering berke it starts showing some code for the underlying database

    • dave November 26, 2011 at 11:33 am #

      Hmm. I just tried typing “berke” and it worked fine for me. It showed a list of cities starting w/ “berke” (e.g. Berkeley Heights, Berkeley…). What are you seeing?

      Thanks.

  2. Rayner@acid reflux December 4, 2011 at 5:49 am #

    Yes, what tom commenting above is right Dave, i am also able to see the whole HTML source code of the page when i type ‘berke’ in it while i type in other state or city then it is showing correct data, only for that particular city it is showing error to me also.

    Also an excellent product, would love to have it for a new test site of mine, have send you a PM at Digital Point Forum regarding it.

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