As the planet see ever-more-significant impacts from Climate Change, the concerns are rapidly shifting from…
Entering Descriptive Fields
How to improve findability (and by the right clients) by using the descriptive fields: Description. Products/Brands and Environmental.
Use keywords and phrases to improve your findability, since FoundLocally’s search feature looks at more than just a businesses’ name. It helps you find a sushi restaurant, even if “sushi” is not in its name, so why not use this feature to help your clients find YOU, too?
We allow each organization to post 250 characters for their Description, Products/Brands andEnvironmental fields. We realize its not much, but our users want to skim these to quickly filter who they want to investigate further.
Only the Description field is required for a listing, so at the very least enter your “elevator pitch” here. What do you do/sell, and why do your customers like/prefer you. You can always go back and edit further. The PROFILE page only allows you 20 minutes from start to finish before “timing out” (it’s a security feature as well as protecting our server from being overloaded by open sessions people visiting the PROFILE page and then going for a lunch break).
On your first pass, don’t spend a lot of time wordsmithing, but go with your gut. You can always come back after selecting categories. A lot of directories with fewer product/features categories need long descriptions for features already handled by our database
Here are some tips for writing descriptive fields:
- There is a character counter, showing the number of characters remaining. This does not work in Mozilla, for some reason.
- Make your Description conversational, as if you were talking with your friends. This is displayed with your logo in the search results, if you have a logo & web link.
- You can use a keyword list for your Products/Brands. Separate words with a comma and a space. Include alternate spellings of the most important keywords For example, ”winery, vineyard, winemaker”…especially the variation(s) not already used in your name or Description fields
- If you are a restaurant or store that specializes in locally grown and/or organic food, that is suitable commentary for the Environment field, as is buying environmental offsets, or buying energy from renewable sources (or having your own solar panels), or having a fleet of hybrid vehicles.
Here are common mistakes with the Description field. Not serious, but a missed opportunity for greater visibility:
- For Festivals and events, using the Description to post date-specific event details, You should post organizational detail in the PROFILE’s Description field, and use the EVENTS tab for all events details. Only EVENTS tab details are included in our interactive Events Calendar (these disappear from public view after the event, and your listing never looks out of date)
- For those trying to fill staffing holes, posting job descriptions to the Description. You should post organizational detail in the PROFILE’s Description field, and use the JOBS tab for all job openings. Only JOBS tab details are included in our interactive Jobs Board . This way, your business does not look understaffed (“we don’t have enough staff to handle existing customers… don’t send us more business”)
By following these suggestions, you have more visibility with the people looking for events or jobs, respectively, and the listing provides good information about your organization or business year-round (if not for the next several years!)
No-No’s with Descriptions
Here are some things that will may you into trouble:
- We do not permit Pyramid schemes, as defined by the Criminal Code. In other words, if yourDescription says “business opportunity” or “work at home” instead of describing the actual products or service you provide, you WILL be rejected. Our directory is designed to help consumers find products & services, not to help scammers find “suckers”.
- Be cautious and realistic with Environment comments. If you say you recycle, or use compact fluorescent bulbs, and you don’t… then expect that some of your clients will use the Ratings & Review tab to call your bluff and accuse you of “greenwashing”. Some environmentalists can be picky about false, immaterial or insincere efforts… so you may want to leave this blank.
Software Bug Report: The character counting script, shown on the right of each field (to ensure yoiudo not go over 250 characters per field) does not work for the Mozilla browser. We have found that if you over-enter these fields, you cannot edit contents in Mozilla until you remove eonough text to get under 250 characters.
Our recommendations is use Microsoft Word to create and edit the text, and use the Character Countoption in the Tools menu to nesure you are below the 250 (including spaces)