WordStream Launches Low-Cost Search Engine Marketing Tool, Raises $4 Million

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which keywords you should bid on. We help you group and organize the thousands of keywords into logical groupings of 20 to 100, as Google recommends.”

WordStream can also help companies adjust the wording of the ads and of the “landing pages” that the ads link to, so that they relate as directly as possible to searchers’ queries. That, in turn, helps to improve an ad’s Quality Score, Adler says. And the higher the Quality Score, the higher an ad will generally appear on a search result page, the more people will likely click on it, and the less money Google will charge the advertiser per click.

In the long run, says Alder, understanding how to influence that cycle leads to more effective advertising campaigns at lower cost. “Most advertisers only try to influence their ad ranking by adjusting their maximum bids on keywords, since it’s the only thing that you can tell Google,” he says. “But if you double your Quality Score, you can effectively cut your maximum bid in half and stay at the same ad rank. It’s a very powerful lever to play with.” And only an automated system like WordStream’s can help advertisers influence their Quality Score consistently, Adler says.

Using WordStream’s SEM tool is as simple as going to its site, signing up for an account, and activating a software wizard that allows users to upload their own keyword lists or connect WordStream to their Google Analytics accounts. “We put their keywords into our database and off they go,” says Adler. Subscriptions to the service range from $300 to $1,000 per month, but potential customers can get started with a free trial.

Adler says Sigma Partners was persuaded to invest in WordStream because of Flanagan’s prior experience as executive vice president and CFO at VistaPrint, a Bermuda-based online graphic design and print company whose U.S. operations are headquartered in Lexington, MA. “Paul knew what a critical component search marketing was at VistaPrint, and he know how much they had to spend to build SEM tools to get the company to where it is,” says Adler. “Most companies are nowhere near as sophisticated about SEM as they are, but he saw that our software tool could put other companies on a par with everything VistaPrint had built.”

For his part, Flanagan says SEM is an industry with growing potential. “The demand for search engine marketing services is continuing to grow at a rapid clip because it works,” he said in today’s funding announcement. “However, many organizations have yet to embrace search, have been frustrated by mixed results, or find managing campaigns labor intensive. WordStream has built software that can effectively serve the ever-growing and solution-hungry search marketing community.”

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