The Ultimate PPC Toolkit: What You Really Need to Succeed!

Ian O'Rourke Posted by Ian O'Rourke

The main PPC tools crucial for digital marketers can be summarised in three types: competitive intelligence, bid management, and analysis.

Competitive Intelligence

A reliable and unbiased competitive intelligence for search solution is one of the key components for today’s successful online marketing – it retrieves and analyses data about your market, dynamically or based on fixed keyword lists depending on the provider, before determining its best use for improving your SEM strategy and informing future decisions.

With such fierce competition in PPC, competitive intelligence ensures that you stay ahead of the pack by providing insights into each competitor’s monetary spending on PPC and Share of Voice, as well as their top ads and what keywords they display, and other relevant metrics.

Market-driven services like Adthena provides digital marketers with an unbiased search intelligence service that constantly monitors their whole market space.

By dynamically identifying and tracking relevant keywords – rather than purely relying on manual fixed list inputs – Adthena, for example, shows how competitors’ activities directly impact a company’s own spending and results, thereby enhancing campaign performance, maximising ROI and uncovering new, unseen customer acquisition opportunities.

Competitive intelligence tools like Adthena also provide automated reports which help save time and money, in turn giving you more time and room to identify new search opportunities.

Bidding Platform

Once you know the keywords relevant to your ad and have decided on the right ad copy, you need to decide on a bidding platform. More advertisers are joining PPC advertising, and the competition and costs are increasing – thus, bid management tools are becoming that much more essential in automating the process.

The ranking of your ad in the search results page can be determined by how high your bid is, as well as the popularity of the chosen keyword and other factors such as quality score. However, the key is combining the use of a bidding platform with an investment in competitive intelligence, which can inform you of how much your competitors are bidding for the same keyword.

A bid management tool is essential in helping you determine which keywords bring the most success and, therefore, which ones warrant higher bids. The software automatically tracks conversions, draws comparisons and adjusts the bids accordingly. Although it can be done manually, as your accounts grow and keywords increase, these tools will save you significant time and effort.

But there are many bid management software options available – so which are the best ones? Some of the top bid management software includes Marin, which has an attractive and easy-to-use online platform, as well a desktop editor tool. It allows you to set bids on many conversion events, such as store directions, contact forms, and video views.

Adobe’s SearchCenter+, part of its Digital Marketing Suite, is another attractive option with its integrated Facebook display tool and integrated organic search and site links.

An Analytics Platform

The last piece of the puzzle is an analytics platform to monitor the performance of your PPC campaign. Tracking the conversion of your ads is essential. An analytics tool will tell you which keywords are working well and through which search engines they are popping up. It will also show you where the immediate opportunities lie and where you should correspondingly direct your attention and efforts. It also analyses online consumer behaviour and crafts profiles accordingly.

Don’t just rely on Google Analytics – although it is a free, convenient tool that automatically generates data on your Adwords account, it does not necessarily inform you of opportunities. Since Google switched users to secure search, it has limited Google Analytics’ keyword access too.

Adobe’s platform, Omniture, now functioning as Adobe Analytics, enables marketers to see who is visiting their site and using their content, as well as group visitors according to demographic and online behaviour. Adobe has other programmes, such as Adobe Social, built to integrate with analytics.

Coremetrics is a continuous optimisation platform with a wide range of tracking and reporting options. And their high-quality customer service assists clients even after they have purchased the software.

These search marketing solutions save you time and effort in analysing, integrating, and understanding data so that you can maximise PPC efficiency. Competitive intelligence helps you understand your competition and what’s happening within your market, keeping you aware of opportunities.

Bid management tools give you time to focus on other complicated tasks and work on innovative ideas by automating bids. Lastly, analytics tools give you an overall view of your campaign’s performance so that you know as soon as possible what needs work and direction, thereby maximising efficiency.

About the author

Ian O'Rourke
Ian O'Rourke
Ian is the CEO and Founder of Adthena. He has been involved in technology businesses and start-ups for over 22 years and has built businesses across the globe including in Silicon Valley, London, Australia and Taiwan. Ian has grown Adthena since 2012 to its current position as the premier global provider of competitive intelligence. Ian likes to foster a culture of great products, getting things done, responsibility, freedom and continuous improvement.