Helping companies get a higher profile and make more money on the web has become big business; companies like Clickable and Marin Software offer tools to manage your search advertising campaigns, while others like HubSpot and Coremetrics have created analytics products that help optimize your site for search engines and sales. Now a startup called Yield Software wants to bring all those tasks together in a single, easy-to-use product.
The goal, says co-founder and chief executive Matt Malden, is to target small and medium businesses (those spending up to $20,000 a month on search marketing) who find the existing solutions too complicated and too piecemeal, or who currently perform all these tasks manually. Malden says his team has put a lot of thought into what parts of the process can be automated and what can’t, allowing the company to offer the most usable product, and also the only solution that combines search engine optimization, search advertising, and landing page evaluation in one place.
Malden gave me a demo of the product, and it looks pretty powerful. On search engine optimization (i.e., making your site is designed for the best possible ranking on search engines like Google), Yield evaluates your site and provides a list of possible improvements. On search advertising, it lets you make the high level decisions like what kinds of keywords you want your ads to show up with, and what the ad should look like, then automates the menial tasks like bidding on different keywords at different search engines. Finally, on landing pages (pages where you try to convert visitors into paying customers or subscribers), it also provides advice, as well as a design tool that lets you play with different layouts, and even a way to turn your new design into the code needed to make the changes a reality.
I suspect Yield Software sacrifices some of the sophisticaton and richness of its more focused competitors, but its potential lies in the fact that it brings all these tools together, and in its ease of use. The San Mateo, Calif. startup kind of reminds me of personal finance site Mint.com, another startup that has put a lot of thought into usability, and which also tries to provide a simplified, consolidated view of a range of tasks and accounts.
Malden says Yield Software will be offering free, 1-month trials. After that, pricing starts at $129 per month. The company has raised $6 million in a round led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson.