Facebook provides marketers with web browsing history for better targeting

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Facebook announced earlier today that it would allow advertisers to utilize the information that was once only privy to Facebook, to other advertisers working to reach specific audiences.

The multi-billion dollar company has access to this information by placing code on Facebook user’s desktops and laptops that collect the websites the user visits. On Facebook mobile, the app collects the same sort of information by determining which apps have been downloaded on the user’s phone.

Facebook once kept this information private for security reasons, but in spite of resistance from some Facebook users, the company proceeded with the new feature regardless.

This change will allow consumers to better control the way they are marketed to, and allows them to give feedback in the moment; the ads will now offer a right hand click down menu that will allow Facebook users to respond to the ad, suggesting if the ad was useful or not.

Although this is a new leap in social media advertising, Facebook did not just re-invent the wheel, and Facebook users should not worry. The social media network already allowed marketers to target users based off of their networks, geographic locations, interests, ages and genders. Although these filters allowed advertisers to better reach certain demographics, it was only allowed to target information based off of what was “liked” on Facebook, which can be rather limited, depending on the campaign.

Now, marketers are able to directly appeal to specific audiences based off of what they know the users will like to see, and consumers will have less time wasted viewing adds they are not interested in.

Velocity Agency will be using this new feature in their social media marketing, in order to better serve our clients.

Google Grants some Users the Right to be Forgotten | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

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For their next trick, Google will now make you disappear…

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 11.55.40 AM

About a week ago, Google out of Europe created a request form regarding outdated, inaccurate or inappropriate search results to be removed by the “Right to be Forgotten.” More than 50 million people live in the area affected by Google’s potential purge, and so far Google has received over 41,000 requests to have content removed (and counting).Within the first 24 hours the site posted the form’s publication, over 12,000 requests were sent to Google seeking to remove personal content. Google supervisors estimated 7 requests per-minute since the form’s availability on the site. With numbers such as these, it seems everyone is for the request application, but some specialists believe this isn’t Google’s duty.

Secretary general of the Internet Service Provider’s Association, Nicholas Lansman, stated in an interview, “ISPA has consistently argued that companies are ill-placed to make such decisions which should be made by a competent authority such as the Information Commissioners Office and it’s European counterparts.” Meaning this removal should be laser-focused on the individual requests by government authority, not a company like Google.

This makes sense, due to the fact many of these requests (sent in primarily from Germany and the U.K) tend to be more personal and require an in-depth examination to approve request. Noting that there is a fine line between individual privacy and serving the public interest. For example, a man in Germany sent in a removal request to Google only a few hours after the form was available just so happened to also pop up on dozens of search engines after attempting to murder his entire family- no word if he ever managed to fulfill his proposal, but information like this may be best left for public viewing.

The idea behind the “Right to be Forgotten” began with the European Court of Justice reaching out to improve the reputations of the Europeans Union by petitioning Google and other search engines to remove potentially damaging links from search results. Other search sites like Yahoo have also began making small strides trying to find a balance between public domain and user privacy. But how do you know which is which? The subject is tricky and there is a large gray area that needs to be considered before completely stripping all requested names from the web.

Thankfully, Google is taking some identity precautions before granting all internet-escapees a right of passage. Along with a series of questions, a copy of your drivers licenses or other photo identification, you must select the country you would like the information deleted from followed by this statement, from Google’s ‘Right to be Forgotten’ form:

“In implementing this decision, we will assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public’s right to know and distribute information. When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information—for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.”

However, if you are an American looking for a way to get rid of your online presence, you’ll be waiting quite some time. The Google headquarters of the United States show no signs of making a take-down option such as our neighbors across the pond, and even state on their site that anything you put on the web, belongs to the public.

Beyond the in-depth questionnaire and proof of identification, Google also wants to reiterate the fact that just because your information is removed from the search engine doesn’t necessarily mean it is erased from the internet. Meaning, in a nutshell, you can run but you can’t hide!

MySpace Starts #TBT Campaign: Will It Work? | Velocity Agency

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Myspace is giving long-time social media users the ultimate “throwback Thursday” experience.

The aged network has been trying to reach a new audience and take back their old one for almost 10 years, and are using your old, embarrassing MySpace photographs to do it.

