Need To Track Your Brand Online? Try Search Monitor

There was a new service launched at the beginning of the month that follows all uses of your brand, domain, special keywords and more - Search Monitor. And before you jump at me for the plug I am not associated with it at all.

I was sent the press release and information about the product and from what I have seen so far this could be a great tool for reputation management, keeping an eye on competitors using your name etc. or even to track affiliates.

There are some products out there that cover some of the elements, but the interface is easy to navigate and provides some valuable monitors that many of us can use.

The press release states:

The Search Monitor (“TSM”), an online monitoring service that tracks competitive advertiser activity on paid search, blogs, news, and web sites, announces the product release of three new automated monitoring utilities: Competitor Monitor, Trademark Monitor, and Affiliate Monitor.

With this launch, interactive agencies, marketers, affiliate managers, and compliance teams gain critical insight into search marketing strategies, affiliate activities, trademark abuse, and brand buzz. The Search Monitor offers important information that can only be gained by careful 24x7 automated monitoring, and surfaces the information in 3 easy to use reporting sections:

1. Competitor Monitor gives insights into competitive bidding strategies, competitor market share and visibility, ranking on sponsored search, ad copy strategies, and promotions like free shipping, trials, or sales.

2. Trademark Monitor eases the tasks associated with reputation management by auto-detecting advertisers sponsoring branded keywords, use of trademarks and slogans in ad copy and display urls, and brand buzz on blogs, news, and web sites.

3. Affiliate Monitor simplifies oversight of affiliate programs by auto-identification of affiliates using sponsored search to detect violations of rank requirements, keyword restrictions, ad copy
requirements or restrictions, and landing page copy requirements or restrictions.

Search engine marketing has become a critical component for advertisers. According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), North American advertisers spent $12.2 billion on SEM in 2007 and that figure is estimated to more than double to reach $25.2 billion by 2011. The Search Monitor was developed to provide the tools necessary to optimize the sizable investments being made in this medium and to protect brands from competitive threats.

“There is a big problem in the industry known as ‘Piggybacking' which is when smaller advertisers use the trademarks or slogans of bigger advertisers in ad copy or display urls to lure consumers into clicking on their ads”, says Shaun Martinec, a TSM founder. “For our larger brand clients, we have discovered as many as 1 in 10 competitors engaging in this practice. We were quite alarmed to learn that some violators are parked domains, phishing, and spyware sites. With The Search Monitor, our clients are able to catch these activities and react quickly.”

Another advantage of having a monitoring tool such as The Search Monitor is that marketers and agencies can glean insights into competitive online advertising campaigns including ad copy, promotional offers and ad placement strategies.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.