We’re big on gaining as much Google “shelf space” as possible. In other words, for any particular keyword we are targeting, we want to have a paid search listing on the search results page as well as at least one natural search ranking. We think it greatly increases your chance of getting a click to your site, and it is a strong branding move. To make this happen, you need to create landing pages specific to certain keywords. This improves your chances of converting the visitor into a customer AND gives you the opportunity to heavily optimize a page for natural search listings.
Keeping all this in mind, we’ve decided we would like our AdWords management application to also be useful in optimizing landing pages for natural search rankings. The first part of this is providing the natural Google search rankings for each keyword. In other words, I don’t want to just know what my ad position is for a keyword – I also want to know what my natural rank for that keyword is. This information will help me generate shelf space.
But we’ve figured out a way to do it. It’s much more processor intensive than if we could just request the information directly from Google, but that’s alright. We’re getting it done, even though it’s a lot more work than it should be. Why Google is intent on making its vendors and customers jump through hoops is beyond me, but the situation is what it is. We’ll deal with it. We can’t wait for the day when Microsoft catches up with Google in terms of natural search traffic and keyword inventory, because we know Microsoft would make it easier to plug into their backend to get the data we need.
So we carry on, fighting one battle after another. When we’re done, we will have an application that will make it much easier for us to manage our own clients’ paid and natural search campaigns. The next step would be to open it up to others who might want to use it for their own campaigns.