The Periodic Table of Paid Search Tools

Sam Engel Aug 30, 2017

There are too many search marketing tool roundups. There, I said it! I know because before writing this post, I researched other ones like it. Paid search tools kept coming up in our recent eBook on Expert PPC Tips, and I figured there must be some centralized resource about the available set of options.

Here’s what I learned: there are a bunch of tool roundups, but none of them comprehensively cover paid search specifically.

That’s precisely what I intend to do here. You won’t get a smattering of SEO, social, and Facebook ad tech here. It’s just pure paid search tools for helping you manage ads in Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and the rest. In true periodic table fashion, I’ve also grouped tools with similar properties to make it easier to digest.psroundup-periodictable-copyright.png

Campaign Management & Automation - Engine Tools

1. AdWords Editor
Become a true AdWords power user and make bulk changes on the fly with the AdWords desktop client.

2. Bing Ads Editor
Work faster, make bulk edits, and manage multiple accounts simultaneously with Bing’s own power editor.

3. AdWords Scripts
Streamline your AdWords account(s) with Google’s built-in tools for automation.

4. AdWords Ad Customizers & 5. Dynamic Keyword Insertion
Automatically tailor ad copy to specific locations, times, products, keywords, and many other variables with these Google frameworks.

6. Bing Ads Dynamic Text Parameters
Use keywords to customize ad copy with parameters like discounts, prices, and products.

Brand Protection

7. BrandVerity
BrandVerity’s paid search monitoring tool enables you to protect your valuable PPC traffic. When trademark bidders try to take advantage of your brand name, BrandVerity helps you fight back with thorough ad collection, scalable monitoring, and the ability to report violations with just a few clicks.

8. AdWords Ad Preview Tool
Is your ad showing right now? See what the landscape looks like right now for a particular location, search term, and device type.

9. Bing Ads Preview Tool
Bing also provides a very similar tool for testing and diagnosing your ad campaigns on their platform.

Campaign Management & Automation - Third-party Tools

10. Kenshoo
One of the largest bid management platforms, Kenshoo offers tools for managing, automating, and optimizing search campaigns.

11. Marin Software
Another large bid management tool, Marin enables campaign management and optimization at scale.

12. Acquisio
Built for agencies and local resellers, Acquisio boasts about its machine learning capabilities for optimization.

13. DoubleClick Search
DoubleClick is a subsidiary of Google that provides enterprise tools for managing bids, campaigns, and analytics.

14. Adobe Media Optimizer
Adobe’s tool enables users to automate search, shopping, and retargeting campaigns.

15. Optmyzer
The Optmyzer platform features bid management, shopping ad tools, enhanced scripts, one-click optimizations, and more.

16. Wordstream Advisor
Wordstream touts its “20 Minute Work Week” where it gives alerts and recommendations for how to best manage your PPC.

17. Odoo AdSpike
With a performance grader, optimization algorithms, and quality tests, AdSpike helps you get the most out of your AdWords budget.

18. Ignition One
Ignition One’s search platform offers automation and management tools for device-specific bid adjustments, advanced dayparting, flexible scheduling, and more.

19. adCore
Offering tools for generating and then optimizing campaigns, adCore focuses on enabling you to scale quickly while applying your unique talents.

20. Clickable
Clickable is sort of a hybrid model, offering a combination of technology and personalized PPC management.

21. Optimine
Optimine’s bid management platform dynamically adjusts your paid search based on objectives and results, refining each individual keyword and ad bid.

Keyword Research Tools

22. AdWords Keyword Planner
While Google has scaled back a bit on granularity of data, this remains a go-to source for keyword ideas, search volume, bid estimates, and more.

23. Bing Ads Keyword Planner
Bing’s version of this tool closely mimics Google’s. Get your data straight from the horse’s mouth.

24. Wordtracker
Wordtracker provides keyword suggestions and volume for a friendly price starting at $27/month.

25. Trellian Keyword Discovery
Touting the “biggest keyword database,” Trellian’s Keyword Discovery provides data on 36 billion search queries.

