Putting together a pay per click marketing campaign is one thing, but putting together an intelligent, effective and ultimately winning one is quite another. There's a lot to consider, from researching, choosing and organising appropriate keywords to creating relevant, appealing landing pages optimised for conversions. And to get it right, you need the correct tools to do the job. Does it mean you need to splash your cash on specialised software in order to get ahead of the game? Not necessarily. There are some excellent freebies out there that can be utilised to help you plan and implement an effective PPC campaign; and even those that do cost often have a free basic level to get you started.
Here are some of our top picks:
Google Adwords Editor
Google's PPC advertising platform is renowned as the go-to tool for most PPC and SEO marketers. Last month saw the launch of the latest instalment of Adwords Editor (version 11.1.1) with an assortment of useful updates that could prove invaluable to your campaign. Firstly, is the new ability to create and manage labels for keywords, campaigns, ad groups and ads. This allows you to organise elements easily into custom groups – all the better for filtering, reporting and analysis. Another feature is the call-only ads, a response to the ever-increasing mobile market, allowing you to further engage smartphone users.
Another stalwart, this tool provides the all-important data analysis that tells you exactly what happens after your ad is clicked. Highlights include: reports that generate key details such as bounce rate and pages visited, helping you to effectively understand how the traffic generated by your PPC campaign behaves once it hits your site; destination URLs to show you where most of your traffic and revenue is coming from; and matched search queries to help you assess which search terms to include.
To stay ahead of the competition you need to stay on top of the competition. Spyfu (the clue's in the name) is a top tool for spying on your competitors – their budgets, SEO rankings, keywords and even their top ad copy. The free version offers an excellent view of the big picture but the pro version provides a more in-depth analysis.
It may be true that Google is the most widely used search engine in the UK, but you don't want to miss a trick by forgetting about Bing Ads. It might surprise you to learn that recent data from Experian revealed that when looking at the percentage of clicks to transactional sites, Yahoo! and Bing are in the lead, at 35.5% and 34.9% respectively. Google, in comparison, is at 32.8%. To fully maximise the effect of your paid search campaign, it is essential to get the best out of the major search engines and with Bing you will find there is less competition.
A simple yet important action to help you optimise your PPC campaign, enter your clicks and CTR for two different ads to determine, in percentage form, which is likely to work most effectively. This tool helps take away the guess work, calculating the expectations for long-term response rates.