If you have finished Getting Started – The First Day, you are ready to proceed! The next part of your setup is going to focus on the power of Local Search Engine Optimization (Local SEO). There are significant revenue generating opportunities by leveraging the power of Local SEO. The foundation to achieve this are Business Pages. Now that you have installed the Bizyhood plugin and entered your API keys, each business in your service area now has its own unique URL on your site. This page is interactive, and every business can control the content and engagement on its own page. Your goal is to get links and engagement into these pages.
This guide will give you the information necessary to customize your Bizyhood implementation to fit your specific requirements and allow Bizyhood personnel to help you manage and measure the effectiveness of your directory.
We welcome your feedback. Your experiences with the Bizyhood platform will help us make it an even better platform for everyone.
2.Step 1 - Review the Features you can Offer
On Day 1, you will already have hundreds to thousands of new Business Pages on your site, depending on the size of your community. These pages are great for your readers, but they aren’t giving the business owners any benefits until they “claim” or “add” their listing and start interacting with it.
In addition to providing a powerful and simple way for readers to find the local businesses they are looking for, the Bizyhood platform helps local businesses be found locally more easily via Local SEO. Their business page gives each local business the ability to influence, improve and measure their Local SEO. The paying tiers give them even more influence, as well as trigger the lead generation capabilities you can offer local businesses.
Right from the start, you can offer business owners a significant amount of functionality.
- A unique URL for the business. Each business gets their own URL on your site. For premium listings, we add their URL to your sitemap automatically, and we can also offer vanity URL’s (e.g. yoursite.com/theirname).
- Business Name, Address and Phone Number. This is also called NAP. This is the basic information that tells search engines that this is a local business listing. A businesses NAP is also called a citation. We’ll use this term throughout this document.
- Business Category. The type of business they are. We have over 17,000 categories to choose from. The free tier offers one category, and the paid tiers allow a business to add up to 3 categories. The majority of the businesses in your community will already have a NAP and Category in your directory. For those businesses that are not listed, they can add their citation to your site easily.
- Custom Search. Bizyhood for Publishers comes with a powerful search engine that will highlight businesses that are premium customers and that are highly engaged. Think of this as your own version of AdWords – except that instead of paying transactionally for an ad that goes on a search results page (which are very rarely clicked on), they are paying monthly for a subscription which allows them to influence search results through their own level of activity.
- Business Tag. For businesses that “claim” their listing, we give the owner the ability to add up to 5 “tags” about their business. This is a descriptive element of their business, different than a category, which will be used for search purposes.
- Hours of Operation. Owners can setup multiple sets of hours per day as well as specify options such as “By Appointment” and “Open 24 hours”. They can also setup multiple open/close times in a single day, if they close for lunch (for example).
- Links to the businesses website and Social Media pages. Most business owners are told about the SEO benefit of having links to their own website from external sites – this is one of the main drivers for them signing up on directory sites. We offer this benefit, as well as links to their Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages. Instagram and Pinterest are coming soon.
- Business Logo. A single logo that shows up on their page that represents their business.
- Image Gallery. This feature allows the business owner to upload as many images as they would like onto their profile page – the first four images show up on the page by default. If a user selects any of the four, a full page “gallery” pops up for the user to scroll through.
- Events. Business owners can create and publish their own Events. These events go on their own page on your site, and you can also offer them the ability to automatically push these items to your own Calendar of Events. In addition, business owners can create events and promote them to social media at the same time.
- Promotions. Similar to Events, a business owner can create and publish their own Promotions. These do not get pushed into an existing Calendar of Events, rather, these get promoted independently. Promotions are also able to be promoted on social media at the same time as well.
- Citation Service. The Citation Service is a paid offering and another highly differentiated service. Your local business owners are likely getting calls daily from companies promising them they will get listed on all the Internet Directories and “be found” more easily online. These companies charge anywhere from $30-99/mo. for this service alone! Sadly, most of these offerings do very little to help the hyperlocal business owner get found locally. You can rightfully lay claim to having the only directory that thoroughly serves your local area. Bizyhood’s citation feature allows you to distribute the business owners’ NAP to all those same directory sites. So the owners no longer have to field phone calls from all these directory sites! This takes a huge burden off the business owners’ shoulders and brings them back to the simpler days when the Yellow Pages were the one and only directory. You become the trusted local listing authority, and you take care of making their listing known all over the Internet.
