Pay Per Click marketing requires constant optimization and review to deliver impactful results. These PPC tools and platforms will help ensure your campaigns are performing.
When people use search engines to look for information, they type queries to narrow down their search results. Then, normally, they click the most relevant result and complete the task they were looking for. People search for all sorts of things; whether it’s buying a new pair of running shoes, looking for the nearest pizza place, or just trying to remember what Quentin Tarantino’s first movie was (it was My Best Friend’s Birthday… not Reservoir Dogs)!
Every search presents an opportunity for businesses to reach people right in the middle of an active search for particular products or services. However, some queries are much more valuable to certain businesses than others. For example, reaching customers searching for “best wealth management service” is probably more valuable to than individuals searching for “good savings accounts”.
As you can imagine, some of these queries are extremely competitive. To manage this, millions of auctions are held every second, and businesses bid against each other to serve ads for target keywords. The ads with the winning bids then get displayed to potential customers. When someone clicks on an ad, companies then pay the search engines their bid price – hence the name pay-per-click (PPC).
PPC advertising has become hugely popular in the last decade, and for good reason. Businesses can track and attribute clicks, spend, and conversions – and calculate precise return on investment for campaigns. PPC advertising now makes up around 48% of all digital marketing spend around the world, and is an essential digital channel for most businesses.
However, there are lots of moving parts to keep track of when setting up (and maintaining) PPC campaigns. Search terms change over time, and require constant optimization. Competitors might suddenly adjust their bidding strategy – leaving you overbidding on keywords and throwing budget away. In addition, campaigns can become very complex and require more sophisticated analytics to determine efficiency and calculate results.
Thankfully, there are a multitude of tools to aid marketers with PPC campaigns – whether you’re new to the channel or managing seven-figure budgets. These tools help in all sorts of ways, including helping advertisers set up campaigns, monitoring their accounts, running background audits, and automating routine actions required for generating the best return on ad spend.
When reviewing which tool to use, there are a number of things to consider. When selecting a PPC tool, it’s worth considering: cost, functionality and ease of use, product range, cancellation policies, customer service, and available learning resources to help you get the most out of the tool. These aren’t always easy to compare across all the tools that are out there. As a result, making an informed decision can often take hours of research. At least… it used to!
What type of PPC tools are available?
There are all kinds of tools available to help marketers manage PPC accounts. Some of the most popular tools aid with bid management, account auditing, brand protection services, and call tracking. Each of these are important components in PPC execution.
Where should I start with PPC?
Generally the first thing to do is identifying search terms relevant to your business that have a high volume of searches. This is similar to keyword planning in SEO, except you can immediately see results against your terms by bidding for placement. Next, you’ll need to configure campaigns targeting these terms and create your headline ads.
From here, it becomes a game of optimizing your ads and leaning into search terms and ad copy that performs. The best place to start is by trimming away ads and search terms that don’t seem to be converting; by removing poor conversion ads and keywords quickly, you can increase budget efficiency substantially.
How do I pay for these tools?
Usually tools are paid for on a monthly basis. However, most tools do offer a discount if you buy an annual subscription. Payment options often include credit/debit cards and/or bank transfers – it’s recommended that you double check this for tools you’re considering purchasing. And… don’t forget to add your VAT ID if you have one!
Can I configure my PPC campaigns and leave them alone?
As much as we’d love to say that this was possible (it would certainly save us a lot of time!), PPC campaigns often need a lot of supervision. Continually optimizing your bids and expanding your keyword list means digging into data and reviewing performance constantly. However, there are a number of tools available for simplifying and automating routine tasks.
Can I add multiple users to the same account?
Most tools allow unlimited users. However, some can have limits on the number of users you can add. This is always worth double-checking before you create an account to make sure it’s a good fit for your business.
We include a range of tools in our comparison tables. In these comparisons, you will be able to find platforms and providers that are suitable for small sites and blogs, medium-sized businesses and digital agencies, all the way up to multinational e-commerce sites.
We encourage you to read through the pros and cons of each tool to find the one right for your business needs – there is often no one-size-fits-all approach!
Call tracking tools: Without call-tracking tools, it can be impossible for businesses to track the number of leads generated by PPC compared other offline channels. For businesses looking to drive more phone calls, call tracking tools help close the loop between online campaigns and inbound phone calls.
PPC Bidding Platforms: If every PPC account has multiple campaigns, and each campaign has dozens (or sometimes hundreds) of search terms – manually adjusting each bid becomes an impossible task. These tools deploy algorithms to make your bidding much more efficient.
Reporting and dashboard tools: Due to the size and complexity of some PPC accounts, sometimes the native analytics tools just don’t cut it. Or, in other cases, it’s incredibly helpful to connect your PPC data with website analytics to dive deeper into your funnel analytics. These tools will help you do exactly that.
PPC Optimization Tools: If you’re just starting out, knowing where and how to optimize your campaigns can be difficult to decipher from the firehose of data that PPC campaigns generate. On the other end, highly sophisticated PPC accounts require constant and minute adjustments constantly. These tools will help you automate routine optimization tasks to ensure you’re getting the most out of your budgets.
PPC Competitor Research Tools: PPC bidding strategies can change at any time. Staying on top of what your direct competitors are doing can be the difference between a successful campaign and one that underperforms. These tools will help you inspect what updates they make.