Last column, I covered base-level analytics to employ for your paid search marketing efforts. This week, I will focus on more advanced tools that are available to help you manage, evaluate, and optimize your paid search campaigns.
There are many options but today we'll focus on two key types of search marketing analytics and management tools – automated campaign management (typically called "bid management" tools) and Web analytics suites that have a robust search marketing plug-in or product that integrates with the Web analytics platform.
Bid Management Tools
There are a multitude of bid management tools available. They all have relatively similar benefits and features, chief among them:
Because there are so many players in this space, and they all do very similar things, what I thought I'd focus on are their key differentiators from other products on the market. As I have yet to test all of these tools, I won't comment on how well they actually work in practice, but I'll highlight the features or benefits that I think sound most compelling. In non-partisan alphabetical order…
Web Analytics Suites
Only a few established Web analytics packages offer a fully robust suite of search marketing management tools. There are several advantages to combining your SEM management functions with your Web analytics tools, including:
Omniture SearchCenter is probably the most well known search management tool that is integrated into a major analytics package. Note that with the acquisition of Adobe, it has now been renamed Adobe SearchCenter (powered by Omniture). Some unique features of its search tool, beyond the benefits listed above due to integration with Web analytics, are as follows:
Coremetrics also has a strong search offering called Coremetrics Search 9.
They too have some unique benefits that are quite compelling:
Clearly the tools I've reviewed here are not exhaustive and many other companies offer comparable tools. I'd encourage you to do your own research to determine which tool is right for your business and needs. Most companies offer free 30 to 60 day demos, so you can try these tools out on a low-commitment basis to see if they're worth the investment.
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Julie is a member of the senior strategy team at Klick Health, focused on online media and digital. Julie initially established and led the media practice at Klick for several years, relinquishing leadership to expand beyond media into additional digital tactics. She brings a wealth of experience in search marketing, digital media, and all facets of digital strategy to bear, helping Klick's clients develop innovative digital solutions. As her role has evolved, so have her contributions to ClickZ, which she has been writing for since 2007.
December 12, 2013
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