Best SEM Tools: Voted By 40+ PPC Experts


Best SEM Tools: Voted By 40+ PPC Experts

Our Chris Sheehy is cited in this article – by Jeroen!

Just the logo for the vazooky company

There’s no doubt that SEM tools are essential for a lot of PPC experts. It reduces their time on standard campaign management tasks, which means they can spend more time on other things that can improve the campaigns.

There are many, many SEM tools out there. Tools that can help you set up better keyword lists, automate your reporting, streamline your optimisation process and much more. We asked more than 40 experienced PPC specialists what their favourite SEM tools are that they would recommend to others.

Without further ado, here are the top 15 best SEM tools the experts recommend you to use.

Top 15 Best SEM Tools: How The Experts Voted

  1. SEMRush – 17 votes
  2. Google Keyword Planner – 7 votes
  3. Editor (Google Ads) – 6 votes
  4. Google Data Studio – 5 votes
  5. Supermetrics – 4 votes
  6. Ahrefs – 3 votes
  7. Excel – 3 votes
  8. Google Trends – 3 votes
  9. – 3 votes
  10. AdAlysis – 3 votes
  11. Optymyzr – 3 votes
  12. Keywords Everywhere – 2 votes
  13. Google Ads Scripts – 2 votes
  14. Spyfu – 2 votes
  15. Wordstream – 2 votes

Now, let’s dig further into these.


Must-have: ⭐⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐

First, almost half of the PPC experts voted for SEMRush. SEMRush goes beyond just Search Engine Marketing. They describe themselves as an “all-in-one marketing toolkit for digital marketing professionals”. Next to Paid Search, their products focus on SEO, social media, market research, content marketing and public relations.

The experts that filled in our survey were mainly impressed by the large amount of competitor data that is available in SEMRush. As part of that, the tool gives visibility into ad copy’s being used by advertisers. Also, you will be able to pull a list of competitors, the number of common keywords, estimations on paid traffic and their spending.

Google Keyword Planner

Must-have: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Second, the Google Keyword Planner is a free tool which is integrated in your Google Ads account. In your account, navigate to Tools & Settings > Planning > Keyword Planner.

The Keyword Planner can help you setting up your keyword list and find how what the search volume is for these keywords. Also, it shows you how competitive each keyword is and what the cost-per-click is that you can expect to pay to be able to compete.

Google Ads Editor

Must-have: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Third, the Google Ads Editor is a must for every SEM specialist. It’s the official downloadable application for Google Ads.

It makes it able to work offline and make bulk changes to your Google Ads campaigns. To sum it up, it’s a no-brainer to use this tool as it will make the campaign management a lot quicker and easier.

Google Data Studio

Must-have: ⭐⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A lot of PPC experts love Google Data Studio, especially the ones that are working on the agency side. It’s Google’s free reporting solution for users that want to go beyond the data and dashboards in Google Analytics.

Data Studio has a seamless integration with Google Analytics and Google Ads. Also, it gives the opportunity to visualise the data in different ways which is impossible in the platforms directly. It’s a perfect tool for agencies that want to provide their clients with advanced, yet automated reporting.


Must-have: ⭐⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐⭐⭐

Often used in combination with Google Sheets & Data Studio, Supermetrics is the perfect add-on for your reports. It will allow you to push through more data connections to your reports. For example, data from Bing Ads, Google Search Ads 360 or Facebook Ads.


Must-have: ⭐⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐

Ahrefs has many tools available to help you manage your SEM campaigns. Mainly, it gives you information about your competitors that you can use to improve your campaigns.

Ahrefs describes it themselves as “learn why your competitors rank so high and what you need to do to outrank them”.

Microsoft Excel

Must-have: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Good old Excel made it to the list! It’s still one of the best tools to slice and dice your campaign data and come to new insights.

Excel doesn’t really need any further introduction.

Google Trends

Must-have: ⭐
Pricing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Google Trends allows you to see how often specific keywords, subjects and phrases have been queried in Google over a certain period of time.

