Is it worth advertising with Applegate or Yell.com or other online directories?February 28, 2011 7:00 am Online Advertising
Last week I was asked the question “Is it worth continuing with Applegate advertising?”. It’s a question that you can substitute ‘Applegate’ for anything else (e.g. Yell.com) and the answer would always be the same:
How much business has it brought you already?
To which the answer is usually: “I don’t know”.
It’s a common problem and underlines the stupidity that goes on within so many businesses – signing up to online directories, costing a fee, and then not measuring what’s gained out of them. Then when it comes to renewal time there’s no way of telling if the advertising had worked or not.
It’s not hard – just these simple steps will answer the question of whether any online directory is worth advertising in:
- Record every enquiry that comes into the business. Include the date and time of enquiry and if possible, try to determine where the enquirer found out about you.
- If the source of the enquiry can’t be easily determined then refer to your website statistics package and link the data in there to the date and time of the enquiry – this will show you whether or not it came from an online directory you’re advertising on.
- Keep a monthly tally of how many enquiries originated from each source of company visibility, plus how many of those enquiries became something more useful.
- After a few months compare the cost of the directory listing in that time period to the business gained from enquiries identified to have come from that source.
- If results aren’t great then decide whether it’s because the directory isn’t sending enough traffic to your website or whether the fault is actually with weaknesses within your website (which would stop potential buyers from making contact, having found you via your directory advertising). Better still, get your website reviewed for strength before attempting to make it more visible online!
- Make changes accordingly.
To be honest, any business who spends money on advertising in directories such as Applegate, Yell.com etc., and who isn’t measuring what they gain out of it, should reprimand the person stupid enough to have laid out the advertising money in the first place, but who didn’t insist on a method to measure return on investment.