Friday, 22 November 2013

Great website developments using Google Maps

As a geographer and geography teacher, I have always loved maps.  So one of the most fun parts of developing Quoakle's UK Web Directory was designing the regions and working out how to organise the information from a geographical point of view using regions and counties ( and having to decide how to deal with new unitary authorities, ceremonial counties etc in a way that works for our users).

More recently as we have been launching a lot of new websites using the WordPress content management system, it has been fun to incorporate great maps using Google Maps. With the launch of the new Quoakle restaurant directories such as Oxford Restaurants  we have wanted to have a lot more flexibility in adding new pins or markers to our restaurant location maps.  Using the basic Google Maps was complex, so it was fantastic to find a really good plugin to do the job a few weeks ago!

The one we found was:   WP Google Maps
This is how Jean Galea describes it on the  WP Mayor blog:
The easiest to use Map Plugin! Create custom Google Maps with high quality markers containing locations, descriptions, images and links. Add your customized Google map to your WordPress posts and/or pages quickly and easily with the supplied shortcode. No fuss. no iFrames and super easy to use!

Key Features

  • WP Google Maps uses the latest Google Maps API (V3)
  • Super easy to use, no coding required!
  • Create as many map markers as you need by simply typing in the address.
  • Edit your markers with the click of a button.
  • Google Maps Streetview supported.
  • Define your own width, height and zoom level for your Google Map.
  • Create a map in less than a 30 seconds!
  • WordPress 3.0 friendly.
  • No advertising or links.
Have a look at some of the new maps the Quoakle team have been creating:

Map of Oxford Restaurants 
Map of Cheltenham Restaurants 
Map of Gloucester Restaurants
Map of Hereford Restaurants
Map of Worcester Restaurants
Map of Days Out in Gloucestershire

Map of Christian Schools in the United Kingdom

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Introducing the Quoakle's Restaurant Directories

During Autumn 2012, the Quoakle team began launching its new portfolio of Restaurant Directories.

The latest to hit Google's top page is Hereford Restaurants.

Building on the expertise gained through the development of Quoakle's easy-to-use local business directory, the team launched a series of restaurant directories in Gloucestershire and the surrounding counties. We used exact match domain names in order to be found easily on search engines such as Google. The following are the Quoakle Restaurant Directories now live on the web:

Gloucester Restaurants
Cheltenham Restaurants
Restaurant Oxford
Swindon Restaurants
Worcester Restaurants
Coffee Shops in Gloucestershire
Tea Rooms in Gloucestershire

So what's special about a Quoakle Restaurant Directory?

... It's quick and easy to use!
Drawing on ideas refined on Quoakle's local business directory, we wanted to create a restaurant directory with a clean, clear look, and a simple page layout. On a Quoakle Restaurant Directory, we want to promote each restaurant's brand through the prominent display of its logo as well as enable users to see at a glance exactly what they want ... and very quickly!

Our mission is to connect local people quickly and easily with local restaurants as well as helping those visiting an area to find out where to eat, as simply as possible.

... It's easy to find on Google!
Our website is consistently in the top 3 of Google on the organic listings (left hand side of the page).
Check this out by typing into Google the keyword phrase: "Gloucester Restaurants".
Using a memorable, exact match domain such as is going to help us to make sure the website stays in that position.

... No reviews!
Lots of people are looking for reviews - so there are well known review websites. Other restaurant goers would rather hear what the restaurants themselves want to promote as their strengths - and that's what the Quoakle Restaurant Directories want to help their users to find out ... quickly and easily.

... No banner ads!
Maybe you don't mind banner ads, but our goal as Quoakle Restaurant Directories is to "do what is says on the tin" and not distract users with all sorts of other things they're not looking for.
So for example, if someone is looking for Restaurants in Gloucester, then that is what we'll present to them on our Gloucester Restaurant Directory.

Can any restaurant be promoted on this directory?
We are pleased to promote all restaurants in the Gloucester area which have a current, satisfactory or higher, food hygiene rating.

As a small, family-run company with a friendly approach, we look forward to working with restaurants as well as helping our users find great places to eat out!   Click here to get in touch!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Quoakle visits reach a quarter of a million!

I don't know quite when it happened, but some time during 25th July 2013, Quoakle's graphical directory reached a fantastic milestone ...  a quarter of a million visits!

As you can see from the stats on the left (taken from Google Analytics on Saturday 10th August 2013), there have now been 253,624 visits since our records began in July 2007. Those visits were made by over 200,000 unique visitors who looked at a total of over half a million different pages on the directory!

You can see from the stats that an average user looks at 2.11 pages and stays on Quoakle's graphical directory for over 2 and a half minutes. The bounce rate tells you that just over 60% of visitors just looked at one page then left the website.

Over 86% of visits to the directory were made by visitors who hadn't been on Quoakle before.

So lots of reasons to be encouraged by the progress that's been made. The Quoakle team looks ahead to the next quarter of a million visits with excitement and anticipation.

If you haven't been on Quoakle - the graphical directory yet, try it today, tell your friends and join the Quoakle-ution!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Quoakle goes Social!

When we talk about social media most people think of Facebook and Twitter but there are many more social media platforms out there. Perhaps the best known are Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google +.

There are obviously much better things in life to be spending a lot of time on than social networks, but if you are going to follow anyone, we'd be really chuffed if Quoakle was on your list!

Quoakle has now made it easy to find our social media accounts by displaying the colourful "social" icons on every single page of the website ... .

Apparently, Google, when producing its listings, looks at "social signals". So as we would love for more people to find Quoakle's innovative graphical directory through Google, we need some social signals!
If you can follow any of our Quoakle's accounts we'd be really grateful. Just click the social icon of your choice from the bottom of any page on the Graphical Directory.
For those of our "fans" who really want to help, why not ...
  • Send a Facebook status update with a link to a page on the Quoakle website
  • Send a Tweet with a link to a page on the Quoakle website
  • Pin a page on the Quoakle website on one of your Pinterest boards.

Thanks for all your help, but most importantly, don't forget to get away from your computer, tablet or phone for a few minutes and enjoy some beautiful fresh air and fun with real people in the great outdoors!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

10,000 search results for Quoakle on Google!

At the beginning of August 2006, no-one had heard of Quoakle... that's because the word didn't exist!  

If you put the word "quoakle" into Google's search box absolutely nothing came up.  Nearly seven years later there are over 10,000 links to different pages on the web that make reference to the innovative online graphical directory. As you would expect, the No.1 entry for "quoakle" on Google's top page takes you to the UK web directory itself, to the home page of

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Record number of visits to Quoakle on May Bank Holiday 27th May 2013 - 602 visits!

Bank holiday weekends are always going to bring lots of visitors to Quoakle's graphical directory as internet users look for Days Out activities on Quoakle's popular Leisure Directory. However, internet traffic coming to Quoakle last Monday was even higher than expected. Visits to Quoakle on Monday May 27th 2013 smashed the previous record of 508 visits in one day. 
Director, Helen Steele, commented, "It's great to see that more and more people are discovering just how useful Quoakle is!"

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Google's New Year Surprise for Quoakle!

What a surprise it was to type in "Gloucestershire Business directory" into Google and find Quoakle high up in the Google Places Listings. 

You never know what they are going to slip in next!  We had tried all sorts of ideas to get listed on that page as Quoakle is particularly keen to promote businesses in the "home territory" of Gloucestershire (even though it is now a UK Website Directory).

So at the start of the 2013, it's "Thank you Mr Google!"