Measuring the success of online directories through search engines and advertising revenue.

So now you’ve created an online directory, optimized the directory for search engines and learned how to attract consumers. At this point, the online directory should be up and running. So the next question is: how can you know if the online directory is successful?

This is part four of our four-part series: what metrics can directory publishers look at to measure an online directory’s success?

How Are Consumers Finding the Directory?

Last week we talked about how directory publishers can attract consumers to their online directories. So, now that the directory is up and running, it’s time to look at how consumers are actually finding the directory – and it may not be how you think.

Organic Traffic From Search Engines

What keywords are driving organic traffic to the online directory? This is where you can measure the success of the SEO optimization efforts for the directory’s website.

One way you can measure what keywords are driving traffic to the directory’s website is by using Google Search Console. If you haven’t set up Google Search Console for the directory’s website yet, you should! Google Search Console is an easy-to-use tool where you can measure the website’s impressions, clicks, click-through-rate (CTR), and the average position that the online directory is showing up in search results. Google Search Console will also allow you to see what keywords the directory is appearing for in search engine results.

Another useful tool for measuring traffic is Google Analytics. For organic traffic data, click Acquisition, then All Traffic, then Channels, and finally Organic Search. Google Analytics can also be used to measure traffic from sources besides search engines, such as from social media.

Using tools like these to discover the online directory’s keyword analytics is one way you can see the online directory’s success. You can also use this data to further optimize the content and SEO on the directory’s website to drive not only more traffic, but the specific traffic you want!

Directory Email Capture Rates

A lot of directory publishers use email marketing to bring consumers and potential advertisers back to the directory’s website. If you are utilizing email marketing (which you should be!), you can measure email capture rates to determine how successful your email campaign is.

Measuring the directory’s email capture rate is pretty easy. First decide what time period you want to measure — it can be the past week, month or even year. Take the total number of new email subscribers the directory has received during that period, and then divide that number by the total number of unique visitors to the directory’s website during the same time period. You can use Google Analytics to determine the number of unique visitors.

Paid Advertising on the Directory’s Website

Are you or the company getting paid for advertisements on the online directory’s website? Paid revenue through ads is another way to measure the directory’s success. Directories that attract consumers and other traffic can monetize their website by including ads. If you don’t know where to start, including non-intrusive ads on the directory’s website is relatively easy.

You can sign up for Google AdSense to conveniently include ads on the website. If you opt for Google AdSense, Google will put relevant advertisements on the directory’s website. It’s completely free, and you don’t have to deal with advertisers directly. However, in exchange for Google doing a lot of the work, Google keeps 32% of the advertising revenue while the remaining 68% would go to you.

You could also appeal to businesses directly! If the online directory has successfully gotten a lot of engagement from local businesses, you could offer to advertise for them directly on the directory’s website and keep 100% of the revenue!

Measuring Success Never Ends

Like any business, success can always be increased! Even if you are very happy with the way the online directory is performing, there’s always room for improvement. Remember to set clear goals for the directory and keep measuring to see if those goals are being met.

This article is part four of our four part series. In case you missed the past three, here are the links to the other parts of this series:

Part 1 – How to Create an Online Directory
Part 2 – How to SEO Optimize an Online Directory
Part 3 – How to Attract Consumers to an Online Directory