What is the ultimate goal of every website owner and digital marketer? Indisputably, reaching the top position on the search engine results pages (SERPs) is everyone’s dream.
An organic approach to improving search engine rankings is fruitful in the long run. However, if your website is fairly new and your in a competitive niche, starting with paid search ads is a great idea.
Search marketing entails paying search engines to secure a leading position on relevant SERPs. Basically, it involves the creation of paid search ads – the most common being pay-per-click (PPC) adverts.
Simply put, you pay search engines for every click you get on your PPC advert. You also need to set aside a fixed budget for such campaigns.
Why Do You Need PPC Tools?
Just like SEO, PPC campaigns require extensive keyword research. Additionally, you have to work on optimizing ad copy and designing landing pages for better conversion rates.
The good news is that you can find some of the best PPC tools to save you the burden of tedious research and analysis.
These PPC tools also give you insights into your competitors’ search marketing strategies. You can improve your own PPC ad by knowing what’s working best for your competitors.
And you can even identify loopholes in their campaigns and use them to your own advantage. This way, these PPC tools give you an edge over your competitors.
8 of the Best PPC Tools
Let’s take a look at some of the best PPC tools that eliminate the need to do everything manually.
1. Google Keyword Planner
A comprehensive list of the best PPC tools can’t be complete without this one. In fact, the Google Keyword Planner was once the preferred choice of most digital marketers.
However, its popularity has lately declined with the advent of advanced PPC tools. But, the Google Keyword Planner is still worth a shot as it offers tremendous insights in terms of keyword research.
Image via Google
You just have to enter terms and phrases related to your product/service. Alternatively, you can enter the URL of your own website or a competitor’s website. And with a single click, you can get numerous keyword suggestions and ideas on your screen.
This tool also gives you access to historical data, such as search volume, average monthly searches, and more. Besides, it gives you the option to sort keyword suggestions on the basis of search volume, competition, relevance, and so on.
2. Google Trends
This is another inexpensive but underutilized Google tool. Google Trends allows you to spot trending search queries and analyze the popularity of keywords you wish to target. Furthermore, it shows how popular the keywords were in the past and whether the search volume is expected to rise or decline.
Image via Google
You can simply visit the tool to check out search queries and topics that are trending at present. Alternatively, you can enter your target keyword in the search box to learn how its search volume has varied over time.
You can further fine tune this data by changing the location, time frame, industry, and other related parameters. It also allows you to compare multiple search queries, making it easier to pick the most relevant and popular ones.
Additionally, Google Trends offers you a special “breakout keywords” section. These are terms related to your original keywords that have recently observed a massive increase with respect to search volume. Spotting these high search volume keywords early on will enable you to outrank your competitors.
Although mostly used for SEO, Ahrefs is one of the best PPC tools out there. This robust tool allows you to perform an extensive competitor analysis and get an insight into their search ads and keywords. Plus, it has a competitor tracking feature that alerts you every time your competitor starts a new PPC campaign.
Image via Ahrefs
This tool also simplifies keyword research owing to its huge database of keywords. It gives you access to several latent semantic indexing (LSI) and related keywords. These can be arranged according to different metrics, such as price, search volume, etc.
Moreover, Ahrefs gives you a breakdown of how much traffic comes from organic and paid searches for each keyword.
This user-friendly tool enables you to identify your search competitors based on the keywords you want to target. It allows you to find out the most profitable keywords by providing you with your competitor’s top-performing keywords.
You can also take a look at the ad copies that your competitors are using. These robust functionalities make SEMrush one of the best PPC tools in the market.
Image via SEMrush
Pricing Plan: SEMrush offers different plans, starting from 99.95 USD per month (Pro) to 399.95 USD per month (Business). Enterprise clients can also get customized plans.
As the name suggests, SpyFu discreetly keeps track of your competitors’ PPC ads and top-performing keywords. This powerful tool also shows you how much they are spending, so that you can easily pick the keywords you wish to target.
The “AdWords Advisor” feature of SpyFu analyzes your competitors’ data to reveal the most profitable keywords.
Image via SpyFu
What further makes SpyFu one of the best PPC tools is its historical ad database. You can use this to check out all the ads and variations of a competitor’s PPC campaign. This eventually prevents you from making the same mistakes.
Pricing Plan: Choose from multiple options, starting from 39 USD per month (Basic) to 299 USD per month (Team).
A compilation of the best PPC tools is incomplete without mentioning this powerful and competitive tool. Using WhatRunsWhere, you can get access to top-performing creatives and ads in your niche. It makes ad copy analysis easier by tracking a plethora of unique publishers.
This excellent tool also lets you learn about your competitors’ most profitable ads and landing pages.
Image via WhatRunsWhere
Pricing Plan: Starting from 299 USD per month (Basic); customized plans are also available for enterprises.
iSpionage gives you access to crucial information on your competitor’s search marketing strategy. You can learn everything about their PPC campaigns, including the keywords they are bidding on. Moreover, you can scrutinize your competitor’s ad copy and landing pages to optimize your own PPC campaigns.
Image via iSpionage
Pricing Plan: You can get a limited-period free trial. Paid plans start from 59 USD per month (Starter) to 299 USD per month (Advanced).
This competitive intelligence tool gathers data from all your competitors’ PPC campaigns and identifies gaps. Wordtracker provides you with suggestions on how you can exploit these gaps for your own benefits.
What sets it apart from some of the best PPC tools is the fact that it additionally utilizes keyword data from YouTube and Amazon.
Image via Wordtracker
Pricing Plan: It provides a 7-day free trial. Paid plans start from 27 USD per month (Bronze) to 99 USD per month (Gold).
Bonus: Google Search as an Effective PPC Tool
In a frenzy to find the best PPC tools, search marketers often ignore the possibility of using Google Search. It is, however, an inexpensive yet effective way to identify your competitors and dig deep into their search marketing strategy.
All you need to do is run a Google search using a keyword you are planning to target. Then, you have to carefully evaluate the paid search results that show up for your search query.
If your search query returns several paid results, it indicates that your target keyword has high commercial intent.
Such a keyword is likely to drive more conversions, provided you optimize your ad copy and landing page. In addition, you can also review ad copies and landing page designs being used by your competitors.
Lastly, Google Search also offers keyword suggestions just like some of the best PPC tools. You just need to scroll to the bottom of the search results to find popular phrases related to your search query. This approach is highly recommended for those who have just begun their journey in PPC advertising.
These are some of the best PPC tools that allow you to optimize and improve your search ads. Eventually, these help you boost conversions and increase revenue.
Consider your budget and be particular about your objective while selecting a PPC tool. If you are a novice, Google Search is great to begin with for competitor analysis.
The best PPC tools are the ones that give you an edge over your competitors by revealing their search marketing strategies.
Using these powerful tools, you get access to their top-performing keywords, ad copy variations, and much more. This saves you a lot of time and effort since you know what your competitors are doing to achieve the best results.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.