A collection of our favorite PPC automation tools.
We've collected our favorite PPC tools in this list.
No matter how you cut it, PPC management takes time and can be tedious.
In the past few years several tools have come up to help automize tasks in PPC management.
From keyword research, to creating landing pages, to helping with ad copy to optimizations and budget balancing, there seems to be a tool out there for everything.
It can be hard to shift through the noise and pick the right ones, so we've decided to share our favorites.
We use them, and we benefit immensely from the time saved. Give these a try and you might benefit too.
Essential PPC Tools
This is a no brainer. It's Google's in-house ads interface and best suited to handle certain tasks. From bulk edits, to optimizations, to automated bidding, you can do it all in the Google Ads Editor.
That's not to say that Google's interface is always the best option. Sometimes third-party tools are better, and we will include some in this list.
While the Microsoft Advertising might not be as popular of an ad platform as Google, there are several benefits to having your ads shown on the Bing Search Engine and across Microsoft properties, as we detail here.
Most importantly, CPC is cheaper and your competitors might not be there. It's much easier to rank on words you otherwise would not be able to due to budget constraints in Google Ads. Most importantly, you can easily import your campaigns in Google Ads into the Microsoft Advertising Editor, so it is easy to get started.
Aori burst onto the scene in 2017 and has become the essential platform to automize complicated account structures. Several tools are available that cut down hour-long processes to a few minutes, most notably their Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAG) tool. For anybody that uses Single Keyword Ad Groups in their campaigns, Aori is the go-to platform.
This is a handy tool by WordPress that audits your Google Ads account in just one minute and gives recommendations for what could be improved. While useful for a quick snapshot of campaign performance, most likely you will need a more thorough tool to really hone in on detailed optimizations.
If you are running ads on Facebook, AdEspresso is one of the most popular tools out there. They offer a smooth interface to create, manage and analyze Facebook campaigns. Their cheapest plan is $49 and it goes up from there.
PPC keyword and competitor research tools
When it comes to PPC campaigns, one of the best ways to find keywords to rank for is to look at what your competitors are doing. You can do that on your own, but you could also use a tool, which would cut down on how much it takes you.
SEMrush has become a leader in the spece of keyword research and domain data. Considering how important data on your competitors is, the price tag of $58 per mointh on their annual plan is well worth the cost.
SpyFu is more popular in the SEO community, but the competitor keywords the tool identifies easily translates to PPC. Usually PPC and SEO specialists switch between these two tools, SEMrush and Spyfu. It's not up to us to say which one is better. SpyFu is slightly cheaper, with annual plans starting at $49.
Ahrefs is one of the standard tools in SEO for keyword research. The tool allows you to research competitors, analyze backlinks to your website and monitor your niche. It is one of the best tools to figure out why your competitors rank so high and what you need to do outrank them.
Another popular tool for competitor research is ISpionage, which provides keyword data but also information on the online marketing activities of your competitors. The price begins at $59 per month for the cheapest.
While it is easy to build a landing page with tools like Unbounce, this is just the first step of the process. In order to improve what you built initially with Unbounce or another tool, you should always be testing and tweaking and analyzing what is getting the best results.
Optimizely comes in when this is the case. It is one of the most popular tools for split testing landing pages and requires little technical know-how.
While the tools above are great for competitor research, when it comes to keyword research overall Google's Keyword Planner is the industry standard.
Annoyingly, Google only provides estimated search volume data for keywords. We are 100% sure they have more detailed keyword info they share with the PPC community, but they choose to withhold it because otherwise it would make advertising on Google much easier.
In any case, when it comes to keyword planner it is essential to use the Keyword Planner.
Search activity is often seasonal in nature, and centered around major sporting events, holidays and other cultural topics. Google Trends provides a snapchat of what people are searching for across the world. You can break down the data by country and use different timeframes to see how searching habits change.
The ability to break down by country is especially important, because holidays and searcn topics often do not resonate the same way across borders. Halloween is a very popular holiday in the United States and Canada, it is not the same in the UK.
PPC call tracking tools
If you have a customer support platform that includes phone calls, then you are leaving invaluable data on the table if you do not track and analyze those conversations. Invoca allows you to record and track the calls with customers and then analyze the data afterward. While expensive at $1,000 per month, it is well worth it for the data.
Similar to Invoca, Twilio tracks and analyzes phone calls for your business. They offer a pay-as-you-go model where you buy phone numbers that are local or toll free and record phone calls to those numbers.
A third option you can use for phonecall analytics is CallRail which is integrated with Gogole Analytics and Google Ads. Plans start at $30.
PPC analysis tools
Google Analytics is the pillar that holds everything behind your PPC campaigns and website together. You can track both organic and paid traffic and it is completely free. Every business should be using it.
