FindWhat.com Launches ROI Tool

Paid listings provider FindWhat.com announced availability of a new tool that allows its advertisers to calculate the return on investment (ROI) of their keyword advertising programs.

AdAnalyzer inserts a tag into the destination pages of an advertiser’s site. The tags collect data from users arriving on the site via referrals from the FindWhat.com network. Marketers can view data on page views, conversions and ROI via AdAnalyzer. Results can be viewed by keyword or by campaign. AdAnalyzer will be offered as a free additional service to FindWhat.com advertisers.

Like Overture and Google, Fort Myers, Fla.-based FindWhat.com operates a pay-per-click advertising network with about 23,000 advertisers. Unlike the two market leaders, which have fought over key distribution deals with the major portals, FindWhat.com’s network consists of second-and third-tier sites like Dogpile, Webcrawler and Excite. In the last quarter, FindWhat.com’s network generated 75.3 million click-throughs.

“Nobody in the industry has anything that tells what happens beyond the click,” said Craig Pisaris-Henderson, FindWhat.com chairman and chief executive. “We’re giving them a tool that’s showing them exactly what the value of our product is.”

The release of AdAnalyzer highlights the growing importance of analytics as the paid-search industry matures. The industry is poised to generate as much as $1.5 billion in sales this year, according to estimates by investment bank First Albany, as advertisers flock to the promise of the pay-per-click model generating solid returns for their marketing dollars.

At the same time, many advertisers now have substantial keyword buys with top-tier paid-listings providers like Overture and Google, as well as with second-tier providers like FindWhat.com. In a cutthroat market, paid search providers are racing to provide deeper analytics to customers.

In January, Overture plunked down $9.5 million to buy Keylime Software, a smallish analytics company. Overture’s Chief Executive, Ted Meisel, highlighted analytics services as a growth area for the company in the year ahead.

While dwarfed by Overture and Google, FindWhat.com has carved out a niche offering lower prices and a chance for marketers’ listings to appear in a prominent page position for a fraction of the cost charged by the industry leaders. In the fourth quarter of 2002, FindWhat.com generated $13.4 million in revenue and a $2.7 million profit. The company forecasts a 40 percent revenue increase in 2003.

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