PPC (pay per click) advertising remains a powerful, profitable driver of online traffic for businesses that know how to use it to its fullest potential. In order to really mine PPC’s ability to connect you with your target audience and increase your revenue, you’ll want to have a full arsenal of basic and advanced management tools at the ready. Here’s an overview of some of the top PPC Management Tools for 2015 grouped by different aspects of campaign management.
Keeping Up With Your Competitors
In the crazy, competitive world of PPC, you have to know what your competitors are doing, how they’re going about it, and how much they’re paying for it. Fortunately, you’ll find a wealth of applications and platforms that can provide you with this kind of invaluable data.
For instance, if you want to know which keywords are producing the most AdWords revenue for a competitor, you can run their domain through SpyFu to see what’s been working for them — even up to 9 years in the past. SEMrush is another option for analyzing your competitors’ organic SEO, PPC, display advertising, link building, and keyword rankings. Keyword Spy not only reveals the competition’s PPC strategies to you, but it also shows you exactly which combinations of keywords and ad copy are paying off the most for them. You can even build your own profitable keywords list based on your competitors’ choices.
Choosing Your Keywords
For the all-important task of selecting just the right keywords for your PPC campaign, the first place you should look is your browser. Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Bing Ads Intelligence and Yahoo Gemini can all help you determine which keywords make the most sense for your specific needs and budget. Keyword Planner, in particular, should be an essential part of any AdWords user’s everyday “tool kit” and not just one of the PPC Management Tools for 2015.
Once you’ve got these general solutions working for you, consider what some more specific ones might do for you. The Moz Keyword Difficulty and SERP Analysis Tool is a great example. This tool lets you evaluate how much work you’ll have to out into getting a particular keyword to rank versus its potential traffic yield. If you’re struggling to come up with alternative keywords for specific verticals, type a phrase into Ubersuggest and you’ll get a whole pile of them.
Don’t forget another potentially lucrative source of traffic — misspelled keywords! Nobody’s perfect, after all, and your ideal customer might be just a typo away from connecting with you. Type a keyword into SEOchat’s Keyword Typo Generator and it will return a variety of common misspellings that might be worth investing in. A keyword research tool called Keyword Discovery can also be used to generate a list of common misspellings.
The “pay” in “pay per click” can serve as a real stumbling block for advertisers who don’t have the right information to make intelligent PPC budgeting decisions. One of the best all-purpose answers to this problem is Marin Software’s “Cross-channel Performance Advertising Platform.” The platform’s Budget Optimizer uses an algorithm known as Bayesian Estimation to determine the smartest bid rates on low-volume keywords. It also lets you set bids based on specific goals, including various types of conversion events.
If you want to gain valuable insights into how to allocate your PPC dollars while also taking advantage of the efficiency of programmatic (automated) advertising, take a look at Adobe Media Optimizer. This platform integrates with Adobe Analytics to perform sophisticated forecasting models, recommending the most potent mix of keywords for the amount you want to spend. Kenshoo performs many of the same tasks, and it includes a simple visual interface that shows you the revenue, ROI, and number of clicks you can expect from a given budgetary decision. This enables you to view all kinds of predictive simulations, like Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol,” discovering which choices promise greater success and which are more likely to end badly.
Monitoring the Results
Even after you’ve gone to all the trouble of choosing the perfect keywords for your budget, brand, and target market, you’re still at the starting line. You need tools that will let you see, interpret, and track the ups and downs of your PPC efforts. You should probably start by looking at the keyword monitoring options already built into your web browser’s PPC programs. Bing Ads, for instance, has a Universal Event Tracking feature that lets you track site analytics, remarketing and conversion results.
Third-party platforms let you dig even more deeply into your data. Optmyzr, for instance, gives you access to a whole series of helpful visualizations such as performance comparisons, hourly and weekly performance rates, geographic heat-mapping and quality score tracking. TenScores gives you a detailed snapshot of your AdWords Quality Scores — along with helpful tips on how to boost them.
Testing and Tweaking
Continuous adjustments to your PPC campaign’s performance is crucial for making sure that today’s rocket to success isn’t allowed to slow down and turn into tomorrow’s dead weight. A/B testing allows you to evaluate which elements of your PPC campaign, from keyword choices to page layout, may need tweaking. Optmyzer comes with its own A/B testing tool for AdWords, while SEOBook’s PPC G-test Calculator is a quick and easy way to estimate the confidence of your A/B testing results.
Think of the many different PPC management tools on the market today as instruments in an orchestra, each capable of a specific result that informs and enhances the whole. Assemble your ensemble intelligently and wield the baton with diligence — and your PPC campaign will make beautiful music for your business.
Or if you’d prefer to leave the conducting in more experienced hands, contact us and request a quote for our PPC management services!
What’s your favorite PPC Management Tool for 2015? Tell us in the comments below!