The Internet Marketing Driver: Glenn Gabe's goal is to help marketers build powerful and measurable web marketing strategies.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Migrating to Coremetrics Search Marketing Tools - My Favorite Features

Coremetrics Search Marketing Tools - List of Top FeaturesI think everyone agrees that managing paid search is tough and time consuming. In my opinion, you need to be chest deep in your campaigns all of the time to reap the greatest rewards. With keyword research, copywriting, building landing pages, optimizing your campaigns, etc. it takes a lot of time, to say the least. So, if you could leverage technology to make the process of managing paid search more efficient, my guess is that you would probably do it. Of course, you would need a solid tool that provides a wealth of functionality for it to make sense. You probably wouldn’t make a big change if you just added one piece of functionality…you would need a platform that helps you on several dimensions.

The Vendor UI, Spreadsheets, Text Editors, and 3rd Party Software
Paid Search Management Can Make You Crazy!If you walked into the office of someone managing paid search for their company, you would probably see a process that includes a host of products and services. This includes bulk spreadsheets, the vendor UI’s (going directly into Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. to manage campaigns), using AdWords Editor, Text Editors, and 3rd party software for bid management. Then add a web analytics package for analysis mixed with reporting from the vendor and it becomes a world of multiple touch points that can drive a search marketer insane… and can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome. ;-) So, how can you alleviate the madness of paid search management? Well, alleviate might be a strong term, since the fast and furious process of managing paid search isn’t going away, but you can definitely make it easier for yourself. Enter web analytics vendors that provide paid search management packages. Coremetrics is one of the vendors offering this type of functionality and I created this post to list some of my favorite features of the platform. Note, this post is not meant to cover all of the functionality provided by Coremetrics Search Marketing Tools, so look for future posts that expand on this topic.

Some of My Favorite Features of Coremetrics Search Tools:

1. Auto-Tagging of Keywords
Halelujah. :-) For those of you who have to tag keywords so you can accurately track them in your analytics package, you will GREATLY appreciate this feature. Whether you manually tag them or you have developed your own application to tag them (which probably isn’t that good…), you will LOVE this feature of Coremetrics Search Tools. Simply copy the keywords you want to include in an Ad Group and click “Add New Keywords”. Wow, that was tough. ;-) Compare that to the painful, vision-killing, carpal tunnel syndrome-creating, insanity of tagging the keywords yourself, and you can see why this one feature may be worth the migration to CM Search Tools. For example, I added about 300 keywords to an ad group last week in about 10 seconds…and tagged the keywords at a granular level (read below).

2. Tagging Keywords at a Granular Level
Even when you tag keywords, sometimes you want to know more about why those keywords are generating sales (or not generating sales…) With the typical tagging hierarchy, you might see something like this in your web analytics package:

Vendor -> Campaign -> AdGroup -> Keyword

Now, that’s fine and you’ll see revenue by keyword, ad group, and campaign, but what if you wanted to see more? Coremetrics Search Tools enable you to go further by seeing a multitude of additional elements. For example, keyword match type, the raw keyword entered into the search engine, the version of the creative that yielded a click through, and whether the ad was displayed on the content network or in the search listings. Having access to these additional parameters will only enhance your decision making when managing paid search.

To show you the difference, let’s take a look at a hypothetical example:

What you would traditionally see with standard tagging:
Google->Sneakers->Nike->Nike Air Zoom

What you can see using Coremetrics Search Marketing Tools:

You can see how granular your reporting can be using Coremetrics Search Tools. Just to clarify the listing, Google = Vendor, Sneakers_Nike = Campaign and Ad Group, Nike_Air_Zoom_Phrase = Keyword and Match Type, and Search_Creative_VersionA = the ad was displayed in the Search Listings along with the version of the ad creative that the visitors clicked through. Impressive, right?

--Update: I've received some questions about the difference between the vendor dynamic values and Coremetrics dynamic values when tagging keywords. To clarify, I use a mixture of both when tagging keywords for paid search reporting. This gives me the best of both worlds.

3. Finding the Raw Keywords that Visitors Used
By seeing the raw keywords that yielded visitors and revenue, you can find valuable long tail terms to add to your campaigns. For example, let’s say you had a keyword set to Broad Match and 550 people clicked through the site yesterday via that keyword. Using Coremetrics Search Tools, you could drill into that keyword to see what people really entered, which can include terms that maybe you never would have targeted. You can then copy those keywords and quickly add them to the Ad Group in question, enabling you to target high quality visitors based on actual data.

To give another hypothetical example:
Let's say you have a broad match keyword like computer for gaming. Maybe you received 100 visitors yesterday from the keyword. Using Coremetrics, you can drill into that keyword and see what people really entered like What’s the best computer for gaming? or Tricking out your computer for gaming. These long tail keywords can be extremely valuable and can help you target prospects at a more granular level. Think about it, you can target what everyone else is targeting or target long tail keywords that your competitors might not even be aware of? I’d go with the latter almost every time. ;-)

4. It’s directly tied to your analytics program!
To quote Hyundai, Duh. :-) This bullet will cover several reporting elements, but having revenue, cost data, click through rate, bounce rate, average position, cpc data, etc. right in your web analytics program makes your life a lot easier. You don’t need to bounce around (no pun intended) to find the data you need. In addition, having Coremetrics Attribution Windows handy enables you to see first click, last click, and average click data all in one interface alongside your paid search statistics. Nice.

So that’s my first crack at letting you know what I like best about Coremetrics Search Tools. Definitely check back soon as I plan to write more about managing paid search using the platform. For example, I didn’t cover bid management functionality, which can really help you automate some time consuming tasks. Actually, that’s probably a large enough topic to warrant its own post!

In closing, if you are looking to increase your efficiency while expanding your paid search efforts, all while decreasing your chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome and having to wear glasses for the rest of your life, check out Coremetrics Search Marketing Tools. Wow, heck of a tagline for their product, huh? ;-)


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  • At 1:10 AM, Anonymous Power Search User said…

    Coremetrics just announced the Next Generation version of their product - Search v7 - looks real promising.


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