Buyer's Guide … the one with the Encyclopedia!

How to Attract Users of the RP Photonics Buyer's Guide to Your Supplier Website

Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta

A general challenge for suppliers in a buyer's guide is that even if they are listed for many products, many other suppliers are as well. Indeed, the RP Photonics Buyer's Guide presents more than 50 suppliers for many products, and often even more than 100. (See the list of all products, where the blue buttons indicate the number of registered suppliers.) Here, it is hard to get sufficient attention of users to get them directed to the own website.

At a first glance, this looks like a case for the classical solution of utilizing yellow-pages-type stuff: pay something to get extra screen space, attention-grabbing graphical elements, the display of your company logo, etc. That may work to some extent, but it is definitely very worthwhile to think more closely about what is going on, e.g. if a user wants to purchase a laser diode:

Quite naturally, such a user will get to our page with suppliers for laser diodes; that currently lists 123 suppliers. Now, nobody has the time and patience to visit the websites of all those in order to get a complete overview – possibly each time starting on the corresponding homepage and searching the relevant pages. Obviously, users need to make some pre-selection of a reasonable number of suppliers – maybe just three in simple cases or ten in others.

So the question is how that pre-selection will be done, and how you can survive that as a supplier. The mentioned web page first presents a table with all those suppliers having our ad package (in random order). Only thereafter, they find the table of all suppliers of laser diodes in alphabetical order, where the first mentioned ones appear again. Moreover, the suppliers having the ad package do not only appear with more space, their company logo, etc., but also display their product description. The latter is very important, since it has two helpful effect:

  • The user is aided in the decision whether or not that supplier may have something suitable, deserving a closer look on their website. After all, it would not tell much just to see a big logo; the user must find out whether the type of products may fit their needs.
  • If that decision is positive, the user can simply click on a link within the product description to directly get exactly to the relevant page – no searching on another website required!

Considering that, you will not be surprised to learn that the chances of those suppliers having our ad package are far better. They will thus obtain many more sales leads for their products.

So you see that the crucial benefit of our ad package does not lie in the multiple improvements of the yellow-pages type; rather, it is that it allows you to publish your product descriptions, which are used for the pre-selection.

As a final remark, let us think about the effect of leading visitors directly to the relevant page on your site:

  • First of all, the high convenience makes it likely that they use that path.
  • Obviously, the chance of losing them on the way to your relevant page is reduced. (You do not have to worry whether they will find your page navigation sufficiently simple.)
  • They will presumably not cause as many page views on your site, comparing with the case that they would have to start on your homepage. That is presumably no disadvantage, since they would anyway only look for your page on laser diodes. However, please keep this aspect in mind when comparing caused traffic volume from different buyer's guides: if we produce somewhat less than others, this is certainly no sign of inferior traffic quality! It is just that well directed visitors do not need to spend additional time for searching. You really don't want to send them on a detour just to get some more page views.

This article is a posting of the RP Photonics Marketing News, authored by Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta. You may link to this page, because its location is permanent.

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