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New Sales Process: 5 Ways to More Sales Leads with Web Content

  
  
  
  
  
  

The sales industry has earned a reputation for being pushy over the years, and this reputation can be very legitimate. In the past, the goal was to find the prospects with the deepest pockets and push products and services on them until they got tired of listening to the pitch and made a purchase. The goal was to close every sale, by creating a need, plugging an interest, or pushing harder when a customer said no.

Thanks to a New Sales Process being used, consumers are now gaining control over the sales process, as they are almost completely done with the buyer journey before they ever contact a vendor. They make buying decisions almost solely on content. What does this mean for businesses and how can a business be getting more leads from my web site?

When a consumer now realizes they have a need for a product or service, they no longer must contact one or more sellers to obtain the desired information. With the help of the Internet, consumers find this information in a very short period of time. Therefore businesses must consider Using online content for sales leads. Here are five ways a business can build a meaningful relationship with a consumer and ensure the consumer comes to them when it's time to make a purchase.

  1. Businesses find they can build relationships with their consumers by educating them. Content provides the best way to do so, and business owners wishing to know how to get more leads from my web site find educational materials provide outstanding results. How should one go about doing this?
    • Come up with the ten most frequently asked questions and answer each question in a separate blog post.
    • Distribute material in a variety of places to increase brand exposure, including in LinkedIn Groups and by writing guests post for other blogs. These are just two techniques to make use of.
    • Informative infographics are an excellent way to provide information in an easy to read format, one that will catch a site visitor's eye.
  2. Make sure you understand what customers need, rather than creating a need that your product or service fills. Content needs to do the same. It needs to fulfill an existing need, rather than creating a new need and then fulfilling it.
  3. Trust is important when it comes to content. The goal is to add value to the purchase, and any tips, tricks, lessons, or secrets shared will add to your expertise as a business owner. When you are viewed as an expert, consumers will turn to you repeatedly, as they feel they can trust you. Trust is essential for any meaningful relationship, one which lasts an extended period of time, even when discussing a relationship between a business and its customers.
  4. When you create content, you are making your brand more human to others. Consumers like to buy from someone they know. Make sure you provide content that details your experience in the industry, tells a bit about you as a person, and makes your business more human. Doing so before you engage in a conversation helps to generate sales, therefore make sure a portion of your content is focused on who you are personally.
  5. Engaging content starts a conversation, which also helps to build trust while expediting the sales process. With engaging content, you'll find you obtain qualified leads, preparing the customer before the sales call is ever made. This cuts down on the time needed to close the sale.
Many companies struggle with the above steps. The New Sales Process makes it easy to achieve this goal using content. No matter how big or small your business is, you can be successful. Remember the following to boost your sales efforts with the help of content.
  • Create your content based on current customer needs.
  • Use your content to add value to your products and services.
  • Listen to prospects and offer options.

With the help of quality content, you'll find you can bypass pushy sales tactics. Education is key to this process, and content is the best way to provide this education. Improve your content, and you'll see great results in a short period of time.

If you need help with your content creation or struggle to make your online efforts grow your business, I can help with that. Call me, Jon Dodson, to talk about next steps to realizing your business goals online at 877-778-6789. Thank you.

Arkansas Search Engine Optimization - Tips to Overcome Competition

  
  
  
  
  
  

Arkansas Search Engine Optimization, Arkansas SEOIf you are running an Arkansas based business web site, then neglecting Arkansas Search Engine Optimization is not an option. Arkansas search engine optimization is a way to let Google know that your site is about a certain niche. When people search for keywords related to that niche, your site will appear closer to the top of the search listings if you use Arkansas SEO. If this sounds good to you, read on.

A properly coded site is an important part of a successful SEO strategy. Poorly coded java can make it difficult for spiders to index your pages. Flash content cannot be indexed by spiders at all, unless there is a textual description included in it.

Proper keyword density is essential to search engine optimization. If you want search engines to consider your content high-quality, make sure that no more than 20 percent of a page's content is taken up by keywords.

