Tag Archives: wordstream


Mystified by martech? Introducing the ClickZ Buyers Guide series

Search Engine Watch sister site ClickZ has just launched the first report in its new series of buyers guides, which aims to to disentangle and demystify the martech landscape for marketers.

The guide, which focuses on bid management tools, covers a range of market leading vendors and draws on months of research and more than 1,600 customer reviews.

This will be the first in a series of guides created using the collective knowledge of the ClickZ and Search Engine Watch communities to help our readers arrive at more informed technology decisions.

The modern martech landscape is complex and competitive, making it difficult for marketers to cut through the noise and select the right technology partners.

Our buyers guides are created with the objective of providing a clear view on the areas in which vendors excel, in order to allow our readers to establish successful relationships with the most suitable platforms.

What sets our guides apart is the use of a customer survey to hear directly from current clients of each software package. For the bid management tools guide, we received more than 1,600 survey responses, which has provided a wealth of valuable data across our six assessment categories.

 Graphs in the report are interactive to allow comparison.

The series of guides begins with bid management tools because of the importance these technologies hold in the modern martech stack. Along with deriving maximum value from the $92 billion spent annually on paid search worldwide, these platforms also help marketers manage their display advertising and social budgets, with some even providing support for programmatic TV buying.

This creates a varied landscape of vendors, with some focusing on the core channels of Google and Facebook, and others placing bets on the potential of the likes of Amazon to provide a real, third option for digital ad dollars.

Though the vendors we analyzed share much in common, there are subtle distinctions within each that make them suitable for different needs. A combination of customer surveys, vendor interviews, and expert opinion from industry veterans has helped us to draw out these nuances to create a transparent view of the current market.

Within the guide, you will gain access to:

  • Tips on building a business case for investing in a bid management platform
  • Questions to ask of potential bid management tool partners
  • Profiles of the six vendors we analyzed
  • The ClickZ and Search Engine Watch customer survey results

Follow this link to download the Bid Management Tools Buyers Guide on Search Engine Watch.



What is keyword clustering, and who cares? (Hint: you should!)

Are you still optimizing for “keyword strings”? You are not alone!

The problem is, the industry is moving on, so don’t fall behind and learn to implement a smarter approach to keyword research: Keyword clustering.

Single-keyword SEO has been a staple for a long time. Remember how we used to have a separate page for every tiny variation of a keyword? At that time we’d optimize for [restaurants in Italy] and [Italy restaurants] using two different pages, one for each keyword string. It is how we all probably got our start and saw (and still see) our traffic flourish and ranking climb.

It was a fun time, but deep down I am glad it has passed.

Google’s search algorithm has outgrown that method of optimization. Sure, it may still work. In fact, most of the newest and most popular WordPress SEO plugins are still based on that “single-string” method, so most bloggers rely on it. But the more sophisticated algorithms expanded beyond the scope of a single-topic focus.

Even keyword research that finds the perfect sweet spot between popularity and saturation is no longer a guarantee for success. In-depth content covering a variety of related concepts and entities is winning more and more often these days.

More and more we are seeing the use of keyword clustering from sites that are making it beyond the scope of mediocre search results and traffic margins. In other words, the big guys are bringing out the big guns, and we should be following in their footsteps.

What is this keyword clustering?

OK, so this isn’t really new. I for one described a tactic of keyword grouping back in 2007. Back then, however, I didn’t know the term “keyword clustering”, and used Excel instead of much easier tools.

A better way of explaining it would be that it is gaining traction with more people (and growing buzz terms around itself).

So what is it?

Simply put, it’s keyword grouping categorized by (1) a common secondary keyword modifier which is how most tools approach it or (2) Google’s search engine results similarity (which is something I’ll describe below).

At the heart of it, keyword clustering is what it sounds like: you are taking relevant keywords and clustering them together into groups. Those groups work together to give your website a more thoroughly categorized theme, which in turn helps to establish its purpose and attract those crawlers that tell Google that page is one they should bump up the list.

It’s easier when you look at an example

Let’s say your core term is healthy diet plan, which is pretty tough to compete for. So you run it through keyword research tools and come up with the list of hundreds of “long tail” “keyword strings” that make your head spin:

What is keyword clustering, and who cares? (Hint: you should!)

How on earth are you going to optimize your content for all of these phrases?

Don’t worry, figuring this list out doesn’t have to be a manual process. There are some keyword grouping tools out there that make it much easier to get through.

I personally use Serpstat because it provides one of the best SEO tools in the market in my opinion. [Disclaimer: Because I blog on them so much, Serpstat reps approached me and gave me free access to their PRO tools]. However, other providers such as Wordstream and Spyfu offer keyword grouping tools, so choose the option which fits best with your existing tools and workflow.

With Serpstat, you can copy-paste the keywords into their clustering tool and it groups the list for you:

What is keyword clustering, and who cares? (Hint: you should!)