For SEM this tool can help you understanding the search volume of your most important keywords. In combination with the Keyword Planner, you can then understand what budget is roughly needed to advertise in your region.

Must-have: ⭐⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐⭐⭐

Then, is an alternative to the Google Keyword Planner. So, you can use it to get keyword suggestions when you start building your campaigns.

In comparison with Google’s Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool pride themselves to be more reliable as it works 99.99% of the time. It’s completely free and you don’t even need to create an account with them.


Must-have: ⭐⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐⭐

Starting mainly as a tool to streamline A/B testing, Adalysis now offers multiple products to streamline your SEM management.

It can save you hours of manual analysis, and it can help you to work smarter and faster on bulk tasks. They have a free 14-day trial and there month-to-month packages are quite affordable. Especially, considering the time you save on management.


Must-have: ⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐

Optymyzr is a PPC expert’s complete toolkit. It offers search marketing tools, scripts and worklflows. It’s the winner of “Best PPC Software” at the 2018 US Search Awards.

Other than most other tools in this list, it’s not a free tool. With their packages starting at US$499 it’s actually quite an expensive tool for most advertisers.

Keywords Everywhere

Must-have: ⭐⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐⭐⭐

Then, Keywords Everywhere is a browser add-on for both Chrome and Firefox. It shows the monthly search volume, cost per click and competition data of keywords on multiple websites.

It lets you find long-tail phrases that you can use when managing your campaigns. Therefore, it can save you a lot of time in your keyword research.

Google Ads Scripts

Must-have: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Google Ads scripts provide a way to programmatically control your Google Ads data. For example, you can pause keywords that are not getting conversions and had a certain amount of spend.

There’s not really a limit of the SEM tasks that you can automated using Scripts. However, you might need to have some developer knowledge to implement them.


Must-have: ⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐⭐

SpyFu can unlock competitor data for you. You will be able to see every keyword your competitors advertised on in the last 13 years, see their ad copy’s etc.

Using competitor data can help you to manage your own campaigns as well.


Must-have: ⭐⭐
Pricing: ⭐

Finally, only a few SEM specialist picked Wordstream. However, it’s probably one of the most well-known SEM tools in the market. On their website, they mention that roughly 1 million advertisers are currently using their platform.

Wordstream offers many tools to manage your SEM campaigns. Some of these are free. However, to unlock certain features you will have to sign up and pay either a monthly or annual fee.

What the experts said

Now, let’s have a look at what the SEM experts had to say about their favourite SEM tools.

Jacques von Wielligh

“Must admit we were faced with real challenges in 2006-2008 so choices were limited and decided to optin with Spyfy, Moz & Market Samurai. The web has changed so much since then. Still remember when Google acquired Applied Semantics in 2003. The years of Google’s wonder wheel & semantics structures allowed us to dig deeper, but these days we need more insights and actionable data we can react on.
SEMRush & Ahrefs most definitely for various reasons. #projects at SEMRush – Integrating all features into your workflow can definitely give you a competitive advantage.
Ahrefs less limits per project. (pages crawled) Also my go to backlink tool.
We require visibility on data and identify opportunities that can put us ahead of the competition.
These tools can definitely assist with the modern SEM Challenges we face on a day-to-day basis.”

Anthony Pearce

Anthony is a PPC freelancer from London with over 12 years experience managing paid search campaigns.

“The SEM tool that probably helps me the most is Supermetrics. Although technically not built solely for SEM, it allows me automate all my client reporting and internal monitoring of account KPIs. You can use Supermetrics to download data from a wide range of sources including Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Google Analytics, Facebook, Adroll, Linkedin, Salesforce and Adobe Analytics. Data can be downloaded into Google Sheets or Datastudio, and set to update every few hours if required. It’s a real time-saver.”

Thomas Jaskov

Thomas Jaskov has 10+ years of experience working with SEO and Google Ads (AdWords). He works as a senior consultant at Jaskov Consult ApS. He is the author of the book “Getting Started with Google AdWords“ and founder of eMarketing Institute and Keyword Match Type Tool.