For a good affiliate marketing strategy set up pay-per-click advertising. The pay is not very high, but over time, the profits will start to add up.

Research their previous experience, and how long they have been working in this field. Be sure you are aware of any risks, so that you are in a position to make a knowledgeable determination based on the facts.

Purchase a simple domain name that is pertinent to your niche and easy to remember. These are especially helpful for people that find your content on YouTube because they are easy to say and to remember.

Make the most of your meta description tags. They are useful to reach your search engine ranking goals. These description tags are important, as they show up below the title of your page in search engine results. Make your meta tag information concise and meaningful. If they are powerful enough, these tags can bring visitors to your site whether you have the top rank or not.

One way to increase your page's search rank and attract more visitors is to include a site map. A site map will link your pages to each other. This will increase your visibility through SEO and increase traffic directed to your site.

Make a site map to help the search engines index your site's pages. Also known as a navigation bar, a site map allows search engines to find pages from any other page of your site. Regardless of how large or small your website is, a site map will increase your ranking in search engines.

Keep the content of your website user-friendly. To gain higher search result rankings, create a website that is clear and easy to read. Your site should not only be easy for readers to use, but for search engines as well.

Many site owners forget to check their sites for grammar issues, even though that is one of the most important things about owning a website. Your website should be easy to read and free of errors to engage both clients and the search engines. If your keywords are spelled incorrectly or your site is full of glaring grammar errors, search engines will be less likely to include you.

There's a lot to search engine optimization, but as was stated earlier in the article, it's absolutely essential to make sure your website gets the business it deserves. Make sure to apply these Arkansas search engine optimization techniques to your website, as soon as possible, so that you can start getting more customers and more profits.

Arkansas SEO - Learn How To Stay On Top

  
  
  
  
  
  

Whether you're an Arkansas business professional or an aspiring blogger hoping to make some money on the side, your number one tool in the internet arena is going to be something called Search Engine Optimization. This refers to a group of actions you can take to make your website appear as the number one result in a search. Read on to find out how an Arkansas SEO firm in VerticalStudio.com can help you with a few tips.

Blocking domain ownership information is a crucial thing that can affect search engine optimization. This can cause search engines and other sites to view your website as a potential spammer. It will also cause it to negatively reflect it and cause it to probably not come up often in general searches and will thus cause fewer hits.

If you plan to retire or change your URL try to use a 301 redirect. This code is beneficial. The 404, or "Page Not Found" code can be damaging. A code 301 will tell your various search engines where they should transfer your old URLs search engine results page position to.

To improve your ranking on a search engine, make sure to include many backlinks in your website. This is a link that sends the visitor to a different part of your website. This link should be relevant to the previous page. For instance, if you have a celebrity gossip blog and you are posting about Paris Hilton, you can link back to a previous post about Paris Hilton's television show. The more relevant backlinks you include on your website, the more relevant your site appears to a search engine.

Joining SEO communities is a great way to learn little insider tricks of the trade. Say Google suddenly changes their policy and begins to treat HTML title tags differently. You may not find out about this until your site falls in the rankings. But if you're signed up to receive newsletters and e-zines from the SEO community, you will always be in the know.

Link purchases and exchanges can both be a really positive thing and a really negative thing depending on the situation. When it comes to search engine optimization, your best bet is to check the cache date of the page where your link would be located in Google. Search for "cache:url" where you put your website page in place of the term url. If page isn't there or the cache date is more than a month old, the page really isn't worth much and isn't worth paying the money or exchanging links with.

Ask for links. Don't be shy about asking all your colleagues and acquaintances to link to their sites. The worst they can say is no, and many times they will say yes. Getting more links is important to your search engine rankings, so you can definitely use the help of those that know you.

Using these simple tips to improve your website's search ratings through Search Engine Optimization for Arkansas SEO will revolutionize your website. Remember to be patient and stick with the strategies, and soon you'll see your site traffic skyrocket as more people discover you through search engines and become regular viewers or customers.

