Best Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tools34Search engine marketing (SEM) encompasses marketing efforts to improve a website's placement in search engine results. This may be accomplished in two general ways: via improvements in a website's content and structure to improve relevance, searchability, and popularity (this is search engine optimization, or SEO), or via paid digital advertising (usually pay-per-click, or PPC) to vault ahead of competition in search results. SEM platforms help marketers launch and run successful search engine PPC advertisement campaigns at a set budget, and at least include features that in some way facilitate running a paid advertising campaign, including intelligent bidding recommendations and/or automation of bidding and ad copy generation, and plenty of analytics for reviewing past campaigns and forecasting optimal new ones. Some SEM tools and platforms emphasize competitive analysis, so advertisers can see what competitors in the same ad space are doing and how you or your agency's clients stack up against them, and protect the brand against (often unlawful) use of one's name by competitors seeking to ride a better known brand's coattails, as well as identify gaps or missed opportunities to increase visibility in searches.Google Ads (formerly AdWords)1 Ads2 Marketing Platform (formerly DoubleClick)3 Software4 Advisor5 (formerly Kenshoo Infinity Suite)7 Advertising Cloud (formerly Adobe Media Optimizer)8 Ranking12! Advertising13 Advertising and Paid Search Intelligence (AdGooroo)15 AdVantage19 Spider22

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tools

Best Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tools

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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

Listings (1-25 of 56)

Google Ads (formerly AdWords)

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Top Rated
880 Ratings

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.

Bing Ads

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Top Rated
103 Ratings

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, though across the Yahoo! Bing Network. Bing …

62 Ratings

Marin Software is a very popular cloud-based cross-channel marketing 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 r…

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, …

25 Ratings

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…

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.

24 Ratings

Sizmek is the rather extensive eponymous advertising / marketing platform from the company of the same name recently formed and gone public as a separate entity from its former body (Digital Generation, Inc, or DG) in 2014. It's focus is on broadness: it is meant for advertisers and agencies wishin…

17 Ratings

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…

7 Ratings

ClickGUARD headquartered in Los Angeles offers their search engine marketing click fraud tool, designed to prevent fraudulent clicks by bots or malicious actors.

Yahoo! Advertising, or Yahoo Search Marketing, is Yahoo's search marketing platform for placing advertisements in search results across the Yahoo! Bing Network. It is an old advertising platform, having begun as in the nineties, renamed Overture Services, Inc in 2001, and finally being acqu…

7 Ratings

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…

8 Ratings

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 …

2 Ratings

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…

8 Ratings

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…

MatchCraft Advantage is a search engine marketing (SEM) platform for managing many paid advertising campaigns at once, ideally for agencies managing campaigns for a number of small to midsize businesses with their local marketing efforts. To that end it automates many elements of running Google Adwo…

Netpeak Spider is a desktop tool which crawls your 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 you to:Spot 60+ issues of your website optimization.Check 50+ key on-page SEO parameters.Calcula…

2 Ratings

Adzooma’s AI and machine learning based Google and Facebook Ads platform, offers simple campaign management, 24/7 optimisation and time saving automation, all in a single interface. The platform includes many features including scanning for 50+ improvement opportunities, many of which can be actio…

1 Ratings

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…

4 Ratings

iSpionage is a search engine marketing solution built specifically for PPC marketers. It is built around features such as competitor research and campaign monitoring.

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2020

2020 Top Rated Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tools

There are plenty of options out there, but here's our shortlist of the best Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tools. These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. To qualify, a product must have 10 or more recent reviews and a trScore of 7.5 or higher, indicating above-average satisfaction for business technology. The products with the highest trScores appear first on the list. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.