Omniture Debuts SEM Bid Management Tool

Web analytics provider Omniture today unveiled Search Engine Manager, a bid management and optimization tool that uses data from its SiteCatalyst product to help marketers increase search engine marketing (SEM) campaign performance.

Analyzing the visitors that convert to a sale or other action — which is typically under 2 percent in most cases — is only a small part of keyword analysis, according to John Mellor, Omniture’s VP marketing.

“There’s a lot of gold to be mined from that 98 percent of traffic that doesn’t convert,” he said.

A typical conversion funnel may be made up of five steps, from clicking on a keyword to conversion. Analyzing data about the two funnel ends tells a marketer nothing about the visitors who left somewhere in the middle. Omniture’s product can analyze traffic and click-through data from those pages to find where visitors were lost and where they went, giving clues about potential problems in the process that need to be addressed, Mellor said.

The product will include built-in rules that marketers can use to specify when to be notified, such as when an ad drops below the third position for a keyword. The product is search engine agnostic and will allow users to act on the information to manage keywords from within the same product interface.

Pricing for the product, which will be available in the coming weeks, hasn’t been determined yet. Mellor pointed out it’s an “enterprise-level tool, with enterprise-level support,” so a company’s SEM efforts would have to reach a certain size before the tool would make sense.

Of late, Omniture has been partnering or building marketing tools outside its traditional site analytics realm that become more effective when integrated with the analytics product. For example, SiteCatalyst was recently integrated with DoubleClick’s DARTmail and DART for Advertisers products.

Other analytics vendors are following the integration path with broader marketing applications. WebSideStory created a program in October to help partners integrate HBX into their products, beginning with email and content management providers. It also launched its Digital Marketing University initiative earlier this month. NetIQ is expected soon to announce enhanced integration between its WebTrends analytics product and WebPosition Gold SEM product.

SEO (define) firm Oneupweb launched a return-on-investment (ROI) tool last week, which it says is simpler for marketers to use than Web analytics products and more comprehensive than the engine-specific tools provided by Google and Overture.

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