Social Media Marketing: 6 Suggestions/Tips To Another Level

  
  
  
  
  
  

Unlike established businesses, start-up business have many financial hurdles to overcome. This leads to smarter and more resourceful ways of reaching their desired audiences, such as social media marketing(SMM). Because SMM deals with advertising primarily on popular social networking sites using proven techniques for driving traffic, a campaign like this is very inexpensive. The information in this article will help you learn how to implement social media marketing in your advertising.

Tip #1

Include the names of influential users of Twitter by name-dropping with an "@" symbol preceding the name. By doing this, they receive notification that you have posted about them. This can either lead to a tweet reply, or they will re-broadcast your post to a wider audience.

Tip #2

Interesting and current content will help you bring in more site visitors. Create "how-to" articles which explain a task that many would seek the answer to. Review a favorite product, and add images to keep it lively. When your content is the best it can be, it stands a better chance of being shared by people that visit your site.

Tip #3

Your goal should be to initiate a conversation with your customers. Companies often forget that when a customer offers feedback, they are also opening up a dialogue. Engage your customer base by talking with customers who give both positive and negative feedback. Find out what your customers really like and dislike about your products, and use that information to help move your company forward.

Tip #4

Study the ads on the social media websites and you will find many images that are eye catching and interesting. Using this kind of imagery in your own ads is a great way to make them more notable and draw potential customers' attention. After the advertisement has grabbed their attention, they will be more inclined to visit your site for more information.

Tip #5

When posting videos to YouTube make sure there is a link to click on that takes the viewer to your site. Set the link up where it describes your video, and also have a Twitter and Facebook button near your videos on your channel. Facebook and Twitter followers originating from YouTube are especially useful, as they tend to share videos more often.

Tip #6

By utilizing social media marketing strategies, you no longer have to be concerned about whether you are wasting valuable time and money. Instead of focusing on losing your shirt, you can focus on posting exciting and informative content, including images, video and text. There are many social media websites that you can start utilizing. It is only a matter of time before you become established, and obtain a sizable and dedicated customer base.

Key Web Analytic Principles and KPIs - Key Performance Indicators

  
  
  
  
  
  

Web site goals, online outcomesThere was a time not too long ago when it was cool to have a website. You didn't need to bother with concerns such as usability, conversion rates (site visitors into customers), and click paths since the internet was nowhere near as competitive as it is today. If you had a site that looked good, you were good to go. Let's face it, if you had an unsightly website you were still pretty good to go. If you actually got some business from your website good. If not, you were sort of pleased with that too. In the beginning a lot of businesses didn't truly think they could profit from their site.

Today the internet supplies substantial options for business sites to expand opportunities, raise their profits and increase their bottom line. For this reason, the internet has actually come to be a fiercely competitive space. In such a competitive atmosphere, you need to understand exactly what works and exactly what does not for your online spend. Without determining KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you will never give yourself an opportunity to truly understand your online business opportunities.

Determining performance of traditional advertising such as direct mail or post card mailer marketing is achievable but can be somewhat difficult. You can easily say it worked or failed based upon total sales. However, it is difficult to determine the exact information such as what part of the advertisement was efficient, just how frequently individuals considered the advertisement or for how long?

With web analytics, we can easily get a much greater understanding of where and just how successfully you invest your marketing dollars. Web analytics plays a strategic part in determining success and notifying decision makers to susceptibilities within their online efforts. The value of web analytics is not just in its capability to collect and report data.  A key value of web analytics is to assist in determining site visitor behavior that presents a basis for "doubling down" on successful outcomes and driving modifications to the site that increase conversions - site visitors into customers .

For businesses that make use of web analytics in this method, 75% raised brand-new website visitors to their websites, 78% enhanced web site visit duration and 65% increased returning website visitors. 83% raised web page views per visit, 68% raised their conversion prices while 64% increased their number of visits per existing consumer.