It is a keyword clustering automated system that does a lot of the work for you. But unlike most other tools, it doesn’t bog you down with centralized terms that impact your clusters.

Instead of simply grouping the keywords by the centralized term (like most clustering tools do, and like I did in my Moz article from 2007 referenced above), Serpstat also uses their own “connection strength” metric which looks at how many identical URLs those multiple search queries trigger.

You can choose between soft and hard clustering to determine how closely related terms should be within one group – a very unique approach to clustering keywords. To get into more detail about how the tool works, read this article describing their method.

How should you optimize your content now?

Let’s make it clear: No, you don’t need to take one of these groups and fill your content with all the keywords from within it.

What you can do instead: Look at those keywords and take main concepts to cover in your content. Each group can become your separate guide, or it can be a subheading within a more comprehensive article.

Keyword clustering isn’t the optimization technique, nor does it bring anything fundamentally new into a SEO strategy. You still need to create high-quality well-researched content targeting users’ demand.

What keyword clustering does is help you make sense of your keyword strings and turn them into meaningful concepts.

How can this method help me?

Any time you cluster your keywords, you are improving your SEO, period. Instead of trying to compete with a single phrase, you will be targeting keywords page by page based on a collection of phrases for each theme.

How this helps you is pretty obvious: better ranking and more traffic. Specifically, it is better ranking and more traffic against competitors who are almost certainly already using this method of SEO, which is one of the reasons they are doing better than you are.

This also diversifies your tactics. Where once consistency in a single model was key, things have changed. That more sophisticated algorithm mentioned above means better, more complex strategies are needed to keep up.

My favorite way to put it: Grouping keywords helps you get a better grasp of your niche. It forces you to cover more concepts and answer more questions within one page than you’d think of without going through the process, so the most important benefit of keyword clustering is that it makes your content (and hence) your site better, more useful, more trustworthy and more comprehensive.

Know a tool that should go on this list? Let us know in the comments!

5 Insights From Spending $500m in Ad Spend [STUDY] by @LarryKim

Wordstream analyzed 30000 small business AdWords accounts to determine five insights into the state of the AdWords landscape right now. Learn more from this post by Larry Kim.

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Origin Stories of Powerful Blogs: How WordStream Moves the Needle on Traffic, Leads, & Awesomeness by @tomdemers

Let’s find out how Wordstream moved toward being a powerful blog that have large readerships and get lots of traffic and shares.

The post Origin Stories of Powerful Blogs: How WordStream Moves the Needle on Traffic, Leads, & Awesomeness by @tomdemers appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

Google Shopping Campaigns Guide: Tips and Tricks for Beginners

We already know that Google Shopping Campaigns work great for e-commerce companies. But how about for beginners?

The post Google Shopping Campaigns Guide: Tips and Tricks for Beginners appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

Search Trends by State: Top Trending Searches in All 50 States by @egabbert

Behold: The top search trends in every U.S. state from the past 12 months.

The post Search Trends by State: Top Trending Searches in All 50 States by @egabbert appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

5 Ways Twitter Analytics Can Make You A Better Marketer by @LarryKim

Twitter caused quite the stir a few months back when it unveiled its long-awaited analytics platform. For hardcore tweeters, Twitter Analytics offers a tantalizing glimpse at data we’ve been dreaming about getting our hands on for eight long years. If you’re anything like me, Twitter Analytics will soon become your latest obsession – I’ve spent hours poring over the wealth of data provided by Twitter Analytics, and it’s already changed the way I think about Twitter and how I leverage the power of Twitter in my social campaigns. In this post, I’ll give you a guided tour of Twitter Analytics […]

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These 7 New AdWords Tools and Features Will Change Your Campaigns Forever by @LarryKim

Getting ahead of the curve can give you the competitive edge to outperform your competitors. Here are 7 new AdWords features you should check out this year.

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5 Ridiculously Powerful Facebook Ad Targeting Strategies by @LarryKim

You can target audiences on Facebook with a dozen different ad formats and thousands of possible ad targeting parameters. Mastering your Facebook targeting strategy gets you in front of very specific and often motivated segments of your audience, on the network where Americans religiously spend an average of 40 minutes of their day. Here are a few ridiculously powerful Facebook ad targeting strategies you probably haven’t heard of. 1. Tap Into Recent Purchasing Behavior Among Facebook Users Early on, Facebook was criticized by advertising analysts as a fun place to hang out, but a network with little commercial intent or potential for […]

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5 Ways to Get 10x More Retweets on Twitter by @LarryKim

We have a pretty good idea of Twitter best practices: post regularly, don’t overuse hashtags, keep your tweets short enough for retweets, etc. We even know that a good mix of images and video will help boost engagement. Yet every few months, I like to look back through my Twitter analytics to see which content performed best and I’m surprised at what I find. Some pieces of content posted to Twitter get 5 to 10 times my typical amount of retweets! Now, when Twitter shows you your engagement rate, they include all engagements: Link Clicks, Retweets, Favorites, and Replies. However, […]

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