Looking to build a chamber of commerce website? With the right tools, it’s not as hard as you’d think!
Your city or town has a thriving business community and they are all connected through you – the Chamber of Commerce. You strive to promote businesses and you want to give members the most value you can for their membership. Adding their local business to a Chamber of Commerce Business Directory may be just the answer!
Typically, the goal of a Chamber of Commerce website is to provide networking opportunities for small businesses and to provide area and community information for tourists and new residents.
Perhaps you work closely with other area chambers of commerce, local visitor bureaus, or neighborhood or professional associations also. All of these are great candidates for inclusion in the directory on your site.
The question is: How should you go about setting up your Chamber directory?
Categorization of local resources is key for your directory
As you read in our last blog post, the Enhanced Categories Module for Business Directory Plugin is the absolute best in terms of creating nice categories for your listings.
You can even create special pages for visitors and community members, as shown in the example here.
A visitor-focused page may include categories like this using the Enhanced Categories Module:
Local users of your Chamber directory may use those things as well, but they may also be looking for another local business. Something more personal to everyday life, like a locksmith or an insurance agent. For those listings, you may want to consider broader business-based categories in your directory, like these:
• Finance, Insurance & Real Estate
• Public Admin
You can take categorization a step further because that would help a local user find what they are looking for more quickly. For example, under Retail, you might have these subcategories:
The sky is really the limit in terms of categorizing your business directory listings, because with Business Directory Plugin, you can have an unlimited number of categories and sub-categories, and even sub-sub-categories!
Customizing your searches to bring business to your business members
Perhaps you are building a directory for a Chamber of Commerce that covers a large metropolitan area. You may need to customize your search by ZIP Code, or, if you really want to get spiffy, you can even break down listings by neighborhood!
The ZIP Code Module from Business Directory Plugin includes lots of cool features. A user of your site can come there and look for a locksmith within 5 miles of their home. They can also search for a doctor or auto repair business closest to their location. All they need to do is enter the ZIP code!
Putting listings in specific geographic spaces can be helpful as well, and with our Regions Module you can add as much regional detail as you'd like. The "regions" can be anything specific to your location. For example, you may follow traditional regions, like country, state and city, but you can also change that to state, voting district, neighborhood. Whatever you need, the Regions Module has you covered.
Featured listings are a must for local area directories
Inevitably, there will be some big supporters of your Chamber of Commerce in your area, and you want to reward them with special recognition. With Business Directory Plugin, you can do this with a special badge for their support, or a special color, special placement, or all three!
Bring it all together with the right directory theme
Business Directory Plugin offers directory themes that are pre-built designs for the listings in your Chamber of Commerce directory site.
Although all the themes we offer would work perfectly for your directory, the Modern Filtered Theme is a real standout. Imagine offering ‘free’ mini-websites like this for your local businesses in the form of a detailed business listing on your Chamber of Commerce site.
When all is said and done, all information is valuable, and building a directory of your local business resources is a great achievement. Business Directory Plugin helps you pull it all together in a way that showcases and highlights the strengths of your community!