The value of analytics is not merely in the measurement of the data. However, web analytics provides site owners the capacity to discover actionable insights and act upon the insights of the data. KPIs should drive action! Every KPI we determine must represent action. Developing an efficient web analytics strategy calls for more thought than cash.

Effective, goal driven Internet advertising is impossible without KPIs. Without KPIs, you are just investing in online advertising because it simply feels like the right thing to do. When investing in online advertising because it feels like the right thing to do without KPI's in Web analytics you may as well be throwing your money into a black hole.  With defined KPI metrics, you can invest cash based on solid data that makes sense. With KPI's you can make educated decisions about your next strategic moves online.

Web analytics is effortless according to every professional that offers internet analytics services. Go to their web sites and they'll inform you loud and clear that internet analytics is just a "stroll in the park". The truth is Internet analytics can be extremely challenging.

KPIs need to be part of your strategy. Web analytics is not an isolated project within a business. Web analytics must be part of your company analytic efforts. Just as you determine your desired sales and income goals, you must determine your web site KPIs.

KPIs are more about site visitors and Internet strategy than any modern technology. Lots of online marketers shy away from web analytics since it seems like something an engineer would appreciate doing. Web analytics is about determining customer behavior. Web analytics is among the most efficient devices to expand your business online.

Web analytics allows you to turn raw data into actionable insights that can lead to better outcomes. Numerous online marketers construct their own advertising programs based on information about another companies’ marketing history. Do not make this mistake! Exactly what worked for another company is not automatically going to work with your company. When you consider your sites web analytics it allows you to hear from your potential customers within the data from your web site.  Build your Internet marketing strategy based on what your web site visitors are telling you they want or don't want in your web analytics data.  This data represents the voice of your customer.  Are you listening?

Do you know what the KPI's are for your web site?  Are you reviewing this critical data monthly to know whether your site is doing what you intended it to do?  What are your desired outcomes or goals for your web site that you can measure with Web analytics?

Contact us at Vertical Studio today to discuss how we can help bring efficiencies to your online spend and increase desired outcomes.

Google Analytics Advanced Segments: Is There Buried Gold in Your Blog?

  
  
  
  
  
  
If you know us, you know we live in our clients’ data.  If you don’t know us, then please understand... WE LIVE IN OUR CLIENTS’ DATA.  The data is where we find the secret map to the buried gold.  Here’s a good example.
 
Not too long ago we were preparing to meet with one our clients.  Part of this is putting together the PowerPoint slides that walk through our performance over the last month.  Not to brag, but it was all good news:
  • 5.0x ROI YTD on ALL related spending (media buys, professional services, technology, and attributed in-house resources)
  • Total visits up 184% year-over-year
  • And ‘non-branded’ organic search (SEO) visits up 231% year-over-year
 At this point it is easy to give ourselves a pat on the back and move on to the next task.  Seriously, think about it.  No client is going to push back on results like that.  They are getting what they are paying for (actually 5x what they are paying for).  But there is always more!

During our monthly analysis the data from the client’s blog jumped out at us.  This client has been working on their blog for 16 months.  Yep, 60-something entries.  Was it always rewarding?  Nope.  They had several months in the beginning with less than 50 page views per month to their total blog.  Translate that into layman’s terms analysis - no one cared they were blogging.  But, the last four months their blog averaged 1,600 page views per month.  Nice jump.  

At first this felt like a small victory, but we peeled back another layer of data and it started getting ugly.  

First, we had to identify the business purpose(s) of the blog: 1) Introduce the brand to potential customers; 2) Convert new potential customers into leads.  Quick aside: Don’t mistakenly  think the purpose of a blog is to increase SEO mojo.  It is unlikely that your customers pay you for your SEO mojo, so it doesn’t qualify as a business purpose.

Next we used Google Analytics Advanced Segmenting to really dive into what was happening and separate all of the noise from the true signal.  To quote Avinash Kaushik, “You no segment, you no find insights.  You no segment, you no have job for long time.”  We want to work with our clients for a long time, so we segment.

