A Colorado-based startup led by the former CEO of DailyCandy has emerged from stealth mode. LinkSmart uses text links to help sites increase traffic and drive visitor engagement.
New Company, New Platform, New Twist on an Old Idea
Although LinkSmart is announcing its launch today, the company was actually founded in 2009. LinkSmart has already raised US$ 4.7 million in venture capital. The company has been working in stealth mode for the last three years to develop its Total Link Management platform and work with publishers. The platform helps site owners drive traffic to different areas of their site without manually maintaining links.
LinkSmart users pay a monthly fee and get access to an analytics dashboard that helps them determine the keywords and phrases in their content that drive the most traffic. It also allows users to update links based on where they want to send visitors. The company says that LinkSmart performed 15 to 20 times better than common traffic optimization techniques in early pilots.
Pete Sheinbaum, the founder of LinkSmart, knows a bit about online publishing after 15 years in the industry. He spent almost a decade at fashion and shopping newsletter DailyCandy before it was purchased by Comcast. Sheinbaum says he decided to focus on links because publishers are spending more and more money to drive traffic to their sites and purchase complex tools.
Sheinbaum wanted to address those needs in a more affordable way and provide easy to use tools for publishers. Most of the existing tools that automatically embed links focus on advertising and direct users away from the site -- not to more content.
LinkSmart provides analytics to show site owners how links are performing, tools to manage links and an automatic linking service that uses data about the site to determine the best link to text balance and the types of links that perform best. The platform is available now, but no pricing details were available.
LinkSmart is a useful idea, but it is a stand alone product, which could limit its success. Site owners may not gravitate toward the new offering and instead look for alternatives that plug into their content management systems. LinkSmart may want to consider partnering with content management vendors and develop plug-ins so that users don't have to work in multiple tools. We will keep watching the startup to see if their vision finds its way to market success.