Google Search Console provides information for how many people click on your website from Google's SERP as well as how many impressions your website gets.
It also shows you what search terms your website is appearing for, and their average position in the SERP.
While this tool is mostly used in SEO and organic rankings, it can also be a useful source to find keyword data for your PPC campaigns. More than likely, if your website is ranking for certain search terms organically, then they could also be a could keyword for your paid ads.
Free PPC Tools
WordStream's completely free benchmarking tool lets you quickly see whether your CTR, CPC, CPA and conversation rate are in line with your industry average. You simply pick an industry and put in your click-through rate, CPC etc. and compare.
PPC Landing Page Tools
Unbounce offers a handly landing page tool. They have almost 100 landing page templates for almost any online activity, from sales to lead generation to ebooks and more. There's a free trial, after which the cost is $49 per month.
LeadPages may be a cheaper alternative to Unbounce at $25 per month and a wide range of landing page templates to use.
PPC ad copy inspiration
The Buzzfeed of PPC, BuzzSumo is a great tool to get inspiration for content creation and marketing. It shows you the most shared content on the web and you can search by domain, keyword, niche, authors and more. It's also a great tool to use to find influencers. You can see Twitter, Facebook and other social media profiles of individuals and the content they share, and the engagement their shares got.
It's up to you then to decide whether you'd want to have them share your website too.
It's also a great place to find ideas for ad copy. Catchy headlines that get a lot of shares and go viral can also be used in your Google Ads copy.
The cheapest plan is $99 per month.
A free tool that helps with keyword research and what topics to write content on.
The way it works is you enter in a keyword and the tool will pull out questions the internet is asking related to that keyword.
The questions are displayed in an interactive graphic and broken down by who, what, why where, is and so forth.
Display ad image inspiration and creation
This is a great tool mainly used by content marketers to create sharable images for their blog posts. However, it can also be useful for display ads.
The best thing about it is that it is relatively cheap, at only only $12 per month for the most expensive plan.
Similar to Stencil, Canva helps you easily create interactive display ads. You can work with your own image assets for free or use the paid version which gives you access to their database of images.
Pinterest has its own ad platform, but one of the best places to get inspiration for your display ads is to simply browse pinterest for a while.
For example, if your industry is nutrition, do a search in Pinterest for 'nutrition' and see what kind of images, infographics and posts come up. You can save the ones you like onto your own boards and use them later for your display ads.
To advertise on Facebook, an image can only have 20% text in the thumbnail. This can get difficult if you create your Facebook Ads images outside of the interface.
To make sure you are compliant, you can use Facebook's Text Overlay Tool to make sure your images are copmliant with Facebook's rules. The same image to text ratio applies for Instagram. If your image covers more than six boxe in the grid, then you will have to reduce the amount of text.
Whether you want to rank organically and spicen up your blog post, or you want to create a more interactive display ad, GIFs are a sure-fire way to make your content more fun.
Giphy is the largest online database of GIFs. You can use it to find inspiring GIFs or make your own, and then sue them in your display ad campaigns.
Any annoying, repetitive and mundane task that you perform in your Google Ads campaign management can often times be automated, and Google Ads scripts allow you to do this.
While setting them up can be intimidating, and habits of doing things a certain way may have to be broken, in the long run you will save a ton of time automating the time-consuming tasks of PPC.
Not all of us have the luxury of managing campaigns at a desk in a quiet office with a cup of coffee. The reality is that sometimes during the most crucial moments in your campaign, you will be on the go, riding the metro or outside of your workplace.
In such cases it really helps to have the Google Ads App on your phone to keep an eye on your campaigns and make any changes at a moment's notice. There are limitations, in that the app is designed more to manage existing Google Ads campaign than set up new ones. For example, you can't add any keywords or create new text ads.
Just like Google, Facebook also has a standalone app specifically to manage Facebook campaigns on the fly. The Facebook Ads Manager App gives you the ability to look at ad performance, edit ads, adjust budgets and even create new ads.
While it doesn't offer the detailed reporting that Google Analytics on desktop has, if you need quickly glance at any metrics or stats, having the GA app on your phone is helpful. This can be especially useful if you meet with clients and need to pull up numbers without your computer around.
We wanted to end with Microsoft Excel, which many wouldn't think of as a PPC tool, but which at the end of the day remains the best software to use when working with lots of data.
Let's be honest, most of these tools on this list are based on formulas that can be done in Excel. You could save a ton of money by just using Excel to manage all the data about PPC campaigns.
The problem is that many PPC marketers lack advanced excel skills to really take advantage of all the program's features. And they don't have the time to learn them.
Even if you choose to use the PPC tools in this list, you can often export the data they provide in a list and play around with the information yourself. Often times this is faster than working with the data in their own interfaces.