Thanks to you

Its always so rewarding when we get messages from people telling us how Brownbook.net has helped them out, and I wanted to share this one with everyone else.  This came in today from a new member.  Thanks ‘Chedders’ for the note, and for allowing us to pass it on here:

Would just like to congratulate your web site.  I posted my daughter’s site on there yesterday as you know.  Before close of play yesterday google had spidered her and if you search for nikcoll she is now in no. 1 slot on google.  Also if you search for beauty in bromsgrove she is on the first page.  That is totally down to [Brownbook.net] as I have done nothing to promote the site so far as I only wrote it this week.

The Brownbook.net listing is here: http://www.brownbook.net/business/30996431/nikcoll-beauty-therapy

Tagging Guide and New Canadian Members

We’ve been seeing tons of new Canadian traffic! Until the firehose overwhelms my teacup, I’ll be doing my best to edit them all for clarity in the tags, but please try to follow the standard tagging format. These are only guidelines, but if you follow them, you will have much better luck being found by people:

  • tags are like categories that aren’t exclusive, the longer the tag, the more specific someone has to be to find it
    • more than 3 words in a tag might not be searched for
  • try to re-use tags your competitors use
  • avoid writing prose or using the first person (I, we, etc)
  • if you have a multi word tag (like “limousine transportation”), use it, and then add another two tags for each word if they stand on their own (like “limousine” and “transportation”)
    • be careful not to add tags this way that don’t stand on their own (like “corporate limos” into “corporate” and “limos”)

In general, these might help you businesses get found, but let your customers do the categorization if you can- ask them for a review with our “invite review” feature, and they will be given the opportunity to fix up your tags.

Recent improvements

Last week saw the go-live of our version 6, including a whole bunch of improvements and new features.  Here’s a quick roundup:

Lock down your business listing
By popular request we now allow business owners to ‘lock’ their listing, so only they can update it.  You’ll need to be logged in to make changes to your claimed listing, but only you will have the power.  This change is automatically applied to all previous claims.  If you’ve not yet claimed your business listing, now’s the time to do it.  Everything else about claims remains the same.

Improved business pages

We’ve been working behind the scenes to bring you greatly enhanced business listing pages.  The new pages contain all the same information, but in a MUCH more friendly format, making them easier for consumers to use and helping you win more business.  Remember you can use them to ‘invite reviews’ for your business, so why not ask your best customers to review your business right now.  Check out the new look by searching for your business, search here.

Improved search results pages
Also under the microscope last month were the search results pages.  “Give us maps!” you said, and maps we’ve given you: try a search now and see how the results get mapped out for you.  NB: to see something really interesting try a global search (hit the ‘globe’ icon) and do a worldwide search for a common tag like “bank” or “artist”.

New ‘end pages’
We’ve changed EVERY single page that you reach at the end of every process; everything from adding a business, to inviting people to review it (there were 18 in total).  Every page now has a much more affirmative message that confirms what you just did, plus a set of ‘useful links’ that let you do the next most logical things.  So, for example, after you’ve added a business you’ll see an explanation of how you can claim the listing, and you’ll get the links to allow you to do stuff like: visit the business page, claim the business listing, review the business, invite friends to review the business, add another, etc.

New CAPTCHA pages
We had a lot of fun with this one (not!).  This is the second page you reach when you make any contribution, the one where you used to have to select whether you were a regististered user, or not, and if you wanted an account.  On reflection those three radio buttons were always a bit confusing, far too much to take in.  Now you just get a very simple page that has a ‘right side’ and a ‘left side’ (very much like the way PayPal does it); left side is for members (email, passsword and captcha), and right side is for non-members (email, confirm email, captcha) – you just fill in whatever is appropriate.  Much simpler.

New Help pages
We’ve also completely revamped our help pages, making them easier to search and navigate to find the answers to your frequently asked questions.  We’ll continue to add to and enhance the help pages so, if you have a question, you’ll most likely find the answer right there.  If you can’t find the answer you need then tell us and we’ll get right on it for you.  Check out the new help pages, click here.

Come back for more updates, and remember to review any local businesses you use in the next week.

Its all good here at Brownbook…

Posted by Kelly on Salon Geek:

“I’ve had great luck with a referral I rec’d here (Thank you!) for Brownbook dot net. Although a listing is free, I went ahead and paid $20 to enhance my listing and have already rec’d two new clients from it. Their customer service was outstanding too.
love, kelly”

Testimonials about Brownbook don’t get any better than that…

And here is Kelly’s listing on Brownbook.net: http://www.brownbook.net/business/30991528/lipsense-at-temecula-lipstick-company

DPA Awards

We can all get to hate email and the burden that it can add to our working day and then occasionally you get one that makes it all worthwhile. I received one this week from the DPA (Data Publishers Association) – good news, Brownbook has been shortlisted for ‘Product Development of the Year 2008’. Now that’s the kind of email that I like… So we have a one in ten chance – fingers crossed for the presentations on the 23rd October.

Product Development of the Year:
Brownbook.net – Brownbook Ltd.
Hull Colour Pages Premium DQ – KCOM Group PLC
Homeland Security – BDEC
Lastingtribute.co.uk – Associated Northcliffe Digital
Markets data – Ft.com
The Jersey Directory – Jersey Telecom
The Marketing Manager’s Yearbook – AP Information Services
Data Guidance – Cecile Park Publishing
GMB Publishing
Complinet Tracker – Complinet
Insurance Directory – Incisive Media

Oh, and one tail, here is a picture of when Marc and David won the award back in 1998 on behalf of Scoot… ‘Internet Directory of the Year 1998’…