HostingCon Metrics Panel


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Hillary Stiff, David Snead and I organized a HostingCon panel on metrics that impact web hosting profitability. Here's my portion of the presentation.

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HostingCon Metrics Panel

  1. 1. 12 Uncommon Metrics for Web Hosting Profitability
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>My Background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1997 to 2003: ISPcheck co-founder, Web Hosting Magazine publisher, Web Hosting Expo producer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2003 to 2006: VP Communications at EV1Servers, developed/managed “private racks” products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2006 to present: Marketing consulting + lots of networking at 10+ web hosting related conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have sold to/written about/worked with 1,000’s of web hosting companies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What I’ve learned </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many companies excel at tracking “surface level” metrics (advertising spend per new account, average hold time on support calls, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Few notice missed opportunities on following pages </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. 1. Search Volume for Favorite SEO/Search Marketing Keyword Reseller Hosting Dedicated Servers Intel Conroe Virtualization Are you optimizing your website/ad campaign for out of favor keywords?
  4. 4. 2. Search Presence for Company Ideal combination is having your own voice with support of 3 rd party opinions * Calculated based on top 20 Google search results for company name 0 0 6 1 Negative 18 0 2 ThePlanet 16 4 0 0 8 6 GoDaddy 1 4 14 1&1 Unrelated Positive/Objective Own Sites
  5. 5. 3. Search Presence for Execs Don’t forget to do the same lookup for other execs – and all public facing employees * Calculated based on top 20 Google search results for CEO name 14 6 0 Doug Erwin 0 18 2 Jeff Stibel 3 12 5 Bob Parsons 1 6 13 Andreas Gauger Unrelated 3 rd Party Own Sites
  6. 6. 4. Effectiveness as Media Outlet Blue =; Green = 1&; Red = TheWHIR monetizes each website visitor multiple times. What are you getting out of website visitors who don’t sign up?
  7. 7. 5. Utilization Of On-Site Real Estate Source: GoDaddy control panel Customer control panel messages have higher conversion rates than email newsletters and off-site ads – yet so many companies keep pre- and post-login pages totally blank!
  8. 8. 6. Share of Operations <ul><li>SMBLive: “running a business = maintaining 5 conversations” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal productivity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intra-company collaboration/data sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transaction/inventory management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales/marketing/networking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What % of customers’ requirements does your service… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Directly support? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seamlessly integrate with? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to compete (or interoperate?) with… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Apps & Office Live? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standalone SaaS apps with open APIs </li></ul></ul>Broadest platforms win, while oversold hosting accounts reduce your profitability
  9. 9. 7. Add-on Deployment Ratio “ What improves retention? Not newsletters. Not follow up calls. The only thing that works is convincing them to use multiple services.” - Hostway VP Marketing John Lee Service usage drives stickiness, even when customers aren’t paying extra for add-ons
  10. 10. 8. Time-to-Usefulness “ If I can’t get something up and running between my 5-year-old’s bedtime and midnight, it’s probably a lost cause.” - Wash DC Small Business Owner Most customers are more concerned about time than cost; bandwidth/webspace are even less relevant
  11. 11. 9. “Lost Cause” Ratio <ul><li>What % of customers have… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Never logged into account after sign up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stopped logging into account after first week/day/month? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Showed no account activity in last 30/60/90 days? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Showed sudden decline in time on system or resource usage? </li></ul></ul><ul><li> EMEA Co-President says… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees should be compensated based on not just customer acquisition, but ongoing customer activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If software becomes shelfware, cancellations likely imminent </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. 10. Value Enablement Index <ul><li>How many… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer blogs do you subscribe to? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer stores have you made purchases from? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer apps have you tried out? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If the number is non-existent or negligible… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is there something wrong with the tools you provide? Too hard to use? Not flexible enough? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think about sites/services that do interest you; where/how are they hosted? </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. 11. Rate of Information Recycling <ul><li>What % of sales inquiry/support ticket responses are being captured for reuse? </li></ul><ul><li>How much has your knowledgebase expanded over the past year, in terms of content and customer readership? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Saves time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer self service = immediate satisfaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequently updated and publicly avialable information archive is great for SEO </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. 12. Clarity of Product Development Crystal Ball? <ul><li>Will the new product/feature you’re working on… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attract new customers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generate interest among existing customers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a noticeable impact on volume of sales inquiries? Support calls? Cancellations? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Adam from ServerBeach has details on how to estimate/quantify. See slides for session #404. </li></ul>