Ibiza Info Directories..

by seoibiza on 3, March, 2009

It continually amuses us the amount of people who think that they can make a living (if not get rich) in Ibiza from just a website and the businesses of others, without actually contributing anything themselves.

..Basically “we set up a site, you the Ibiza business owner pay us to advertise your business on our site” type-thing. This is basically a 1990′s and very flawed business model and unless you are already well established, you will find it extremely difficult if not impossible, to:

  • make one of these “rank-for-everything” sites work well in today’s Google.
  • get anybody much to come to your site.
  • get anybody to advertise on your site.
  • make enough money to pay your hosting, never mind live here.

As a recent startup ourselves, we can say that the problems a new business faces here can be multiple and challenging in many ways, and many many good ideas fall by the wayside, and this isnt even a good idea.

In this instance these are the 3 most pressing and immediate challenges you will face:

  • Ibiza webspace market is already saturated with affiliates /spam / (para)sites.
  • big, established sites totally dominate Google already and know everybody
  • penetrating the Ibiza community “networks” is not easy.

We were approached last year by a company looking to sell a localized franchise of the “Ibiza version” of their www.mylocationeverywhere.com type-sites, and asked if we knew anyone who might be interested in this “excellent business opportunity” (for seven (ish) thousand pounds -if memory serves correctly…) and spent (wasted?) email time trying to educate this company as to why their global franchise model would not work in Ibiza..  …at least not for the franchisee, anyway..

We had to say that we could not in good conscience advise anyone we knew to do this, as it is a flawed business model that is pretty much doomed to failure here from the outset.

Hopefully anyone considering this already lives here and knows everybody and isn’t using their credit crunch redundancy payoff to finance it, and relying on this as their dream-ticket to move to Ibiza..

or unfortunately there’s going to be tears before bedtime, we think…

When you consider that only last year locals tried the same thing with a fresh looking startup site and cant make any money from it, what chance would a new arrival have? 

none is the answer.

Consider the screenshot below..

ibiza direcories

The main Google problem you have is that there are several historically very firmly entrenched Ibiza sites, getting the lions share of the traffic, for many years now, and of these, in Google’s eyes at least, Ibiza Spotlight is the Ibiza authority site, as shown by it’s sitelinks

<– screenshot

As you can see, the “Ibiza” search shows Spotlight in a dominant #1 & #2 position, with even the (generally even mightier) wikipedia page relegated to a lowly #3 position, and a SERP  volume of over 90+ million pages.

Now we know volume mostly isn’t directly linked to SERP  competitiveness, its really all about how many other good sites are trying, so lets have a closer look using a state of the art pro SEO tool.

..The SEOmoz keyword difficulty tool (pro members only) rates “Ibiza” as:

61-75% - Highly competitive term, top rankings require on-page optimization, well-established history and robust link strength

screenshot..

keyword difficulty

What this means in layman’s language is that although it’s not impossible, you would need a damn good site, and a concerted SEO campaign by people who know what they’re doing, to get there.

A look down the rest of  Google page one shows (mostly) really strong sites for that keyword, with even the mighty PR6 Ibiza Voice in the second half of the page.

So it’s pretty clear a newish site can’t realistically expect to get to the first page very quickly here, which is where all the main Ibiza traffic is, – probably even a 2 year deadline for a new site to get here would be seo-ptimistic.

And then you have the second level phrases -  Ibiza villas / hotels, Ibiza this or that, you get the idea..  each of which is a little mini-mission to rank for on their own, (but is where the money, if not traffic is) and with a strong presence once again from the established sites, and (increasingly :) ) the local business sites themselves getting involved.

And as you can see the wordtracker tool shows the majority of Ibiza searchers have possibly the other kind of Ibiza on their minds? see the pic.

ibiza searches

And we had a quick look at the site/s in question and although assured by the salesperson that their SEO team were “top notch” well, we had to disagree as it actually looked like Google’s definition of a domain /  linkfarm (footers) network to be perfectly honest, with little chance of getting it to rank well in even tight little searches, never mind the big ones.

However even that’s far from being a new idea here either as there is another site that have been trying to get involved in the “Ibiza affiliate” business for nearly 3 years with very little success, who are even on the first page of Google for “Ibiza” and who have approximately 100 “ibiza-spam.com” type domains on highly similar sites, heavily interlinked between domains, and more than 2000 spammy and also heavily interlinked (nav links) sub.domains, most with such similar content that out of 7800 pages shown in Yahoo, Google  thinks only 340 are even valid enough content to index, and of those..

site:myspamdomain.org/*

- search shows 170 pages are in the supplemental index, leaving only 170 in the main index.   ..and we think that’s possibly still a bit high..  :)

We also get to see the Google analytics on sites listed by most of these directories and can categorically state that only Spotlight and Ibiza Voice drive decent levels of referral traffic to their advertisers, and that’s seasonal (as are the Ibiza search figures of course)

But these sites get up to 15k visitors a day in the summer, and so if 0.01% click your link, that’s 150 a day. That’s traffic worth having even on a low conversion numbers game.

With the rest of these directory sites though, you will be lucky to get 150 visitors in six months, literally, it’s a tiny tiny, trickle, one referral hit per day would be optimistic in most cases.

The chances of even one booking from this is slim.

Apart from the big boys, other we would recommend talking to are:

Both of these companies also publish real world magazines which you would quite likely be much better off advertising in than a duffer Ibiza directory.

So if you own or operate an Ibiza based small business and are approached by someone trying to sell you advertising space on their website, before you agree anything or hand over any money we would advise you to:

  • Ask to see their Google Analytics stats (live not reports) to back up claims made
  • If unsure as to value, negotiate a commission per-booking-obtained arrangement
  • Ask if they will refund the money if they don’t reach agreed levels of referrals

If you decide to go for it..

  • install Google Analytics on your site and track how much traffic they drive
  • ask customers to tell you where they saw you in the text on their site

(incentivise if necessary with special offers discount codes etc)

TRACK YOUR ROI (Return on investment)

Bear in mind that randoms looking at another site are not that likely to be your customers, and not the same at all as  someone typing your buying keywords into Google and coming to you.

Those are pre-qualified buyers, not random browsers.

Ask yourself would you rather spend money renting space on somebody else’s website, that needs to be repaid every year or it will stop, or would you be better off investing in your future now, by bringing your own buying customers to your own website?

We know the answer to this already, if you want to chat or know more, give us a call.

Edit:  check our new low cost Ibiza Web Directory here

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Hanson 3, March, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Good writing. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed my Google News Reader..

Matt Hanson

SEOibiza 4, March, 2009 at 12:46 am

Matt.

speaking of spam, what kind of numpty spams blogs using their real name and links to their real blog? quite a successful one by the looks of it?

Google search Matt’s spam

“creative advertising” my arse. your link has of course been nofollowed.

nice try ;)

SimarIbiza marketing 6, March, 2009 at 12:34 pm

hello mate. good to see you lastnight, looking forward to a long and rewarding partnership.

Massimo

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