Terran Marketing Purchases IRA.com

Today I’m really excited to be able to announce that Terran Marketing has purchased ira.com in what I hope will become our flagship website. For those of you who read my blog from outside the United States, an IRA is an Individual Retirement Account. These accounts provide a tax shelter while your money is in them, allowing your money to grow tax free. About 70% of people in the United States have an IRA, or some form of retirement account. That’s a lot of people searching for information related to this subject, but I’ll get more into that later. In addition to the search volume the financial industry is one of the strongest on the Internet – in terms of Cost Per Click advertising and Cost Per Acquisition commission payments. Having an exact match domain like this should be a category killer and we’re looking forward to building this project out.

History with IRA.com

We actually closed on this site on September 1st, but haven’t been able to talk about it publicly because of some legal mumbo-jumbo. This deal was accompanied with a fairly lengthy legal agreement which requires us to stay tightlipped about the terms of our deal. However, now that everything is official we are allowed to come forward as the new owners of the site. This is also a good time to give a special shout-out to Derek Giordano for helping us broker the deal.

When we purchased the site on September 1st, it was more of a placeholder for the domain than anything. It wasn’t exactly a parked domain, but it wasn’t much more than a couple of steps above that. Most of the content on the site was fairly weak (short snippet news articles) and wasn’t SEOed at all. Then, there was the issue of the design, which looked like something out of the late 90’s. There is a picture of the original site below as it was when we took it over on September 1st.

Old IRA.com

Old IRA.com (9/1/11)

I know I’m biased, but if you take a look at what’s on the current ira.com I think you’ll notice a marked improvement. It wasn’t an easy project:

  • Over 100 articles had to be written to prepare for the move.
  • A new design had to be created.
  • The new design had to be turned into a WordPress Theme
  • We had to put in 100’s of 301 redirects

Launching this new site taught us a lot about our traffic – thanks to Click Tale. With this in mind we set out to redesign the site again. This time we found a new designer who does absolutely amazing work. I’ve been looking for a designer like this for years – literally. I’m crazy about design elements, but could never quite find the right designer to take my thoughts to the screen. This designer has already done 2 other sites for us that are in the production pipeline. One is a better design for freewp.com and the other is another new exciting project. I’m convinced that with his designs we will be able to take Terran Marketing projects to new heights. To say the least, I’m very excited. You can see a preview of the new version of IRA.com that is coming out next week below:

New IRA.com

New IRA.com

By The Numbers

The numbers in this space are absolutely fantastic, which is one of the main reason this site appealed to us. “IRA” gets searched 74,000 times (exact searches) in the USA with a CPC of $22.32. Then, there are 1,800,000 searches if you check the “phrase” box. This includes all kinds of juicy searches such as roth IRA, traditional IRA, rolloever IRA, IRA rules, etc. The site is already getting close to 1,000 unique visitors per day and is currently ranking 4th for “IRA”. That adds up to about a 100% gain in traffic since we took the site over – that was just two months ago. I’m really excited to see what we can do with this site over then next two months as we head into IRA season, which is Jan – Apr.

What We Paid

I talked about this a little bit above, but our agreement prohibits us from talking about the exact deal points of our arrangement. The best I can say is take a look at estibot.com. This is one instance where I think their valuation is at least in the right ballpark. It’s unquestionably a 7 figure domain name.

Future Plans

After we launch the new version of IRA.com next week, which I’m calling version 2.0, we will get to work on version 2.5. This version is going to have a robust retirement calculator / planner that will blow away anything else on the Internet. It will take the place of the quick tools area that you see on the version 2.0 mockup you see above. This planner will ask questions such as how old are you?, what age do you want to retire?, how much money do you make?, do you own a house?, how much do you have saved right now?, etc, etc. After visitors answer all these questions it will put together a custom report that they can use to plan their financial future. It will also make several suggestions that leave the door open for affiliate marketing / lead-gen opportunities such as life insurance, mortgage refinance, brokerage accounts, etc. This is something I’m really excited about and think will be the cornerstone of the site as we move forward.

