|Functionality||4/5||does what it does well, some room for other integrations and refinement|
|Interface||5/5||very elegantly manage a huge keyword database|
|Value||3/5||affordable entry point but could be replicable for lower cost|
|Support||4/5||they’ve just launched with VC backing and good testimonials|
Managing tens, or hundreds of thousands of keywords is a common requirement for serious search engine marketeers. Typically, unwieldy spreadsheets are devised that can be used to target the medium and long tail terms an SEM desires.
Keyword suggestion tools are plentiful but in popular spaces Larry Kim asserts their efficacy is limited, as organisations battle for the same terms. His tool, Wordstream, aims to allow you to build up and easily manage your own private keyword database- developing a taxonomy uniquely your own.
Wordstream is a hosted service seeded with keywords from your web server logs, file upload or manual entry. From there it automatically groups these keywords into a hierarchical categorisation navigable using a familiar folder structure, except that these are buckets.
While an analytics package reports new keywords by analysing the referrer URL,what sets Wordstream apart is its ability to automatically place these under theright bucket. Typos are no problem for the software states Kim. Clearly this makes adding to your long tail keywords much easier. Goals and traffic alongside further unlocks their value.
The value of this can’t be downplayed as one of the drawbacks of long tail theory is that you can easily burn time and chase the wind of valueless terms. Again, the data’s probably available to you at the moment, but Wordstream’s seamless presentation, categorisation, and administration of it is elegant.
From within Wordstream you can place a PPC ad for your newly identified keywords and manage existing campaigns with its Google AdWords API integration. One of the key aims of Wordstream is productivity and this feature facilitates more productive campaigns.
Somewhat disappointing is the lack of integration with Yahoo Search Marketing or Microsoft AdCenter. While the data can be exported, and Google is the focus of many PPC campaigns, it would be nice to see these brought into the fold. With this the unified view would negate a need to use anything else for campaign management.
Once Wordstream unearths new terms it’s up to you to action them for SEO. Creation of landing pages, on and off page optimisations aren’t executed in the tool. The value of data it unlocks and makes manageable, however, means it is certainly a powerful tool in your SEO arsenal.
Kim provides the example of Wikipedia: they are fantastically optimised for organic search due to the site and content structure with a page for each topic. Wordstream in the hands of copy writers brings that a step closer for any site.
The tool itself is well executed and thought out. This means that even though some of the component parts are available elsewhere, the core automatic keyword categorisation and management that it does coupled with goals, traffic, suggestions and AdWords integration adds to its value.
If you’re struggling under the weight of your keyword management or would like to pursue an elusive long tail then Wordstream is worth a look with their free trial. It’s easy to see how it will make PPC and SEO more productive if you’re generating tangible return from niche keywords efficiently.