Myspace new marketing trick

“Myspace has been reaching out to connect past users to re-engage them through personalized experience,” a spokesperson for MySpace stated in an interview with Mashable.

The site, which hit peak popularity in the early 2000’s are now e-mailing former MySpacer’s decade old photos of themselves labeled “the good, the rad, and what were you thinking?” with a link connecting to their old profiles.

Although a humorous and enjoyable marketing approach, will the personal touch land MySpace back in the elite networks?

Right now, no one can be sure. Within the past several years, the dated social site has been redesigned, updated, lost focused, regained focused and yet none of the reconstruction of MySpace has caused any stir in their low web traffic. A disappointing ranking of 982 total web traffic as of May 2014, to be exact, that has plateaued for roughly a year.

With all of the more modern sharing networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr, there is intense pressure to keep up with the constant changes and MySpace has fallen behind to this concept. It isn’t just that the site itself is lacking in new features, but that the branding of the network is having trouble identifying its purpose. Formerly music-oriented, turned social engagement, flipped back to music-oriented, MySpace’s identity crisis could be playing a major role in the company’s failure to flourish. A flaw they’ve had since the company began in 2003.

The history of MySpace is not much of a story as it is a short chapter. Two music-loving computer nerds by the name of Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson joined forces to create one of the first big social networks. At first, MySpace was crushing it in the numbers. In 2006 it passed Google as most visited website in the U.S. which is mind-blowing if you consider Googles epic popularity today. Everyone who was Anyone had a Myspace page and tweens and teens relished in the creative freedom of choosing ones own music, fonts and backgrounds on their personalized page.

All was right in the world of Myspace until 2006 when Facebook showed up to the social network scene with the ultimate game-changer, and Myspace has been in a rapid decline ever since.

However, they haven’t given up just yet. Justin Timberlake has apparently taken up quite a bit of stock in the company (a rumored $35 million worth) and has put publicity plans into motion recently with a string of A-list celebrity attended parties and expensive advertisements.

Will all of these tactics work? Or is MySpace going to continue to be that expensive work-in-progress house that never quite gets finished? In the end it will all boil down to brand loyalty, from not only the investors but from previous users of MySpace. Maybe this time around we can keep our Ed Hardy trucker hats out of future pictures.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Carebacks teams up with Velocity Agency for national press coverage| Velocity Agency | New Orleans

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Velocity Agency teamed up with Susco Solutions to get their new app, Carebacks, national press coverage before this past Memorial Day weekend.

Within 24 hours of our first press release, the Huffington Post published this story on their website. Other local news stories followed thereafter.

Susco Solutions has been hard at work developing the app, which is already available on mobile browsers and the android market. Carebacks is coming soon to iOS.

The app allows users to securely connect their credit card numbers to their profiles, and make donations to those they meet and want to help. The online transaction is then converted into a 4 digit pin number which the recipient can take to local retailers and use for the purchase of food, beverages, and every day necessities excluding cigarettes and alcohol.

This ensures the funds will not be put to misuse, and allows app users to donate in confidence. The donation can also be tracked by the user.

Neel Sus, founder of Susco Solutions is excited and hopeful the app will revolutionize the way we help the homeless and others in need.

“I can’t put into words how excited we are to reach this milestone,” said Neel Sus, Founder of Susco Solutions. “With the launch of CareBacks we now have a scalable platform which will help alleviate suffering and promote generosity.”

Carebacks can currently be redeemed at The Salvation Army, select Breaux Mart stores, select Winn-Dixie stores, Believers Life Community Food Center, select Magnolia Discount stores, select Brown Derby stores, and select Quicky’s Discount stores.

Donations made to The Salvation Army can be used to pay for shelter during the night.

“I strongly feel that this has the potential to change the way person-to-person giving works on a fundamental level,” said Sus, “But this is just the first step. We’re going to learn very quickly from the New Orleans launch, and use the knowledge as we open other markets.”

As of now, Carebacks is applicable predominantly in the Gulf Coast region, but with a growing list of participating retailers, Sus, and other members of the Carebacks team are hopeful the app will be used across the country.

Velocity Agency is proud to stand behind such a revolutionary app, and looks forward to seeing its success, as we firmly believe there must be Importance in Direction.


Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Marketing Changes with Society | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

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It may not be the Royal Wedding, but it could be a close second. As ABC’s hit comedy-series “Modern Family” gears up for it’s second leg of a part-2 season finale May 21st the marriage ceremony between characters Cam (played by Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) allows the union of the partners to become official.

Co-creator of the series, Christopher Lloyd, told USA TODAY in an article about the show’s nuptial, “Something like this 10 years ago would have made a splash. It will jar some people but hopefully the much more prevalent reaction will be ‘oh that reminds me of my wedding day.’”

While the on-screen “Modern Wedding” finale has seen overwhelming positive reviews and hype on social media by fans, gay marriages and partnerships on television have long been awaiting their acceptance on TV without a controversial backlash or stereotype.

Lagging behind their cinema and silver-screen counterparts, television advertisers are finally feeling secure enough in their brands to feature gay and lesbian families in commercials. Perhaps these advertisers are realizing they have more to gain by running the advertisements than lose.

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ad, which aired March of last year, shows a female reading her Kindle by a swimming pool side-by-side with a male attempting to read a competitors tablet in the sun. After dialogue between the two about the tablets the woman casually mentions her husband getting a drink for her, and the man replies “so is mine” while the duo turns and waves to two men standing at a tiki bar.

Inevitably, the commercial was topic of conversation and controversy for months after the airing date; some groups petitioning for Amazon to reshoot the ad, demanding that the advertisement promoted homosexuality and was too graphic for their children to see, even though the gay husband’s weren’t in the same scene together. In the end Amazon chose to keep the commercial as-is and the mainstream brand still occasionally runs the ad despite the negativity towards it.

Almost a year later, an even more disputed commercial for Honey Maid Graham Cracker featuring a gay couple bottle-feeding a baby together threw conservatives into a social media frenzy, horribly bashing the brand for it’s portrayal of “This is Wholesome” tagline promoted by Honey Maid. Calling the ad showing loving families sharing Honey Maid products together “disgusting” and “horrible.”

Amazingly, Honey Maid handled the hateful backlash beautifully as you can see in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBC-pRFt9OM

Since then, strides within other well-known brands have been reached, as JC Penny’s recent catalog used lesbian parents to promote a Mother’s Day Sale, which they will be doing again for Father’s Day.

In an article to Huffington Post, vice-president of GLAAD (Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Rich Ferraro stated “they’re no longer just targeting gay and lesbian people. They’re targeting people like my mom who wants to know that a company embraces and accepts their gay and lesbian family members, friends and neighbors.”

As advertising becomes more tailored to the consumers with each passing second, it would be more reward than risk to stick with an open-minded approach when it comes to selling a brand. Our world is getting smaller, and thinking larger, thanks to the platforms that technology has given us. The ad’s mentioned above are great examples of how pushing past cliches can lead to a more loyal consumer, the real modern families in our world.

-Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Pin it to win it, Pinterest’s Value on the Rise | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

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Pinterest has made it to the big league of social networks! Last Thursday the four-year old company announced it’s raised investment of $200 million that now puts the scrapbook-like site valued at an unbelievable $5 billion.

Needless to say, procrastinating college females are not surprised.
Regardless of the small revenue Pinterest generates, the site seems to be climbing in the eyes of venture capitalists. Given the risen value of 32 percent of the company from just seven months ago- we have to agree.

One of the reasons Pinterest attracts so many users is the concept of “doing” behind the network. Unlike most social media sites, Pinterest encourages people to “pin” the craft, workout, recipe, or outfit and then use what you find in your real life. By sharing the content from other boards you follow, you are allowing these great ideas to reach other people and so on, and so on…the general theme being to find something fantastic and pass it along to friends.

A Forbes article featuring a statement from the social data platform tool Sharethis mentioned Pinterest had more share activity than Facebook and Twitter users in 2013. The key to this platform’s success is the ability it has to reach beyond sheer follower numbers to focus on purchase intent and brand engagement.

Online retailer Wayfair found that visitors from Pinterest were 20 percent more valuable overtime than average Wayfair visitors in terms of revenue. As it turns out, all of the pinning has a purpose.

Not only is Pinterest taking over our screens. Now thanks to Nordstrom we can find our top-pinned items in store. In 13 participating Nordstrom retailers, shoppers can find the Pinterest logo located on the most sought-after merchandise. This is a profitable move, especially considering Nordstrom’s Pinterest has over 4 million followers.

