My name is Jesus Vazquez; I’m the founder and designer of Techspify and Desmily.com. In this series of articles released monthly, we would like to share how we’re building Desmily.com. We will be sharing the achievements and failures, and hopefully, it will help you build a better directory site and a better business all around. This series of articles is intended for you to see behind the curtains of our most successful site yet. As with anything in life, there are no guarantees that what’s working for us will work for you. Lastly, we’re not perfect; we would appreciate your feedback as we move along; it would help us grow our businesses stronger.
This series starts with this article in Septemberber 2020. This month we:
- Released six articles
- Created over 150 listings, most of them for government agencies
- Grew our email list from 865 to 1,011
- Created a knowledge base for business owners using Gitbooks
- Setup the Booking.com affiliate program and started implementing it on the site.
- Purchased and installed WooCommerce Booking plugin
- Installed the Google Authenticator plugin
- Purchased and installed WP Rocket plugin
- Setup Bunny CDN
- Fixed issues with Facebook and Apple logins
Overview of the site
Desmily is an online directory focused on the Puerto Rico market. Founded in March 2019, Desmily has been able to grow thanks to SEO efforts. The main focus is to increase traffic through blog posts and guides to convert that traffic into marketplace customers then. Here is a brief overview of our current focus:
- Currently, our focus is to add as many businesses, places, and guides as possible. Not many listings have been claimed as that’s not the current focus.
- The site enjoys excellent SEO to drive traffic. Google drives most of our traffic.
- So far, we haven’t done any link building campaign or any other outreach campaign.
Amount of listings: 2,618 as of September 30, 2020
Amount of articles: 114
Hosting: WPMUDEV Silver plan
Theme: Wilcity (the best directory theme out there 😉)
Unique Users: 11,439
Page Views: 24,342
Main traffic driver: Google followed by direct traffic
Here’s an in-depth explanation of some of what we did this month
Released six articles
This was our most significant accomplishment this month as blog posts are currently the primary driver of traffic for the site. These six articles should rank reasonably well in the next 4-6 weeks.
Grew our email list
This is important as this can drive free traffic. We’re struggling with reasonably low open rates (12% at the moment), but we’re working to clean the list and get rid of those email addresses that had never opened an email from us—quality over quantity.
Knowledge base for businesses
This is going to be vital as we move forward. The knowledge base will make it easier and faster for business owners to learn how to use our platform. Reduced support tickets will mean more time to spend building our business.
WP Rocket and Bunny CDN implementation
It’s all about speed. After doing a fair amount of research, we concluded that this pair was a must-have on our site. While it didn’t make a considerable improvement, we were expecting, but this is a work in progress.
Tools we used this month.
- TexAu to scrape business listing information from Google Maps and Facebook Pages. This, combined with WP All Import, will make your life super easy. Here’s my referral link for TexAu just in case you decide to use them.
- SEMRush to do keyword research and competitive analysis.
- Bunny CDN to speed up the site (we aren’t reaping the rewards yet).
- WPMUDEV for hosting. I like their hosting, and their customer support is top-notch. Their suite of plugins for SEO, security, Cache, and Analytics is decent and comes with the subscription. If you decide to check them out, please consider using my referral link here. They offer a generous 30 days free trial.
- HubSpot for CRM, it’s free with generous limits.
- Segment, which has a startup program that is free for a year, worth looking into it.
- ActiveCampaign for email marketing. This is free for a year as part of the Segment for startups program. You’ll need to apply for it.
- Elementor and Elementor Pro for the site builder. I don’t like any other site builder; this was an easy choice for me.
- GitBooks for the knowledge base. It’s powerful and free, a great combination.
- We use Crello and Canva for graphic design. They are good software for graphics design and have good free plans available.
- Notion and Grammarly to write my articles and make sure they look professional.
Overall, this was a B+ month. Not as good as we were hoping, but we’re trending in the right direction.
What’s upcoming next month?
- Create a knowledge base for users
- Setup Advanced Search plugin
- Setup Advanced WooCommerce plugin
- Setup RSS feed for emails
- Start working on Dokan implementation
- Upload more than 200 new listings
- Create at least four new articles
- Update at least two articles
Our traffic goal for October
Our goal is to receive at least 12,500 visits during October, a 10% increase from September’s traffic. This will be a tough month due to work requirements and personal commitments, so we’re not expecting much. We’re expecting Google to continue being the primary traffic driver, followed by direct. The most significant difference for next month should be an increase in social media traffic as we’re putting more effort into Pinterest and our Facebook Page.
Now it’s your turn. How do you think we can improve? What have you done with your site that is working? What have you done with your site that didn’t work? What would you do differently?