26.WordStream Keyword Research Tool
WordStream’s tool provides keyword suggestions, volume, and competition. You also get 30 free searches without needing to sign up for anything.

27. SEO Book Keyword Tool
Don’t let this one’s billing as an SEO tool fool you. It combines data from Google, Bing, and Yahoo to provide a full view of volume, CPCs, and more.

28. Google Trends
The search landscape is constantly evolving. Use Google Trends to seize the opportunity when new words and phrases spike in popularity.

29. Soovle
Soovle makes it easy to generate keyword ideas on the fly. It quickly scans related keywords from a variety of sources and collects them all in one mind map.

30. Ubersuggest
Claiming it can “find new keywords not available in the Google Keyword Planner,” Ubersuggest grabs novel ideas from Google’s autocomplete. 

Testing, Optimization, & Personalization

31. Google Content Experiments
Test up to 10 unique versions of a page against each other with Google’s landing page experimentation platform.

32. Adobe Target
Adobe’s experimentation platform includes tools for conversion rate optimization, personalization, and mobile app optimization.

33. Monetate
Optimize experiences across web, email, and mobile apps with Monetate’s powerful testing technology.

34. SiteSpect
The suite of tools from SiteSpect cover optimization, A/B testing, multivariate testing, personalization, and more.

35. Optimizely
Optimizely’s powerful and easy-to-use platform enables you to run A/B, multivariate, and multi-page experimentation.

36. Visible Website Optimizer
VWO specializes in testing, pegging itself as the “world’s easiest A/B and split testing software.”

37. Unbounce
A conversion rate optimization (CRO) tool, Unbounce is primarily a tool for building landing pages that also has some optimization features like A/B testing.

38. Crazy Egg
Crazy Egg provides heatmaps, screen recordings, scrollmaps, and more to help you understand how visitors are interacting with your site.

39. HotJar
HotJar provides heatmaps for clicks, mouse movement, and scrolling as well as screen recordings, conversion funnels, form analysis, and more.

40. Inspectlet
When analytics only tells you what is happening, Inspectlet shows you why with heatmaps, screen recordings, and form analytics. 

41. Lucky Orange
Calling itself “the original all-in-one conversion optimization suite,” Luck Orange provides a suite of tools similar to Crazy Egg, HotJar, and Inspectlet.

42. WordStream Grader & Optimizer
Is anything slipping through the cracks with your PPC? See what you’re missing in minutes with WordStream’s free grading tool.

43. Certified Knowledge
Certified Knowledge provides an alternative to expensive bid management and other PPC tools. Originally a home-cooked solution developed by Brad Geddes for his agency AdAlysis, it’s now available starting at $79/month for analyzing quality score, generating ad copies at scale, expanding keywords, and more. 

Competitive Intelligence & Research

44. SEMrush
Discover PPC opportunities with SEMrush by uncovering your competitors’ keywords, budgets, and ad copy.

45. iSpionage
iSpionage enables discovery of your competitors’ keywords, ad copy, and landing pages.

46. SpyFu
Providing information on competitors’ keywords and ad copy, SpyFu claims to “expose the search marketing secret formula of your most successful competitors.”

47. KeywordSpy
Similar to other tools in this category, KeywordSpy presents information on keywords, ad copy, and budgets.

48. AdWords Auction Insights Report
Though not quite so detailed, the Auction Insights Report is a valuable way to get a general idea of who’s competing with your ads. Grouping by advertiser domain, it provides information such as impression share, average position, and outranking share. 

Start Improving Your PPC

PPC is more complicated than ever. And let’s face it, we can all use some help. I encourage all of you to check out at least a few of the tools listed above. And hey, maybe you should try one—even just one of them—while you’re at it.

I also welcome any suggestions you have for additional tools to include. This post isn’t perfectly exhaustive, and while I have consciously excluded some categories like analytics packages and display advertising, I’d love to create a more comprehensive version 2.0 of this post down the road. Thanks!



Topics: paid search

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