The Top PPC Tools For 2021 And Why You Need Them

Neil Andrew | December 17th, 2020

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Creating an amazing PPC campaign can be a long and hard task no matter how many times you’ve done it. From the initial keyword research to the landing page creation and ongoing keyword optimization, creating a successful campaign can be very time-consuming.

Luckily, over the past few years, there have been many impressive PPC tools released which can significantly reduce the amount of time you need to put into your campaign. If you’re currently a PPC manager and regularly deal with your own or client’s PPC campaigns, then you should pay attention.

We’ve handpicked the best and most efficient PPC tools that will save you an insane amount of time and effort on your 2021 marketing efforts. No longer will you feel like you’re doing everything manually, skip the tedious tasks with these excellent PPC tools.

SE Ranking

se ranking logo

Starting off our list is SE Ranking, an all in one PPC and SEO platform that is jam-packed full of features and tools. When it comes to PPC research and analysis, the most useful tool SE Ranking offers is their competitor research tool. If you enter a domain or page URL, it will automatically show you what paid keywords a website is bidding on and how much they are spending.

Not only is this excellent for seeing what your competitors are up to, but it also shows you lots of other important metrics. Thanks to their huge database, SE Ranking also keeps track of any ad changes meaning you can track the position and history of any of your competitor’s ads.

With packages for solo entrepreneurs, all the way up to agencies, SE Ranking is an excellent PPC tool for all users. Even for beginners, their lowest plan allows users to do 100 searches a day while showing up to 1,000 results. Upgrade to their enterprise plan, and you’ll be able to do up to 10,000 searches a day with 100,000 results per report.

If you’re looking for a serious PPC research tool to help you spy on your competitor’s and see what they’re up to, then you should definitely consider adding SE Ranking to your list.


spyfu ppc tool

Another must-have PPC software is SpyFu. With a name like SpyFu, you can probably guess what it’s used for – spying on your competitors. That’s right; this impressive software has a massive database that tracks and records all of your competitors PPC ads and keywords they are running. Not only is this incredibly useful, but it can also help you save a lot of time on your own campaign.

Have you ever heard the phrase: “don’t reinvent the wheel?”. Well if your competitor already has a profitable PPC campaign then why make a new one from scratch? They’ve obviously spent a long time researching keywords, optimising their headlines and getting their landing pages just right. With all of this information at your fingertips, you can use it to your advantage.

Not only does SpyFu let you see what keywords your competitors are bidding on and how much they are spending, but it also has a useful historical ad database. This database lets you see all the ads a business has ran over the lifetime of their campaign and the changes they made to them.

By spying on your competitors in your industry, you can save a tremendous amount of time on research, by letting your competitor do it all for you!


ahrefs tool

One of the best SEO tools out there with the second largest crawler behind Google itself is Ahrefs. Although it’s primarily known as an SEO tool, Ahrefs also has a lot of PPC functionality. With the ability to research competitors ads, find out what keywords they are bidding on, and see where their traffic is coming from, Ahrefs is a robust PPC tool.

In addition to all the PPC features, Ahrefs also has a huge database of keywords which is perfect for doing keyword research. Not only does it find LSI and related keywords, but it also has plenty of options that allow you to arrange them by price, volume and difficulty. It also has an impressive feature that shows you how much traffic for given keywords comes from organic search vs paid search.

Combine all these features with its competitor tracking feature and not only does it allow you to do your own PPC research, but it also keeps track of what your competitors are doing. Any new ad or campaign they run for any keyword will instantly show up and keep you up to date. This makes Ahrefs the perfect tool for research as well as for competitor analysis.


semrush ppc

The chances are if you don’t currently use Ahrefs for your SEO and PPC research, then you’ll probably use SEMRush. With lots of features similar to that of Ahrefs, SEMRush is a great alternative if you’re looking for something else. Armed with its own keyword research tool and PPC admonitor, SEMRush can save you plenty of time analyzing competitors PPC ads and finding those profitable keywords.

Similar to Ahrefs, SEMRush offers all the premium tools and features you would expect from an all in one digital marketing tool. If Ahrefs seems too expensive for you or you just don’t like the layout, style or features, then SEMRush is an excellent alternative you should at least give a try.

Google Trends

google trends ppc tool

Google trends is a powerful PPC tool that is often underutilised when it comes to PPC marketing. Not only is it an excellent way to see what’s popular in the world at any given time, but it can also act as a market research tool that can help you find profitable PPC keywords.

By typing in any keyword, Google will instantly return a popularity meter from 1 to 100 indicating how popular a keyword is at that given time. It will also allow you to see the historical popularity of that keyword and if search volume is on the rise or decline.

