Running a PPC campaign is a lot of work, but thankfully there is a whole ton of software to take the strain. With such a great choice, however, it can be hard to know which is the best software to use for your PPC success.
PPC management software can be the difference between a successful and cost-effective campaign or blowing your budget on nothing. And as it’s a full-time job managing even a relatively small PPC campaign, these software packages can pay for themselves pretty quickly.
We’ve taken a look at software to manage your digital marketing recently, so if you’re looking at how to optimise your SEO or social media campaigns, take a look.
In this post, we’ll be looking exclusively at the best software to manage PPC campaigns. We’re not going to make this an exhaustive list, as there are plenty of those out there. Instead, we’ll focus on which PPC management software packages we think are the best in class.
If you’re looking at the best PPC tools to optimise your paid ad campaigns, you might be wondering how these packages can work for you and what are the main things they cover.
What does PPC management software cover?
You’ll probably already know how much planning and analysis are involved in PPC ad management. It might be switching up your bids, adjusting under-performing keywords, fixing your quality score, or compiling reports on performance.
The PPC management software options on this list tackle a fairly comprehensive spread of issues that you might run into, with some of them being quite broad in their coverage.
- Optimisation suggestions
- In-depth data insights and analysis
- Quality score tracking
- SEO and SERP rank tracking
- Workflow management
- Competitor analysis
- Click tracking and ad fraud prevention
That’s a lot of stuff to take into consideration for any given PPC campaign. But, you’re reading this so you’re obviously trying to work out which of these challenges can be solved in a cost-effective way…
Enough rambling. You’ve come here to find out which is the best PPC software tools, so let’s get to it.
The best PPC management software
Prices: From US$97 per month
Free trial available? Yes, 1 month!
Opteo is built specifically for Google Adwords, and is designed to handle the fiddly tasks that eat up the majority of a marketers time. By monitoring your ads, it makes improvement suggestions and can handle optimising multiple campaigns making it essential for digital ad agencies.
For business users, Opteo is like having a PPC expert working in your office (although you don’t have to take it on team building weekends and it doesn’t doesn’t need heroic amounts of quality coffee to keep going).
Using machine learning to optimise your PPC campaigns, Opteo takes the guesswork out of things such as managing your budget, adjusting bidding strategies, keyword opportunities and analysis and insight.
As we’ll see, there are other more comprehensive PPC software options but they’re substantially more expensive. But if you’re looking for a PPC tool that will boost your Google Adwords results without breaking the bank, Opteo is a solid choice.
2. Google Analytics
Of course Google make one of the best PPC tools for managing your campaigns. After all, the more success you have with your PPC, the more money you’re likely to spend. So what makes Google Analytics such a valuable PPC management software package?
Simply, it offers an incredibly in-depth look at your site visitors, allowing you to understand where your traffic is coming from, and their behaviours during their visit. View things like bounce rates or the most viewed pages, location of visitors and even things like their demographics/interests.
If you want to understand how your site is performing, what is attracting visitors and what isn’t working, you’ll probably use Analytics.
And best of all, it’s totally free as part of Google’s PPC management tools…
Price: From $249 per month for up to 25 ad accounts
Free trial? Yes – 14 days
Offering comprehensive management of your PPC campaigns on multiple platforms, Optmyzr is excellent tool for digital marketers. There are few of these sorts of packages on the market, so why would you choose Optmyzr over the others?
Firstly, it’s created by a team of ex-Google employees, so you’re getting that little bit of insider knowhow. And with a full featured suite of PPC management tools, Optmyzr can fine tune your ads and give you insight to really max your ROAS. It also works on all the major PPC platforms including Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Amazon and Facebook Ads, making it a pretty crucial addition to any digital marketing agency.
However, one black mark against Optmyzr, compared to some competitors anyway, is the price.
With Optmyzr starting at $224 per month, it’s definitely more expensive than similar PPC management packages. Although it is undoubtedly one of the best PPC tools, it’s not aimed at SME’s in particular, but marketing agencies looking for a suite to handle their PPC ads across multiple campaigns and platforms.
There are essential features such as automated A/B testing for ads, which helps you manage a stack of campaigns and extract the best performing. There is also a historical quality score tracker, which is a unique feature that can be very useful.
The platform uses machine learning to optimise it’s recommendations and improve suggestions for your campaigns. There are also regular updates and new features rolled out, plus the all important analysis and insights.
With Optmyzr you can also automate setting up multiple campaigns, doing your keyword research and fix issues with your campaigns with one click. If you’re an enterprise level PPC marketer, you’re probably wondering about getting Optmyzr or Adzooma. Between the two, there isn’t much difference. It might come down to the volume of clients you’re handling, with Optmyzr better suited to larger portfolios, with 25 accounts for starters.
4. Report Garden
Price: From $250 per month (10 clients, unlimited reports)
Free trial: Yes – 7 days
As any digital marketer worth their salt knows, insight and analysis is one of the most invaluable factors when running a PPC campaign. Report Garden is one of the most fully featured PPC tools, offering plenty of options for different data and displays.
With an easy to use UI, you can create reports for your clients or for your own consumption, with nice visual features such as charts and graphs. It’s also quite simple to set up an ongoing automated report to whomever needs to see it, so that the person paying for that PPC campaign can see at a glance what is going on.
When managing multiple PPC campaigns across multiple platforms, Report Garden can aggregate all of this data into one platform, minimising your chances for headaches.
Get insights from Google Analytics, Facebook Insight, Mailchimp, Taboola, and Twitter or Linkedin Ads (among others) and see how effective your campaigns are at a glance. Report Garden also allows you to display your data as either a presentation (such as PowerPoint), or convert the information to a PDF or other easily shareable files.