Following the trend of selling ad’s, the social site has began transacting with brands like Kraft, General Mills, Lululemon and Gap. All of which have paid up to $1-2 million for 3-6 month commitments to run these promoted advertisements.

However, huge brands don’t get to have all of the fun. The backbone of the network is based on your average consumers like you and me. Growing popularity in the land of stay-at-home mothers, many Pinterest boards are filled with detailed crafts and intricate DIY projects that the site is creating a bit of a “supermom” stereotype. The social network allows both men and women alike to connect on a level that is unlike anything Twitter or Facebook has to offer.

Luckily, budding value of Pinterest is likely to increase as time passes. With the users continuing to pin and the advertisements beginning to roll in, the social network may soon one day become the ultimate tool for marketing. In the meantime, perhaps you can find the 87th project using mason jars and pin it to your board.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Getting Started with Local SEO | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

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Whether you are a new SEO employee in your company or a local business owner trying to get on search engines to stand a chance against your competitors, this brief introduction to local SEO can be beneficial to anyone committed to entering the local market.

To begin, let’s address some quick characteristics on how search engines rely on local SEO. Basically, search engines rely on local content that release a signal to notify search engines of that location being specified and in turn, search engines read this and index, or apply, the information accordingly using a unique algorithm. There are a few key areas of local SEO that you need to focus on to take full advantage of local SEO: on-page, local profiles, and inbound links/citations.

On-Page Local SEO

Here are some quick, helpful, but essential on-page local SEO tips you can take advantage of to optimize your website for local SEO.

  1. Set up NAP – for every page on your website, make sure to include your name, address, and phone number as crawlable HTML text. Avoid the common mistake of putting this information within an image. In an image, it would not be crawlable to Google and would basically not be there at all.
  2. Create location pages – every website should include a sort of contact page that includes information on the location of your business. You can embed a Google Map of your office to the page with NAP information also on the page.

Local Profiles

A presence of quality local profile pages can be seen as one of the most important parts of a well optimized Local SEO campaign. Start with some of the big names:

For each of these profiles, make sure you completely optimize them with basic information on your business (name, location, hours of operation, business description, website URL, imagery). Today, Google makes creating your local profile even easier by integrating your Google Places with Google+ page. Make sure you also choose a proper business category for your Google+ page as well.

Inbound Links and Citations

Inbound links are basically what the word says – they are links from another domain going back to your site (inbound!). Citations are a little different from inbound links – they represent mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other domains, but don’t necessarily have to link back to your website.  Here are some helpful tips to consider for inbound links and citations when doing your local SEO campaign:

  1. Ensure consistency of your business information across the web – could not stress this point enough. Very important for the future prominence of your business on the online word. Google values consistency of your business information highly and inaccuracies can lead to problems in how your local profiles show on search results.
  2. Build quality directory citations – you can utilize the below map aggregators to populate map data for Apple, Yelp, Bing, and Google+. (Make sure the citations are consistent with your business info!!)

That should be a solid grasp of an introduction of local SEO to jumpstart your business. Make sure to always maintain consistency of your NAP and encourage customers to leave reviews on your local profiles. Best of luck on your long term SEO success.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

“When I grow up, I want to be just like Facebook.” -Twitter

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It’s that time again — the social media gods got restless and decided to change the way we use Twitter; this time, making it look more like Facebook than ever.

At first I didn’t like the new Twitter, but in the name of progress (and this blog), I tried it out. A few hours into the change, it kind of grew on me. Here’s what’s new:
Twitter’s new layout allows users to choose a cover photo which is practically identical to the Facebook profile page. Check out Michelle Obama’s page to see an example @FLOTUS
Although the cover photo feature makes the new Twitter look a lot like Facebook, there are actually a few new features that are unique to Twitter alone.
The new profile page showcases “best tweets” for all your followers to see. Your best tweets (the ones with the most engagement & interaction) are pulled and made bigger, bolder, and more noticeable.
Also on display is a user’s “pinned tweet,” which allows users to select a specific tweet to pin to the top of the profile page to best represent the user. This seems to be an extension of the Twitter bio, which only allows 140 characters.
The last new feature is “filtered tweets.” This lets users view a variety of different tweets based on photo content, video content, replies, or just plain tweets. This will allow users to revisit a specific tweet easily, based on its content.
Although the cover photo does make Twitter look strikingly similar to Facebook, some of Twitter’s features will always differentiate the two; their 140 character limit, handles, and format will always remain classic characteristics that make Twitter the unique social media giant it is.
Visit Twitter today, scroll to the top, and “Try it out.” Tell us what you think.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Be Careful What You Hashtag For…| VELOCITY AGENCY | NEW ORLEANS, LA

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Be Careful What You Hashtag For

Someone call Olivia Pope. NYPD’s got a scandal on its hands.

