As Rebecca Lieb says in her book Content Marketing
Directories are the basic building blocks of content marketing. They get you "out there," listed and visible in places where people seek information about you... directory listings are a great and fundamental way to boost search engine visibility.
And First directory have been committed to that principle for nearly 20 years, but we're now getting bigger, a lot bigger. Our users are your customers and they want quality information, not gimmicks, they want it to be mobile, friendly and fast.
We have over 4,000,000 UK B2B companies listed. Every listing is being validated. Every listing allows multiple Q&A conversation. Allowing you to both inform prospective customers but to also build a library of answers that will help future customers find the answer quicker. 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 Q&A sequence.
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 to talk to them all.
We're sure you want to talk to as many of them as possible and our promotional packages cost as little as £21 a month making it a very sensible addition to any companies marketing programme.
Contract Finder is launched, providing free access to all government contracts as they are put out to tender.
The directory reaches 4,000,000 companies
Site improvements include:
The directory reaches 3,000,000 companies
Companies House data for all limited UK companies is now displayed on the site.
The directory reaches 1,000,000 companies
Version 6 launched which represents a sea-change in the navigation and delivery of information.
A comprehensive list of UK Trade Shows are added.
The company moves to idyllic new offices on the out skirts of Milton Keynes.
We launch our popular blog providing advice to small UK businesses.
The company turns 16
We move our servers to a state of the art tier 4 data centre giving significant speed and security improvements.
The entire company relocates to Milton Keynes and moves to bigger offices.
We are the first UK directory publisher to employ our own team of copywriters to write original text for all our advertisers.
Customer self management introduced giving us a 90% customer retention rate.
Version 5 of the website launched improving page load times by 240%.
Established a small sales & IT office in Milton Keynes. Brought all website development in-house.
The directory reaches 200,000 companies
First directory to introduce true relevancy based searching.
Version 4 of the site is launched allowing changes to company information to updated in real time.
First UK directory to display screen shots of clients websites
The company moves to larger offices and a team of 14 was established with 10 telesales reps and 4 administrators.
Version 3 of the site is launched allowing company information to be updated online.
The company changes the business structure to a telesales team as most companies were now getting Broadband and can view the directory 'Live'.
First UK business to business directory to display individual company statistics.
Version 2 of the site is launched covering more market areas.
First Directory became a Limited Company
The directory reaches 100,000 companies
Google was launched
First Directory was founded in Malvern, Worcestershire with a team of three field sales executives focusing on three market areas.