There are thousands of marketing tools and services available on the market.
Don’t believe me? Just take a look at this graphic, depicting all of the logos for different marketing brands:
The growth in the “Marketing Tools & Technology” sector has been explosive.
With over 7,000 services and tools available in 2019, how do you wade through the clutter and find the PPC tools that will be helpful to your specific business?
Well, I’m assuming you’re here because you run PPC ads. That helps narrow things down.
PPC only accounts for a small portion of those 7,000+ services, but there are still several hundred.
Today, I’m going to outline my top 7 best PPC tools that I have used and loved in my career. Using these 7 tools in tandem would make for an excellent rig for any marketing expert!
Account Management Tool | Paid (Free trial available) | www.optmyzr.com
Optmyzr has a lot of things going for it. It is an incredibly powerful Google Ads account management tool. It was created and is run by Frederick Vallaeys, one of Google’s first 500 employees, who basically created AdWords Editor. He’s pretty much a celebrity in the PPC world. Also, their support team is amazing.
What Optmyzr can help you do:
- Ad scheduling tool can mimic metric curves and set bid adjustments throughout the week
- Keyword lasso tool grabs highly converting search queries and make them keywords with a few clicks
- Automated “rule engine” can perform complex tasks for you, on a scheduled basis – you can even automate other tools to run regularly
- Leverage pre-written scripts to automate your accounts
- Much more
There are other tools that connect to your PPC account via API and help you manage your data. However, in my experience, Optmyzr does it better.
Fred and his team seem to have a knack for knowing what tasks are the most important to keeping an account healthy. This tool covers them all.
Note: The Optmyzr team has even taken our opinions into consideration to build new tools and functionality. Amazing customer support.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your account, or think you could improve your efficiency with some sleek new tools, try Optmyzr and get a free trial.
This should be a no-brainer, but are you sure you’re using the editors for all they’re worth?
Google Ads and Microsoft Ads have free tools available for working offline. They make it easy to access one or multiple accounts, and modify in bulk before pushing changes live.
Here are a few key features of Google AdWords Editor:
- Bulk offline changes across multiple account entities (for example, bulk create campaigns, ad groups, keywords & ads from a single upload file).
- Easily find and replace text across thousands of ads/keywords at once – great for correcting spelling errors.
- Review changes before setting them live.
Although most of these tools’ functionalities can be accessed on Google Ads online, the offline editors can often make it easier to avoid errors.
5. KW Finder
Keyword Research Tool | Paid (~$30/month) | kwfinder.com
KW Finder helps you find long-tail SEO keywords that are easy to rank for. However, keyword research should also be an essential part of your weekly PPC marketing routine.
KW Finder is an excellent tool to help find and organize relevant queries to your business.
What makes it unique is the “Keyword Difficulty” score for both PPC and SEO. This score will help you determine whether you have a shot at outranking your competition in the current SERP landscape.
What KW Finder can help you do:
- Find lower competition keywords relevant to your business
- Organize keywords into groups based on similarities
- Find unique queries based on Google’s autocomplete
Get 5 searches free to see how the tool works.
Tip: Google & Bing both offer “Keyword Planner” tools for free in the UI, though they aren’t quite as user friendly or informative.
4. Auction Insights
Competitive Analysis | Free
In the world of PPC, things change daily. New competitors emerge and existing competitors morph their strategies. That is why a competitive analysis tool should be on your bookmarks bar.
Auction insights is the free tool offered by Google Ads and Microsoft Ads. You can access it on the Campaigns, Ad Groups or Keywords tab in the secondary toolbar:
Here, you will find useful insights into your competitors’ advertising behavior, like:
- Impression share
- Position above rate
- Overlap rate
- Absolute top of page rate
- Outranking share
These metrics will give you a clear picture of who is positioned where on the SERPs for specific keywords.
Tip: Segment this data by day and export into excel to build a simple pivot chart and see how these metrics change over time.
Paid alternative: SpyFu.com – They offer more than just PPC insights, with much more detail on SEO and the overall competitive landscape. This service is free to use, but paid memberships give you much more actionable data.
Data Visualization & Dashboards | Free | datastudio.google.com
Data Studio is an amazing, free tool that has come a long way. You can pull live data from multiple sources, and organize it in a visual dashboard.
You can mesh data from multiple sources on the same widget, pull API data from open APIs like weather or twitter feeds, and much, much more. You can also make it look pretty.
If you think you would benefit from a live dashboard in your workspace, spend a few hours tinkering with Data Studio and see what it can do for you.
Landing Page Builder & A/B Tester | Free or Paid Plans | unbounce.com
Unbounce is incredible. It allows you to tie your existing domain to a customized subdomain (ie. http://welcome.yourwebsite.com) and build custom landing pages.
The platform offers dozens of templated landing pages that can be easily customized with zero html or coding knowledge.
Customer support is also fantastic and available regularly.
A/B testing becomes simple. You can build a single page, make a copy of that page and modify it, and then run an A/B test with any percentage traffic distribution you want.
There are tons of pre-built integrations available for your unbounce pages, from MailChimp to WordPress to Unsplash. To top it all off, setup is simple and quick.
If you aren’t A/B testing your landing pages, you should be. Try Unbounce for a great solution.
1. Microsoft Excel / Google Sheets
Data Workbooks | Paid / Free
Okay, I know this is a huge cop-out. I realized that I was numbering these about halfway through and got scared of giving any of these tools the *number one spot*.
However, if there is one tool I have used more than any other, it is Microsoft Excel. And Google Sheets is basically a web-based version of Excel with a lot of the essential functionality.
You’re probably already using Excel for your PPC workload, but I encourage you to look into the deep array of available tools and add-ons for Excel.
Have you tried pivot charts? They work similarly to a pivot table, but take the form of a graph (scatter, line, bar, whatever you want).
Macro-enabled workbooks can significantly reduce the time to complete your daily routine. Macros can be simple, or beautifully complex and useful.
Google Sheets is an easy tool to get used to if you’re used to working in Excel. It almost seems like, for once, Google is emulating Microsoft’s great product, and not the other way around…
You can even upload existing .xlsx files directly into Google Sheets.
What else can you do with Google Sheets?
- Pull live API data
- Integrate with other Google products, like Data Studio
- Write complex formulas
- Sort, filter and graph data
- Share your document with others to be jointly edited
- So much more!
Depending on the application, either of these tools can be useful. If you are have a tool for building new content, maybe you use Google Sheets and share the spreadsheet. If you are pulling a one-time report and using huge amounts of data, you’d likely want Microsoft Excel. Don’t underestimate the power of these workbook programs!
One More Tool…Workflowy
Organization | Free
Workflowy makes checklists and to-do lists beautifully simple and usable.
The tool is free for a certain number of checklist items, with a paid tier if you want more. But if you’re getting your work done, you can simply remove items as you go. A truly excellent tool for visualizing your workload and checking items off as you go.
I hope you found some new tools to explore here today. From one PPCer to another, good luck!