To ThomasNet or not to ThomasNet, that is the question. Hmm, it might mean Adwords to the rescue!
ThomasNet, or Thomas Register as it was called years ago, has become a Platinum Hubspot resaler. It's not much of a directory any more since they couldn't compete with Google. They are a good content developer as a good Hubspot dealer should be. A directory program with ThomasNet runs at least several thousands of dollars to start, but like our advice for purchasing search engine ad words, "Don't do it until you have optimized your web site first." We've found that ThomasNet's directory is only good in certain industries that have adopted it as a platform to generate quotes. But even those are going away and Thomas' attempts to teach newbes is a losing attempt.
You'd think "large machine shop" would be easy enough to get ranked for, but that's not the case. The industry is quite sophisticated and run by those who have been operating computers longer than any of us. The second use of computers was to run a machine tool, the first was to calculate ballistic information for a canon. So if ThomasNet is knocking you to the second page the other machine shops are knocking you to the fourth page. Thanks to PracticalMachinery.com for the image.
ThomasNet wasn't such a problem several years ago, it kept its data secret from the search engines, plus it didn't have very many pages indexed. And the search engines wouldn't show their pages anyway. But recently ThomasNet signed agreements with the search engines and they are ranking better. But Google is fundamentally against a directory since Google would rather serve the company's web site rather than a directory. ThomasNet is a very good media for increasing your page visitors. We have seen traffic double in several cases. And our studies show that visitors coming from ThomasNet are just as high quality as those coming from organic searches. If your site is fairly well written and has all the regular features of a good site, like fast loading speed, there may not be any other way to increase traffic. See the chart results on ThomasNet.com for yourself at Alexa.com.
Ad word purchases in some cases haven't demonstrated that they are of good quality. In other words, the visitors that come from from ad words don't go on to contact our clients. As it has seemed for many years, the vast majority of clicks on ad words aren't relevant and don't contribute to contacts of the company. But that shouldn't stop you from using ad words when needed. You must realize, though, that 80% of the click throughs aren't of high quality. This is a normal function of purchasing ad words. All advertising in fact. Quality lead for quality lead, ThomasNet produces more per dollar by four times as much. The place where ad words can really shine is with programs that deliver unique phone numbers for those ad words. Then you can track actual incoming calls to ad word programs. Another client got 85% of ad word visitors to request a quotation on 400 visitors compared with 5% on organic search results for 500 visitors. Thanks to Google for the illustration from an educational PDF. The National Association of Sales Professionals has a nice blog post to get you started, "The most important thing in a successful AdWords campaign is developing an understanding of the system. It may not be rocket science but it is pretty darned close."
So if there is one take-away it's this -- Program your site to measure goals. For industrial sites it's not a sale, it's going to be a contact us or a request for quotation page. Then you will be able to measure a tangible result of your industrial marketing efforts.
If you liked this post, you may like, "How To Realign Your Marketing Communications with Sales."