“The 3 SEM tools I use the most are 1: Google Keyword Planner. 2: Keyword Match Type Tool. 3: SEMrush
1: Google Keyword Planner is a great tool for in-depth keyword research. Personally, I couldn’t live without Keyword Planner. I use it for many aspects of keyword research. And the greatest thing about this tool is, that data is provided by Google. So you know it’s valid. This tool is 100% free.
2: Keyword Match Type Tool. After I have completed my keyword research, I then start building ad groups and keyword lists. In the old days, I have tried out various match type tools also known as keyword wrappers and/or AdWords wrapper tools. I wasn’t totally happy with any of them, so in 2015 I decided to hire a programmer, who helped me build Keyword Match Type Tool. This tool is 100% free.
3: SEMrush. I have used SEMrush for many years. It is a great tool with a ton of features. Actually SEMrush has so much to offer, so it is hard to describe in few words. If you want to do competitor research, then you really have to check out this tool. You can see, which keywords are providing traffic to your competitors. That’s not a bad thing to know, if you wan to outsmart your competition. SEmrush is not a free tool, but still I can definitely recommend it, as you get good value for the money.”

Tom Sutton

Freelance SEO & PPC Specialist

“My favourite tool hands down is Ahrefs. I use it almost everyday, whether I’m doing keyword research or hunting for potential outreaching opportunities. It has everything I need in one platform. Furthermore with the creators of Ahrefs constantly pushing new updates and new features to the platform it’s hard to advise other SEO’s to use anything else.
While some people do say that it is expensive for a tool (which I agree with), it is definitely a tool that I’d recommend forking out for.”

John Lavin

I am a Professional SEM freelancer who enjoys camping, hiking, & driving my bicycle around Kingston, NY.

“By far my most favorite tool for SEM research is the Keyword Planner. Not only can you get some better ideas for keywords but it will give you an estimate of the top page bid which is useful information to have when you are proposing a budget.”

Mike Nelson

Mike has a diverse online advertising background. He has appeared in major SEM publications including Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Certified Knowledge, and more. He focuses mainly on Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads and, increasingly, CRO.

“Hopefully my answer is unique! After buying nearly a half billion dollars in SEM media, I’ve determined the absolute best tools are those offered by the platforms themselves, and it’s not always necessary to buy 3rd party tools.
The best tools are therefore
1) Google Ads Editor: It’s amazing how many SEM professionals are not even aware of this powerful bulk editing tool. Or, if they are, they have not taken the time to become a master of AWE. The strength of advance search is unbelievable. Spend 20+ hours understanding GAE.
2) tCPA: I’m a big believer in tCPA vs a 3rd party bidding tool like Marin or Kenshoo. Google has more data on their users then a 3rd party, and also has bid modification options they don’t release to others such as bidding by browser and a specific user’s past interaction with your ads. A list of what they consider while on smart bidding can be found here:
3) Excel. Pretty much the most boring answer ever. But, if you know how to do these functions in excel, you’re well on your way to being an SEM professional
pivot table
All that said, a tool can only take you so far. It’s critical to think through your account structure so it’s scalable and easy to keep track of. I think being good at SEM is much like being a good developer. It’s about being concise and well organized, not creating a complex system of spaghetti that no one (including yourself!) can navigate.”

Nathan Pabich

Paid Media expert and practitioner

“Semrush and Spyfu. Why? They help gage gaps and market opportunities. Neither are perfect and merely directional but very useful in total market analysis. Tip: look up your own estimated spend to understand how accurate their estimates are for your own market.”

Adam Arkfeld

Adam Arkfeld is Founder & President of ParaCore, a pay-per-click lead generation agency in Phoenix, AZ. Founded in 2009, ParaCore niched its focus to PPC in 2015 and has grown to manage millions in ad spend annually with a roster of clients ranging from home service companies to online retailers.

