This week we take a look at some of the second tier Industrial Directories and review Zycon (www.zycon.com)
As with most Industrial directories, content is arranged by Product or Service type. Zycon has over 565,000 company listings in over 10,000 product categories. They describe themselves as:
Zycon is a rapidly growing online industrial directory, engineering resource, and vertical search engine that directly targets buyers and sellers in the industrial, manufacturing, contract manufacturing and distribution sectors worldwide.
Zycon specifically offers a user-focused web site design, reducing the navigational steps required to find the products, companies, distributors and services worldwide that directly meet your needs.
According to the website stats they average 1,630,000 page views per year but those stats on the website are from February of 2011. Traffic is generated from a blend of organic search engine traffic, PPC and repeat usage.
How the Programs Work
Zycon offers free listings with limited information in 3 categories.
There are various levels of paid programs. Zycon rotates placement of advertisers in three different slots – top, middle and bottom – depending on cost of program.
Program options include:
-A limited “Company Logo Program” for $600 to $1400 annually which give you expanded information and a link to your website in 5 categories. You can choose top, middle or bottom third of rotating placement ads. Full details can be found here. Below is a Basic Plus logo example:
–Display Ad Programs run from $2400 to $7200 and offer expanded listings, catalog information, product news and press releases. (See Screen shot below for examples.) Complete detail on these programs are here
-The third option is a Pay-per-Click Model where advertisers may opt for a PPC program similar to Google AdWords. Programs start for as little as .25 per click and for only a $1.00 per click you gain a picture gallery/product catalog and higher position. Advertisers can also set monthly budget limits. More details here.
-While the look and feel of Zycon may seem dated, functionality is very similar to ThomasNet. They push a pop-up box at the Category level to assist in generating quotes which are forwarded to Advertisers. While it may seem annoying to some, the Company claims it does drive conversions. They say it assists searchers who are uncertain how to search or exactly what to call the product they are looking for.
-Zycon also offers a “Guaranteed Actions for Life of Program” based on the dollar amount. For example, a client spending $2400 is assured of receiving 960 “actions” which encompasses viewing company information or linking to their website. If an Advertiser does not enjoy the minimum number of conversions, Zycon will extend the program beyond the annual agreement period until the minimum is hit. While “actions” hardly equates to orders, it is refreshing to finally see a Directory guarantee something beyond a bill.
-While most of the links on Zycon are Nofollow, they will allow one “follow” link in one category of the advertisers choosing. For those concerned with link building, this is another advantage. And while only one follow link is allowed, it almost assures the advertiser that there will be very few follow links on that page which will greatly increase the value. Zycon has a Home Page Toolbar PR of 4, a SEOMOZ Domain Authority of 49, and a Home Page Authority of 57 for you Link Building geeks out there.
CONCLUSION (UPDATED MAY 2016)
Zycon is certainly much smaller than ThomasNet or GlobalSpec in both activity and Brand recognition but they also have a much lower cost of entry. They also are willing to offer at least a minimum actions guarantee which is more than almost any other Industrial Directory will do. And they are willing offer a PPC program for companies who want to try out the service and measure results on a monthly basis with the option of converting to an annual program if volume and conversions warrant.
However, Zycon seems to have lost traction with search engines such as Google and activity for a few of our advertisers have decreased in 2015 and 2016. If you do want to give it a try, make sure you are setting up conversions in your Google Analytics account. The company seems to be focusing more on web development and SEO than the directory and as of May of 2016, they still have not made any noticeable updates to the site. Below is an example of how you can set up Google Analytics to tell you where your online RFQ’s are coming from (read full tutorial on measuring online conversion for custom manufacturers)
Visit our Industrial SEO page for more information on generating traffic for Industrial companies.