- Call to Action. Premium listings can add a Call To Action on their Business Page. Currently, this gives them the ability to have a reader Make a Reservation, Schedule an Appointment, get Added to a Mailing List, or simply a generic Contact Us.
- Managed Service. You may find that your local business owners don’t want to manage their page on your site themselves. With Bizyhood, you can offer to manage it for them. This can be part of an overall social media marketing strategy or simply the Business Page itself. If you don’t feel you have the bandwidth or expertise to manage this, Bizyhood can help you fulfill this service. Contact us for more information.
3.Step 2 - Review Settings of Each Pricing Tier
The features listed above are all included in the Bizyhood platform. A few important notes about the pricing tiers:
- There is no minimum contract. Customers that sign up for the month-to-month plan can downgrade and/or cancel at any time
- We do support discounts for businesses that sign up for 3, 6 and 12 month in advance subscriptions
- Businesses can sign up and/or upgrade themselves via the self-service dashboard.
We provide a standard set of features for each tier. You have the ability to add your own features to each tier. We will give some examples below.
By default, the first eight features are included in the FREE tier of your business directory (the caveat is the vanity URL for item #1 and multiple categories for item #3, which are in premium tiers).
By default, the Plus tier contains everything in the FREE tier, as well as the following:
- For item #3 (Categories) – they get to list 3 categories instead of 1 in the FREE tier
- Image Gallery (#9) – the ability to upload as many images as they like to their profile page
- Events (#10) – the ability to add up to 2 events at a time
- Promotions (#11) – the ability to add 1 event at a time
Default pricing for the Plus tier is $25/mo. You can set a different price greater than $25 if desired.
By default, the Plus tier contains everything in the Plus tier, as well as the following:
- For item #10 (Events) and item #11 (Promotions) – they now get an unlimited number of Events and Promotions they can add
- Calls to Action (#13)
- Vanity URL (#1) – the can get a URL that looks like http://yourdomain.com/theirbusinessname
We also suggest you offer other features in the Pro tier. For example, placement in an email newsletter, and/or sponsorship of 1 post each month. A popular Pro feature is offering to cross-post any Event or Promotion to your Facebook page. Anything that offers the business more visibility and exposure on your site is complementary to the feature set you offer out of the box.
Default pricing for the Pro tier is $50/mo. You can set a different price greater than $50 if desired.
We do require that you offer a free tier, and by default every business in your community is listed. This way you have an authoritative list of businesses on Day 1. A business in this mode is considered listed. A business that signs up for the Starter (FREE) tier and gets approved is considered verified. A business that signs up for the Plus or Pro tier is considered paid.
The amount you charge is also flexible. As described above, our standard tier settings are $25/mo. for Plus and $50/mo. for Pro. These can be modified based on your own needs in your market.
There are additional features that you can choose to include in your tiers, at our discretion. These include:
- Citation Service (#12) – the ability to get their NAP syndicated to all the major directory sites. This is an annual fee. We typically suggest $199 for businesses that have not upgraded to a free tier, $159 for businesses in the Plus tier and $139 for businesses in the Pro tier.
- Managed Service (#14) – offering to manage a business’s listing for them. You can offer this yourself (outside the Bizyhood tiers) or we can include it within a tier.
- Email Newsletter – An offer to include Promotions in a daily newsletter or “deal of the day” email.
- Facebook posts – we have seen publishers offer a certain number of posts/mo. on the publishers own Facebook page as part of a paid tier
- Interstitials – we have seen publishers offer a certain number of “in article calls to action” each month for businesses in paid tiers. Typically called interstitials, Bizyhood provides a plugin to the WordPress editor that allows you to easily add these into any Post.
4.Step 3 - Customize Your Sign-up Landing Page
Now that you have reviewed the features to offer for each tier, your signup landing page should reflect these features and give business owners a quick and easy way to see what you can do for them.