“1) We started using Opteo recently and it’s helped us catch some potential problems right away. I was turned on to the service while listening to The Paid Search Podcast. It’s helped us catch a campaign that was overspending and also monitor campaigns that are under spending. With a lot of team members, it’s helpful to keep an eye on things.
2) We also recently started using this negatives script which has been a game changer for reviewing and updating search terms weekly:

Bob Rustici

As a principle in a marketing consulting practice where our clients are our bosses. My involvement in search marketing has seen a lot of changes in the last 15 years, but one thing remains constant: RELEVANCY. If you provide relevant results and content to your audience – you will always see better results (better search engine visibility, more web traffic, more leads/sales, etc).

“Being a bit more Google centric the three tools that are my “go to” techniques for creating improved targeting and higher efficiency are; the Ad Grouping function within the Google Keyword Planner, Audiences for search ads to identify purchase intent and lastly the automated bidding with CPA Target (but only after to have established the right groundwork). But first you need to ensure the following is performing well; solid history of a range of call to actions that have conversion tracking associated to the visitor intent, daily budget targets, day parting and geo bidding.“

Andrew Percey

Andrew Percey holds BS/MS degrees in computer science from MIT. He has over 15 years of experience in corporate marketing and PPC advertising. Andrew has helped more than 100 businesses and MIT startups to succeed with Google Ads.

“Outside of Google’s own tools (which you should of course be using), I’d recommend two 3rd party tools as being highly useful in the right situations.
If you have online advertising competitors, especially large ones, then SEMRush is a fantastic tool for gaining insights into their approaches. You can see the search queries for which their ads most often show as well as numerous current & past iterations of their ad copy. This is great for expanding your own keyword opportunities and for identifying ways to better differentiate your business in your own ads.
And if your ads account has enough impressions, clicks and conversions, then Adalysis is a fantastic tool for quickly and accurately determining A/B ad test winners. See winning ads in a few clicks instead of the much greater time required to set up similar reports in Google Ads or to download data into a spreadsheet to parse. The tool will also flag a number of other common and important account issues.”

Mirena Boycheva

A digital marketing expert based in London, specializing in paid search and paid social with more than 5 years of experience. I’ve founded my own agency serving small and medium sized companies helping them grow their business. My main priority is providing my clients with transparent and high quality services meeting and exceeding their expectations.

“The top 3 SEM tools I’m using on a daily basis are free and customizable. They are as follows:
1) SEMrush
When I do a research about a potential client or when I get on board a new client, I am conducting a research in their industry, including how their competitors are doing. For this purpose, one of the most helpful tools I am using is the free version of SemRush.
SEMrush is a tool providing information about competitors, their website traffic by country, what keywords they bid on, are they advertising on paid search, how much traffic they get, what their paid search ads look like and which are their main competitors. At least these are the main features of SEMrush I am using. I have not subscribed for their paid services, as I have not seen any need of that. The data is not quite accurate but it helps making assumptions.
2) Keywords everywhere
Whenever I need to do a keyword research for a new client or expand the list of keywords for a current one, I am using the tool “Keywords everywhere”.
Keywords everywhere is available as a browser extension. Once installed, it starts showing keywords suggestions related to the searched keyword with volumes, CPC and competition rating for every single keyword search. The data is collected from Google Keyword planner. However, this tool is much faster to use than the standard keyword planner, provided by Google, because you see the data displayed straight in the search engine without having to go through Google Ads interface. Besides, the data is also available for download. Another good reason I am recommending this tool is that it is free to use.
In the setting section, you get to choose for which country and currency you would like to see the data shown. You can also select what metrics to include against each keyword. Another good functionality is that you can select some of the keywords you like and the tool will automatically compile a list of those, which you can download later.
3) Google data studio
I am using Google data studio to create the weekly and monthly reports for my clients visualising the data and making it easier to comprehend. It is very easy to start using it, to link it with existing accounts and create multiple reports collecting data from many different platforms such as Google Ads, Google analytics. You can also import data from other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Google data studio also offers customized filters, which allow you to structure the data in the best way for each separate client. I am only creating the report ones for each client and from there it is automatically updated with the latest data whenever I need it. Furthermore, it helps for getting quick updates on how the performance is going without having to go to the Google ads interface. If you manage to add all needed data tables and graphs you need, you can easily get the latest performance updates and decide what to optimise in the account. Sharing the reports is also super easy. Either you can add the client as a user to provide them with the interactive version of the report or you can just download and share a file with them. One of its best things about it is that it is free.”

