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Overview:These are the best affordable competitive analysis tools, and other free tools to help you get more out of your PPC marketing campaigns. Watch our free introduction video to learn more about cost per click advertising programs offered by major search engines.
Keyword Research Tool
Use our free keyword research tool, powered by Wordtracker.
Paid Competitive Research Tools
- Compete.com Search Analytics – low cost competitive tool showing keywords that send competing sites the most traffic.
- HitWise – similar to Compete.com Search Analytics, but costs about $10,000 and up.
- KeyCompete – shows keywords that competitors are buying
- Keyword Spy – similar to KeyCompete
- SEMPhonic – tracks keyword rankings and provides competitive reporting
- SpyFu – shows terms that competitors are buying or ranking for in the organic search results.
- Trellian Competitive Intelligence – shows keywords that competitors rank for and keywords that send them significant traffic.
Budget Estimation Tools
- Google Traffic Estimator – estimates the number of Google AdWords ad clicks and bid prices for the top ad position. This tool offers quite rough estimates, but should be decent at estimating relative search volume and ad budget requirements.
- CPC ROI Calculator & CPM ROAS Calculator – estimates how much you can profitably pay for your ads
Bulk Keyword Editing Tools
- Google AdWords Editor – Downloadable software for Windows and Mac that allows you to download and edit your AdWords ads. Also has an automated keyword grouper
- PPC Ad Group Generator – generate ad campaigns for Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter at the same time.
- Keyword List Generator – allows you to quickly create large lists of keyword phrases using keywords and modifiers
- Keyword List Cleaner – allows you to quickly create a functional keyword list from most any publicly available keyword source try it now
- Keyword Misspelling Generator – allows you to generate various misspellings of a keyword or phrase to match common typing errors. Useful for creating keyword lists around your most important keywords to bid on.
- Keyword wrapper – wrap your adds in exact and/or phrase match. See also our negative keyword wrapper.
Bid Management Tools
I have not used all of these, but here are some of the more popular PPC bid management tools on the market, which allow you to bid based on rulesets or tie your bids to conversion metrics.
- ClickTracks BidOptimizer
- Google Conversion Optimizer
- IndexTools Bid Management
Other Handy Pay Per Click Testing Tools
- A/B Split Test Calculator – makes it easy to test the probably of the accuracy of results from an A/B split test
- AdComparator – multivariable advertisement analysis using the Taguchi Method
Tools Offered by Search Engines
- Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool – allows you to plug in a URL and shows you what keywords Google thinks the page should be advertising for
- Google AdWords Learning Center – free videos from Google, but please note some of their built in optimization tools aim to increase their revenue while lowering your ROI.
- Yahoo Search Marketing Workbook [PDF]
- MSN AdCenter Labs – offers many keyword tools, including a content classification tool and demographic prediction tools. Their Ad Intellegenceplugin for Microsoft Excel 2007 is quite remarkable as well.
Web Analytics Tools
Free Analytics Tools
These tend to be limited in feature set and give themselves sitewide links on your site, or require you to trust giving a major search engine like Google virtually all your marketing data.
- Google Analytics – powerful full featured analytics tool. Even allows you to track your ROI by keyword for each AdWords ad position. Google AdWords also has internal split testing and conversion tracking software.
- Google Website Optimizer – allows you to A/B split test landing pages and track how well Google AdWords traffic converts.
- Microsoft adCenter Analytics – not publicly launched yet, but accepting invite requests.
- Piwik – open source web analytics program
- Site Meter – starts off as free, but charges for advanced features
- Stat Counter – starts off as free, but charges for advanced features and bandwith usage.
- Webalizer – default log analyzer on many servers.
- Analog – default log analyzer on many servers.
- Awstats – another popular default log analyzer on many servers.
Cheap Paid Analytics Tools
- Clicky – cheap web based tool similar to Google Analytics. A few less features, but you are not giving all your data to Google either. Also offers a cheap white label analytics package convenient for SEO firms looking to add another revenue stream to their businesses.
- Mint – affordable downloadable analytics program that you set up on your own server. Unlike most other paid analytics programs in Mint does not track conversions.
Affordable Business Analytics Tools
- ClickTracks – Downloadable software and hosted options. Starting at $99 a month.
- Indextools – Starts at $50 a month.
- Weblog Expert – Downloadable log analyzer. Starts at $75.
Expensive / Premium Tools