There are a variety of useful tools available for SEO; however, there doesn’t seem to be many that are built to help users manage their PPC campaigns – not obvious ones anyway. But while they may be few and far between, there really are some gems out there, which I’ll explore in more detail in this post.
Firstly, it’s important to note that Google AdWords is not the only paid search platform out there; others include Microsoft’s AdCenter which is similar and provides its own wealth of useful tools. The tools in this post aims to provide a use no matter what platform you are using.
If you are aware of any other useful tools, let us know in the comments.
Keyword research is a hugely important part of building and growing a paid campaign. Google already provide the Google Keyword Tool and Bing offer their Bing Ads Intelligence tool, both of which offer a straightforward platform to research keywords, gather valuable data and get a sense for how competitive an industry is with regards to potential cost and the potential for success. There are, however, some other tools that can help find new keyword targets and expand your research.
Word Hippo is a tool to help you find similar words and can be great in helping you find similar words to expand your keyword research.
You can also use this tool to help you conduct negative keyword research.
Uber Suggest is a keyword ideas tool that utilises Google suggest to present lots of keyword ideas surrounding the term or phrase you enter within the search. It arranges the results in alphabetical order, which is easy to browse and find new keyword ideas.
Any useful keyword ideas can be plugged straight back into the Google Keyword Tool or similar to generate lots of possible keyword targets or negatives.
When browsing the Google or Bing search engine, you will notice that it populates the search fields with ideas or phrases it thinks you might be interested in. This contains valuable insights into some of the most common searches and can help you find new target phrases for PPC use.
Both search engines also allow you to view related searches, these can be a valuable source of new keywords and you can use these within the various keyword tools.
Landing page consideration is essential for a successful PPC campaign. You want to send traffic to a landing page relevant to their search; this will ultimately keep them on the page and improve the chance of conversion. Lots can be done to help with the optimisation of landing pages for increased conversions. Here are some tools that may help:
Google site commands are a good way of identifying the pages on your site most relevant to your target keywords, especially if your site has a large number of pages.
Simply search Google with the following:
Site:mysite.com “Relevant Keyword”
This will display only pages from mysite.com (of course enter your own site) and if there is a relevant indexed page for the keyword entered, it should display within the results. This is likely to deliver a number of results, it is suggested you choose the most relevant for your group of keywords and ads.
One way to improve the success of your paid campaigns is to focus on continually optimising your landing pages to improve the number of conversions. There are many sites out there that offer free downloads of elements such as buttons, arrows and more that can help improve the page visuals and highlight important elements for aiding conversions. One favourite is Six Revisions, who offer regular free resources.
Adding a simple button that draws attention can be effective enough to have a positive influence on the number of conversions from site visitors.
By introducing social sharing buttons onto your landing pages, you are enabling a user to either share your useful/interesting product or service with their peers as well as giving them an opportunity to easily save the page to visit at a later date (should they wish to convert).
You are then potentially gaining more value for your PPC spend and allowing the user to easily return to make a purchase or even multiple purchases. The last thing you would want is for someone who wants to return to your website but find that they can’t find the site/page. They may even return again via your PPC Ads which will end up spending unnecessary budget.
Like the social sharing buttons, it is also useful to place links to your social networks to allow people to follow you on these platforms. This will help increase the number of followers you have to promote to and engage with.
Location targeting is highly important. You might only do business in specific areas and therefore you will want to make sure you are only targeting people within this area. You may also have different campaigns that are targeting different countries on a city, county or country level. Here are some tools that may help:
It might appear obvious, but Google maps is a really thorough mapping system covering the entire globe. It is useful for researching target areas, surrounding areas, towns and cities to ensure your targeting is as accurate as possible.
You may also discover new areas that you are willing to target or want to remove from your targeting.
Another well-known resource, Wikipedia is useful for looking up locations and discovering near-by locations or other terms for the locations. This can be useful for location targeting or to establish whether there may be any significant search volume for any terms that include a location reference.
So you have an optimised PPC campaign and are getting visitors to your website. It is then up to the website landing pages to convert the visitors into doing what you want them to do. Many different elements go into a successful landing page; here are some tools/websites that can help.
Videos can be really useful for encouraging visitors to stay on the page and encouraging them to convert. Once you have created a video, there are numerous free tools that will host your videos to embed them on your website. One of the most popular is YouTube.
They can be a useful tool to showcase products or to show how your product or service can be beneficial to your site visitor. Visitors can sit back and watch a video rather than working their way through text – this instant ability to capture people’s attention is helpful for boosting conversions.
Page speed is a huge factor nowadays as people are becoming ever more impatient when browsing the web. It is therefore important that your landing pages load quickly as well as the rest of the site.
Tools such as Pingdom can help test your individual site pages for performance and highlight areas for improvement.
Websites and the servers that are hosting them are not indestructible and can run into issues from time to time. If your website were to go down, would you be aware straight away? If not, there is always the possibility of visitors still coming through to the website via paid search.
To minimise these types of occurrences, there are a number of site monitoring tools which alert you when there are any site issues. This will enable you to see to these problems and fix any issues to prevent loss of budget.
Out of the many tools available, Are My Sites Up and Monitor.us stand out as offerering some useful features and will send you alerts when your site goes down.
Toolbox with tools from Bigstock.
For web optimization Google’s own page speed tool is awesome. Also, don’t forget call tracking both for optimizing marketing spend and A/B testing landing pages. For that I like Easy Call Tracker, especially if using Google Analytics. And Analytics Importer is a convenient app for getting cost data from Bing, Facebook, etc into GA. Both tools can be found on powermyanalytics.com.
Thanks Tom for sharing your list of PPC tools.
Another powerful SEM tool you might want to add to your toolkit is Keyword Machine http://www.keywordmachine.com
Keyword Machine allows you to build large scale and beautifully organised PPC campaigns using your existing business data. Search marketers can create thousands of keyword combinations, tightly themed ad groups and unique text ads in minutes.
Loved your article!
We have just launched a next gen tool called Adigence and would like to know if you would like to see a demo of our solution?
Please get back to me with your contact details.
Ubersuggest is a great tool for compiling detailed long tail keyword lists for PPC campaigns. It contains many ‘common sense’ keywords which sometimes the Google keyword tool can miss out. It’s also nice to use a keyword tool without estimated search volume statistics – these can be quite inaccurate and misleading sometimes.
Don’t forget our Keyword Eye tool though! We have recently integrated Ubersuggest – you can now create a Ubersuggest keyword report from directly within a Keyword Eye report.
Great list – I’ve not come across Word Hippo before, looks really helpful thanks!
I’ve found mergewords.com is pretty good for building keyword lists (after the initial research phase). I know you can do the same in excel with concatenate, but this is just so much easier :)
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