Michael Murphy

Michael has been growing businesses with Digital Marketing since 2006. He’s held in-house and agency marketing roles in both fulfillment and management. He has had great success running SEO, PPC, Paid Social, CRO, A/B Testing, Email Marketing, Marketing Automation, Social Media, Online Reputation Management, Copywriting, and Creative Problem-Solving campaigns.

“Current tools I use are Google’s Keyword Planner and SEMrush. I like to get new keyword ideas and search volume estimates from Google.
From SEMrush I like to review the competitors that the tool providers to go and research some of their landing pages, what they’re doing that we could mimic as well as how we could do better than them.
I’ve built a proprietary search network campaign builder named Humzee that I will be launching to the public soon. It has drastically shortened the time required to generate thousands or millions of long-tail keyword variations and wraps it all up in a CSV that you can upload to Google Ads directly or through the Google Ads Editor.”

David Forer

SEO , SEM and Data Nerd who loves Web Development.

“What I would recommend depends on who I am recommending too. Generally this question is meant to help the non SEO professionals out there understand what might help them. If a business owner came to me and asked what 1 tool would you recommend? I would answer SerpStat ( It is easy to use, easy to explain how to use and covers a lot of area in the digital space. I wouldn’t say it is as good in any one area as some of the tools out there but overall you can get all the information you need at a reasonable price. It covers Keyword Research (inc Content Marketing), SEO (inc. site audit), Adwords, Rank Tracking and Backlink Analysis. This one tool can really help any business set up its entire Digital campaign!”

Codie Vincent

I’m Digital Marketing specialist helping clients in the New Zealand market.

“SEM Rush – I use it to find a great ad copy in different markets.”

Per Jacobsen

Experienced digital marketer helping some of the most innovative brands in Denmark including Lego, Danske Spil, Gyldendal and Tivoli with performance based marketing on Google and Facebook.

“Optymyzr because of their timesaving one-click optimization options – especially because they support the SKAG-structure that I work with. for helping with keyword research. And then I have to mention Google Sheets in combination with Supermetrics because this virtually allows me to build all the optimization and campaign building tools I need myself.”

Chris Stott

Client Director at PPC Geeks

“Personally I don’t like tools, I prefer strategies. Tools change all the time, but sound strategies stand the test of time. That’s what we focus on at PPC Geeks.
To win at SEM therefore you need the right set of strategies as the main ‘tools’ in your arsenal. For us that is having an objective and key results that our clients want to achieve. We then back that up with the right strategic plan to achieve it and finally we make sure that we can monitor it and gather data to correct course and further improve our results.
The tools that support our strategic approach and I would recommend are:
Google Tag Manager as a single (ideally) place to track all your codes and most important conversion events. Google Analytics for analysis and data (combined with knowledge of how best to use it), and Google Data Studio to visualise and monitor results.
The tools change all the time, but like going on a journey, as long as the car (the tool) works then you need to know where you want to go and the route you are going to take to get there.”

Alessandro Bufo

Digital marketing consultant, helping brand to achieve their business goals via a variety of channels such as PPC, Display, and Paid Social. I am specialised in e-commerce & hospitality field.

“Keyword Planner/Sem Rush. It represents a good starting point when it comes to keyword research. Keyword planner helps you understand the search volume of a specific set of keywords or gives you keywords ideas. Sem rush provides you a realistic idea about your competitors.
Kenshoo Search: bidding management tool. Has an advanced bidding technology that allows you to optimize you campaign according to your goals such as target CPA, Target ROAS, maximize revenue by mantaining desired ROI. I used it for one of my client in the past and results where excellent.”

David Szetela

David is Owner and CEO of digital advertising agency FMB Media, and one of the world’s best-known experts in online advertising. A former Apple Computer executive and serial entrepreneur, David’s career has been dedicated to helping companies of all sizes maximize revenue and profit.

