Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tools

Best Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tools include:

Google Ads (formerly AdWords) and Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads).

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tools TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tools Overview

What are Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tools?

Search engine marketing tools help marketers manage and optimize paid search ads. SEM tools allow users to research keywords, set a budget, run paid ad campaigns, act on intelligent bidding recommendations, automate bidding and copy generation, and analyze and forecast results.

The goal of search engine marketing tools is to bring a target audience to your website, particularly for keywords where you are not likely to be the top organic result.


The most widely used SEM software include those offered by search engines themselves, such as Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Many cross-channel campaign management tools include capabilities for managing paid search, social, and display ads. Similarly, many SEO platforms include features for managing paid search ads or integrate with first-party tools like AdWords.

SEM & Competitive Intelligence

Some SEM tools also offer competitive analysis. In other words, SEM software allows you to see what search terms your competitors are bidding on. The information provided by SEM software may allow you to identify missed opportunities to increase your visibility in search. It also may help you protect your brand from unwanted (or unlawful) use by competitors.

Pricing Information

First-party SEM tools are often free in the sense that you don’t pay for the SEM software itself. Rather, the cost is rolled into what you pay for your ads. Ads are usually on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis. Other methods include CPM (cost-per-thousand-impressions), or pay-per-call, particularly for ads served on a smartphone.

The cost of ads varies widely depending on the competition for targeted search terms. Tools allow you to set a budget and limit spending.



Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Products

(1-25 of 59) Sorted by Most Reviews

Google Ads (formerly AdWords)
852 ratings
76 reviews
Top Rated
Google Ads (formerly AdWords) is Google's pay-per-click online advertising program. With Google Ads users set their budget and choose where their ads appear in search listings, and on partner websites. Google Ads uses cost-per-click (CPC) bidding.
Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads)
55 ratings
50 reviews
Top Rated
Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) is Microsoft's search engine marketing and advertising campaign management alternative to the popular Adwords, that, similar to its competitor, provides analytics and a management dashboard for running a pay per click (PPC) paid listing campaign. Microsoft A…
Google Marketing Platform (formerly DoubleClick)
125 ratings
41 reviews
Google Marketing Platform (a combination of former DoubleClick advertiser tools and Google Analytics 360 Suite) is a set of tools for marketers to manage their advertising campaigns. DoubleClick was acquired by Google in 2008. It focuses on uploading ads and reporting their performance and also prov…
Marin Software
32 ratings
31 reviews
Marin Software is a cloud-based cross-channel advertising campaign management platform which integrates many tools and functions, and it is the name of the company in San Francisco that issues the software. Marin touts cross-display (including mobile-optimized) advertisement retargeting, social mark…
WordStream Advisor
28 ratings
23 reviews
Wordstream, the eponymous offering from the company in Boston, MA, provides a free tool for analyzing performance "grading" an Adwords campaign, beyond which, Wordstream Advisor provides (for a fee, though a free trial is available) recommendations to optimize a paid advertising campaign on Google, …
Acquisio
10 ratings
15 reviews
Acquisio is a performance marketing solution that enables digital marketers to manage, report, and optimize on all digital advertising initiatives in one easy-to-use dashboard, across search, social, and display. According to the vendor, this solution provides the most powerful optimization algorith…
Yahoo Gemini! (Verizon Media Native), formerly Yahoo! Advertising
18 ratings
15 reviews
Yahoo Gemini was Yahoo's offering for mobile, native and search engine marketing and advertising (formerly Yahoo! Advertising and Yahoo! Search Marketing), for placing ads where visitors are, with an emphasis on mobile. Its former capabilities are now part of Verizon Media Native. The vendor descri…
Kenshoo (formerly Kenshoo Infinity Suite)
14 ratings
13 reviews
Kenshoo Infinity Suite is a cross-channel advertising solution for search marketing, social media and online advertising. The product aims to give advertisers and agencies the control and automation needed to make better investment decisions across search marketing and online advertising.
Adobe Advertising Cloud (formerly Adobe Media Optimizer)
52 ratings
12 reviews
AdobeAdvertising Cloud (formerly Adobe Media Optimizer) is an ad management product and is part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud. It delivers a rules-based bidding solution that improves the performance of search engine marketing campaigns and is integrated with Adobe Analytics.
SE Ranking
5 ratings
10 reviews
SE Ranking is a website optimization solution. Some key features include: Local Rank Tracking, Automatic Daily Updates and Monitoring of Competitors.
Sizmek Ad Suite
16 ratings
9 reviews
Sizmek Ad Suite, now from Amazon Advertising (acquired December 2019) is a global, multichannel ad server used to create, distribute, customize, measure, and optimize campaigns across a variety of screens. It offers multiple options for creative authoring, streamlined campaign management tools, adva…
Serpstat
9 ratings
8 reviews
Serpstat is an All-in-one SEO platform which provides more than 20 tools: Competitor Analysis, Keyword Research, Backlink Analysis, Site Audit and Rank Tracker and many more. Serpstat is the fastest-growing SEO tool on the market that provides comprehensive search analytics data to more than 300,000…
ClickGUARD
0 ratings
7 reviews
ClickGUARD headquartered in Los Angeles offers their search engine marketing click fraud tool, designed to prevent fraudulent clicks by bots or malicious actors.
ContentKing
1 rating
6 reviews
ContentKing is an Enterprise-grade cloud platform for Real-time SEO Auditing™ and Content Change Tracking™. With search engines visiting websites numerous times per day, each unintended change is a liability. Thanks to 24/7 Monitoring™ and Alerting™ users can improve and maintain search visibility …
ReachLocal
4 ratings
4 reviews
ReachLocal is an all-in-one digital marketing system designed for SMBs. The ReachLocal online marketing suite includes solutions for: search engine marketing (ReachSearch™), Web presence (ReachCast™), display advertising (ReachDisplay™), online marketing analytics (TotalTrack®), lead conversion (Rea…
Kantar Advertising and Paid Search Intelligence (AdGooroo)
7 ratings
3 reviews
The Kantar Advertising and Paid Search Intelligence service is based on AdGooroo, a Kantar company since its acquisition in December, 2012. The platform of is designed to optimize search engine marketing via, primarily, keyword research and suggestions. Kantar delivers competitor data and campaign p…
AdStage
5 ratings
3 reviews
The AdStage Platform is a self-serve cross-network online advertising platform with full management and analytics for campaigns across search, social, display, and mobile ad networks like Google AdWords, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn Ads. It's an all-in-one marketing platform, complete with a …
NinjaCat
5 ratings
3 reviews
NinjaCat is an all-in-one reporting solution for leading digital marketing agencies. It combines Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Analytics, Facebook, DoubleClick and Call Tracking into one interface, allowing users to monitor campaigns and deliver reports. The vendor’s value proposition is that their solu…
ReportGarden
1 rating
2 reviews
ReportGarden is a reporting and dashboarding product for enterprise ad agencies. According to the vendor, Reportgarden provides a full spectrum of marketing tools that seamlessly integrate with the workflow of an agency. 1000+ agencies use ReportGarden to automate the most time consuming tasks lik…
Ubersuggest
0 ratings
2 reviews
UberSuggest is a search engine optimization software solution offered by Neil Patel Digital.
Swoop
0 ratings
1 review
Swoop is a search engine marketing solution with platforms for advertisers, publishers, and users.
IgnitionOne Digital Marketing Suite
3 ratings
1 review
IgnitionOne's Digital Marketing Suite (IgnitionOne DMS) offers a broad, cloud-based cross-channel marketing campaign management and automation platform for managing paid advertising across search and listings, display ads, social networks, mobile devices, and also email correspondences with customer…
Netpeak Spider
0 ratings
1 review
Netpeak Spider is a desktop tool which crawls a website like a search engine robot and detects key SEO issues that influence the website’s visibility in SERP. According to the vendor, this tool allows users to:Spot 80+ issues of your website optimization.Check 70+ key on-page SEO parameters.Calculat…
RocketData
0 ratings
1 review
RocketData is a SaaS-platform for managing a company’s locations in digital space. The solution submits business information to online maps, catalogs, GPS systems, social networks, global and regional directories, and controls data to protect it against unauthorized changes. RocketData not only add…
MarketMuse
0 ratings
1 review
MarketMuse is a search engine marketing platform built around features such as site auditing, content quality grading, and content analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between SEM and SEO?

Search Engine Market (SEM) is organizing, planning, and executing paid ad campaigns on search engines, with an emphasis on the paid component. In contrast, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) adjusts a website’s content to be more successful within a search engine’s organic results.

How does search engine marketing work?

The primary method search engine marketing uses is to determine which keywords are most impactful for the business to target, then pay to have the business’s site shown in the search results as a paid result. SEM tools can also provide analytics into ad performance on paid keywords.

What are the benefits of search engine marketing?

SEM tools help websites avoid organic competition from other websites. They do so by paying to be shown prominently when search engine users search for specific keywords.

Who uses search engine marketing?

SEM tools are used by digital marketers, specifically digital marketers in charge of advertising. However, less specialized users in small businesses can also use SEM tools.

How much does search engine marketing cost?

SEM costs will almost entirely depending on the company’s ad spend. Search engine ads are priced by the volume of the impact or traffic, such as Price-Per-Click or cost-per-impression.