We created the following segments:
  • Blog Entrances: These are simply visitors who came to the website through the blog.
  • Organic Search Non-Branded Blog Entrances: These are visitors who came to the website through the blog who were not intentionally looking for the brand.
  • Non-Branded, Non-Blog Entrances: These are visitors who came to the website without the blog who were not intentionally looking for the brand.
The following table is what we found:


Here are our takeways from this data:
  • 31% of visits to the blog are non-branded.  So the blog is introducing the brand to people who were not otherwise looking for it.  This is a success and a baseline to gauge future improvement.
  • Non-branded visitors to the main website behave dramatically different than non-branded visitors to the blog.  The Non-Branded, Non-Blog visitors are 1,053% more likely to become a lead!  Ouch.  
Here is where it gets more fun.  Now that we have found a problem we have to ask, “What is it worth to solve it?”  From data supplied by the client we know what each lead is worth; a bit less than $200.  We’ll use a value of $200 per lead for the sake of making the math easy here.

So the current value of the Organic Search Non-Branded Blog Visitors is $1,000.  But if we could get the Organic Search Non-Branded Blog Visitors to behave like their cousins the Non-Branded, Non-Blog Visitors and convert to leads 2.54%, then there would be have been 58 (or 53 more) leads!  That gets us to $11,600 right there!

But lastly, we need an annualized dollar figure so we are making apples-to-apples comparisons prioritizing improvements to the website.  In this particular case we could expect an increase in Annualized Revenue of $25,000 if we hit our goal!  This tells us that it is well worth some time and effort to solve this problem.  

This is where the story ends for now.  If you want to hear what happens next as we work on this problem be sure to subscribe to our blog for automated updates.  

Angel Investors Chime in Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor's Proposed Angel Investing Bill

  
  
  
  
  
  

Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor recently proposed a bill that would provide a 25% federal income tax credit for investing in small businesses.  You can see the details of the bill here.

We got a chance to catch up with several leaders in the startup community, both inside and outside Arkansas, and get their thoughts on Senator Pryor's bill.

 

"Mark Pryor’s American Opportunity Act is not only great news for investors but for the entire startup community as a whole, especially those who have a far greater chance of succeeding if they’re able to secure seed and early stage funding from local angel investors but who might be too early in stage for (or not need) funding from larger venture capital firms.   Our economic future as a country does not solely depend on the outcome and success of giant corporations who have already “made it” and those that encounter no hurdles or challenges in their earliest stages, but also in large part on that of smaller startups that provide tremendous value which may not yet be realized or have not yet made it past a prototype or minimum viable product stage.   These type of businesses and entrepreneurs are critical to our country’s economic success and are extremely important for job creation.  Mr. Pryor’s bill will help encourage investment in these types of early stage businesses and ambitious entrepreneurs, and is nothing but great news for the entire startup community."  

Michael Peace, Angel Investor & Owner of JMP Consulting, LLC

"Senator Pryor's proposed legislation would have a major impact on the future of the American economy by helping to unlock billions of dollars of private capital, and direct that money into the country's entrepreneurial high tech innovation sector. There are currently over 250,000 angel investors in the US, and this legislation has the potential to double that number."

David S. Rose is CEO of Angelsoft (www.angelsoft.net), the official software platform of the Angel Capital Association and the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds. Angelsoft is used by over 30,000 accredited angel investors to collaborate with over 100,000 high-tech entrepreneurs. Mr. Rose is also the founder and Chairman of New York Angels, the leading angel investor network on the East Coast, as well as an active angel investor himself who has helped to fund over 80 high tech startups.