As part of the Bizyhood WordPress plugin, each individual Business Page has a call to action for the business owner to claim their business if it hasn’t already been claimed. This link goes directly to a signup page on https://business.bizyhood.com. Once they create an account, they go to a page that has all of their existing NAP information. The owner has the ability to update any of the information (or accept it as-is, choose a tier, and they are done!)
Many publishers want to have their own signup page on their own site that explains the new capabilities and features in more detail. The signup page should itself be a standard WordPress Page, so you can make it look however you like. You should have a sample already in place from the “Getting Started – the first day” Guide.
Example Landing Page with 3 tiers. You can see this page live at pubdemo.bizyhood.com/business-guide-signup
The look and feel of this page is entirely up to you. If you like the design above, all you need to do to customize it is the following:
- Put your own logo on the page
- The “Claim your business profile!” buttons should take your customers to your own custom signup page. You will need to get that URL link from your Publisher Dashboard (in the Admin section).
5.How Do Businesses Use Each Tier?
As you have noticed, there are a lot of features in each tier that you can offer to the businesses. How do the business owners manage all this information?
When a business “claims” their page, they are giving 100% control over the contents of the page that shows up on your site. And the dashboard automatically enables the features that they can use, based on the tier they are on.
They get to their business dashboard by going to https://business.bizyhood.com and logging in. You can send your businesses directly to the login page by directing them to this URL. You should offer a link to this URL on your site and make it visible to business owners so they know where to go to manage their page. This first page they see is an Overview page that gives them a snapshot of what’s going on with their business.
Figure 1 – Business Dashboard – Overview Page (where the business goes by default when they login)
Once they are logged in, they see their dashboard home page. All of the features are menu items on the left side of the page. So, what menu items are part of each tier?
The Starter tier allows businesses to update/add to their basic profile, get messages from Bizyhood, and feedback from customers. There is one main menu item that applies here:
The Edit Profile menu is the most important menu for all businesses, not just those in the Starter tier. This is the “basic” information that they want to add immediately after signing up.
Figure 2 – Edit Profile Page
Edit Profile has 7 tabs that have all the basic information about their business. We’ll review each one below.
- Basic Information – this is the businesses NAP (Name/Address/Phone) and the categories they want to assign to their business. Starter tier businesses can choose 1 category. Plus and Pro businesses can choose up to 3 categories.
- Logo – The business has the ability to upload their company logo (or frankly, any image) that will show up permanently on their Business Page
- Business Hours – The business can choose their timezone, and their hours of operation. Selection of hours is flexible – if the business has multiple open/close hours in a single day, they can enter that in. They can choose “By Appointment” or “Open 24 hours” for any/each day.
- About My Business – The business can enter a description of their business (up to 1,000 characters). They can also add their Website, Fax # (if applicable) and “tags” – short phrases that describe the business – on this page.
- Call To Action (CTA) – this is a new feature that is in Beta test, so it is open to all businesses today. This will ultimately be a feature in the Pro tier. The business can create one of 4 different call to actions, and offer the website that the user will be sent to when they click that CTA.
- Social Media – the business can add links to their Facebook, Twitter and Google pages. Additional social media pages will be able to be added soon.
- Subscription Details – the is where the business manages which tier they are on. They can upgrade/downgrade at any time – there are no commitments or contracts to their monthly subscription.
So, where does this information show up? On their Business Page on your site. For example, the sample business we used in the screenshot above has a public page that looks like this:
Figure 3 – a Business Page Highlighting the features in the Starter tier
The Plus tier allows businesses all the capabilities in the Starter tier, as well as the ability to add an Image Gallery, and to add Events and Promotions. There are three main menu items that apply here:
Figure 4 – the Three menu items for the Plus tier
Events are self-explanatory – these are events that the business is holding in the community. Think of these similar to calendar entries that you put in your calendar. All content entered in Events is indexed and made searchable for readers. A Plus tier business can enter up to two events at a time.
