SEM, or search engine marketing, offers marketers a highly effective and measurable way to connect directly with customers via search engines (such as Google AdWords, MSN and Yahoo) on relevant keyword searches. SEM software solutions from WordStream offer the following key Web marketing  advantages:
- Productivity - Powerful SEM automation tools for keyword discovery, keyword grouping, keyword organization, combined with SEM workflow tools to help you prioritize your SEM tasks, WordStream enables you to accomplish a lot more in considerably less time.
- Relevance - The software creates daily SEM keyword  suggestions, determines what keywords produced what goals, and provides powerful negative keyword tools  that help you to consistently refine your keywords.
- Value - Increased productivity and relevancy in SEM saves you time, money, and drives better search marketing ROI.
In this SEM tutorial, you'll learn how and why WordStream  SEM tools go about providing this improved efficiency, value, and Web traffic  quality so that you can improve both your PPC returns and even your organic rankings in SERPs . If you're an SMB, with tools this powerful and cost-effective, you may find hiring an SEM agency  unnecessary.
SEM Tools from WordStream
WordStream enables productivity, relevance and value by providing you with innovative SEM tools that make three critically important, yet otherwise impossible tasks remarkably simple:
- Continuous Long-Tail Keyword Research - WordStream offers search-focused Web analytics  tools which will arm you with a comprehensive, growing and private list of keywords to bid on and to target through search engine optimization .
- Intelligent Keyword Grouping - WordStream's keyword grouping  tools are specially designed to simplify keyword grouping, segmentation and organization on an on-going basis.
- Campaign Wide SEM Management - With the aid of WordStream's SEM optimization and campaign management tools, you can manipulate and receive suggestions for entire SEM campaigns  from a single dashboard.
the role of keywords in SEM
WordStream SEM tools leverages the application's suite of Web analytics, keyword research , and keyword suggestion  tools to present you with a keyword list that provides your campaign with two important benefits:
- A Never Ending List of Keywords - WordStream initially mines your website's historic logs for keyword data. The software then tracks visits to your site every day thereafter, and enters new search queries into your WordStream dashboard. This ensures that you have an extensive list of keyword information, while adding new keywords to your account's keyword database daily.
- A Relevant, Exclusive Keyword List - Because these keywords come from your site-specific log and traffic data, you are the only one with this particular list of keywords. Additionally, you can be sure these keywords are highly specific to your site and your business, because the information is being pulled from your site.
WordStream's keyword suggestion benefits are predicated upon two main technological advantages offered by the software:
- A Stream of Keywords - The software makes daily keyword suggestions, including "long tail keywords ", which offers you a constant flow of researched keywords.
- Campaign Maintenance Tools - Additionally, the application provides you with tools for the continual refinement and optimization of this unending list.
In the screenshot below we see a customer's "keyword graph":
Each bar on the graph represents a search term from this customer's WordStream account. There are two important things to note from this particular screen shot:
- Keywords Found - We see here that WordStream's keyword analytics  and keyword research tools have amassed over a million and a half keywords. Every day, this account adds a few dozen new keyword variations to its WordStream dashboard.
- Long Tail Keywords - The graph's "long tail" actually extends far beyond this illustration; this "tail" is filled with highly relevant, often inexpensive keyword opportunities.
Thus, relevant and potentially favorable advertising opportunities are being presented by the WordStream product every day.
keyword grouping AND SEM
Once you've amassed this enormous list of keywords, the issue becomes one of maintaining and manipulating them in such a way that you can really capitalize on your stock of long tail terms and inexpensive clicks.
Google  and other search engines attempt to provide relevant ads for their searchers (who are also their consumers). To accomplish this, they use an algorithm which mainly focuses on:
- Relevance - The relevance of a keyword to its Ad Group  (how closely related the terms within an Ad Group are).
- Click-Through Rate - The rate at which people who see your ad actually click on it.
While there are other factors involved, these two are central to determining your Quality Score  (the score assigned to your ads to determine how trusted and relevant they are). More trusted, relevant ads are rewarded with:
- Better Ad Position - Which leads to higher click-through rates (CTR) , creating a virtuous cycle (a higher AdWords click through rate  leads to better ad position, which leads to higher CTR, and on it goes).
- Lower Costs - Google determines what you pay for ad position  based on the above factors. Higher Quality Scores mean you pay less money for the same ad position.
WordStream offers powerful keyword grouping tools which allow you to easily segment keyword lists (even those totaling in the millions) into tightly related Keyword Groups  specifically designed to raise your Quality Score.
Because of WordStream's advanced querying functionality, turning these lists of keywords into a series of tight groupings can be done in minutes. Let's take a look at how it works.
Creating Your Search Marketing Keyword Groups
Imagine we have a website that sells medial supplies. We've uploaded our log files to our WordStream account, so we have a nice list of keywords to start grouping.
With the click of a button, we can start to receive segmentation suggestions from the software:
In the above illustration we can see the ease of segmentation within WordStream.
You're immediately offered algorithmically generated keyword suggestions based on the number of relevant keywords a group would consist of, and the amount of traffic that group would drive to your site. You have the option to create a segmentation with a single click.
Once you've created a segmentation, you can create several related groups at once with a single click:
We can then drill even further down to create an even better, more closely related series of keyword segmentations following the same process:
The above represents a number of very closely related Ad Groups. Groups that, assuming we can create relevant and compelling ads and related landing pages, will beget higher Quality Scores and lower costs.
WordStream is a comprehensive SEM solution. You can manage numerous aspects of your pay-per-click campaigns  from a single dashboard.
The application's A to Zservices include:
- Web Analytics - WordStream tracks search traffic to your site and stores invaluable keyword data, even offering a means of parsing historical log files to find search information from as far back as you can produce Web logs for.
- Keyword Research and Suggestion - These analytics tools cycle all of this information into your WordStream account, providing you with real, actionable keyword research and keyword suggestions.
- Keyword Grouping - The application places these researched keywords into the same platform where you'll find WordStream's cost-saving keyword grouping tools.
- Ad Group Creation and Ad Text Authoring - Once you've created closely related Keyword Groups with WordStream's tool-set, you can then turn those Keyword Groups into live Ad Groups, and even assign the Ad Group its own ad text.
- Campaign Publishing - WordStream offers full integration with leading search engines' APIs, enabling you to download and post account changes to your live search marketing accounts with the click of a button.
This is a remarkably simple process:
With a click of the button, a Keyword Group has become an Ad Group.
The next step is to create a text ad:
Pictured above is WordStream's ad text suggestion editor. WordStream pulls keyword information from the Ad Group you created to suggest quality score friendly ad text.
You can spend a minute or two editing the text to ensure the punctuation and calls to action are appropriate and send the group to the right landing page .
It's easy to see how with this ad text population and editing functionality, you can create text ads for numerous Ad Groups in a matter of minutes.
SEM Includes SEO
WordStream doesn't just function as a paid search tool.
why you need WordStream'ssoftware
WordStream is a fully-featured application that offers a lot in the way of utility, but the software's value proposition can basically be boiled down to the three core features which provide the three central benefits offered by WordStream:
- Deep, continuous keyword research
- Intelligent keyword grouping
- Campaign wide management tools
You'll be able to manage every aspect of yourcampaigns in a few hours a week. All while drastically lowering your acquisition costs and improving your results.
To start leveraging these SEM tools and to start experiencing these benefits and results, you can: