Paid Search Management Tools

Posted on 15. May, 2012 by in Digital Marketing

There’s a number of PPC management tools out there and it can be difficult choosing the right one for your business.

While there may be different features that deemed important by different people, there are a few capabilities that any good paid search management tool should have, to ensure time savings and effective campaign management.

1. Labelling and easy reporting

Ultimately, you want to be able to look at your campaign data quickly, to understand how your tests are performing, to have a look at topline data or dig down into the detail when things are going particularly well or need to be improved.

The possibility to slice the data and look at it from various perspectives is a fundamental feature of any paid search management tool.

Labelling a set of adcopies, keywords or even accounts will allow looking at data from various points of view easily, whether you’re trying to understand how the latest flash sale performed, or a specific category of keywords, or brand terms compared to generic terms.

2. Forecasting

How many times have you asked yourself what would happen if you gave your paid search activity a “big boost” and went for position 1 for all your ads? Would the increased cost be worth it in terms of returns? Or what if you were to reallocate budget from one category to the other? Or stop advertising on certain categories? Or diminish your brand exposure, for example?

If the paid search management tool doesn’t include a powerful forecasting tool, you will be left guessing an endless testing. With an easy option for forecasting various scenarios, it will be easier and quicker to make the right decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

3. Cross-channel analysis function

Yes, most importantly you want to make your paid search campaign effective and efficient. Ultimately you want to understand though how this fits the “bigger picture” and how your paid search campaigns impact your other marketing activity.

A tool that easily integrates with other reporting and analysis tools you are using or that reports on other channels as well, will make your life easier in understanding the interactions between the different marketing channels and in allocating budgets accordingly.

4. Beyond Google

If your paid search management tool only helps with managing your Google campaigns, you’ll be missing out on a number of opportunities: what about the other search engines in the UK as well as the rest of the world? What about social media platforms with bid based advertising options?

Usually other search engines and social media platforms are more time consuming to manage through their interfaces, so a management tool that allows for easy uploading, synching, changing bids, reporting, etc, across multiple engines and platforms will allow for expanded reach without multiplying management time.

 5. Scheduling actions

You will want to stop campaigns on Sunday morning sometimes. Or increase bids over the weekend, or stop bidding when you’re running low on stock or availability. Enough said.

Every paid search management tool is different and will allow for slightly different options, will have features you’ll find particularly useful or interesting for your business. This can make the choice difficult. However, if the tool allows for the functions described above, you can be pretty sure that it will make PPC campaign management easier, more efficient and hassle-free.

  • IM Gourmet

    Question, then – what PPC tools would you recommend, or at least recommend considering?

    • Sandra Donofrio

      Thank you for your question.
      There’s a number of good tools out there and it often comes down to personal preference. It would definitely be worth considering the following tools though:
      - Google adwords/Google Analyitcs
      - Marin
      - DC Storm
      - Kenshoo
      - Doubleclick (DS3)
      - EF