Figure 5 – A sample Business Event
A business gets significant coverage when they enter an Event via the dashboard. The event can show up in multiple places:
- The Event is automatically added to the businesses own Business Page
- The Event is automatically added to your Page of Events, which is located at /business-events on your site
- The Event can be added to your existing Event Calendar on your site. Bizyhood provides an .ics feed that you can easily import at regular intervals into your Calendar. Bizyhood has integrated with The Events Calendar from Tribe and can integrate with other calendars that support .ics feeds
- There is a Bizyhood Events widget that comes with the plugin – you can place this widget anywhere on your site. It cycles through all the existing events as users click on pages of your site, and includes a link to that businesses Page on your site, as well as to your global calendar.
- At the Publishers’s discretion, you can also add Events into your email newsletter (for example) or send out a separate email solely focused on Events. Bizyhood provides an RSS feed to all existing events.
Promotions are coupons that a business is offering to your readers. Promotions simply have a description and an end date. If there is information on the businesses site about the promotion, they can include a link to that page. All content entered in Promotions is indexed and made searchable for readers. A Plus tier business can enter one promotion at a time.
Figure 6 – A sample Business Promotion
A business gets significant coverage when they enter a Promotion via the dashboard. The Promotion can show up in multiple places:
- The Promotion is automatically added to the businesses own Business Page
- The Promotion is automatically added to your Page of Promotions, which is located at /business-promotions on your site
- There is a Bizyhood Promotions widget that comes with the plugin – you can place this widget anywhere on your site. It cycles through all the existing promotions as users click on pages of your site, and includes a link to that businesses Page on your site, as well as to /business-promotions to show all promotions
- At the Publishers’s discretion, you can also add promotions into your email newsletter (for example) or send out a separate email solely focused on promotions. Bizyhood provides an RSS feed to all existing promotions
We all know that images engage readers. The Image Gallery allows a Business to add as many images as they like to their Business Page. Each image can be tagged, which helps the business be found when readers are searching.
Figure 7 – Image Gallery
The business has no limit to the number of images they can add. The first four images show up by default on their business detail page. If a reader selects any of those images, then the “gallery” of all images shows up. We will be supporting video as well in the gallery.
Where do Events, Promotions and Images show up on your site? There are a few places, that we show below:
Figure 8 – a Business Page Highlighting the features in the Premium tiers
From a Bizyhood feature perspective, there are no additional visible features in the Pro tier. The Business owner gets all the features in Plus, as well as:
- Unlimited Events (instead of 2)
- Unlimited Promotions (instead of 1)
- Premium results for search (e.g. “boosted” search results)
- The Call To Action feature will be moved into this tier when it exits BETA
This is also the tier where most publishers will add their own extra features, such as:
- Exposure / Sponsorship of one article/post each month
- Placement in daily/weekly email blasts
There is no limit to the options/features that can be offered, and we are happy to work with you to determine the best feature set for the Pro tier.
6.Step 4 - Provide Google Analytics access to Bizyhood
This step is not required but highly recommended. By giving Google Analytics access to Bizyhood, it allows us to analyze your usage and optimize the platform and our suggestions for how to continue to build an authoritative local site.
It’s straightforward to provide access. First, go to the Admin section of your Google Analytics and click on the User Management option under the Property set of fields (see screen shot below).
The next page will show you the list of users that have access to your Google Analytics and an input form to add new users. In that section, do the following:
- Where it says “Add permissions for:” – enter email@example.com
- For the drop down next to the input box, choose “Read & Analyze”
- Check the box next to “Notify this user by email”
- Click “Add”
That’s it! Don’t leave Google Analytics quite yet though, we have one more thing for you to do in Step 5.
7.Step 5 - Track Searches on your site via Google Analytics
The last thing we want to do is track the types of terms your users are searching on when they come to your site. First step is to go back to the Admin page in Google Analytics, and this time you want to select “View Settings” under the View set of fields (see screen shot below).
When you click on View Settings, you will see a list of basic settings for your Google Analytics. Scroll down until you see “Site search Tracking.” If it is off, move the slider so that it is set to “ON.”
The next field is labelled “Query parameter.” In the text box below that label, enter “s, q” (without the quotes). In other words, the letter s, a comma, a space, and then the letter q.