If cutting the time it takes to put together a report is something you’d happily pay money for, then Report Garden is definitely going to be one of the best PPC tools for you…
5. SEM Rush
Price: From $99.95 per month, for one user and up to 500 keywords to track
Free trial: Yes, 7 days
One of the most fully featured digital marketing software tools, SEM Rush is a top choice for both PPC and SEO managers, with a ton of research analysis options. When it comes to things like keyword research or content ideas, it’s a solid tool that justifies it’s price tag.
As a competitor research tool, SEM Rush is a very solid option. Analyse your website content, research and find keywords, check on your competitors traffic and keyword bidding and understand how to build more traffic (both paid and organic).
As if that isn’t enough, SEM Rush offers a pretty nice PPC Advertising Toolkit, which is quite full featured. Offering pretty in depth market analysis, a funky keyword finding tool and some best in class keyword tracking, you can’t accuse SEM Rush of not providing value for money.
In fact, working for a digital marketing agency, or a large company, you’ll easily get your money’s worth with SEM Rush. SME’s might not see the value in it as a PPC tool, particularly in the early days, but make no mistake that this is a mighty piece of kit for all manner of online research and optimisation.
Price: $99.95 per month, for annual contract.
Free trial?: No, but you can check it out for $7 for a week
Is Ahrefs better than SEM Rush? It’s a tough call, but there are a lot of things going for this increasingly popular search management tool.
First, Ahrefs is second only to Google for search crawlers online, meaning it has a lot of data and analysis.
And secondly, Ahrefs has a lot of nifty free keyword and backlink research tools, meaning it’s growing in popularity. In fact, more marketers are relying om Ahrefs for their content research.
With Ahrefs you can track backlinks, keyword rankings and do in depth competitor research too. It doesn’t have the keyword data that SEM Rush has (which apparently has more than double the data in it’s database)
Between Ahrefs and SEM Rush, it’s a tough one to call. Some prefer SEM Rush for it’s bigger keyword database, but Ahrefs is increasingly becoming one of the main SEO and PPC research tools for many.
The best way to work out which is best is sign up for their trial. Ahrefs offer a 1 week trial for $7.
Price: From $59 per month
Free trial? You can sign up for a free account, with 10 free reports per day and 3 free alerts
While we’re on the subject of competitor research tools, let’s take a look at iSpionage, which fits more specifically under the PPC management software heading. This is a more focused tool than SEM Rush, built specifically for competitor research and with some very useful features to help maximise your PPC campaign results.
If you’ve been wondering how your competitors can do that, iSpionage might have the answers. For example, it can identify the keywords used by your competitors, their monthly budget and even get an insight into how they manage their PPC campaigns.
You’ll also be able to access competitor keywords, and sort them by most effective or profitable. And with iSpionage’s unique AIE metric (Ad Effectiveness Index), you can even work out which keywords you should be targeting yourself…
If that’s not enough, you’ll also be able to check a list of your competitors SEO search terms, get updates if your competitors change their strategy and analyse landing pages and funnel journeys.
Price: $25 per month for one site and free hosting.
Free trial? 14 days
There are a lot of options when it comes to landing page building software, but we think Leadpages just about shades the competition. And when it comes to building an effective PPC campaign, a good landing page is one of the most critical points.
So, why Leadpages? There are just a few little extras that make it slightly more worth the money. And as you’ve seen, almost all of these PPC management software packages cost a few pennies per month, so getting value for money is a deal breaker.
Like all the landing page builders, you can drag and drop and easily design your perfect landing page. Add CTA buttons, customise the colours and easily customise images and videos.
Leadpages goes one up over Unbounce with the extra templates available, offering 160 templates to Unbounce’s 125. Yes, not all of these are usuable (on both platforms) with some requiring an extra spend to access.
Beyond landing pages, you can also create pop-ups and opt-in forms, and easily create A/B test versions of your landing pages. This last feature is an extra on Unbounce, so this could be your sweet deal maker.
Price: From $50 for up to 5000 clicks on 1 domain
Free trial? Yes, 7 days
Running a PPC campaign is hard enough, without having to worry about whether or not your audience is actually a mafia run botnet or a competitor who is trying to manipulate your ad spend. But when you consider that around 25% of internet traffic is fraudulent, from bots to click farms, it is indeed something you need to worry about.
Yes, you read that right. Up to 25% of your PPC ad spend is being spent on non-genuine internet traffic.
Click fraud prevention software such as ClickCease is designed to ensure you don’t miss out on your intended audience. By proactively preventing fraudulent clicks, using click fraud prevention software means there is little or no disruption to your PPC ad campaign, and no need to chase up Google for your invalid click refund.
As far as PPC management software goes, using click fraud prevention is becoming more important, with the amount of fraudulent traffic growing annually.
Using machine learning and a whole stack of algorithms, ClickCease detects suspicious IP addresses, VPNs, geo-locations and bot behaviour. We also collect data on keywords, campaigns and locations that are subject to fraudulent behaviour.
In 2020, if you’re running a PPC campaign, you shouldn’t be without click fraud prevention software too…
Best PPC tools for the job?
This is literally the tip of the iceberg when it comes to PPC tools, and you’ll find endless lists of the best PPC management software (with new additions every month!). Of course, it depends on your requirements, but we think that each of these is a worthy addition to your PPC tool kit.
Choosing your PPC tools will depend mostly on the size of the job at hand and the budget you’re dealing with. As an agency or large business handling thousands of dollars a month in ad spend, almost all of the above will be essential purchases.
Those managing SMEs and startups may be wondering where their money is best spent for the best tools for the job. We’d highly recommend Optmyzr and Leadpages if nothing else when getting started. But we think Ahrefs is great, and of course our own service, ClickCease is an essential addition; both of these are tools that become more important as your business grows.