The newest version of BePro Listings is preparation for a major change. In this version, we have focused on the ability for the plugin to scale with customers and help them compete with the largest directories in their niche. BePro Listings is your best choice for building a directory on the WordPress CMS.
Some of the changed delivered with this plugin version include:
- SEO: Addition of Schema
- SEO: General
- Enhancement: Stability
- Enhancement: Efficient searches & reduced Google API calls
- SEO/Enhancement: Url Structure & more shortcode control
For a while, we tested the plugin via our demo website BeProThemes.com. This was ideal for testing basic functionality. We depended on customers to provide feedback on how to grow the product. As the uses of the plugin are vast, or biggest supports began focusing on less popular features. We needed a way to continue development for the masses. Towards this goal we created cannabislistings.ca.
We are a customer of BePro Listings by using it to build a cannabis business directory for Canada. We face still incumbents to the region like WeedMaps and Leafly. This has caused us to think out of the box to push the plugin to compete with companies reaching millions of customers per year. We expand on this journey in our learning section.
BePro Listings 2.3
Now that you understand where the changes come from for version 2.3, we can talk about the benefits.
Schema is additional information attached to HTML tags, which tell search engines more about the information on your web page. This additional information is tailored to the type of information, real estate, business listings, etc.
The addition of schema is a first for BePro Listings. Supposedly depending on who you ask, schema either helps your search engine rankings or doesn’t do anything. Either way, it’s a popular standard that we feel adds to the ability for the plugin to help your website.
The markup that has been added to the plugin is currently for business listings. If you use the plugin for a different reason don’t fear. An upcoming version of the plugin will give you the ability to change the schema for your industry via the WordPress admin
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank well on search engines like Google. This optimization can happen both on and off of your website. For example, a link from your location news station to your website would be noticed by search engines, improving your ranking for terms related to that link. Structuring that content correctly on your website also have a positive effect. Anything that
We focus on the end user experience. With that focus comes the enhancement of SEO. We have enhanced components like the pagination. This tells search engines that you are paginating content and not duplicating it. This is important so that you are not penalized by search engines.
We also made small tweaks like having the latitude, longitude, and address available on the listing detail page. In the past, we simply put a map and a link to google maps. This allows the user to get the maximum amount of information from your website, rather than going to a 3rd party
You want to be focused on marketing and content. Your website’s stability is the last thing you want to worry about. As the traffic to your site increases, you want the peace of mind to know that your website can handle it. Failure can be anywhere between the physical to the application layer of the Open Systems Interconnection Model (OSI model). The application layer is made up of many aspects including your apache web server, WordPress, and the plugin BePro Listings
Towards this end, we focused on elements that caused aspects of the plugin to fail. We also focused on enhancing the speed of searches and the management of special characters which can break 3rd party components like google maps. Ultimately, our efforts have resulted in a product that’s more robust for different languages and content types.
Url Structure & more shortcode control
A major part of SEO is the ability to structure your URL’s so that they reflect a close match to the user’s search. As a directory is often geographic a URL like the following would be ideal:
The plugin can now be configured to facilitate these URLs as seen on cannabislistings.ca/locations. There you notice that we have gone a step further and even added the category below the city like:
Ultimately, these are facilitated through more control over the BePro Listings shortcodes. You can anticipate more documentation and examples of how you too can utilize this new enhancement. Obviously creating URLs like this, will help you to rank better. In the example above, we are focused on cannabis-related tours in Vancouver, British Columbia. The plugin allows you to the same for your niche, vehicles, real estate, fish, whatever.
There is a lot more to come. One of our biggest bottle necks is our dependence on Google Maps. You can expect a mayor upcoming upgrade to version 3 which will include an opportunity to switch map providers to companies like OpenStreetMaps and MapBox
As we continue to learn from our experience commercializing BePro Listings, you can expect to see these lessons trickle down to the product you use. This we consider to be a major benefit of being on the BePro Listings platform