Last Wednesday I had the honor to speak together with Horst Joepen of Searchmetrics and Thomas Bindl of Refinedlabs in a Search Marketing Toolbox Session at SES Berlin. In this session I covered a few “every day” tools I personally use a lot for different search marketing purposes: keyword research tools, PPC management tools, brand monitoring software, tools for link building, search suites and rank tracking software.
I start with the Google keyword research tools probably everyone knows: the keyword tool, Google Trends and Google Insights for Search. Unfortunately the data you get from Google a lot of times is somehow crippled. I can show you a lot of examples from our Adwords accounts, but luckily enough I found a great example 10 minutes before the session. Just take a look at this graph; a Google Trends comparison on the words SEO, SEM, Suchmaschinenoptimierung and Adwords in Germany:
Fig. 1: Be careful with the data Google provides you. “sem” seems to be the most searched keyword in Germany in this comparison. Really??? In Portugese??? 🙂
At least with Google Insights for Search you get the possibility to segment, so you’ll see that SEO is the winner, not SEM. But a problem with these tools is that Google shows you the keywords with it’s tail, it’s not an exact match! (For more information: visit this page)
For keyword research I showed some other tools like SEO Diver, which actually gives you data for exact matches, Searchmetrics Rapid, which shows universal integrations too and a Google Instant Scraper. Furthermore I recommended SEMrush for those who look for a competitive analysis and keyword research tool for other European countries, like Italy, France, Spain etc.
Two of the tools I brought with me are tools, which try to estimate traffic potential. The first one is SEO effect, which uses a new KPi called “Traffic Share”. Traffic share is calculated with a simple formula: visits (last 30 days taken from the Analytics API) / potential visits. For example if you get 100 visits for a keyword and the potential traffic is 1000 for a click on the number one position, your traffic share is 10%. The tool tries to calculate the potential traffic with data from the Google keyword tool, the search engine market share in a certain country and the fact if it’s a brand keyword or not.
Another tool that predicts the traffic potential is the Searchmetrics Suite. This tool doesn’t only use the data from Google’s keyword tool, but also internal data. This makes the tool pretty accurate.
The Adwords Campaign Builder (download the manual here)and the SEM Editor were the two secret tips of my session. The first one is an open source tool in PHP, which builds big campaigns and adgroups with targeted keyword and ads just in a few minutes.
It mixes keyword combinations and builds “ready to import” data for your Adwords Editor. Unfortunately the tool doesn’t obey the Adwords guidelines about the maximum length of the head- and textlines.
The solution for this problem was my second tool: the SEM Editor, which is what I call an “Adwords Editor on steroids”. This tool, build by my colleagues of the Berlin search marketing agency Ads2people, has a very intelligent campaign builder, which does advanced keyword mixing and gives you the opportunity to define alternatives, just for those ads which turn out to be too long. Another awesome feature of this tool is the Broad Optimizer, which automatically downloads the search query report from Google and lets you choose whether you want to insert a search phrase as a keyword or as a negative keyword directly into your campaigns or adgroups. Furthermore the tool contains semi-automatic rules-based bidmanagement. It’s now officially in beta and you can ask for a beta version at www.sem-editor.com!
Fig. 2: Ads2people’s SEM Editor, which contains Bid Management, Product Management, an advanced Campaign Builder and the Broad Optimizer.
The third tool I mentioned here was the management system Refindedads, an integrated solution which covers multiple channel management. It offers semi- and full-automatic bid management, an affiliate management part (connected to the biggest German Networks Zanox and Affilinet) and a cross-channel tracking-system to display the whole customer journey.
As ad-hijacking is a big issue in Germany I talked a bit about brand monitoring tools. As you maybe know ad-hijackers try to hide there tactics using techniques like geo-targeting, time scheduling and referrer cloaking. So a good brand monitoring tool does exactly the same: it checks in various regions within a country and it checks for trademark infringements in very short and if possible irregular time intervals. I played with a lot of tools and found out that in Europa when you use Sem Scout or Xamine, you’ll have the best chance to catch the “bad guys”. Also the SEM module of the Sistrix toolbox has a pretty good catch-rate, but it’s not Sistrix’ core business. The tool just checks every hour in 12 German cities.
I finished the session (and this post 🙂 ) talking a bit about link data from MajesticSEO, SEOMoz’ Linkscape (or is it Opensiteexplorer nowadays?) and the Webmaster tools . I use to combine the data in the Linkresearchtools to check the value and existence of those links. The Linkresearchtools toolbox consists of 7 different tools: BATT (Backlink and Anchor Text Tool), CBLT (Common Back Links Tool, a hubfinder), COLT (Common Outbound Link Tool, a tool which shows you where your competitor link to), SSPT (Strongest Sub Pages Tool), Juice Tool (which shows you the value of a page) and the Link Juice Recovery Tool (which finds 404 pages with backlinks on your site). If you’re looking for a free version of the last tool, check the free Pagerank Recovery tool of Virante.