Category Archives: New Features & Updates

First Directory passes the Million mark!


We are always looking for ways to improve the quality as much as the quantity of results users can expect to receive from First Directory and we are just completing a major change which means we have just got bigger, a lot bigger.

We have developed some pretty smart software that uses 17 points of reference to validate the information we will be displaying and along with our new search software we are confident that the best prospects will always be appearing first, saving the user time and delivering higher quality contacts to companies

Every listing now supports multiple Q&A conversation. Allowing companies to inform prospective customers and to also build a library of answers that will help future customers find the answer faster. This unbiased delivery means that users can make a judgement based on real world opinion, not website hype.

We back this up with a unique description of the company, unlimited Brand & Trade Names, Turnover, Employee range, Vat No, Quality Approvals etc so users can work from an informed base.

All of this information is available to every company within the directory and no company can influence any review or Q&A sequence.

Local searching has also got a lot better with an expandable ‘pin point’ UK map on the right of the results page showing the location and relevance of each supplier.

By putting our emphasis on the user, we attract a wide audience, both UK and Overseas (basically 66% UK; 22% Europe and 12% ROW). And quite deliberately we target a far wider user group than the hackneyed term ‘decision makers’. In the B2B marketplace any serious purchase involves a wide range of influencers and we want you to talk to them all.


Who uses First Directory?

A question we regularly get asked by customers is “Who uses First Directory?” and this post is here to answer that question.

Although you may never meet any of the users of First Directory, they mirror UK industry very closely.

In industry the decision to ‘buy’ is often made by several people within the company. For example a Designer will specify the type of product required. An Engineer will approve the technical performance. A Director may approve the expenditure and the Buyer will place the order.

As well as involving a number of people, it can often take a long time from the initial enquiry to placing the final order, so making sure that a company maintains product exposure over the longer term is vital.

We carry out regular online surveys of our users and you can see from the results shown below, we are used by the full cross-section of industry ensuring that advertisers can reach all their potential customers and opinion formers within a company.

Site Traffic

  • Page Views: 8 million (30,800 per day)
  • Users per day: 7,692

59% of the page views are by people who spend more than 5 minutes on the site. The next 14% is by users who spend between 30 seconds and 5 minutes.

Almost 20% of users return to the site within 30 days of their first visit.

Although only 40% are directors or managers, 83% are involved in the purchasing decision showing that our users represent the very people our customers are trying to reach.


User Profile

What description most closely resembles your job title?

How are you involved in the purchasing procedure?


User loyalty


Users by Country


Users by Geographic Area

Gender & Age




Figures based on the previous 12 months site traffic.
Figures last updated September 2015

The New World of Mobile Internet

Did you know 9% of internet users don’ have a PC?  A recent study by Danyl Bosomworth of Smart Insights  shows that fixed computing is on the decline but mobile devices are being used more heavily to search the internet.  80% of internet users now own a Smartphone and 47% have a Tablet and amazingly 16% already have either a Smart watch or Smart wristband.

And according to Modern Marketing Matters, mobile search is predicted to surpass desktop in 2015. Having a mobile-friendly website is more important than ever.  Many companies will look back at 21st April 2015 as a black day in their calendar because that was the day Google started “expanding” their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for mobile searches. In other words, if you didn’t have a mobile or responsive website, you may have found it more difficult to rank in mobile search results.

Google also explained that the mobile algorithm is on a page-by-page basis and runs in real-time, which is good news for some webmasters. In other words, if 10 pages on your website are mobile-friendly and 10 are not, the 10 that are mobile-friendly will benefit in mobile searches, while the others will not.

So gone are the days when you needed to download an App to see the data or suffered continual frustration at having to look at a webpage that displayed poorly and was often unreadable.

First Directory had brought together a team of international developers to launch the fifth version of their popular website in a truly mobile form.  A host of additional features have been included to make the user experience more unique.  These include a Question and Answer board that allows them to ask any company, any question and to also review the previous answers, often saving time if the question is a common one.

Users can now rate their experience of a company, giving praise where it is due and alerting a company to unhappy customers giving them the opportunity to resolve the problem in a positive manner.

Press releases, Exhibitions, Opening times, Key contacts and a host of detailed information is provided to give the user a broader picture of the company along with a gallery feature which will highlight the company’s product range in a powerful visual manner.  All of these features are available to every company in the directory entirely without charge.

Questions & Reviews Have Arrived!

We’re pleased to announce the launch two new pieces of functionality for First Directory.

Questions & Answers allows users to ask questions publicly they would normally email directly to the company. This means that when the company answers they can choose to have their response made public as well. Enabling future users with the same question to quickly see the answer they need. Each company has the ability to control the questions that appear on their page through their admin screen so they can ensure questions and answers which are no longer relevant can be removed.

Reviews are probably our most requested piece of functionality and allow a company to really show how highly their product is regarded. Users can add a review to any company as long as their account has been verified. We email a company as soon as a review is posted and give them the right to respond. You can see a lot more information on how reviews are handled here.

We also appreciate some companies are uncertain about the value of reviews.  One perception is that people only write reviews about bad experiences rather than good but ‘The Review of Reviews‘ offers a more balanced view:

  • 75% of Reviews posted on review sites are positive.
  • 95% of unhappy customers will return if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently.

The complexity of the industrial buy cycle can be long and include multiple decision makers.  Amongst others this has been identified by GlobalSpec who state in their ‘Industrial Buy Cycle Survey‘, that the time between identifying a need and making a purchase can be less than one month or as long as nine months or more, with the length of time increasing as the amount of the purchase increases.

  • 81% stated the buy cycle is less than one month for purchases under $1,000,
  • 38% said the buy cycle is five months or longer for purchases greater than $10,000.
  • 63% of purchases under $1,000 involves just one decision maker.
  • 31% have three or more decision makers for purchases between $1,000-$10,000,
  • 66% have three or more decision makers for purchases over $10,000.

With so many people giving an opinion on product selection it is becoming more important to reinforce their judgement with positive reviews of your company.  Put most simply no matter how good or reliable you may say your product or service is, people will be more trusting of  an actual users view.

In addition good quality reviews can have a positive effect on your placement in the search engines and consequently improving the opportunities to be found by these multiple influencers in the first instance.  As SearchEngineLand noted:

Review Signals: Participants noted that the quality, velocity and diversity of online reviews and rankings resulted in 10.3% influence in determining performance.

If you’re worried about the quality or quantity of reviews you’ll receive,  a positive step you can take is to talk to your existing customers, give them a link to your company profile on First Directory and ask them to add their own review to get the ball rolling.