This is Part 1 of a 10-part series on 10 things we believe about search marketing. These 10 beliefs form our product design philosophy .
At WordStream, we believe that keywords (including SEO keywords,  PPC keywords , meta keywords , long tail keywords , etc.) form the foundation of all your search marketing efforts, both paid and organic. These keywords represent the way people search for the products and services your business offers. Given the potential power of search engines as a sales and marketing channel, this information is a valuable asset not just for marketing but for your entire business.
Public keyword data from free keyword tools is a commodity, but data about your own site is a proprietary asset. As such, we believe that your company's keyword database should be treated with the same care as any piece of competitive intelligence or intellectual property.
When you recognize the value of keywords, you're more likely to do the necessary work to make your foundation as strong as possible, improving every aspect of your search marketing campaigns from the ground up. This work includes but is not limited to:
- Grouping your keywords into small, tightly related segments
- Organizing your keyword groups into a well-structured hierarchy
- Refactoring new keyword opportunities and insights into your database
As you perform these tasks iteratively, your keyword database will grow in size and value, offering compounding benefits for both pay-per-click marketing  and SEO —and reinforcing the need to respect and protect your data.
If you agree, do what we do at WordStream. Equip yourself with tools and practices that allow you and your search marketing team to manage and leverage your keywords as the proprietary asset that they are.