Bizyhood founder Scott Barnett says adding a business directory is only the first step for independent news publishers – it's what comes next that matters most.
Barnett, whose company is in New Jersey, was the guest for this week's LION Publishers webinar – the ninth in the group's series designed to help independent news publishers flourish on the Internet.
Quite a few publishers have tried adding a business directory to their site. But Barnett says that a business directory by itself does not dramatically increase revenue or provide more local authority. He says a directory of local businesses needs to be integrated into a site's revenue portfolio – to complement other advertising and revenue-generating products – in a way that works within your community. Bizyhood offers a variety of tools to make the process easier and to build engagement and relationships from your directory listings.
Bizyhood can set up a complete directory listing for any location in the U.S. and add the whole platform to a website within minutes. Listings are updated in real-time and a publisher can then take that data and begin reaching out to businesses in an effort to build relationships and revenue. The platform is mobile-optimized, offers its own powerful search functionality as an improvement on what's included in WordPress, and also integrates customer feedback, events and promotions, a calendar, etc.
Barnett stressed the importance of mobile and search, adding that more than 60 percent of page views from publishers they are working with are on mobile, and that most publishers are using the standard WordPress search functionality, which is nice but fairly basic.
"Having a strong search and mobile experience for readers is crucial for local authority," Barnett said, adding that Bizyhood is still building out new functionality in 2016.
Additional panelists for this week's webinar included LION members Denise Lockwood of the Racine County Eye in Wisconsin, John T. Ward of Red Bank Green in N.J., and Lisa Ferri Lagrou of Oakland County Moms in Michigan. All three spoke about why they added directories to their sites and how they are working.
• CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE WEBINAR REPLAY (you will need to register)
EDITOR'S NOTE: The recording start's out black but with audio only for the first 14-15 minutes or so when we discovered the issue, likely a browser problem. Scott's slides are available below.
Source materials from the webinar:
• Scott's slides
• Racine County Eye's "Martinis and Manicures" promotion for Dora's Color and Design salon, which has a listing in the Eye's directory here.
• RedBankGreen's directory
• OaklandCountyMoms' directory
• Reach Scott by email here or on Facebook if you have questions!
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