In addition to this, Google trends will also show you related keywords and has a special “break out” section. This section looks for spikes in volume on related keywords and will display any that have had a huge increase in searches over the past few days, weeks or months. This is great for finding new and popular keywords that everyone is searching for. By identifying these breakout keywords early, you can jump on keywords with high search volume and low competition before any of your competitors do.

Google Keyword Planner

google keyword planner tool

The original keywords research tool, the Google keyword planner tool is often forgotten about as people tend to use all in one tools such as Ahrefs and SEMRush. However, Google Keyword Planner is still a powerful keyword research tool, and it’s completely free!

Ideal for finding relevant keywords for specific countries, you simply enter a target keyword and the tool spits out hundreds of new keywords that can be arranged by volume, competition or relevancy.

Since Google decided to remove the exact number of monthly searches for keywords, many people have stopped using this once fantastic tool.

However, luckily there is an easy way to get those numbers back thanks to a handy plugin. The plugin, Keywords Everywhere is available on Chrome and FireFox and can be installed in just 1 click. Upon installing, a new column will appear in the keywords planner that will contain the monthly search volume for each keyword. With this new feature on the keywords tool, Google Keywords Planner can easily rival the power of SEMRush and Ahrefs.


unbounce ppc tool

Once you’ve collected all the keywords for your PPC campaign, the chances are you’ll want to build a custom landing page. After all, PPC campaigns that use landing pages often receive much better conversion rates compared to just using their homepage or a services page.

Unbounce is an incredibly easy to use landing page builder that can build complex landing pages in a matter of minutes. To help speed things up, Unbounce also comes with 80 built-in templates that you can edit by simply dragging and dropping elements onto the page. Since all of their landing page templates have been created and tested by professionals to ensure you get the best conversion rate, this leaves out all the guesswork when it comes to building your own. Simply tweak the built-in templates, and you’re good to go.

Not only does Unbounce help increase your Adwords quality score by making a perfectly optimised landing page, but it also helps ensure you get the best results from your traffic.



Building your landing page might be quick and easy with Unbounce, but the process doesn’t stop there. As an expert PPC manager, you should always be looking to improve your results. The only way to do this is by constantly changing and tweaking your existing campaign, then comparing the results. If your new ad performs better, then the chances are you’ll want to keep that as your new permanent ad. However, if the results aren’t as good as before, then you can always revert it back.

To save you lots of time with split testing your landing pages, there is a great tool called Optimizely. This fantastic tool allows you to quickly set up split tests on your landing pages with no programming or technical knowledge required. Using their simple WYSIWYG editor, the changes can be done in a matter of minutes, and your new landing page will be ready for the world to see.

If you’re looking to save lots of time and improve your landing page conversion rates, then Optimizely is definitely a must-have PPC tool in your arsenal.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft excel

Ok, so you’re probably thinking Excel as a PPC tool? What the? Well just before you jump to any conclusions and skip to the next tool on our list, hear us out. When it comes to working with PPC keywords, ads, conversion rates and statistics, there is a lot of data involved. Although many of these PPC tools allow you to view the data in their own software, they are often very slow when it comes to managing a large amount of data.

Exporting the data from the software and opening it in Excel is often the best solution. Not only does it mean that you have all the data in one place which can be saved for later, but you can also filter the data and perform analysis you otherwise can’t do in these tools.

This is great if you need to produce charts and tables for people who aren’t good with numbers or understand what they are looking at. With the ability to manipulate data into impressive charts, handy tables and interactive fields, Microsoft Excel is an essential tool for any dedicated PPC manager.

PPC Protect

ppc protect blue logo

Last but not least on our list of PPC tools, is PPC Protect. Unlike the other PPC tools on this list, PPC Protect does something entirely different. It may not help with keyword research or PPC management, but it does help you get the most out of your PPC budget.

As you probably know, every time someone clicks on your PPC ad it costs you money regardless if it turns into a sale or not. With anyone being able to click on your ads at any time, the question is: how do you know people clicking are genuine customers and not robots?

There are a number of ways to determine if a user is authentic or not, but unfortunately, you can only do this after they have clicked which means the money has already been spent. To stop robots from clicking your ads and spending your precious PPC budget, PPC Protect actively monitors every click on your ads and blocks any suspected robot. Thanks to its huge database of VPN, proxy and malicious IP addresses, you can run your campaign knowing your budget won’t be going to waste.

We hope you found this list of PPC tools useful and that you’ve found some new tools to help make your PPC life easier. Just remember, creating a managing a PPC campaign doesn’t have to be hard if you use the right tools.

Click below to try out a free 14-day trial of PPC Protect and fight back against unwanted click fraud.


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