Evaluating Referral Sites

Home/Marketing Analysis/Evaluating Referral Sites

Evaluating Referral Sites

March 18th|Marketing Analysis|

Your website should receive traffic from a variety of sources. This is an overall indicator of the breadth of your marketing program.  Sources include links from other websites, directories, and paid online marketing such as pay-per-click (PPC) or pay-for-inclusion advertising.  Each of the methods has its own advantages over and above the fact that it provides valuable traffic.

Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing offer the two highest volumes of searches.  The strongest advantage of using PPC advertising as part of the marketing strategy is the ability to “instantly” stop or start traffic.  Advertisers control what specific phrases trigger showing your ad.  You pay if-and-when an ad is clicked.  Daily and/or monthly budget caps can be set to control spending.

Pay for inclusion advertising offers the ability to guarantee review of your site for inclusion (Yahoo Directory or Business.com are examples).  Alternatively, paid inclusion provides the ability to have your site listed within specific categories for a fee (examples would include thomasregister.com and machinetoolbuilder.com).  Fees are generally charged annually and are based on traffic that passes through an individual directory/portal.  A strong factor in evaluating these advertising opportunities is whether or not they offer the ability to monitor inbound links from their site.  That is, can visitors to the ad portal connect directly to your company’s website for additional detailed information – or is all information presented at the ad location?

Marketing analysis examines which links are most successful at driving traffic to your site.  To be successful, linking sources must be cost-effective and product a verifiable number of high-quality leads.  Similar to the key phrase reports described above, a spreadsheet showing linking sites and associated traffic can be viewed bu the marketing manager to evaluate this metric.  Look at which links are frequently used; which are cost-effective.  Monthly reporting and analysis should be used to evaluate and refine relationships.

About the Author:

Rick Brown
Rick Brown is a 20+ year veteran of industrial business to business marketing. In 2003, Rick founded NetTrack Marketing based on the critical need manufacturers have to be accessible to buyers and specifiers via the Internet.