How Search Data Helps M&A Companies Deepen Company Evaluations

Written By: Jesse Farley
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An analyst looking at a computer screen and crunching search data or any data with graphs before a big acquisition.

Data plays a crucial role in the world of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Gone are the days when you had to wait until the post-deal transition to uncover the real story behind numbers. Today, you can rely on M&A data analytics for improved company acquisitions, revealing critical insights before it’s too late.

The Power of Data Analytics for M&A Companies

Mergers and acquisitions data is valuable for companies looking to expand, diversify, or enter new markets. It helps you, as an acquirer, to identify opportunities, evaluate targets, and execute new leads. Leverage search and sales data for detailed market insights and acquire your next company.

Identifying Opportunities

M&A data can help you find potential partners, competitors, or customers that are active in the market. By analyzing the market trends, patterns, and drivers of M&A activity, you can discover new niches for consolidation or expansion. For example, if you’re a software company, you can use M&A data to identify emerging technologies, applications, or platforms attracting buyers’ or investors’ interest. This helps you develop new strategies or acquisition plans.

Acquiring new Targets

With M&A data, you can assess the value, state, and feasibility of potential targets. Compare the financial, operational, and strategic performance of target companies with industry standards, peers, or previous deals and determine the benefits and risks of pursuing the deal. For instance, a consumer company can utilize M&A data to evaluate the target enterprise’s market share, growth potential, and profitability. It also gets valuable information about the cultural, regulatory, and integration challenges of acquiring another company.

Executing and closing Deals

Another crucial use of M&A data is when executing deals. You can track deal processes, timelines, and outcomes of similar transactions to plan financial strategies and address potential issues. For example, a health company can use M&A data to estimate the deal price, structure, and terms of the company. Moreover, it can get more information on the legal, regulatory, and operational implications of finalizing the deal.

 

Businessmen shaking hands over a table of search data or any data with graphs during a merger or acquisition

Types of M&A Data for Improved Targeting

When developing a corporate acquirement strategy, data acts as a crucial compass that guides you through the entire complex process. You’ll come across various data types that offer unique insights and uncover latent business opportunities. Below are some types of data you’ll be dealing with:

Financial Data

Financial data includes income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and shareholder equity reports. It is essential for assessing the target’s economic health and performing valuations. For example, analyzing the EBITDA (Earning Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) gives you the acquirer a clearer picture of the capital structure of the target company.

Market Trends Data

Market insights and sales data provide insights needed to make strategic decisions about acquiring a particular company. Here, you analyze the company’s features, product lines, and marketing campaigns to guide you toward its profitable markets. A company with more profitable markets in your niche is better than one with less profitable markets and growth. Analyze historical consumer interests to forecast future demand and identify emerging trends.

Legal Data

Legal data is crucial when merging companies, and it encompasses all regulatory filings, litigation histories, and compliance reports. You are informed about the company’s legal matters and are aware of any potential legal and regulatory issues post-acquisition. For instance, a pharmaceutical company acquiring a biotech firm must thoroughly understand its patent portfolio and FDA compliance status.

Search Behavior

Search data offers critical insights into consumer behavior and market trends. Here’s a deeper dive into how each metric you mentioned contributes to a better understanding of search behavior and business performance:

  1. Organic Traffic: This measures the number of visitors coming to a website from search engine results pages (SERPs) without paid promotion. High organic traffic indicates that the website has content that ranks well in search engines for relevant keywords, suggesting strong SEO practices and relevance to users’ needs.
  2. Conversions: In the context of SEO, conversions refer to any desired action taken by a visitor, such as signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or filling out a contact form. Tracking conversions from organic traffic helps determine the effectiveness of the website in encouraging users to take specific actions. It also helps in understanding what content or keywords drive the most valuable user behavior.
  3. Forecast Sales and Revenue: By analyzing the keywords and trends that bring traffic to a site, businesses can predict future sales and revenue based on search volumes and conversion rates. For instance, if certain products or services gain traction in search queries, it could indicate rising consumer interest, which might translate to higher sales in the upcoming periods.
  4. Consumer Interests: SEO data reveals which topics or products consumers are searching for the most. This insight allows companies to tailor their offerings and marketing strategies to meet the current demands, improve content relevance, and enhance user engagement.
  5. Branded vs Non-Branded:  Looking at the mix of branded vs non-branded also can show you what the incremental gain is by growing one or both of these search journeys.

By combining these metrics, businesses can form a comprehensive view of their market position, understand what attracts and engages their audience, and refine their marketing efforts to better meet consumer needs. This not only helps in optimizing the website for search engines but also aligns product development and marketing strategies with consumer trends.

Cultural Data

This type of data is often overlooked in the realm of M&A. By analyzing cultural and human resource metrics like employees’ turnover rates, and engagement scores can help gauge the compatibility of the merging organizations. Successful integration of two companies with different cultures, such as a traditional food industry acquiring a fine-tech startup, hinges on the careful analysis of this data.

 

An analyst looking at website traffic and user data between two computer screens

Competitive SERP Landscape

To get meaningful insight from this data, start by identifying keywords related to the company or specific products and services. Use tools to track keyword rankings for the company and its competitors and look for gaps or opportunities where your company can create better content.

Now that you understand the types of M&A data let’s ‘answer the following questions:

How can SEO data be used to forecast the financial health of a target company?

SEO forecast involves analyzing the online visibility, traffic trends, and user behavior to get valuable insights into the company’s marketing field. While it’s not a financial metric, it helps piece together the puzzle. Combined with financial statements, qualitative analysis, or other important metrics, you can get a better understanding of the company. With a strong SEO performance, you’re guaranteed better financial health.

What types of search data are typically analyzed during M&A evaluations?

There are various types of search data analyzed to gain insights into the target’s performance and potential. Some of the areas of focus include:

Diligence: Here, you research and understand the true sources of the company’s growth and evaluate its success at retaining its customer base. Additionally, you need to identify any negative impacts related to specific products, customers, or locations.

Negotiations: Determine the net impact of decisions reflected in the purchase agreement and assess operational risks, SKUs, and geographies among others.

Post-deal: Look for areas where renegotiation is possible. Understand how customers are reacting to the new ownership and analyze the results of any changes made to the business after the deal is closed.

What challenges or limitations are associated with using organic search data in M&A evaluations?

There are several challenges you can face when analyzing data for a company. M&A data can be valuable, yes, but it comes with a few set of challenges and limitations. Some of the common limitations of M&A data are:

Data quality and validity: Mergers and acquisitions data can be incomplete, non-factual, outdated, or inconsistent. To mitigate this challenge, use data from reliable sources such as official databases, news articles, and industry reports.

Misinterpretation: M&A involves advanced analytics, which can be complex. It requires you to use appropriate methods of analysis and interpretation. Utilize robust tools and techniques to avoid potential biases, assumptions, or limitations.

Data presentation: Presenting M&A data to non-experts, such as customers, investors, or regulators, can be difficult. To overcome this, use more straightforward language and visuals to convey important information.

 

Get our Data-Driven Acquisition Services

Merging and data-driven acquisitions can be a lot of work and require experts to handle it. If you’re looking for growth opportunities and need help with advanced analytics and improved targeting, check out our M&A Solutions. Grow your company through effective SEO strategies, improved company evaluations, and impact revenue generation.

Get more useful insights about sales data by talking with one of our SEO experts, and see the difference it makes in your next acquisition.

 

An analyst looking at a computer screen and crunching search data or any data with graphs before a big acquisition.
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