Business Directory with Geolocation
MageModule's Business Directory extension is a very feature-packed module for the Magento e-commerce platform. This extension allows merchants to create business directories to help suit their customers' needs and/or to enhance website SEO. A merchant can create as few or as many directories as they would like and each directory can contain an infinite number of business profiles. Each profile can be edited by the website administrator or it's respective owner. Many merchants choose to create business directories containing lists of businesses in either the same industry or a related industry because it makes them much more likely to capture clicks when a user is searching for a particular business when using a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Some merchants create business directories as a free service to their own customers as well.
A business directory is a collection of company profiles organized and displayed at a custom URL on a Magento website. It consists of a list of business profiles, laid out in a list view mode similar to the way products are displayed within a category. When configured to do so, a directory will automatically detect the user's location and display the business profiles in distance order from their location. Additionally, the currently visible businesses will be plotted out on a Google Map in the right sidebar for visual representation of their locations.
Directories contain two search fields that allow a user to manually search by business name or location. As the user types into the search fields, an "autocomplete" dropdown menu will appear beneath the respective search box giving the user suggestions to help them find the exact business they are searching for. Directories can also use location-based filters, similar to how layered navigation is used, in order to narrow down the selection of businesses first by country(if applicable), then by state/region, then by city, and finally by postal code.
Depending on configuration, the website administrator can allow business owners to add a new profile or claim an existing profile. When a profile is added, claimed, or updated, it goes into a queue for review prior to publishing in the directory. At this point, the admin can see the actual changes that were made to the profile and compare them to the original values, edit any part of the profile that they would like, or simply approve the changes to publish them.
A business profile contains information about a specific business. It can contain a business's name, address, phone number, website, e-mail address, description, short description, and much more. In fact, a profile can also be given preferential treatment and be displayed as a featured profile including the business logo, social media links, prominent placement within the directory, and much more. When viewing a specific profile page, the business will be shown on a Google Map in the right sidebar.
Geocoding is the process of converting geographic information, such as an address, into a set of latitude and longitude coordinates. Geocoding is an important part of the business directory module because the latitude and longitude coordinates are used for two main purposes: to determine a user's distance to a business and to display a business on a map. Addresses can be geocoded during the creation or update of a business profile and they can also be bulk geocoded upon csv import or through the use of the mass action checkboxes in the profile grid.
There are three geocoding APIs available for use:
- IPInfoDB - a free API used to determine the user's location based on their IP address
- Google Geocoding API - free for 2,500 geocodes within a 24 hour period and used to geocode profile addresses
- Bing Maps API - free geocoding API that will be used automatically when the free Google API geocoding actions are depleted
Business Directory will:
- Allow for enabling directories in specific stores or all stores
- Allow for the creation of unlimited business directories
- Allow for the creation of unlimited business profiles
- Allow for geocoding of profile addresses when profile is created
- Allow for geocoding of profile addresses when profile is updated
- Allow for geocoding of profile addresses when CSV is imported
- Automatically obtain user's approximate location from their IP address
- Allow for sorting of profiles by distance from the user
- Display profiles on a Google map
- Send notification e-mail upon new profile creation
- Send notification e-mail upon new profile approval
- Send notification e-mail upon claiming of profile
- Send notification e-mail upon approval of claimed profile
- Send notification e-mail upon profile update
- Send notification e-mail upon profile update approval
- Allow website administrator to offer "featured" profile status
- Allow for use of schema.org structured data markup for directories
- Allow for use of schema.org structured data markup for profiles
- Allow website administrator to decide whether to allow users to create profiles
- Allow website administrator to decide whether to allow users to claim profiles
- Allow for the use of teaser text to entice companies to add their profile to the directory
- Allow for custom design settings for each individual directory
- Allow for custom design settings for each individual profile
- Allow for use of templated meta title and meta description that will automatically insert business name, country, city, state/region, and other details
- Automatically create location-based filters for easier narrowing down of profile list
- Allow for the creation of custom e-mail templates for use with each of the various notifiable actions