Is It Worth It to Buy Advertising on Trade Organization Directory?

Let me start out this post with a story.

I have a friend who’s the CEO of a small solar PV company.



Solar industry, by itself, is a relatively new industry (from commerce perspective), and I’m sure he gets approached quite a bit by bunch of companies trying to sell him traffic instead of what he (or any business person) for that mater is looking for: LEADS (i.e. someone who’s interested in his company’s service.)

And of course, one of them happens to be a salesperson of a trade organization directory (i.e. a directory that shows lists who does what.)



Being the savvy businesswoman that he is, he knew that being on TOP of a search engine result page could mean more business for her.

(In ANY information media, top or front  is ALWAYS more business if your business on it.)


So he has asked the proverbial question: “Should I do buy this advertising?”

And of course, I gave him a very wise and profound answer:

It depends


What’s Your Marketing Goal?

There are two primary reasons for advertising.


1) Brand Marketing

This is to get the word about your business.

This is harder to measure because there is no real reliable measuring of the results.

The only real “measure” is whether or not more people know about your business.

Example of brand marketing advertising?

Just turn on TV where there really isn’t a pronounced call-to-action… like McDonalds, Kellogg cereals, Pepsi, Nike, etc.


2) Direct Response Marketing

This is the the exact opposite, where results are measured in hard earned dollars.

This is the kind of advertisers want to know ROI.

X dollars in, X+Y dollars out. That’s the name of the game


So what are you advertising for? To get some business sales lead? To get more awareness?


Tell me something helpful other than just “it depends”

Ok ok, fine.

Since I cannot give you a concrete answer on what you should do, here’s something a bit more specific.

You CAN find out if a website is WORTH advertising for by the traffic quality and volume it generates.

Makes sense right?

You want to target the RIGHT people.. and a LOT of those “right” people.

There are companies out there whose sole job is to measure the quantity and quality of websites (of course, they make their money from data).


Here are three simple tools you can use right now to determine if the site is worth even considering.

These are free


1) Alexa

This is the mother of them all.

You enter the URL of the website whose traffic you want to analyze, and SHAZAM.

They give you traffic rank (i.e. how much traffic compared to others), sites that are similar, what kind of traffic pattern they are seeing, etc.

It’s based on a desktop toolbar that most people do NOT use.

So unless the site is ultra popular (like a search engine, a game site, a social network, etc.), take the data with a grain of salt because it will not be all that accurate. (But then again, no tools are ever 100% accurate).


2) QuantCast

QuantCast is slightly different from Alexa in that they’re trying to figure out the demographics information as much as traffic information.

You enter the URL and they give you a whole lotta shebang… including who visits the information, how much money they make, if they have kids, if they’re white/black/asian/hispanic/etc., etc.



3) Compete

Last but not least, compete.

It’s similar to QuantCast, but they have this feature (which you have to pay for) that lets you compare traffic information of two sites side by side (hence “compete”)



TaeWoo is founder of Solar One Media, a solar lead generation company. With 10+ years of experience in internet marketing, web development, and online advertising, TaeWoo brings his expertise and pioneering spirit to solar lead generation.

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