Join Aaron Putnam, VP of Conversion Giant and Paid Search Director, on a walkthrough of the tools that our PPC team uses every day to help clients succeed. Some of these tools cost money but most of them are free and none of them are sponsored. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Google Keyword Planner
There are quite a few different keyword tools that have come and gone over the years but Google’s Keyword Planner remains one of my favorites. Besides, most of the other keyword tools simply pull for Google’s database anyways so why not go straight to the source.
Specifically, I like to enter competitor websites and look for new keyword opportunities. You can view monthly searches over time in order to determine if interest is growing or declining. Filtering keyword results also allows you to easily identify keyword themes and group them appropriately not to mention get average bid estimates and keyword costs.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Fast load times are critical for not only conversion rates but could impact your PPC quality score as it relates to Google’s criteria for an optimal landing page experience. Once you have identified a slow landing page on your site, pop it into Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and get recommendations to optimize it on both desktop and mobile devices.
Google Tag Assistant (browser extension)
Accurate tracking has been and always will be a headache but essential for optimization. With the help of Google’s free Chrome browser extension, you can easily identify and troubleshoot problems with tracking codes that haven’t been implemented correctly. Great for spotting duplicate or missing codes and troubleshooting non-standard implementations.
Alright, this is the no brainer of the bunch. Google Analytics allows you to see what happens after the click all the way through to the final conversion. More importantly, analytics lets you see the bigger picture by better understanding how well your paid media works with other traffic sources and advertising channels. There is a tendency to get caught up looking at paid advertising in a vacuum but analytics helps ensure we have our eyes on everything else.
What are you going to do with all that data you export from Google Ads and Analytics? How do you easily share the data with your colleagues and clients? Oh, Google Sheets you say? Spreadsheets are a staple and prerequisite for data analysis. Excel works just as well and is way more robust but Google Sheets works seamlessly across Google Workspace, formerly referred to as G Suite.
Google Ads (Auction Insights)
Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. That’s the name of the game with Google Ads and competition is what ultimately dictates how much you pay and how many clicks you can capture. Auction Insights reports allow you to see how well you stack up by comparing performance indicators such as impression share, overlap rate, position above rate, and top of page rate with other advertisers who are participating in the same auctions that you are.
Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to move forward and oftentimes new website designs don’t live up to their expectations. When we don’t have access to the previous website, we’ll check the Wayback Machine to see if the site has been archived. This helps us piece together the past and figure out what specific aspects of the previous design may have been working in their favor that was either overlooked or completely disregarded with the new site.
Facebook Ad Library
Let’s talk about ad creatives. When you are looking for inspiration, what better way to spark the creative juices than by looking directly at your competitor’s ads. With the Facebook Ad Library, you can view all of the ads from your competitors and really fine tune or craft your messaging so you stand out from the crowd and capture more clicks.
Speaking of competition, SEMrush is excellent for spying on or at least keeping an eye on your competitors. They allow you to get a better sense of how much money the competition is spending on their ads and even have a dedicated PLA (shopping ads) research section where you can determine what specific products competitors are promoting and how often.
We’ve worked with several shopping feed tools and solutions over the years but GoDataFeed has been the best so far. Shopping ads perform best when the product feed is fully optimized and GDF’s tool doesn’t require any coding or complicated database querying. Plus, their support is top notch and always super responsive.
Running an agency is complicated but that doesn’t mean that reporting software has to be. Swydo allows us to easily set up and configure custom reports for every client. It integrates with all of the advertising platforms we need and we can tailor each report depending on what key performance metrics our clients care about.