Create more compelling posts and boost SEO by tagging and links
- Free Firefox extension, IE plugin plus others
- Enterprise edition available ($1,200/month)
- Directly embed relevant copyright-cleared images
- Related link, tag and blog post suggestions
|Functionality||4/5||effortless incorporation of suggestions into post|
|Interface||5/5||clear and consistent, comfortably sits alongside blog post creation|
|Value||5/5||a free productivity aid, doesn't distract from creating quality content|
|Support||4/5||open support forum with reactive company reps|
Producing original and engaging blog content is great for SEO, but it takes precious time. Zemanta finds related images, web and blog links, and tags for your post. With the Zemanta Firefox extension (other browsers are available) incorporating these suggestions in your article requires a single click.
Under the bonnet Zemanta uses its semantic API to determine what your text is about and then finds content falling into the same categorizations. What differentiates them from other semantic engines is that they have a powerful API with a useful, real-world application built on top.
The realisation of a completely semantic web may be some way off, but it's Zemanta that's a great example of companies making practical application of semantic technologies. Promising also is their freely available (up to 10,000 calls/day) API.
Google Image Search doesn't cut the mustard for serious bloggers. Once you've spent an hour and found a fantastic image, more often than not you don't have the copyright to post it. Zemanta on the other hand is purpose built- only showing images available under re-use licenses.
Good blog articles aren't dead-ends. Once the reader has engaged with your post they'll often want to go on and find out some more. With the related blog post and link suggestions you can pepper links throughout with a single click.
The technology that powers Zemanta is powerful, but thankfully none of the wiring is exposed when you just want to write your blog. Flowing alongside your post composition pane are the image, link, post and tag suggestions, updating as you compose.
It does take up a good chunk of screen real estate and the option to collapse would be welcome. That said, the Blogger interface is quite spartan and Zemanta isn't an unwelcome intrusion.
Semantic similarity is hard and Zemanta makes sense of texts better than most. However, for short articles (1-2 paragraphs) and product or technology specific pieces it does struggle to generate quality suggestions.
It appears to want a main theme which if it can't find then the relevancy suffers dramatically. A search box is provided, but the opportunity to coach or coax Zemanta in the right direction when it goes haywire would be immensely useful.
For a medium to long blog post the image and blog suggestions are numerous. The number of tags and web suggestions stay around ten. Being able to request more is missing.
Better blog posts
Image by Peter Čuhalev via Flickr
Quite simply Zemanta will help you to create better blog posts. Better for your readers and better for SEO. It does this with minimal intrusion and a good understanding of relevancy.
Create and manage keyword taxonomies
- Keyword suggestion, automatic categorisation and administration
- Web based (Flash) application
- Integrates with Google AdWords API
- Export function for other PPC providers
- Starting at $300/month
- Cost based on size of your keyword database
|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.
Keyword Taxonomy Management
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.
Traffic & Goals
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.