There is no question about it. Marketing has expanded a great deal to include social media. Most companies already know this and have taken to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets to increase their Internet presence, search engine optimization (SEO), and improve their Google score.

When Vice President Joe Biden’s Instagram account became known, it picked up a whopping 122,000 followers—not only because the account posted a selfie of Biden with President Barack Obama but also because the account caught the attention of Buzzfeed, a news and entertainment site popular with the 18-25 year-old crowd.

Social media management over at NYPD was looking to get the same kind of attention. But, as the white-hat-wearing Pope would say, one can’t just send out a message—one needs to control the narrative. On April 22nd, around noon, a tweet was sent out from the NYPD News Twitter account, prompting users to tweet a picture they might have of them with the NYPD, using the hashtag, #myNYPD.

Within a few hours, the hashtag was trending on Twitter and Facebook. Users were posting photos of police brutality, violence, and abuse under the hashtag #myNYPD. At its peak, the hashtag was being used about 16,000 times an hour according to hashtag.org.

The intention of the hashtag campaign was to find and feature a few of the best photos on the NYPD Facebook page. The hashtag took—though probably not in the positive way that it was intended—and now they have quite a selection to choose from.

Looking at the hashtag campaign from a marketing standpoint, the change in the message may not be that bad. The public often dislikes the police regardless because they associate them with the inevitable: tickets, arrests, traffic, sirens, antagonizing peaceful protestors, etc.

But, it’s not like the police is a client that needs to get re-hired for a job. The NYPD isn’t a restaurant or club that will go out of business because of bad press. The NYPD will just go on being disliked as they usually are, except now, they’ll have an incredible SEO score!

According to Tory Starr from PRI.org, the tweets alone launched a global discussion on police brutality—just another progressive step the people of the Internet have taken together.

So, what have we learned from this hashtag blowup? Record the events around you—they can give you a powerful voice and instill change. Also, mass communication means that your audience may turn your message into something completely different.

The #myNYPD publicity can go either in a positive or negative direction—we’ll have to wait and see what they do about the pictures of police brutality flooding the Internet. In the meantime, maybe Ms. Pope will swoop in and save the day.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Universal Analytics reaches prime time with tracking changes | VELOCITY AGENCY | NEW ORLEANS, LA

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Roll out the red-carpet, Google’s Universal Analytics has left beta and has already begun changing the way visits to our devices are tracked. Since the introduction of Universal Analytics in 2012, Google has been hard at work looking at additional means for marketers to track user engagement with their websites to increase conversions. Last week Google, doing what they do best, unveiled a consolidated view for tracking user engagement on separate devices in one easy to see report.

How it works?

In the digital age, it’s safe to assume that a large part of your target market utilizes multiple channels for accessing your content – websites, mobile apps, web apps, and other digital devices. All of these channels can be a lot to go through to determine how to best market to your customers. You talked, Google listened. Tada! Introducing the ability to view web and app data in a single report! (Ooo and Ahh).

How it works you ask? It’s quite simple. You can now see all data reported from one Google Analytics property to a single view – regardless of how you collected that data. You can still view data separately if needed by utilizing various filters, dimensions, and segmentations. If you don’t send all of your traffic data to the same property, this change will not affect your data.

What to expect?

The biggest change recently announced by Google Analytics is the change of usage metrics “Visitors” and “Unique Visitors” to “Sessions” and “Users.” Although the motivation for this change is unclear, it is expected that this change is a result of Google’s desire to better deliver analytics traffic for marketers. Sessions are customizable depending on your business and end after 30 minutes so as not to duplicate visits to your site from the same visitor. For websites with more content, it is recommended to have longer sessions, while less content should have shorter sessions.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.