WeFindLocal.co.uk aims to find and feature the best and most passionate – those unique, local and independent businesses, people and places from all across the UK.
WeFindLocal.co.uk is all about finding and championing those unique independent businesses, local professionals and offering a guide to interesting places & events to visit.
We are glad you are a part of that journey of discovery.
I hope that wefindlocal can develop not only as a popular UK wide local directory for those looking for an interesting and eclectic mix of unique and independent people and places but also as something of an antidote to the algorithmically “personalised” search results of google.
wefindlocal aims to be the ad free alternative way to directly explore the best local businesses presented in their own words – perfect for those looking to shop and experience something a bit more genuine rather than being spoon fed google’s vision of what they “know” you want to see.
wefindlocal is aimed at people who are tired of seeing the same businesses in the same identikit box, the same faceless online giants, the same franchise, the same indifferent service, the same products and lack of atmosphere or a genuine story.
wefindlocal wants to make it easier to find those talented people with interesting, traditional or creative skills, the unique shops & locally run businesses – online and across the whole of the UK.
As well as the directory we will be adding thoughts, interviews, ideas, advice & tips here in the wefindlocal voice online magazine … we hope this will be an inspiration for both our visitors wanting to know that bit more about the people & places featured, as well as our business members looking for more ways to improve their business offering, to thrive and grow particularly in adapting to the online world.
V1.0 Early vision for wefindlocal.co.uk
My name is Rob Lacey and I am a freelance business & headshot photographer (now in my 25th year as a freelancer it’s still my primary business). In 2005 as a side project I created a website 4kingpoker out of my passion for playing poker and it became Gamblista.com – Online Gambling Guide for the Discerning Gambler. Learning the poker affiliate business took me into the world of websites and SEO which gave me the idea for setting up another side project – WeFindLocal – first conceived back in 2012 when I realised there were three types of directory for businesses in the market … all flawed.
1) Free / cheap but unreliable basic auto generated / scraped address and number NAP+W type business directories (maybe with paid upgrade option) created for questionable linking SEO purposes open to literally anyone and everyone to make adsense revenue for the website.
2) Specific area local directories & niche subject directory sites offering slightly better listings and slightly better credibility – but despite a £30-£100+ pa membership the sites & listings were still covered in trashy google adsense adverts and anyone paying accepted.
3) Best in business type area directories with fuller and more detailed featured business pages but with vastly overpriced “exclusive best of the best” annual memberships upwards of £300 pa.
The plan for wefindlocal.co.uk v1.0 was pretty simple – an ad free local business directory offering the quality of a featured full page detailed listing with some relevant deep links but at a much more reasonable price … offering real value but at a fair price.
At the time we developed a clunky prototype directory site in 2012. It looked OK but was unwieldy to maintain and problematic to scale – then directories fell out of favour, it seemed like google had won the internet, so wefindlocal was shelved until a better solution could be found.
V2.0 Relaunch and sharper focus for wefindlocal.co.uk
Fast forward to late 2019 and the wefindlocal project was still an idea that I still passionately felt there was a place for – with a more refined focus featuring quality representation of truly unique, independent and local businesses, people and places – with UK wide coverage and crucially ad free … new directory software was developed and a soft launch was planned for 2020 … and then covid-19 arrived.
In the shadow of covid-19 local businesses have had to temporarily close, struggling to adapt, trying to figure out how to compete on price, service, delivery and crucially survive – all the while the internet delivery behemoths are capitalising and increasing their market share.
The need amongst other things for a UK wide but locally focussed directory to champion those unique, local & independent businesses, people & places has never been more pressing.
V2.1 FREE listings, one-off submission fee & Affiliate Model for wefindlocal.co.uk
Following the pandemic it is clear independent businesses are still struggling. It’s also clear that despite the value of an online listings in wefindlocal.co.uk undoubtedly has – an annual fee / membership model isn’t one that many independent businesses appreciate the value of.
WeFindLocal has to continue to cover running costs and grow – We have therefore moved to a FREE listings model (providing businesses remain subscribed to our monthly newsletter) but with a one-off insertion fee of £12. We plan to generate some revenue via affiliate links and promote relevant offers, products and services to business members via the newsletter and on affiliate review pages on the site. This allows the customer facing side of the business to remain ad free and for independent businesses to gain FREE listings (£12 insertion fee) but with the option to support the site via our affiliate links at no cost to them if they so choose.