Search engine marketing (SEM) can get very expensive as clicks start to rally up and CPC (cost-per-click) fluctuates over time if you are not using the right SEM tools. For example, on a rainy day, your average cost per click can be 10% or more above your average spending. It can burn through your budget fairly quickly without delivering exceptional results, such as converting leads or creating an eCommerce sale.

So how do you fix it? Having the right SEM tools can help you combat unpredictable market fluctuations. Imagine having powerful SEM analytics at your disposal to precisely predict when to be aggressive or conservative with all your advertising goals.

Take complete control of your return on investment (ROI) by increase bids on keywords when visitors are actively browsing, and pause campaigns to control cost-per-acquisitions at low traffic hours. In addition, SEM tools help you to discover new keywords. It uncovers more market shares within your industry so you can consistently improve marketing campaigns for better results.

With SEM tools to track and optimize marketing campaigns for the best return on ad money spent, you can finally sleep a little better at night.

Explore 5 Best SEM Tools for Search Engine Marketing Campaigns

SEM Tool #1: Semrush (Paid)

Best Search Engine Marketing SEM and Search Engine Optimization SEO Tool - Semrush
Semrush has been our keyword research “secret weapon” for effective and result-driven keyword research and is one of our favorite SEM tools. It is a powerful research platform to help identify an estimated volume of keywords a website advertises for. This SEM tool allows you to keep tabs on what your competitors are up to. You can quickly discover competitors’ ad content as well as their ad copy position distribution in search. In addition, you can learn about your competitors’ advertising history and see if there are any keywords you are losing out on. It is definitely a comprehensive SEM tool starting at $99.95 a month.

Gain SEM Traffic Intelligence for Competitors

Search Engine Marketing Best SEM Tool - Semrush Paid Search Keywords Research
Through the Advertising Research tool, enter the URL or website of a business you are researching for to gain insight into the top keywords the company is advertising against. This SEM tool will be helpful when you are comparing yourself against your competitors, identity any keyword gaps that could be missing from your SEM campaigns, and learning what offers or messaging are being presented in the destination URL of the ad. Additionally, you will gain the following insights:

  • Keyword advertising position
  • CPC of the keyword
  • URL of the landing page the SEM ad is pointing to
  • Estimated traffic for advertising per keyword
  • Estimated total advertising spend per keyword

Semrush SEM Ad Copy Insights

Best Search Engine Marketing SEM Tool - Semrush Ad Messaging
Know precisely what your competitors or other similar businesses in your industry are advertising in their SEM messaging across their entire product line. Through Semrush’s Advertising Research Ad Copies module, you can view the messaging your competitors are writing and driving. Get key offers that are presented in the advertising copy. The next step for your SEM ads is to analyze and consider if your ad messaging articulates a better offer and consider variant messaging to drive more traffic from your SEM ads.

Semrush Display Advertising Insights

 Search Engine Marketing Best SEM Tool - Semrush Display Advertising Insights
When you are considering advertising through display ads or retargeting ads, Semrush’s Display Advertising SEM tool will allow you to see your competitors or other websites display ad campaigns with insights into what was recently published. This data will help you know what is the message being used, design style, call-to-action, and the benefits and offers being presented.

Additionally, Semrush will provide demographic details on the display ads targeting criteria give you data on who your competitors are targeting. The demographic data contains:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Audience Interests
  • Device
  • Country

Overall, the data you receive from Semrush’s SEM tool will pay for itself by providing you the data necessary to improve your SEM and display ad campaigns.

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Best Search Engine Marketing SEM Tool - Google Ads
Search Engine Marketing Best SEM Tool - Semrush Bidding Strategies

Test, Test, and Continue to Test Ad Messaging

Search Engine Marketing Best SEM Tool - Semrush Headline Description
To put your best foot forward and attract your customers, what is the best message you can present in front of your potential customers and bring them back to your website? Unless you have already had supporting data and extensive surveys completed regarding your ideal customer profile, Google Ads SEM tool can help you test all your great ideas for messaging to attract customers.

Through Google’s machine learning, you can test headlines and short descriptions of your ads, and Google will optimize the best headline and description to present to achieve your goals. With 15 headlines and four brief descriptions, Google will consistently test your messaging and support which message attracts visitor clicks through data such as click-through rate (CTR).

Maximize Your Budget on Day-Parting and Device Targeting

Save your advertising dollars when your business is not open or is considered slow on certain days or devices through Google Ads SEM tool. For example, if historically over on the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) for an eCommerce store, sales and website are low, you may want to consider only advertising during the weekdays (Monday’s to Friday’s). Additionally, the exact ad targeting goes for devices such as desktop, mobile, and tablet. Be data-driven when considering which devices and date with time to target so that you are spending your budget at times that are working.


SEM Tool #3: Microsoft Bing Ads Webmaster Tools (Free)

Best Search Engine Marketing SEM Tool - Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools
Very similar to Google Ads, the Microsoft Bing Ads Keyword Research tool provides the same benefits to understanding search markets for Bing and Yahoo. It shows search volume by keyword, and displays the average cost per click. Its keyword reports show keyword suggestions based on historical data during a six-month range. The tool also makes keyword suggestions according to different languages as well as geolocations. Use it in conjunction with Google Ads to help you with preliminary keyword research for both SEO and SEM.

You can get Microsoft Bing Ads Keyword Research tool for free as long as you have a Bing Ads account. Sign up for Bing Ads for free today.

SEM Tool #4: Google Analytics (Free)

Best Search Engine Marketing SEM and Search Engine Optimization SEO Tool - Google Analytics
Introducing the best free tool to track your Google Ads or Microsoft Bing pay-per-click campaign performances. Google Analytics can be integrated with Google Ads to measure overall landing page quality as well as conversion rate. It tracks where visitors are coming from, their time on site, and calculates the bounce rate. Valuable insights allow you to manage and allocate ad spending appropriately. Through its platform, you are able to monitor conversion and growth of each ad. Therefore, ad campaigns are executed more effectively while campaign costs can be lowered over time.
Best Search Engine Marketing SEM Tool - Google Ads Editor
Google Ads Editor is another a free tool within Google Ads. This tool allows you to bulk upload and manage hundreds of thousands of ads and keywords to your Google Ads campaign. When you need to make revisions to more than one ad campaigns, this tool can help you to save a lot of time. You are able to group keywords together by assigning ad groups to each PPC campaign. For example, instead of doing the grunt work to adjust keywords and cost-per-click price one at a time, you can upload all your PPC changes at once in a much more efficient way.