In a field which is internet based, in a time when everything relies on software, it seems like a silly question to ask, but here it is: Is internet marketing software worth it? Well, it depends a bit on what software you’re thinking of…or what software your internet marketing company is suggesting. Here are a few tips on common software types.
Analytics Tools – Yes!
All internet marketing requires good data. Sign up for Analytics software and make sure you have someone at the wheel who knows how to configure and analyze the data. Google Analytics is free and incredibly powerful. Unless there is an ironclad reason to pay for an analytics suite like Webtrends or SiteCatalyst, stick with Google Analytics and get in touch with a professional if you’re not sure how to configure your Analytics account. Even if you need something unusual from Google Analytics, a custom report or a new parameter in the code can usually provide the solution.
Pay Per Click Management – Maybe.
As internet marketing goes, PPC can get complicated fast. That said, PPC management tools are built to perform two functions: streamlined optimization and intelligent bid management. On the face of it, both things sound great, but there is a downside: if you spend less time in your account, it becomes difficult to recognize trends and find opportunities. Here is a rule of thumb: if you’re spending less than $10K a month, only running campaigns on one search engine or have a full time internet marketing resource, you probably don’t need PPC management software. If you answered ‘no’ to two out of three, PPC software might be a good option for your needs.
SEO Tools – Yes.
If you’re trying to keep tabs on your organic keyword rankings as part of your internet marketing strategy, a paid SEO tool is probably worth the cost…especially if you’ve hired an SEO company to work on your SEO. A good SEO firm should be using pro tools, and if they pass the software cost along, you’ll only pay a fraction of the total cost. Free keyword tracking tools are inaccurate and paying an intern to look up keyword rankings isn’t cost effective in the long run.
Hopefully these notes help, but keep in mind that all software is only as effective as the person using it. If you’d like a second opinion on your internet marketing strategy or progress, drop us a line. We’d be happy to talk about your SEM or SEO results.