7 Must-Have Tools for PPC Managers

While the digital world can be highly changeable, some things remain the same. One of those constants is that PPC is still a primary profit generator, and a lucrative way to monetize. When you look at the methods of the highest earning websites across the web, what is often at the very top of their earning strategies? PPC.

If you are looking for a way to optimize your own website for higher earning potential, these tools are must haves.

Ringostat

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Ringostat is an intelligent call tracking tool that increases the performance of the advertising and optimizes business workflow.

Ringostat multi-channel report shows the sequences of interactions that brought the user the phone call. With this type of reports Ringostat clients see how previous referrals and searches contributed to their sales, what traffic sources were the first in the consideration process and what sources ultimately converted the user into the lead.

Moreover, these reports show the number of visits from each advertising channel. The call log allows to evaluate the efficiency of advertising campaigns and properly re-allocate the advertising budget. Showing the source of each phone call up to a keyword level, it helps to determine the campaigns that really generate calls.

Obviously, you can glean a lot about your customer  base this way, which can really help you with ad planning. It is expensive, but worth it if you have a decent sized business.

Adwords Editor

Nothing is as frustrating as having to manually go in and edit a bunch of different campaigns in Google AdWords. So your best bet is to make it possible to mass edit and make changes faster.

Adwords Editor gives you the power to do that. It is a super simple tool, maybe so simple it doesn’t seem like it would be that helpful. But it is…oh, yes, it is.

Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner

Speaking of Google, have you used their Keyword Planner yet? If not, you are insane. This is hands down the best free research tool on the web.

You can find the best keyword combinations and monitor your campaign progress, making changes along the way until you have the best possible keywords targeted. Start using it, and thank me later. If you are already using it, use it more. Then thank me again.

Answer The Public

This is a great secondary keyword research tool to use in addition to Google’s Planner. You can generate questions related to your business, and come up with some awesome target phrases. Plus, it is free.

This is out of the usual scope of PPC tools, but is still really valuable and can inform your strategy later on.

SERPstat

How do you keep a leg up on the competition? Spy on them, of course! This tool is a handy little app that will do the detective work for you.

You can find out what keywords they are targeting, how much they are spending on campaigns, and a lot more. Sometimes knowing what the other guys are doing is the best possible way to improve your own efforts.

Trello

Trello is kind of my collaboration and project management tool of choice. I use it for everything from professional projects to personal ones.

I find with PPC campaigns it is a great way to organize keywords, track data, and make future plans. Especially if you are working with a team that needs to stay involved.

Adwords Scripts

No one really likes spending all the time needed to run an effective PPC campaign. It takes ages, and so much energy.

These scripts written by BrainLabs automate several of the tasks that take up the most time. Every one of these is a lifesaver, and you should implement them immediately.

Have some tools to add? Let us know in the comments!

New Keyword Competition Tool From Moz

Keyword Explorer Launched For SEO Experts

Moz has launched a new tool called Keyword Explorer which is designed to simplify and improve the method of researching keywords for a successful SEO campaign.

Great news for the world of SEO as Moz has launched a new keyword research tool known as Keyword Explorer or KWE. Keywords are the foundation stones that the SEO industry is built upon so it is exciting to have a new comprehensive overview of the best keywords to use to enhance the position of a site in SERPs.

Although there are other keyword services being utilised within the industry, the new offering from Moz is already standing out as a particularly superior style of tool. It contains many unique features such as metrics and advanced functionality which exist to add value to the keyword gathering process whilst saving precious time for SEO consultants.

Spans The Entire Keyword Research Process

Keyword research is one of the most important phases in any SEO campiagn. Explorer has been designed to assist you throughout your entire keyword journey. It begins with the discovery stage of offering keyword ideas and then takes you through various steps such as getting metrics, building a list, keyword filtering and easy prioritisation of keywords you wish to target.

Reliable Volume Score

The inbuilt volume score is one of KWE’s greatest features and goes beyond what Adwords currently reports. By using a volume bucket methodology, Moz receives anonymised clickstream data from around 1 million real searches in the US and then manages to predict the search volume of a particular keyword. This approach provides keyword reports with a 95% accuracy rate. Google’s own keyword planner has attracted much criticism for being inaccurate as it is based on rounded averages.

Opportunity, Importance And Potential Metrics

On top of the typical volume and difficulty metrics that are featured in other keyword tools, KWE also provides information on three other essential pieces of information in keyword metrics – opportunity, importance and potential. ‘Opportunity’ delivers an estimate on the click-through-rate (CTR) of the organic results in search. ‘Importance’ is a variable which allows users to mark how vital a particular keyword is to the strength of their own campaign. The ability to track a combination of all the metrics in order to create a keyword prioritisation list is known as ‘Potential’.  

Single Platform

In the past, SEOs relied on the manual recruitment of keywords from a wide variety of sources including Keyword Planner data, Google Suggest and Related Searches. KWE makes all of these available in its tool as well as topic-modelling ideas, keywords from the clickstream data and alternative keywords related to existing ranking pages.

