"Beginning at the dawn of Google, when I first got my feet wet with PPC, you could learn everything in an afternoon," writes Jared Reed at SteadyRain. "These days, it seems like there's a new management tool, tracking metric, or ad product springing up every hour."

Still, social media remains one of the best data sources for search marketers. To help you gather more actionable insights from social media, Reed offers advice like this:

Monitor the conversation more closely. A simple Google alert will let you know when someone mentions your company in Web pages, articles and blogs. Take note of the terms used to describe your brand, product or service—especially if they aren't already in your PPC program. "These keywords can often be a very rich source of additional traffic that can be bought at a much lower cost-per-click," Reed notes.

Monitor user-generated tags. Peruse tags at Delicious—the social bookmarking site—to identify keywords used by your target audience. If you sell iPad accessories, for instance, you would expect to see tags like "case" and "keyboard." But you might also discover the common use of terms like "cool iPad accessories" or "iPad gadget accessories."

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