For years marketers have tried to determine the correct budget to allocate for keywords by estimating the revenue each would generate. Now Anchor Intelligence introduces a keyword tool aimed at optimizing the amount of funds spent for search engine marketing.
ClearMark for Keywords predicts the value of each keyword the advertiser wants to bid on, even in the absence of conversion data. Traffic quality data enables Anchor to offer this application. Each month, the company collects and analyzes more than 1 billion cost-per-click (CPC) ad clicks.
The tool scores keywords by measuring thousands of traffic characteristics. It enables advertisers to match bids to the predicted value of each keyword. The tool benefits lesser-ranked keywords the most, according to Richard Sim, Anchor director of product management and marketing. Sim says these are the keywords that get the least ad clicks.
Although they get the least clicks, these keywords can potentially impact the campaign most, because marketers can buy on the cheap. But cheap doesn't always translate into conversions, so marketers tend to avoid making informed buying decisions on these types of keywords.
Inefficiencies in the ability to combine data remain one of the industry's biggest problems in getting the most from all keywords, according to Sim. So, ClearMark relies on data traffic to determine bid price on keywords. Sim says using traffic quality as a proxy is the next best thing if you don't have conversion data.
Several advertisers in retail, comparison shopping and travel have begun testing ClearMark for Keywords. Anchor claims some beta testers have experienced an increase in return on investment between 10% and 20%.
Anchor isn't the only company expanding tools to support SEM marketers. Yield Software released two SEO tools for those wanting to check the health of their SEO and refine link-building techniques. The first, Yield SEO Analyzer, offers recommendations for improvement in content, inbound link building and outbound link repair, URL structure and content, and page accessibility and performance.
The second, Yield SEO Natural Search Optimizer, available as part of the Yield Web Marketing Suite, has become available as a stand-alone platform.
Yield CEO Matt Malden believes the SEO industry continues to struggle with what he calls a "link economy." As social media rises in importance, he points to Twitter and Facebook as two sites that complicate link building. Few marketers understand the implications of high-quality link counts for helping natural search results climb higher in queries. "Companies still are not always clear that site content aligns with important search keyword lists, nor are they clear about the degree that folks link to their sites," he adds.
Malden describes a fundamental shift during the past year and a half in the way companies generate links. He believes social media created this disruption by moving away from mainstream media, Web sites and blogs, and toward real-time streams of Twitter and Facebook updates. Malden says Yield decided to make SEO Natural Search Optimizer a standalone product because while some companies know how to integrate and optimize paid search, natural search and landing page content, others continue to struggle.