How To Get The Most Out Of Your Search Marketing Toolset

I don’t do SEO anymore, so I can’t talk in depth about how to best utilize SEO tools like the offering. However, I do use very sophisticated PPC tools such the bid management systems from Marin Software and SearchForce so I can talk with authority as to how to get the most of your software subscription cost.

First, definitely read the instructions and avail yourself of all available training modules in order to get yourself as familiar as possible with your software. Please realize that instructions are only to teach you the rules…they don’t teach you the “art” of using the tools effectively. You won’t become the toolset equivalent of this guy without lots of practice and experience:


Second, don’t hesitate to use customer support often. The implications of using a toolset incorrectly for any campaign you’re running can be dire and catastrophic (especially in my PPC realm). If you’re unsure about something…ask…ask again…and ask quickly. If the customer support isn’t top notch, find another toolset to use that will better support your needs.

Third, realize that the software is only as good as the brain that’s using it. If you’re a search marketing newbie and you get software, all you’ll be is a search marketing newbie who has software. The software might teach you a few things but it doesn’t substitute for experience and training. The right toolset can take an experienced search marketer to the next level by offering him / her insights that they might not get otherwise but, once obtained, are able to understand and take action upon.

Certainly, the search marketer’s proficiency at using a particular toolset will increase as they continue to use it. However, repetitive rote use of the tool alone isn’t enough to maximize its value. All the best search marketers that I know have an amazing right-brained abstract reasoning ability. They’d be search marketing rock stars whether they used software or not. However, when a toolset is introduced into the arsenal of one of these folks, they’ll immediately be able to see its functionality in the context of their entire suite of learning and experiences. They’ll be able to immediately map the software’s utility into the areas of need in their work routine, giving the software a “true” test of its capabilities.

Finally, the ultimate question for toolset utility is whether you can tie revenues and or rankings to insights gleaned from its use. Can you utilize the toolset so that it gives you the missing link that enables you to take action that will increase your search marketing performance? My ultimate test for a piece of search marketing software is whether it tells you something “you don’t know that you don’t know” that is then actionable. If it does, it’s absolutely worth the investment in cost and effort.

In order to maximize the ROI of a Search Marketing Toolset, you need time, patience and your brain. Without all three, you won’t get the most out of your investment.