“Optymzr, AdAlysis, AdWords Editor.”

Jesse Witham

President and Founder of Search Marketing Agency with 18+ years of experience in SEO and Digital Marketing.

“I highly recommend SEO Powersuite, as well as MOZ and SEMrush tools for Search Engine Marketing. Have used all 3 of them for close to a decade. I also really like SpyFu and Nacho Analytics for Paid Search and competition research.“

Jeevan Katwaru

I have 15 Years experience in digital marketing specializing in SEO and SEM

“Acquisio – great to automation and intra-day bidding.“

Robert Louw

PPC & SEO Consultant that has worked across various industries from financial services, Ad technology, Retail, e-commerce, travel and b2b markets. PPC consulting for businesses worldwide, providing analysis and recommendations to improve online acquisition & market performance.

“Google Keyword Planner, Spyfu, SEM Rush, Google Adwords Editor, Optmyzr, Excel, Optmyzr, Google Trends.”

Adriana Pozenato

I’m a digital marketing manager with over 5 years of experience in the market in two different countries – Brazil and New Zealand – . I’m specialised in Google Ads.

“Platforms: Google Ads, Bing Ads. SEM Management Tools: Wordstream.”

Tony Chopp

Google Ads Expert | Founder at Claim Your Space

“I think I’ve probably tried them all. I don’t have anything bad to say about any tools, but there are just two that I use every single day. And they’re both free. #1 — Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension. It’s literally my favorite keyword research tool ever. I think the best part about it is how they just overlay their data on the SERP page, where I’m already spending tons of time. Just brilliant. #2 — Google Ads desktop editor. It’s powerful and sometimes a little scary to use (be careful before you push ‘upload’). But when we’re working in big, complex accounts, or need to make sweeping changes in bulk (like swapping http for https for all ads after an SSL upgrade for example)—no other tool will do. Bonus: making changes to ads, extensions, etc in the desktop editor doesn’t reset all the ad stats. Good form.“

Ventsislav Vasilev

Ventsislav is a digital marketing professional with over 12 years of work experiences in SEM, SEO, Google ads, Facebook ads, Google Analytics, Youtube, WordPress and etc. He works at Optimum Media OMD Bulgaria as a Senior Digital Media Manager.

“ – This is a very useful tool for keywords suggestions. You can get data for keywords, questions, prepositions or hashtag suggestions, it works with all most popular platforms (Google Search, Youtube, Bing, Instagram, Play Store, Twitter, Ebay and Amazon). You can filter the data by language or adding negative keywords. There is a premium option for a paid monthly subscription that you can get additional options for search volume, trends, CPC and competition.
Google trends – Free and useful tool from Google. You can search for trends by search terms, topic, brands then filter by categories, countries, Google Search (Web Search, Images Search, Youtube Search, News Search and Google Shopping ) or a custom period of time. You can compare up to 5 different keywords.
Google Data Studio – Another free tool of Google. This tool is for data visualization or you can create easy free stylish dashboards and reports. You can connect the tool with multiple Google Sources (Google Analytics, Google Ads, Youtube, Google Sheets and etc.) also you can add external data too.
In case you create a helpful report there is an option to submit to the Google Data Studio – Gallery and share with more people.”

Chris Sheehy

Founder of Sidewalk Branding Co., Digital Marketing & Advertising (a brand of Brave River Solutions – with Chris now leading the Digital Services Department)

“My response is focused on the SMB market where low-resources (time/funds) translate to a need for actions that turn decent returns for minimal effort and learning curve. My top three suggestions are sure to help any business improve their SEM performance.
1) Google Search Console – there’s a wealth of keyword & query intel in this often-overlooked SEM resource. Use this data for seeding Google’s Keyword Planner or adding terms directly to a campaign. Works equally as well for finding negative terms.
2) SEMrush – works great for competitive research, keyword overlap, and for viewing a competitor’s ads. SEMrush is a powerhouse tool. The paid version of this tool is a powerhouse, but there are many free-to-use tools offered as well.
3) Scripts – okay, this functionality, not a tool – but scripts are a great tool to manage many performance and reporting aspects of an ad/campaign and are easy enough for a novice to apply. A good place to start is, but a search will also reveal many more options.”

