Tuesday Push – Mytown.ie

The Tuesday Push is a crowd-sourced approach to PR with a little word-of-mouth marketing thrown in. It gives Irish businesses a push on the web and occasionally a little advice.

Today’s Tuesday Push is for the business directory Mytown.ie. Mytown provides a comprehensive list of Irish towns, and lists the various amenities, clubs, and businesses that exist within the town. In terms of reach, their SEO attempts seems to have worked quite well – google searches for various business types in a specific area direct me back to mytown. Do we need yet another business listing site? Does it provide any extra benefit over google home, loopthing, facebook fan pages, or however many other sites and directories there are out there?

The site revenue is ad-supported as well as charging businesses for premium listings. They seem to be getting some leverage with traffic according to alexa, and probably as a longer term prospect it could work.

My main suggestions for improvement with Mytown:

  1. There is no obvious way to free-text search for certain types of businesses. Maybe if you log in – but really why should I need to log in to view a business listing? I understand that most users will be coming direct to the site from an internet search, but not providing the ability to search the site globally is poor design.
  2. The need to select a town before looking at clubs. This makes no sense – I would love to get a metric on the number of users who have abandoned the site after trying to use these functions. The “Please select a town or login first!” box is something that would make me leave the site and never come back.
  3. The claim on the front page – “mytown.ie is the most popular local community website in Ireland“. I can’t see how this is possible with the likes of boards.ie gobbling up Ireland’s local community Internet traffic. Well, if the legend is more interesting, print the legend.

Mytown also has forums which are unsurprisingly empty. I think this is a feature which doesn’t really add much to the site and could be removed without anyone spilling any tears. As far as I can tell, the use case for this site is in users coming to find the number of the local plumber, they probably don’t want to hang around and chat and the development time could be used to improve other features.

Other features that Mytown.ie provides:

  • Community Events
  • Classified Ads
  • Image Galleries

Does this Tuesday Push come across as cynical? Maybe I’m a little jaded with the idea that there are a lot of smart developers in Ireland, all working on what is essentially a very basic idea – replicating the phone book on the internet. I might even give it a shot myself.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday Push – Mytown.ie

  1. Dave, your feedback on http://www.mytown.ie is very much appreciated.

    Your suggestions are very useful, I will respond in the order which you have listed them in:

    1. Free text search is something which we plan to do later this year. We did not initially include a free text search because we were still working on the content; we did not want users searching only to find no-results. Now that content has expanded, a free text search of listings and classified ads will follow.

    2. As above (in point 1), the free text search will allow users to search for clubs from the http://www.mytown.ie homepage, or access this search from any page on the site.

    3. Claims to be “number 1” in any area are often open to interpretation. Clearly boards.ie gets much more traffic; in my opinion boards.ie is a forum website rather than a local community website. Boards does allow users to select regions (counties/cities), so I guess it depends on the definition of a “local community”.

    We are continuing to work on new development on mytown.ie. The local forums is a new addition to the site, and it is going to take time to build up participation in that area.

    Much of the traffic that comes to mytown.ie does come from search engine users (eg. looking for the local plumber). We are not trying to establish another directory website, our ambition is to become the online resource to find local information online. The business directory will be one of the resources that we provide, and this is one of the areas where we can generate revenue. But as you mentioned, we also want to be a resouce to find local events, classified ads, clubs, photos, news, weather and forums.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to review the site. Please let me know if you have any further feedback or suggestions.

    Garry Bennett – Founder of http://www.mytown.ie

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