Category Archives: Ads

Local City Guide WordPress Theme

I was looking for WordPress themes to make the new Hyp3rL0cal WordPress directory look a little more, well city. I came across a pretty nice looking one from the guys over at Woo Themes.

They’ve developed a theme designed just for WordPress sites that focus on showcasing places, businesses and other geo information about a particular city.

The Woo Themes City Guide WordPress theme features:

  • Home Page Featured Module – A custom home page featured module that can be used as an about section for the site. You can dedicate an image or a Google Map to this area.
  • Google Maps integration – Google Maps integration for geo-tagging of posts, with a custom map panel for your blog post editor and map widgets for usage in the sidebar. The integration also pulls the location from the map and displays the physical address next to the map in the location details.
  • Custom Widgets – Other Custom Woo Widgets for use in the 6 widgetized zones – e.g. Twitter feeds, Popular post tabber, Adspace banners, and Flickr photo streams
  • Alternative styles – 6 alternate styles to better fit your company/personality. These alternate styles are meant as a base for further more intricate styling details that you can add to the stylesheet.

The Woo Themes City Guide WordPress theme sells for $70.00. I found other WordPress themes I will showcase in future posts, but I thought this one was pretty cool.

I will purchase a copy of it, and play with building modules for it that work with CityGrid Places API and integrates CityGrid Advertising API into it so you can monetize your WordPress City Guide.

Displaying Ads on CityGrid Places Detail Pages

I’m working through the feedback I received from the CityGrid partner account management team on my Hyp3rL0cal directory project. I want to make sure its as compliant as possible, so my developers can deploy as quick as possible, and get approved for revenue sharing.

When reading through the Usage Requirements and Term and Conditions, its easy to miss some of the details. One of the details that went over my head, was displaying ads on places details. When you make a detail call against the CityGrid Places API, one of the properties you get back is “display_ad”.

The “display_ad” field tells you whether a business is an advertiser on CityGrid network or not.  If a business is an advertiser on the CityGrid network you cannot show advertisements on their places page. You are only allowed to show advertisements for business who are not already part of the CityGrid network.

So make sure and check for the “display_ad” settng, because our partner acount management team knows how to check for this, and it will be one area you could possibly fail when being approved and become billable, sharing in revenue using the CityGrid Place API.

Increase My Click Through for Local Search Listings

I built my Hyp3rL0cal directory a month ago and I submitted to the CityGrid partner account management team for review. I want to be treated like any other developer, so I understand how to use the CityGrid API places and advertising API properly, and give feedback when things don’t work or make sense.

One of the first items I’m working on is enhancing my local search listings page with the CityGrid Custom Ads API. The CityGrid partner account management team said:

To increase your click through rate for business listings which are advertisers, we strongly advise you to integrate our Custom Ads API and display these listings at the top of your search results page. You can view an example of how the Custom Ads API is implemented on Citysearch’s Search Results Page in the 4th screenshot under 3.6 Places that Pay here.

So I added a method to the CityGrid Advertising PHP Class I wrote for making calls to the Custom Ads API. The API call returns back XML or JSON parts and pieces of a local ad I can list at the top of the search listings page.

I’m able to format the advertising to appear with my CSS styling, and I used the image, name, tagline, description and address if they are available, and provide a link to the advertising destination URL.

I like the way I’m able to blend the custom ads into my local search listings. It definitely seems like users are more likely to click through when presented with a sponsored link that is relevant to their local search.  I’m working more on how to lay out the reviews, ratings and offers part of my local sponsored listings next.