Ease Of Import And Export

KWE is built with SEOs in mind. It realises that people have their own research methods and therefore supports easy import and export functionality. If an SEO consultant already has a keyword list, then they can upload it into Keyword Explorer to obtain metrics. Alternatively power users can use the KWE metrics process but then export the data to Excel if they have specific niche analysis that they want to perform outside of the platform.

Keyword Explorer is currently available as a freemium model – you can execute two free searches per day without logging in, up to five if you have a community account with Moz and unlimited if you hold a Pro Subscriber account.

KWE will give SEOs the edge in gaining an advantage over the competition in SERPs. Make sure you hire an SEO firm who always utilises the best and most innovative tools on the market to ensure incredible results for your brand.

You Have Been Doing Content Research Wrong… Now Do It Right!

Alright, so the title of this post might be a little clickbaity for my tastes. But I stand behind the statement: you are probably researching your articles the "wrong" way. Or, you are at least probably not going it as efficiently as you could be… which could be detrimental to both the results of your work, and your overall productivity.

The Stages Of Article Research

Unlike academic research, which we all learn in school and often get bogged down in, online content research is pretty simple. Unfortunately it is that simplicity that can often lead to mistakes, or just bare facts that don’t hold as much detail as our readers could use.

Instead of doing the usual source citation, you should break your research down into two stages. The first is the research you do before, and the second is the research you do during the article writing process.

Pre-Research

Before you write is the pre-research, as in pre-writing. This is where you are going to find your general facts that will support your post. This is also where you are going to draw your primary sources, which will be linked through the body of your content.

I always prefer to follow the 3x rule. You want to find three times as many sources as you will use, and pair them against one another. You keep finding sources in batches of three until you are able to verify each against one another.

This is a simple way to ensure you are finding non-biased, verifiable facts, and not baseless opinions. With misinformation running rampant thanks to lazy bloggers and social media, this is a very important process.

You don’t want to become one of those bloggers posting factual inaccuracies like they are gospel truth. Not only does this add to a serious problem in online content creation, but it impacts your authority. We all know how important that authority is to the growth of a brand.

Your article is going to be broken into sections and subheadings. These will steer your research in many ways giving you more ideas which angles and problems to cover. SERPstat is a great tool letting you research niche questions:

SERPstat keywords

All of these questions may become subheadings of your future article (or inspire follow-up articles). You can export them in Excel and sort them into "existing content", "currently working on" and "future articles".

Supporting Research

Next, you have the research you do while you are creating your post. These are supporting details related to the above citations you have found. It is also where you will narrow down the links you intend to embed, if you don’t choose all three supporting posts.

This part is much simpler, and it more about giving readers additional information to follow. Sometimes I just provide a small masterlist of links for more data if the reader chooses, so I can focus more the quality of the content.

6 Tools To Make Research a Breeze

First Site Guide has a neat guide on how to brainstorm, research and creat different types of content. And here are a few tools to help out:

  1. Google Drive Research Box – I use Google Drive for pretty much everything, including writing and backing up posts. I find it much more manageable than other cloud services. One of the features I love best is the research box. You highlight a keyword or phrase, and right click. It will have an option to research the highlighted section. This brings up a side box with related sources, which you can view right in your screen. Because it uses Google results you have to be just as selective as you would be from a straight search, but it is much more convenient.
  2. Freemind – This is a great tool if you are dealing with a large post that is going to have a lot of involved research. Breaking the task down into simpler, smaller parts is a tried and true tactic. Freemind is a mindmapper tool that lets you do that. You can plan out the entire post, including linking sources so everything you need ends up in one place. All using a template that lets you easily move, edit and reformat before you ever get to the writing process.
  3. Bulk Suggest Tool – You may be wondering what an SEO tool is doing here. After all, this is about researching for articles, not for marketing. I would argue that they are technically in the same vein, but that isn’t why I included it. I have used this bulk keyword suggestion app to create lists of related key phrases I may not have thought of. This helps me to broaden my research based on what people have published or searched for online. So I may end up with sources I never would have found, because I wasn’t using the right combination of keywords.
  4. Digital Research Tool (DiRT)  РThis is a fantastic masterlist of tools aimed at scholars, especially those in the social science and humanities. However, I think it is a great place for bloggers to find research tools they need for any number of purposes. They are broken down into categories, which you can select on the front page. You are then taken to the tool that is best for the job at hand. It is the best collection of research redirects I have ever found, and much more efficient than trying to keep track of everything on your own.
  5. Quora – Normally I would avoid social media like the plague when it comes to research. There is just too much garbage floating around, and opinion outweighs facts and logic at almost all times. But I will make an exception for Quora. In spite the fact that it is a platform that is very easy to abuse, it is full of genuine experts with backed up information. It requires you to offer well thought out answers, and to provide a source or reason for your knowledge. I go there all the time to find great links to scholarly articles, studies, website tools, or to get first hand soundbites from major players in the industry that know about topics first hand.
  6. MyBlogU – Speaking of experts, MyBlogU is another great place to find them. I usually go here for expert quotes as part of the secondary research process (finding backup information and supporting details). It is an easy way to add further gravity to something you have already officially cited, straight from the mouths of the people who know best.

Do you have a research tool to put on the list? Let us know in the comments!