"Most new high wage-rate job growth comes from technology-based start-ups.  Venture capital has become less available and more conservative over the past ten years as traditional exits such as IPOs are scarce at best. Senator Pryor's proposed America Opportunity Act acknowledges that early stage business creators are the critical job creators.  For early stage innovation-based business, angel investors provide the crucial risk capital available from no other conventional source.  Providing a federal equity investment incentive of 25% reduces the considerable downside risk associated with these critically important investments, such that the available investment pool should increase dramatically.  Similar programs have been available and very successful at the state level in a variety of states including Arkansas.  I applaud Senator Pryor's leadership in putting this bill forward, and I sincerely hope this measure receives broad bipartisan support.  Frankly, federal measures such as this are long, long overdue."

Jeff Amerine, PMP

"I think a tax credit for angel investing would spur entrepreneurial growth.  There are many more potential angels out there that have not yet started investing, but have the capital to do so.  The reason they're likely not investing yet is that they don't feel like they understand the process -- and if they do, they recognize that it's hard to produce a positive return as an angel investor.  A meaningful tax credit like the one proposed would likely sway many more angel investors to fund early-stage entrepreneurs."

Dharmesh Shah - Founder of HubSpot and co-author of Inbound Marketing

GSI & ClearSaleing - Does Anyone Care about Interactive Attribution?

  
  
  
  
  
  
GSI's acquisition of ClearSaleing provides a good time to revisit the field of Interactive Attribution.

Simple Background

The first time I formally heard of Interactive Attribution was a little over a year ago.  Now everyone in web analytics is familiar with the problem that Interactive Attribution is trying to solve; potential clients/customers have numerous touch points with a business before they commit their cash.  So which point should an analyst attribute the conversion?  

  • Google Analytics does it by "last touch", which is to say that the last way a unique visitor came to the website when they converted gets credit for the conversion.
  • Google Adwords creates confusion by attributing conversion to the "first touch."  If a visitor comes by Adwords and then 30 days later by direct navigation and makes a purchase, then the Adwords ad gets the conversion credit.

Right here - at first glance - separate bodies of Google data do not give an apples-to-apples comparison.  There are ways to reconcile this and even hack Google Analytics to adjust the data sets.  

You can imagine how complicated this becomes when you factor in email marketing, social media, display campaigns, retargeting and offline advertising.  

Who gets credit for the sale?  From our view, it seems like everyone should get a little bit of credit for each touch point.  But how much?  Have fun solving that.

Where Is Interactive Attribution Today?

Dax Hamman from Chango - the Search Retargeting Company - did a piece on his blog back in late November accurately stating that not much happened in the Attribution field in the previous twelve months.  A) He's right.  B) The lack of progress caught people off guard (at least the few people that were interested) because once Forrester publishes a report on something it is supposed to become the next big thing.  

In late 2009 the players Forrester named in Interactive Attribution were (you can download the report here):

  • Atlas
  • Coremetrics
  • Theorem
  • TruEffect
  • Visual IQ
  • [x+1]
  • ClearSaleing

ClearSaleing was placed in the prestigious upper right corner.  They are still the player today, not much has changed.  But the ground is starting to shift a little bit.

Josh Dreller pointed out on iMedia in December that Attribution "adoption is still growing, slowly but surely."  In addition, Dreller listed off challenges to Interactive Attribution adoption.  The one that strikes me as the most true was #3 - It is not a high enough priority.  We speak with Interactive Marketers all of the time.  And in passing, they agree Attribution Modeling is a problem.  But they don't seem to actually care.

My best guess as to why is a bit of a variant to Dreller's #3 point; it is not a high enough priority because there is too much to do that comes way before that.  Dreller mentions budget planning, managing employees, etc....  But I think it is more of a data problem.  

THERE IS TOO MUCH DATA ALREADY!!

Interactive Marketers have data coming out of their pores - Google Analytics, Coremetrics, Omniture, ad networks, email marketing and search campaigns.  How does a vendor expect to cut through all of that market noise and say, "Hey, look at our really cool data now!"  Marketers, in the aggregate, haven't come close to mastering their current data.  That's actually being generous.  Many marketers don't really have the first clue what their data actually says or what to do because of it.  

