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NextStep Directory - White label directory solution

Added by on Mon 8th Jun 2009

Project Info

This directory was originally designed to help members of the business community in Shanghai to get in touch with each other. NextStepDirectory.com defines itself as “a single database of business listings set across a network of directories offering comprehensive service information that allows users to make informed business decisions from one location”. From NextStep Directory, About Us.

The NextStep Directory was originally conceived as a multisite structure on top of which a special affiliation program/system could be built: the implementation of the Directory as a white label. To enable affiliate websites to use NextStep Directory’s database and adapt their “directory” to their brand image, we created a multisite layer allowing different functionalities and themes to be customized for each affiliate. This system was successfully implemented on Shanghai Expat and Urbanatomy.

To be relevant and keep on being the most comprehensive business directory, NextStep Directory has to be accurate and provide the user with the best information there is. Implementing a CMS (content Management System) on such a project is vital for its success: Drupal is once again used at great extent, allowing definition different user groups (members can register as individuals or register their company), member comments on company’s services, company ratings, etc…

Very strong survey architecture was set up to allow input and output of data created by users: more than 40 different surveys can be found on the NSD, with a total of more than 300 fields site-wide.

On top of a multisite architecture, NSD is also built on a multicity architecture, allowing easy opening of new city sections: Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, etc…

Robust and scalable advertising framework was built in accordance to NSD requirements. Among other things, it allows tracking of clicks, direct ads management by advertiser users, management of groups of ads per categories, etc…

In terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the whole arsenal of online solutions was put at the disposal of the directory: from URL-rewriting and XML Sitemap to Meta tags, the website was built from the ground up according to W3C standards.
Having optimized the website for organic search optimization enabled an efficient launch of online marketing campaigns which helped increase traffic and get the website better positioned in search engine rankings and result pages(SERPs). NextStep Directory received one of the best grades on Website Grader, a reference in terms of website SEO evaluation.

Davyin Internet Solutions is located in Shanghai and provides Drupal services in China and all around the world.