How to Read GHfind Search Results
I want to use this opportunity to focus on how search results are displayed via GHfind. Depending on availability, there can be a lot of various pieces of information listed under a single business entry. So the purpose of this post is to delineate what those various pieces of information represent. And I will use GHfind's own entry as an example, since it features most of the different categories I collect information on.
|An example of a GHfind search results entry,
with numbers inserted corresponding with the outline of this post.
#1 - BUSINESS NAME
The first line in an entry will invariably would be the name of the business, in bold and all caps. In the example above, that would be "GHFIND".
#2 - CONTACT PERSON
Next comes the name of the contact person, as well as their position within the organization (in parenthesis) in bold. With the above example, the contact person is "Malcolm Aaron (Founder/Webmaster)".
In some instances, when a businessperson is operating under his or her own name, then I may use the contact person as the name of business. But to note, most entries do not have a specific contact person.
#3 - TELEPHONE NUMBER(S)
Next on the list is the telephone number(s) of the business, in text and hyperlinked. (With the current site design, hyperlinks appear in green until they are visited, upon which they turn brownish-red). On the pic above, the telephone number would be "050-438-5932". And with some entries, there will be two telephone numbers (max) listed.
These are in fact hyperlinked to telephone numbers. So if you're using a mobile device and click on the link, it will automatically take you to your telephone app and paste the number therein, without you having to do so yourself. Then, you can call the business directly, store the number or what have you.
If you click the link on a desktop or laptop, the operating system is likely going to ask what program you want to open it with. So for the most part, these telephone hyperlinks were added specifically for mobile users, in the name of allowing you to call businesses easily. So generally speaking they will not work on a larger computer unless maybe there's a program installed that allows you to make phone calls.
Phone numbers are listed in their basic, 10-digit format, i.e. how they usually appear locally in Ghana. In some cases but not most, the hyperlink itself will include the international-calling code prefix, meaning that users can instantly call the number from anywhere in the world. But most are rather formatted with local callers in mind, devoid of the international-calling code. So if you're using GHfind from outside of Ghana and click on a number, chances are you'd have to insert the international-calling code yourself in order to successfully place the call. Doing so isn't complicated at all and is a process I'll explain soon in a future post.
#4 - WEBSITE ADDRESS
When I come across a business that has a website listed that's actually working, then I will add the URL to its GHfind entry, in italics and listed under the telephone number. Above, that would be "ghfind.net". It's pretty easy to spot a website address, so for the sake or readability I do not add the "http" or "www" to the display.
But internally the address is fully hyperlinked, and the link should work on any device you're using, so long as the site is actually online. In the above pic, the hyperlink color is in a shade of brown, meaning that it had been previously visited by the user (me).
#5 - EMAIL ADDRESS
A business's email address, when available, is listed in normal text, hyperlinked. You can tell an email address by the presence of the @ symbol, followed by a naked domain (i.e. website address with the www). In the case of the above example, that would be "firstname.lastname@example.org".
Some businesses have a number of email addresses, which you can usually find on their websites. But in the case of GHfind , I only include one email address per entry.
If you click on the email hyperlink using a desktop or laptop, it'll usually try to redirect you to an email client, which not all of us, including myself, may have configured. But the cool thing is that if you click on the link using an android, it should take you directly to Gmail, where you'll be able to instantly email the business, if so desired.
#6 - WHATSAPP
If a business has a Whatsapp contact, the associated telephone number will not appear in the search results (though it may be the same as the general contact number). Rather, you'd just see a link titled "Whatsapp", in italics.
Clicking on it works on mobile devices with Whatsapp installed, and I would also presume on some of the desktops and laptops configured to use the app. What it allows users to do is instantly interact with the business via Whatsapp.
#7 - SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES
If a business has a Facebook, Twitter (i.e. X), Instagram, TikTok, YouTube or LinkedIn page that's available and active at the time I'm researching it, then that information will be documented in the database, and the links made available to users of GHfind.
As it currently stands, GHfind only has a Facebook page to speak of, which can be accessed by clicking the "Facebook" link under our search entry. But with some other businesses, you may find a number of the social media sites respectively listed in the order above, i.e. beginning with Facebook.
#8 - LOCATION
After all of that we finally get to the physical location of the business, which is displayed in bold. Virtually all entries have a location, though a few businesses are strictly decentralized and therefore do not.
Usually, the location consists of the name of the region followed by the city or town. Nowadays, I no longer display the region when it comes to a capital cities. So with myself currently being based in Koforidua, the capital of the Eastern Region, that's what you'll see listed as the general location of GHfind.
Some entries have more than one location and therefore may have two (max) listed. In other instances, I may instead split the different locations of a single business (such as a bank) into separate entries.
#9 - STREET ADDRESS
When available, the street address is listed under the general location. Usually, this information will not include a house number. What it most often consists of is the name of the street or junction where the business is located, as well as in some instance a nearby landmark. So in the case of my own example, it is Lane 7, Opoku Nsiah. Lane 7 is the closest junction to where I'm at, and Opoku Nsiah is the name of the community/street.
#10 - GHANA POST GPS ADDRESS
Ghana Post recently implemented a GPS system, which is compatible with Google Maps. So for businesses that already have their location documented on Google, I'm then able to derive their Ghana Post GPS address. That's how most of the Ghana Post GPS addresses found in the GHfind database were ascertained. With a few others, the business may have listed it themselves on their website.
On my own example, the Ghana Post GPS address is "EN-293-8035". That's how most of them appear, i.e. two capital letters, followed by a hyphen and three (or four) numerals, followed by another hyphen and four numerals. These addresses are hyperlinked, meaning that if you were to click on one, it will take you to Google Maps and usually display the precise location of where the business is located.
A few entries also have their conventional mailing address listed after the location or GPS address. You will recognize physical mailing addresses as beginning with "Box" or "PMB", followed by a number, comma and city.
Snail mail is by and large outdated and was never as ubiquitous in Ghana to begin with. But some Ghanaian businesses use it nonetheless, and I actually hope to register one for GHfind in the near future.
#11 - SERVICES
Finally, at the end of every entry will be the service(s) provided by the business. Some businesses offer a vast number of services and/or products, but as far as GHfind results are concerned, only three (max) are listed. So I try to be as general with them as possible with them. For example, all of the schools documented, no matter what level they may be, are classified under "educational institution".
In some instances, there may also be services, products or brands that have been documented and are searchable but will not appear in the results. For example, if a user searches for "krobofind", i.e. the original name of GHfind, then it will also bring up GHfind's information, though you won't see the word "krobofind" in the results. So for businesses that may have a large number of services, only the three main ones will be listed, but the others may be in the database also.
As for GHfind, the listed services are "Internet Marketing", "Website Design" and "Secretarial Services". And no matter what, even though on occasion phone numbers or physical locations may be unavailable, every entry in the database has at least one service (or product) listed that it provides.
One of the objectives of GHfind is to compile a comprehensive, online-searchable database of businesses in Ghana. But the real goal, as far as the database is concerned, is to encourage potential customers to contact these businesses.
The search results are meant to be displayed in such a way that available contact information on documented businesses is easy to read and readily accessible. But if they prove to be confusing or convoluted to you, feel free to contact me for assistance or to offer suggestions on how they can be improved.