The current problem Interactive Marketing practitioners are trying to solve - whether they want to admit it or not - is still "more eyeballs."  Yep.  Super Bowl advertising stuff.  "How can we get more people to our website?"  It is the rare marketer we come across that really drills into converting the same number of "eyeballs" into more cash.  If you aren't focused on conversion, or better yet - Conversion Rate Optimization - how do you get to committing budget to getting the conversion the credit it deserves?

This brings us to the ClearSaleing acquisition.  

I don't take this event as a real positive for the Interactive Attribution "industry."  The concept of Attribution Modeling is ahead of its time and so is/was ClearSaleing.  GSI was likely their largest revenue channel for a year now.  This allows GSI to have a technology "add-on" for their 500 clients and gives ClearSaleing better access to that client pool.  I am sure that add-on will still cost GSI clients a premium.  But this has to hurt ClearSaleing's growth in the long run.  Not exactly the rocket ship the industry wanted to see from Interactive Attribution at this point.

Dax Hamman provided some follow up thoughts for this blog post that fit in with how I see Interactive Attribution following the Clear Saleing deal.  "ClearSaleing did well in terms of getting an offering into market and have benefited with the acquisition, but it will not be the last deal in this space. TagMan has recently announced additional funding too by iNovia, and further investment and consolidation will come.  It is likely that investment will come first to help such firms work out exactly what the offering needs to be, something that is still a grey area, and then in 2012 and 2013 the consolidation will follow."  

Hamman's point lines up well with events we have seen in the past in Interactive Advertising; namely, web analytics.  WebTrends was the first great web analytics company and they were acquired by NetIQ back in 2001.  First movers were into WebTrends, but it couldn't stand on its own at the time.  Several years later web analytics saw WebSideStory, Urchin, Visual Sciences, Omniture, Coremetrics and scores of other vendors taking the market by storm in 2006.  

I'd expect that we won't see Interactive Attribution gain real traction for years to come; there simply isn't demand for it.  But there is a lot of room to run.  The catalyst I would look for is when companies start to really fall into a pattern on Conversion Rate Optimization.  At that point simple conversion data won't be good enough, marketers will become passionate about more accurate attribution.  

Hellman & Friedman buys Internet Brands for $640 million

  
  
  
  
  
  

Hellman & Friedman, a private equity firm based out of San Fransisco, announced they acquired Internet Brands for $640 million.  Hellman & Friedman paid roughly 6.4x Internet Brands' 2009 revenue of $99.8 million.  

Interestingly, just last week Accumen Holdings, a start up from Arkansas presented at a Venture Forum in Little Rock.  Certainly, this acquisition in their space can't make them do anything but smile.

I do have one concern about these media companies.  Their processes and algorithms must be awesome.  But, they are playing online business like a pure market.  So what prevents other large (or small) media companies from entering the space.  Are the visitors/clients to/of CarsDirect.com really that loyal to the brand?  If they aren't they'll be easy to draw to the next thing.  Now maybe that is all accounted for.  But it seems like the downward pressure on margins and the lack of personal touch would make it difficult to sustain these businesses over the long haul; much like the old Adsense arbitrage websites.  

All of that aside, and my concerns might be absolutely unwarranted, I would continue to bet on any business that has developed the processes to make a strong entrance in the online business realm.  

UPDATE: Bob Brisco's comments on the deal can be found here.  

Using Google Search to Monitor the Heisman Candidates

  
  
  
  
  
  

Hiesman Trends 9 6 10 resized 600

This is a little experiment we are going to run this year to see how well search behavior can predict actual outcomes.  We are using Google's Insights for Search tool to watch how people search for the Heisman candidates.  

At this point you can see that Mark Ingram would be the front-runner, but Terrelle Pryor has quite a bit of momentum.

If we wanted to take it a bit deeper we could see which major media markets were searching, since that is where voters are more likely located.  We will dive into that later in the season as the race for the Heisman tightens up.  

Be sure to subscribe to our blog to get weekly updates on monitoring the Heisman race through Google.  

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