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So that leads me on to some of these new systems. I would like an ASP based system, and if possible one that is integrated with YSM, Google aswell as AdCentre. Can these systems get search volumes across all networks and expected CPC's for a given position? I want to be able to manage bids on a CPA basis, so the tool needs to be rules based (I think!)
Has anyone used Indextools? I know it does not do some of the stuff above but it looks quite cost effective. What others should I consider?
I know I have asked a lot of questions but any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
1) You're right to go for an ASP solution because you want to buy the reliability and infrastructure behind a technology, as well as the technology itself.
2) Most technologies should be able to cope with Google, Yahoo, MSN and MIVA. But do your research - I can think of one big name system that had terrible problems integrating with the MSN API. Also understand how a technology provider is dealing with Google's fees and T&Cs for API access.
3) Forecasting is a difficult business with search - pulling traffic data from the SEs is not enough. You need something that can analyse your historical data to produce a forecast tailored for your campaign.
4) As well as rules-based systems, there are also portfolio algorithm-based systems. Again, do your research to understand the differences between the two so you can question the claims of technology providers.
I'm afraid I don't know anything about Indextools, so I can't help you there. But come back and ask more questions if you want to.
i also work for a bid management software company (www.adconsole.com). it depends on how sophisticated you are and how much money you are spending. our software is designed exclusively for small and mid size businesses. it's a lot less complex than the atlas' and keyword max's of the world, meant to be easy for the SMB. but you also have enterprise tools out there that are more sophisticated out there so it depends your needs and budgets.