Jon Maher

CEO of Esper Inbound, the hybrid PPC/CRO agency with a sixth sense for marketing. Jon knows PPC & knows it well. Some say too well… because it’s all he talks about! Get on his good side by telling him a hotdog’s a sandwich…

“My favorite SEM tools for working on ad accounts are the Google / Microsoft Ads Editor and Microsoft Excel! Boring I know, but you can’t go wrong with this combo. Tt allows you to do some seriously powerful stuff, and quickly too!
My favorite SEM tool for design is Unbounce, hands down. It’s the best landing page builder on the market and that shines through their robust capabilities and high level of customer service.
Lastly, my favorite must have tool for saving time and headache is Zapier! Zapier is soooo powerful and easy to use. It’ll help you immensely with a plethora of processes from automating lead notifications to creating dynamic lead funnels. If you’re not using this tool already, I don’t know how you do it!”

David Bartos

We help small companies and ecommerce businesses to increase their revenue by using Google Ads.

“Supermetrics,, SKAG Generator.”

Todd Chambers

Convert more leads & sales from your ad spend. Upraw Media manage all the major ad platforms, implement sophisticated tracking solutions and build highly optimised landing pages.

“Supermetrics – We use 2 Supermetrics licenses. The first is for Google Sheets. We use this to pull spend across all major ad platforms into 1 centralised data set. We use this for account / client level pacing. The second license is for Google Data Studio. With Supermetrics we can connect additional data sources in each client dashboard. Ideal if you’re managing multiple ad platforms.“

Philip James Armstrong

I specialise in helping businesses to generate new leads, clients, and sales, using pay-per-click search engine marketing. As the director of a Google partnered agency, I work closely with Google representatives to set up profitable Adwords marketing campaigns using the latest strategies and best practices.

“1) PPC Samurai is unparalleled in its effectiveness in automating and streamlining the processes of monitoring and optimising pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns on Google Ads. Using an intuitive drag and drop interface, users are able to create custom scripts that help to manage every aspect of a campaign, from checking budgets to optimising keyword bids at a granular level. This tool is a must-have for any agencies or advertisers looking to maximise the profits generated from their PPC campaigns.
2) Unbounce is the ideal tool for creating and split testing landing pages with a view to increasing conversion rates. The landing page builder is easy to use, making it very simple to quickly create new page variants which look aesthetically pleasing and load quickly for visitors.”

Feiko Bierman

I am a PPC consultant at the e-commerce agency ISM eCompany. We’re a full-service agency based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. As a PPC consultant, I specialize in Automation and Strategy.

“Google ads 360, bgenius and Channable.”

Varnika Trisal

Results Focused Marketer having 7 years of working experience in digital marketing, customer engagement, email marketing campaigns and marketing strategies. Worked in different countries with different brands and industries ranging from Energy to Finance to Tech, I truly believe that with so much noise online, it’s important to build your personal brand. Currently, I work as a Performance Marketing Manager at Oracle Australia.

“Crazy Egg – The reason I nominate this tool is because of it’s user friendly experience. The way you think about optimizing your website, this tool exactly works in the same way. For setting up conversion tracking and tests it’s just a matter of minutes. This tool also provides insights on what people are actually looking for on your website and at the end you can build successful customer journeys. One bonus thing it doesn’t require any programming skills at all.”

Eleni Buras

PPC & Amazon Consultant, with over 10 years’ experience working with digital agencies, in-house clients, & 15MLN annual client managed PPC ad spend. Heavily focused on data and specialised in acquisition & direct performance funnels across search, display and Amazon.

