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Don’t Leave Your Search Marketing in the Cold this Holiday. Heat Up Last Minute SEM with SEO Insights!

The Christmas shopping season is reaching its apex.

If you didn’t have your holiday marketing campaign in order weeks ago, you might be thinking that it’s too late to get started now. If you’re one of those stragglers, listen up – all is not lost! You can still jump right into the thick of things with some carefully executed SEM campaigns informed by your top-performing SEO keywords.

That’s right, your SEO keywords. But didn’t Google organic search become 100% encrypted months ago, you ask? Almost.

Google Analytics will no longer natively reveal this information, but this is where Webmaster Tools comes into play. I recommend two reports in Webmaster Tools, which you can still use to gain insight into your top-performing search terms: the Search Queries report, and the Content Keywords report.

webmaster tools reports

Using the Search Queries report, you can still identify “the top search queries for which your site appeared in search results, as well as queries for which users actually clicked through to your site.” In other words, you can still see which keywords are your top performers in terms of impressions, CTR, and average rank.  In a pinch, this information can provide a baseline for your holiday paid search campaigns – guiding which terms you should bid on and the level of engagement you should expect in return.

webmaster tools query report

The second report – Content Keywords – can give you insight into the instances of key terms on your website. Instead of blindly building paid campaigns around topics, products, or services you deem most important, why not start with where Google sees the most information on your site? While you’re at it, this report might reveal that you’re thin on content for a topic that you think deserves more emphasis.

I hope these Webmaster Tools tips help inform your digital strategy for the holiday home stretch of 2013!

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