It was a cosy Saturday afternoon. The hubby and I had been to an art exhibition with friends. By the time we left, our hearts were full with the satisfaction of a Saturday well spent. Our stomachs, however, were far from it and kept pushing us towards the idea of a good old round of tea and snacks, holiday style. After a wild goose chase for the perfect coffee shop of about 20 minutes, we turned to the Wise One – Grandpa Google.
Wow. That’s a lot of search results. But erm … well, not exactly what we were looking for.
We wanted some place small, quaint, not crowded, and not flashy. On to search results beyond page 1 (gasps!) … and there they were. A couple of places which fit the bill – as per their listing descriptions. But when I clicked on the relevant link and landed up on their profiles, I realized I didn’t have to go by the owners’ testimonies. I could read reviews by real people who’d been their guests! … For a long time we’d cherish the perfect relaxed afternoon we enjoyed that Saturday sitting at a tiny, quiet, old-world tea-n-snacks place – exactly as I wanted.
I felt grateful. I was curious about the local search directory without which we’d never have had this awesome experience.
The site was unfamiliar. “Guialis”, it said – a brand new online classifieds directory of local businesses and services. I was surprised. I didn’t know such a site even existed! Its cool, clean mobile interface impressed me the moment I landed on the its homepage. Simple and direct. With a searchbox and none of the clutter that’s usually part of web directories. (Come to think of it – web directories like this should be especially mobile-friendly. When you search for the nearest eating place, movie theatre or shopping mall, it’s your small, rectangular electronic lifeline that you’re likely to be hanging on to for support, right?) On Guialis, I hardly felt like I was on my mobile.
Even as you search (think “restaurants in Oshiwara”), autosuggestion options keep helping you refine your search continuously (“Chinese restaurants in Oshiwara”, “cheap Chinese restaurants in Oshiwara”…)
Finally, a cool, neat, no-clutter results page with stunning quality of text and image display.
I browsed through. From restaurants, apparel, shoes and beauty to weddings and even personal loans – Guialis features it all. But so does every other major local search service provider. What’s the big deal?
Nothing, apart from the fact that it’s 100% free – not just for end-users but also for business-owners. Yeah that’s right. All you need to list your business on Guialis is to register on the site for free. No need to contact the local search provider – like some websites require. And no need to pay for anything. No, not even an “upgrade”, ’cause your free business profile is already the best. ;) It not only allows you to upload an unlimited text description of your business, but also an unlimited number of images. We know a picture speaks a thousand words. And in case of web-based promotion of businesses, pictures also give you a thousand times more page-views and popularity to the 21st century ADD-afflicted web surfer.
That’s not all. I discovered Guialis is one of the very few web directories of India which allow users to create entire profiles for their favourite restaurants, hotels, spas, beauty salons etc. and share the good news. This requires no intervention from the business concerned. I was really impressed by this feature as it puts user feedback at the very centre of how popularity works within the directory. This helps increase the reliability of the profiles and makes them more meaningful to the entire user-base.
Oh, and did I mention providing ratings and reviews is a piece of cake on this site, requiring nothing more than a registration? I believe this is a very important feature, as an easy rating and review process draws more users to participate, thereby increasing the overall quality and authenticity of site content.
And we all know it’s absolutely essential to compare notes on everything in the world with our friends on Facebook and Twitter, right? Guialis knows that too. That’s why it allows you to share all your profiles, ratings and reviews on social media. :)
All in all – I have my Guialis profile created. I like to use it not only for info on the fly, but also for helping people like you and me by contributing my views on the products and services I use.
What about you?
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.