Updated: Sept 2018
Adding a Business Directory to your membership website is a great way to create value for your members as well as your organization. Online listings strengthen business reputation, increase brand awareness and boost SEO for both the member and the Chamber.
Here are 3 steps to get your directory up and running quickly.
- Start with a free Business Directory plugin. This way you can try things out without spending a lot of money up front.
- Start with a few basic categories. Especially if you are using WordPress, it’s easy to add more categories as you grow. Don’t add empty categories, no one wants to click thru and find nothing there. (Scroll to see a Starter List of Categories)
- Pre-Populate your directory. You might do this by offering free or low-cost listings or by manually creating some listings to get things started.
Category Names and SEO
Selecting the right category titles can be tricky. You’ll want to use words that are commonly used in search. For example if credit unions are popular in your area, you might want to use Banks & Credit Unions rather than Banking & Finance.
Starter List of Business Directory Categories
While the same set of categories won’t work for every membership organization, we’ve looked at a lot of membership directories and come up with this list of 25 to get you started.
- Accounting & Tax Services
- Arts, Culture & Entertainment
- Auto Sales & Service
- Banking & Finance
- Business Services
- Community Organizations
- Dentists & Orthodontists
- Health & Wellness
- Health Care
- Home Improvement
- Internet & Web Services
- Legal Services
- Lodging & Travel
- Marketing & Advertising
- News & Media
- Pet Services
- Real Estate
- Restaurants & Nightlife
- Shopping & Retail
- Sports & Recreation
- Wedding, Events & Meetings
Category Page Layouts
Membership Starter Site
1. Select a layout
2. Run the install wizard
3. Activate membership features…
have your association or business networking site up and running in minutes.
Get started with this gorgeous WordPress theme.
Business Directory Page Layout
Because you don’t always know how your visitors will search your site, it can be tough to know the best way to organize categories on your Chamber of Commerce website. Will your visitor search Alphabetically? By Category? You want to make it as easy as possible to find what they need and connect quickly with your members.
Quick Links Page Setup
One option is to setup a Quick Links page by grouping your businesses into Main Categories and Sub-Categories, such that you can show all of the main & sub categories on one page but keep scrolling to a minimum, as in the example below. Each link opens to a page specific to that category.
Check out our Business Directory documentation pages to find more options for the
Hint: Be sure to document the categories you are using so that everyone on your team that may enter a new business listing knows which categories to use!
Quick Links Example
Advertising & Media
(Publishers, Public Relations, Marketing)
Auto Sales & Service
(Automobile Dealers, Auto Body & Painting, Auto Clubs, more…)
(Business Coaching, Printing Services)
Computers & Telecommunications
(Computer/IT Services, Telecommunications)
Construction & Building Services
(General Contractors, Construction, Engineers, Architects)
(Colleges & Universities, Educational Services, K-12 Schools)
Entertainment(Arts, Entertainment, Recreation, Travel, Events, Museums)
(Family, Community & Civic Organizations)
Finance & Insurance
(Banks, Financial Advisors, Insurance)
Health & Fitness
(Medical Centers & Clinics, Dentists)
Home & Garden
(Home & Garden, Remodeling – Bath & Kitchen)
(Hotels & Motels, Event & Meeting Facilities, Resorts)
(Legal Services, Divorce/Family Law)
Personal Services & Care
(Salons & Spas, Funeral Homes, Driver Training, more…)
Public Utilities & Environment
(Utilities, Internet, Cable)
Real Estate, Moving & Storage
(Residential, Commercial, Moving, Storage)
(Full Service, Casual Dining, Fast Food)
Shopping & Retail
(Appliances, Clothing Apparel, Accessories, more…)
Sports & Recreation
(Golf Courses & Country Clubs, Sports Facility, Sports Teams)
(Automobile & Truck Rental, Airport Parking)