A #PPC Christmas Morning: The Best Toys in Our PPC World

kid-happily-open-the-Christmas-giftThe best thing as a kid was waking up Christmas morning and opening all your new, awesome toys. Well, as an adult, we have a little advantage. We don’t have to wait until Christmas! We can use our fun toys all year round. So to continue the holiday spirit and begin looking forward to the new year, below is a list of some of our favorite toys from all across the PPC industry.

Interface Tools

Bing Ads Auto Tagging

For so long Bing Ads required advertisers to manually tag their destination URLs with utm parameters. No longer friends. In the account settings portion of the interface, you can choose one of two settings allowing Bing to auto update your tagging. Choose the one that’s right for you and you’re on your way!

Custom Columns in Google

A very recent update, Custom Columns are sure to be this year’s Google Christmas gift to advertisers. Here, you can choose from a number of different data segments in your account and see performance in your usual interface. CPA per individual conversion types. Spend by network. Average Position by device. All kinds of crazy fun stuff.

Facebook Lookalike Audiences

The just as cool little brother to Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences let you reach new customers that, based on Facebook data, are similar to those users you’ve already got. Whether it’s for lead gen, ecom, or audience building, Lookalike audiences have been a great tool for expanding reach into relevant audiences.


These little beauties have been enormously helpful in making our workflow more efficient. Now for them to be supported via AdWords Editor. And for Bing to get some.


Whether you’re scripting for budgeting needs, weather conditions, or a multitude of other things, Scripts can be great tools for success. They require some knowledge of coding if you’re going to build your own, but there are also great resources out there you can check out. Like here. And here.

Auction Insights

Auction Insights is almost like a hide-and-seek cheatsheet, if there ever was such a thing.  You can segment by specific keywords, campaigns, or ad groups to see where your competitors are lurking about. Unlike hide-and-seek, visibility is a good thing and this report can help you achieve it. Come out, come out wherever you are…

Display Ad Creator

Art sets were always sure to be a favorite Christmas gift. Remember the first time your elementary self saw a pack of 64 crayons and excitedly thought to yourself, “I didn’t even know there were 64 colors in all of existence…”? Google’s display ad creator has brought forth the same wonder in our adult eyes. It’s been a long road since the display ad creator was first launched but now it offers the ability to create some professional looking ad sets. No tool can trump having access to a real live designer (isn’t that right, Lisa Frank?) but the Display Ad Creator works great in a pinch.

External Tools

PPC Chat

One of the best “toys” out there is the ability to collaborate with other kids/account managers. PPC Chat has been a fantastic tool for many new comers to better learn their trade and for established veterans to share their knowledge and learn some new tricks. If you’re not already attending, you should definitely stop by on Tuesdays at 12pm EST.


Landing pages play an enormous role in PPC optimization, but they’re put on the back burner too often. Unbounce is a fantastic tool to help you create and test new landing pages easily and with minimal need for coding knowledge.

Google Tag Manager

One thing all kids understand, with lots of toys, so increases the need of a fantastic toy box. And the toybox of the PPC world? One of our most recent obsessions at Clix: Google Tag Manager. It makes pixel placement alarmingly easy. Everyone can have access and you don’t have to bother your dev team every time you need to place a pixel. In kid terms: all your toys in one area and you don’t have to ask mom and dad to help you. It. Is. Awesome.

Competitive Analysis Tools

Remember those spy kits that we all wanted as kids? Well, it turns out it’s still fun to play Sherlock Holmes once in awhile!  Spyfu, Keyword Spy, iSpionage, Adgooroo and so many other tools are available that allow us to improve our own campaigns by taking a look at what our competitors are doing. Who needs a spy kit when you can have a spy subscription?!

Google Trends

This is the gift that keeps on giving.. err.. well, it keeps on predicting what you are going to get, anyway. Google Trends is a nifty toy that helps us to plan for seasonal fluctuations and general changes in demand. The best things about Google Trends? It’s handy AND it’s free.

Bing Ads Intelligence

Another great tool for keyword research offered by Bing Ads. As a plug in for Excel, Bing Ads Intelligence allows you to get gather all the data you want and then put it into very digestible formats with ease.

Microsoft Excel

Need we really say more?

Google Analytics Custom Reports

With so many points of data available in GA, it can be really difficult to get the data view that you’d like on one screen. Enter Custom Reports, the Legos of the PPC world. Within reason, you can add any and all stats you’d like into one full report. Basically, if you have the building block, you can build your spaceship to look like whatever you want. If you haven’t tried them, head over to the customization tab in GA and give it a shot.

This list certainly isn’t all inclusive of the best toys, er, tools in the PPC world. What are your favorites?