Have you ever been so frustrated with something, thinking, “there has to be an easier way!” ?
I’ve been in that boat of despair.
And to put it bluntly, if it wasn’t for these AdWords management tools, then my work week would quickly turn into something ugly, real fast.
See, these tools we’re about to cover aren’t just helpful software, they’re lifesavers.
They help me get more work done, and in turn make ourselves and our clients even happier because performance improvements are so-much-quicker.
While some are paid subscriptions and others are free, there are going to be some super helpful solutions that you can take away and implement for yourself or your clients today.
Let’s get started…
#1 – WhatRunsWhere
If you’ve ever tried to navigate the landscape of the AdWords Display Network, then you know it can be seriously confusing and insanely time-consuming.
With all the different types of targeting combinations, campaign exclusions, image formats and about 39 other things you have to consider, the Display Network just isn’t as straightforward as the Search Network.
But what if you could steal your competitors’ AdWords Display Strategy in just a few clicks?
That’s exactly what WhatRunsWhere does for you.
One of the major success pillars of the AdWords Display Network is knowing what placements (website URLs) that regularly hosts a ready-to-convert audience for you to showcase your text and image ads to.
The AdWords tool of WhatRunsWhere works by typing in your competitors domain to then show you which traffic sources and Display placements they’re showing their ads on.
Let’s say your a mortgage company and you want to steal some ideas from one of the biggest king-pins in the industry, Quicken Loans.
You quickly type in the domain and let WhatRunsWhere do the rest.
On top of seeing where your competitors advertise on the AdWords Display Network, you can also see which other advertisers target these different publisher sites.
You can then dig further into their Display strategy and see if anything else makes sense for you to swipe and use.
Last but not least, you can also see which static and animated ads have been seen most often and across most websites.
If you ever need any image ad inspiration, then this will tell you which ads are performing the best for your specific competitor.
You can even input specific keywords to have the tool search for which ads are being seen the most often across the AdWords Display Network and other media buying properties.
Talk about instant learning curve reduction!
#2 – Unbounce
Where do I even begin with these guys?!
I can’t tell you how many AdWords management agencies used to only work within the AdWords interface and completely neglect, I mean, not-even-think-about, website or landing page improvements.
Because as you know, the goal of AdWords isn’t just to get traffic, it’s also to convert that traffic into leads or sales.
Unbounce is a split testing landing page builder that eliminates any and all need for coding, development, or IT.
Because I have about as deep of web dev knowledge as that of a goat knowing how to surf, I need things that are easy, quick, and can move the needle in the right direction when it comes to AdWords performance.
Out of all the AdWords tools we’re covering, Unbounce is the one that can have the biggest impact on improving AdWords conversion rates.
If you ever have an idea to test on your landing pages, then it’s as simple as cloning your landing page, assign some traffic weight, and see the results come in.
Simply put, you can get a new landing page live in minutes, all by your non-technical self.
#3 – AdWords wrapper
I have a love for the AdWords strategy of single keyword ad groups (SKAGs).
So much that I actually wrote an entire article about that specific strategy on the Unbounce blog.
The only downside to single keyword ad groups, is that they require three different match types of each keyword you want to bid on, and can therefore take a lot of time to create.
So how do you do it in just a snap?
Say hello to the AdWords Wrapper.
The AdWords Wrapper works by adding in any keywords you want to bid on.
Then out the other end come all the different keyword match types you want to actually use within your AdWords account.
You can then copy the specific keyword match types you want to bid on and upload them straight into AdWords.
#4 – Visual website optimizer
Sometimes it’s not possible to use landing pages for the kind of service/product you’re using AdWords to promote.
If you’re an ecommerce store or sell things that require visitors to take multiple steps (and maybe even secure steps) to convert, then a tool like VWO will be amazing for you.
Visual Website Optimizer is like Optimizely (the more popular of the two), but for some odd reason, VWO did the best job of getting me to convert on their site compared to Optimizely.
With VWO, you can create A/B tests on your actual site, without having to know any code.
But why is this an AdWords tool?
Similar to how Unbounce helps you create landing pages, VWO can be a clear necessity for anyone trying to improve their AdWords performance through ecommerce conversion rate optimization.
With VWO, you can even run user testing on your site and gather critical feedback to power your next A/B tests that you run.
#5 – AdWords Editor
If there’s a definition of AdWords tools in the dictionary, this would be it.
The AdWords Editor is a godsend when it comes to seriously getting crap done in an AdWords account.
I won’t go over the amazing AdWords Editor benefits in this post, but you can read my top 10 here.
#6 – SpyFu Kombat tool
SpyFu is a keyword competitor tool that allows you to see which AdWords keywords your competitors are bidding on (was that a little too redundant?).
Not only does it give you great insight if you’re starting an AdWords campaign from scratch, but it also has a pretty nifty feature that I’m in love this.
The Kombat tool.
The SpyFu Kombat tool allows you to put in three unique URLs, to then see which keywords they’re all bidding on and if there are any keywords that aren’t overlapping, therefore showing an opportunity for keyword expansion.
Usually spy tools like these aren’t the most reliable, but the Kombat tool has yet to disappoint me.
#7 – FreshKey
You know how Google tries to guess what you’re about to type, before you’re done typing?
It’s called Google autocomplete, and the people over at Mashable wrote and designed a pretty funny article around the silly suggestions Google comes up with, with GIFs.
Like these ones (click the link to see the GIFs in action):
The annoying thing about Google autocomplete is that people now stop typing in certain keywords as they’ll just select what’s in the Google drop down.
Pretty convenient for them, but now tougher for us since the differentiation of long tail keywords has diminished.
But, there’s an upside to it all, and that upside, is called FreshKey.
Google only allows you to see so many keywords in the autocomplete drop down, but FreshKey is like that, and then some.
FreshKey shows you the top keywords based on search volumes that you can then take and create Single Keyword Ad Groups with (now that you love that AdWords strategy too).
You can then copy the results to your clipboard or export everything via CSV.
Price: $49/one time
P.S. Want to have some more fun with Google autocomplete? Play the Google Feud game with your friends.
#8 – NinjaCat PPC reporting
“How’s performance coming along for AdWords? What about those Facebook ads?”
Questions like these would be so much more fun to answer if you only have to collectively look in one spot, like a dashboard or something.
Well, that’s exactly what NinjaCat offers.
NinjaCat is one of my favorite AdWords tools in that it allows to bring all lead avenues and PPC channels together in one hub.
Call tracking, AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook advertising, and more are all part of the NinjaCat ecosystem that allows for beautiful PDF reports and even houses MP3 versions of recorded calls.
Even if you’re just running one AdWords account for yourself or your company, then a reporting dashboard like this could be great to showcase the improvements from all the hard work you’ve been putting in.
It could also help you switch gears quick if new campaign initiatives aren’t doing so hot.
So now that you know my favorite AdWords tools (both pre-click and post-click), what are some of yours?