Last month, I wrote about free PPC tools for success. Sometimes, though, free tools aren't enough.
In enterprise PPC, or for tougher tasks like landing page optimization, paid tools are necessary to make an impact – and they usually pay for themselves many times over in improved results.
Remember, most paid tools offer free trials, so there's little risk in testing them out. Here are 18 must-have paid tools for PPC success, suggested by eight PPC experts.
Bid Management Tools
There are several great providers out there, such as:
If you're managing one or more large PPC accounts, a bid management tool is crucial, and will save you time and money.
Competitive Intelligence Tools
Want to know what keywords your competitors are bidding on, and an estimate of how much they're paying for them? With competitive intelligence tools, that information and more can be yours.
Spyfu (recommended by Luke Alley of Avalaunch Media), AdBeat (recommended by Andrew Bethel), Keyword Spy (recommended by Aaron Levy of SEER Interactive), and SEMrush are all useful tools for competitive positioning and keyword research.
- Visual Website Optimizer: This landing page optimization tool creates multiple landing pages for testing with no coding required. If you've ever had to wait for IT to create landing pages, you'll love Visual Website Optimizer. (Thanks to Luke Alley for this tool suggestion.)
- Supermetrics: Ever wished you could create great-looking reports automatically in Excel or Google Docs? Supermetrics does this for an affordable yearly fee. (Thanks to Andrew Bethel for this tool suggestion)
- Next Analytics: This Excel plugin is for downloading and analyzing data, and creating reports. Next Analytics creates dashboards with data from search and social media. (Thanks to Arianne Donoghue of Mamas for this tool suggestion)
- CallRail: If you're using click-to-call, or if a significant number of your sales come via phone, it's important to know which keywords and ads closed the sale. Good for measuring the total impact of click-to-call ads, CallRail can track online and offline calls in one interface. (Thanks to Luke Alley for this tool suggestion)
- Bizible: Use Bizible to combine AdWords and Google Analytics data with SalesForce to close the loop between your online marketing efforts and your lead nurturing system. (Thanks to Dave Rigotti for this tool suggestion)
Have you ever searched on your own or your client's brand, only to see affiliates outbidding you and potentially taking your traffic? Brand Verity helps you keep tabs on rogue affiliates. There's also Search Monitor for serious affiliate tracking and monitoring.
- Screaming Frog: Screaming Frog is usually thought of as an SEO tool, but you can use it for PPC to help with mapping and gapping in ecommerce accounts. Say you have thousands of search links in an e-commerce account and want to know the number of search results for each link. Screaming Frog helps with that. Then you can see which links you should be promoting in your product listing ads or shopping campaigns, for instance. Screaming Frog has a free version, but it's limited to 500 links. The paid version allows crawls of unlimited links – crucial for large ecommerce catalogs. (Thanks to Chris Gutknecht for this tool suggestion.)
- Basecamp: Basecamp isn't a PPC tool per se. It's project management software. It's a useful tool to coordinate PPC projects across a team. When you're working on an enterprise-level client, you might have one person doing bid management, another doing keyword research and ad copy, another doing reporting – or you may have multiple people tag-teaming it on each task. Basecamp keeps everyone accountable and makes sure work gets done without overlapping unnecessarily. (Thanks to Lisa Sanner for this tool suggestion.)
- ClickTime: Time tracking is a necessary evil for PPC agencies. You can use ClickTime as a time tracking solution. It's simple and cloud-based, so time can be entered from any Internet-connected device. (Thanks to Lisa Sanner for this tool suggestion.)
Huge thanks to the PPC experts who contributed their suggestions for paid tools for PPC success: Luke Alley; Andrew Bethel; Arianne Donoghue; Lisa Sanner, Aaron Levy, Tim Jensen, Dave Rigotti, and Chris Gutknecht.
What are your favorite paid PPC tools?
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