In addition to the retirement planner, we have some neat features for version 2.0 of the site. The two biggest features are a Financial Expert Directory; over 200 experts have already pre-subscribed. It will be a great resource for visitors on our site who are looking for additional help. In addition to that we have an “ask a question” section where visitors can ask any question they want – only experts in our directory will be able to respond. Again, there is nothing out there that comes close to this and we are really looking forward to launching these new features.

20 Comments

  1. Congratulations on the purchase. IRA.com is an absolutely spectacular domain. It is unquestionably a 7 figure domain and I actually think that the Estibot valuation is on the low side. I would think that you could build that site into a major business worth far more than the Estibot valuation. Good luck.

    Reply
    • Thanks very much Jeff. I tend to agree with – that’s why we pulled the trigger. If we do a good job over the next 6-18 months I think we can double or triple the valuation over what we paid for it.

      Reply
  2. Site design looks nice. Any updates on the graphicdesign dot com?

    Reply
    • Thanks very much. Graphicdesign.com is a bit of a sore subject. It falls under the programmer issues I talked about in a post earlier this week. The good news is I think it’s actually going to launch in the next few days. I really think we’re on the doorstep.

      Reply
  3. Congrats again, that is truly an amazing market especially right now. I see why you like the new designer too, really current and functional. So hard to find a great designer.

    Reply
    • Yeah, I have a total man crush on him Randy. He does great work!

      Reply
    • Eeeeek. You’re right. Thanks for pointing that out. We’ll get that fixed right away!

      Reply
  4. Michael, Congrats on the domain acquisition and all of your accomplishments. I read your about me page and can definitely relate on certain aspects. Keep up the good work! You’re crushin’ it!

    Reply
  5. Hey Michael are you interested in sharing the designers email with me? Also looking for a solid designer and it looks like he did a good job with your site.

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Kevin,

      I like to help people out and if the designer had enough time to get all our projects done I would be happy to share it. Unfortunately he doesn’t even have enough time to complete our stuff. He has a 3 month backlog of projects for us right now (literally).

      Mike

      Reply
  6. Awesome Mike! I started following your blog when you were doing your website hosting series (which inspired me to dip my foot into the affiliate business) and you just keep doing bigger and better things. Can’t wait for the next blog post.

    Reply
  7. No problem… the world needs more solid designers!

    Reply
  8. Hi Mike,

    Stopped by after Jim told me about graphicdesign.com. That had me looking through a few of your posts. Good luck with your flagship (don’t pimp it too heavily here in Ireland, though).

    All the best.

    Reply
    • Thanks David. Don’t worry, we don’t like the Irish IRA too much ;) We look forward to working with you on Graphic Design.

      Reply
  9. IRA, in my country stands for Irish Republican Army. I never heard of a Individual Retirement Account. But then again that shows the difference in dempgraphics. Ireland has a population of 4 million, whereas the US has about 400 million if I’m correct. That withstanding, Individual Retirement Account comes up number 5 on google.ie.

    I wish you much success with your venture and please continue your blog posts as they are inspiring Mike.

    Reply
  10. The new IRA site is looking great, you clearly have great resources and ability when it comes to choosing, building and promoting great sites.

    My question is about your writers on the IRA site, I see from their profiles they are pretty busy in other areas of life and are mostly well respected in one way or another, so I wanted to know how you managed to get these writers involved? Are you paying them on a per article basis, or some other agreement? And if I may be so bold, what is the ball park figure of hiring these calibre of writers?

    I have tried a few writers but I always get the same old crappy filler content type artices instead of really interesting, well thought-out and well written content, so I am very interested how you come to get these great writers writing for you?

    Thanks!

    Phil

    Reply
    • Phil,

      Sorry for taking so long to reply. I wasn’t on the blog much in Jan.

      Thanks for the kind words about IRA.com. I don’t want to discuss all these details publicly, but if you send me an email I’d be happy to discuss it with you…

      Mike

      Reply

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