A New, Improved Search Marketing Tool

As a search marketer, I’m always looking for the latest and greatest tools to obtain intelligence on how my clients’ search campaigns are performing, how they stack up to competitors, and where there might be some potential opportunities to exploit.

And as a columnist, I’m always looking to share information about the tools I use that could help others optimize search marketing efforts. Today, I want to introduce you to one tool I’ve just started using.

How would you like to quickly and easily answer the following questions:

  • What search terms and search engines are driving the most traffic to my site?

  • How do people get to my site or my competitors’ site (e.g. organic listings, paid search, site referrals), and where do they go after leaving it?
  • How does my site’s audience compare with competitors or the category as a whole?
  • What’s the demographic profile and online behavior of people searching on my most important search terms?
  • What are the top sites receiving traffic from my most important search terms and is my site among them?

You can do all of this with comScore Marketer, a subscription-based online search intelligence tool that delivers insights and data into category search results and performance, searcher demographics/behavior, and traffic patterns on specific Web sites. And all of this is in a user-friendly interface.

Instead of giving you full play-by-play of everything this tool does, I’ll highlight a few interesting and valuable features.

Intuitive Competitive Search Investment

You can upload your keyword lists and run reports to see which sites are coming up ‘at the top’ for your preferred terms. This is nothing revolutionary — lots of free tools already do this, right?

Well, this tool goes a step further to show you each site’s “share” of click-throughs on these terms (meaning how much of all search clicks taking place are they actually capturing). Additionally, you can see what percentage of those clicks are the result of paid versus organic listings.

This information, taken together, can give you an idea of the investment each of these sites might be making in their search efforts. For example, a site with 15 percent share of click-throughs with 75 percent paid traffic is likely making a sizeable investment in paid search, and is a competitor to be closely monitored.

Understand Your Searcher’s Profile

You can enter a list of search terms to find out:

  • The household demographics of searchers (age, income).

  • The top sites visited by searchers.
  • Search engines used by those who clicked-through on the term.

Again, this tool goes a step further to provide “index” and “reach” figures as well. For example, for the top sites visited, the index enables you to get a sense of whether someone who searched on this term is more likely to visit this site than an average visitor. The reach figure indicates what share the site has of all visitors that searched on that term. So if its reach is 5 percent, that means it captures 5 percent of all searches clicked-through to a site on that term.

Compare Your Site with Competitors’ Sites

This feature is valuable for any online marketer. You can perform a direct comparison of up to three media (category, subcategory, or site) on key demographics: age, household income, gender, and presence of children in household. You can view this information trended over the past six months.

It’s obviously interesting to see who’s visiting your competitor’s Web sites. However, you can also use this to evaluate a potential media partner to see if the average visitor to their site meshes well with your target audience.

These three features I’ve just reviewed are just a few of the interesting analyses provided by this tool.

How To Get Started

ComScore’s price for a subscription depends on the number of users, categories, and the length of the commitment.

The somewhat sizeable investment might not make sense for a small business owner with only one site. However, if you’re a search agency with a variety of clients, the majority of which are within the same category (e.g., financial services or travel), then it may be worth the investment. Also, if your agency already subscribes to other comScore services, you can likely get a discount on adding this service.

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