“Marin Software.
8 & 9-figure businesses will benefit from using Marin software in their digital ppc strategy, as this award-winning ad management platform is a quick & highly efficient way to a) integrate all your marketing channels in reporting & visualise trends b) automate optimisation and discovery of new sales opportunities and high performance in the business c) use machine learning for campaign hygiene changes such as budgeting, bidding, forecasting, and anomalies in data d) create automated campaigns with dynamic ad copies for large inventory businesses.
This online visibility management tool is great for a) researching high volume and long tail keyword strategies within your industry and your competitors for ppc and seo b) checking your competitor traffic sources for new publisher ideas and google display placement targeting c) reviewing competitor’s ad copy strategy & regional visibility vs your brand d) identifying competitor cpc strategy on specific keyword segments.
Every online business will benefit from consumer insights and market share data. Hitwise helps you track, protect, and grow your online market share at every stage of the consumer’s online journey, from search to purchase, and it really increases your understanding of your customers. Its great for a) tracking exit and entry sites to see, which websites drive traffic to your brand, and, which sites are visited afterwards b) reviewing market share vs other brands and comparing ppc and seo cost and keyword split in your industry c) benchmarking your performance against the competition by audience, visit and sales d) identifying competitor’s best search terms and performance drivers.”

Georgios Mesimeris

Georgios Mesimeris is a Performance Marketing Manager at Verisure UK. He has 7+ years of experience in digital marketing, having worked and developed various lead generation and e-commerce businesses in the UK.

One of the most useful tools I would recommend is Adthena. It is a paid tool that every online marketer must have. It provides market trends at a glance on various metrics, on all your competitors, across all devices as well as organic split. You can see which competitors bidding on your terms, brand KWs and using your brand name on their ad copy.
It is another cheaper tool but very useful as well. It’s an easy to use tool to get insights into your competitors’ strategies in display advertising, organic and paid search, and link building. It helps you to monitor ad copy and landing pages, and discover new ideas. On the SEO side, it provides a deep link analysis, your domain view and recommendations, and backlink audits.”

Madhura K (Maddy K)

Madhura Kulkarni (Maddy K) is a full-time Digital Marketing freelancer based in New York City. She is a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual with good knowledge and passion for marketing.

“Sprout Social – Community Management and everything else, FB ads manager / Google reporting is great on it’s own!”

Andrew Woolley

Having been doing SEO for six years and digital marketing for over ten years. Trained and qualified in various disciples he is able to communicate complex elements in simple, practical ways that generate results. Track record in helping hundreds of businesses with their online brand credibility. A regular contributor to several SEO forums and online directories.

“For me its got to be SEMrush. It’s capability and versatility in delivering solutions to everyday problems that any SEO, PPC or Marketing expert will heartily benefit from and recommend .
Having used all of the ‘big boy’ packages over the years, from Moz to aHrefs and many, many more, I prefer SEMrush. Yes others have a few more strengths in regards to backlinks or Local SEO, but for an all rounder that delivers answers, its got to be SEMrush.
Using the ‘Guru’ version there are clear differences when it comes to see old data in terms of keywords you or a competitor ranked for, as well as the positional changes.
Key features that provide great insight are the Position Tracking tools and Site Audit. Constant monitoring allows you to see where to make improvements and gain ground.
With so many features that allow you to delve into the main three areas of SEO; Technical, On-Page and Off-Page, SEMrush just keeps rolling out more and more features that allow anyone to utilise the tool. Even social media and brand managers can benefit massively from its intuitive areas.”

Claire Poorthuis

Experienced Marketer with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry.

“, Ubersuggest, hotjar, SE ranking, Ad Text Generator, Google Ads Scripts,, Datastudio, Google trends, Google Insights.”


  • What is SEM?
    SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. It is a form of online advertising that allows you to advertise on search engines like Google and Bing.
  • Are there free SEM tools available?
    Some of the SEM tools are being offered for free. Google offers some great tools to streamline your SEM advertising. Some third-party tools are being offered for a small fee, often month-to-month.
  • What are some of the most popular SEM tools?
    SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner, Google Ads Editor, Supermetrics, Ahrefs, AdAlysis, Optymyzr, Wordstream, Keywords Everywhere.
  • Do I have to use a SEM tool to get better results?
    No. SEM tools can definitely help you get better results while saving time. However, you can perfectly manage your SEM campaigns without using any other tools.

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