Whether you are fixing a squeaky door or analyzing your search engine marketing, you’re going to want to find the right tool for the job. Often times, we forget or choose to forget that we have so many great resources in front of us that will drastically improve our SEM tactics. Business intelligence tools need SEM and SEM needs business intelligence tools. Learn how to capitalize on both for more measurable business results.
In the world of marketing, numbers reign supreme.
Next time you’re about to brainstorm SEM tactics, pause for a second and get ready to crunch some numbers. Databases are a critical and vital part for creating an effective SEM plan. SEM is a great way to drive quick traffic to your site, but without the proper tools and knowledge – you may find yourself at odds with the popular marketing tactic. So, before you pick up the pen and paper, get ready to wield that virtual pickax to mine some data.
The Five Ws
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Remember learning about the five W’s in school? Well, they are back and they can help you better understand your audience.
· Who is clicking?
· What got them there?
· When did they click?
· Where are they coming from?
· Why are they clicking?
These burning questions can all be answered through the magic of math.
Everyone has a favorite business intelligence tool that they try to ignore the best they can. From Google AdWords to KeywordSpy, we tend to forget just how powerful and useful these tools really are. It’s foolish to try and dismiss these very useful tools. We tell ourselves writing is about feeling, creativity and needs lots of love to work. And then we tell ourselves that SEM is sharp, precise and needs lots of love to work. So, in order to answer those burning questions and give your SEM the love it desperately wants, you simply cannot ignore the data behind them.
The Five Stages of SEMourning
Now you are ready to look for nuggets that will really make your SEM glitter. Once you’ve got data on data on data, get ready to swallow a hard dose of reality. You’re probably going to experience the five stages of SEMourning.
- Denial – “How could my ads do so terribly? This has to be wrong!”
- Anger – “This is absurd! It’s not fair!”
- Bargaining – “C’mon, Google. Throw me a bone and a few more clicks.”
- Depression – “Well, this cannot get any worse. Oh, it’s only Tuesday.”
- Acceptance – “Sure, I was confident in my abilities and I still am. But, now I’ve got numbers to find out what I did wrong and what I did so right.”
After finding out what went wrong with the data gathered from your favorite business intelligence tools, you can now easily focus and cherish what you did right. The right data is going to answer the right questions and this is going to pave the way for the rest of your SEM. By the end of the process, you’ll feel that you have trimmed the fat of your SEM.
The Birds and the Crocodile
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Your business intelligence tools need your SEM and your SEM needs your business intelligence tools. It is a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship that can drastically improve your ROI. If your SEM is a crocodile, your BI is the little bird that cleans its teeth so that it can better catch its prey.
If you need a little bird that is sure to make your SEM work for you even better, try out SEMRush, which shows organic and advertising keywords for any site. With SEMRush, you have a chance to really see what copy is working for your PPC advertisements and even test it against other copy. Having multiple versions of an ad and testing is essential for growth and with SEMRush you have a chance to even see what other companies are doing and what versions of their copy they are going back to.
Getting rid of what did not work is a wonderful step in the right direction. But, now you’ve got a whole slew of other data that shows what did in fact work. The hasty decision would be to enshrine this data and claim it to be the be-all-end-all of SEM. Instead, take this data with a grain of salt and focus on the good. Remember that we, much like the Internet, are ever changing. The gold you found today could become gilded tomorrow. That one sparkling piece of data is not enough in todays SEM world.
So, use what worked but make sure you build off of it. This data is the foundation of a better SEM plan that is going to get you the results you crave. Do not think that you are fixing what is not broken. Think of it as a chance to improve on what is working.
Keep Ch-Check-Checking It Out
Regularly checking out this data is also incredibly important. A “one and done” mentality for data gathering is counterproductive to your overall SEM plan. Instead, get into the rhythm of gathering, analyzing and acting upon the data you have pulled. The short and long term benefits will be quickly seen in overall SEM plan. To really get the most out of your SEM plan, you’re going to need a great service like SpyFu that can get you the need you want and keep wanting.
With SpyFu, there is no excuse to not check in on the status of your keywords and how they are affecting your search engine marketing plan. There are weekly tracking results that can be customized to what keywords you are using. There is also a way to find keywords that you may have missed that could be very profitable. By seeing what has worked and finding what may work, any business that uses SpyFu can truly maximize their SEM output.
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Sharing is caring in the case of data. It is important that all those involved see what is working and although it may be painful, what is not working. We are living in the age of transparency, and holding back this data is just as terrible as not getting it in the first place.
All parties involved should clearly understand and be transparent with one another when using these tools. There is no point in gathering all this data so that only the purchasing power can use it.
The Future is Now
Business intelligence tools gather up the past, but they can also tell us about the future. By figuring out what terms worked yesterday, we can begin the process of finding the terms that will work tomorrow. Related words and terms are the best bet to attract future clicks. This is just another reason why focusing on the data side of SEM is so important. The past has already been written (and boiled down to a bunch of great numbers) so there is nothing we can do to change it. What we can focus on however is getting the maximum ROI for future endeavors.
Many will argue that the world of SEM is an art. It is a fast and furious way to drive traffic but it shouldn’t just be seen as an easy way to get to the top of the search world. In order to truly utilize the tactic, one must get into the thick of it with data. Ignoring the countless tools that can easily help any business is downright foolish and dangerous.
Every business wants the most bang for their buck and although SEM tactics may seem easy, it is much more difficult to truly master them. You have to accept that not everything is going to work, that the numbers do not lie and the willingness to change must come from everyone involved. SEM may bring us to the top, but in order to stay there you must work very hard.
Kristina Petrick is a budding young professional in the marketing industry, leveraging knowledge in SEM and BI tools to help improve measurable best practices for small and medium businesses. Currently working in creative outlets, he continues to nurture her experience through a team of innovative technologist and creative designers at a leading Digital Marketing Agency, Aumcore.