When you’re investing money, time, and effort into a PPC strategy, you want to be sure that you squeeze as much potential as possible out of every dollar that you spend. And there are plenty of tools that can help you get there — including those that don’t require you to carve out any more space in your budget. 

Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t! We’ve narrowed down our picks for the best free PPC tools out there so you can increase your conversions and optimize your PPC spending without depleting your entire marketing budget. Try them, see what you like, and get to work on a PPC strategy that’s more specialized to your needs.

Keyword and Topic Research

To put together the right PPC strategy, you need to know the keywords your audience uses in their searches. The right keyword research puts your business in front of qualified prospective clients and improves your SEO strategy. Here are some free tools that help do the research for you. 

1. Ahref’s Keyword Generator

Search a term in Ahref’s free Keyword Generator, and you’ll get up to 150 keyword recommendations related to the term. We like that you can optimize by platform, keywords for Google, Bing, YouTube, or Amazon. You can also optimize by country so you can zero in on your preferred market. In addition to showing you keyword ideas, Keyword Generator also shows you the difficulty of ranking for the term and the search volume, along with up to 50 related question queries.  

2. Keyword Sheeter

You won’t get fancy features like keyword volume and ranking difficulty out of Keyword Sheeter, but you will get a super-fast way to generate keyword ideas. Type in a keyword, and in just a few seconds, you’ll have hundreds of ideas based on that term using Google autocomplete suggestions. Wait a couple more minutes, and you’ll have thousands. Use the positive and negative filter boxes to refine your search further, then export the list and do more research as needed.

3. Answer the Public

Many people use Answer the Public as a free keyword research tool, but we actually think it has a lot of value as a topic generator, too. Type in a term and choose your country, and you’ll get a robust list of questions, prepositions, comparisons, etc. that people are searching about it. All of these can guide your PPC content and clue you in to exactly what people are looking for in relation to a specific term.

4. Soovle

It truly doesn’t get any more simple than Soovle. Soolve compares keywords across platforms and is extremely easy to use. Just type in a keyword, and it will tell you what’s trending for that phrase on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, and more, so that you can know ahead of time if a query is likely to perform from channel to channel.

PPC Management and Analysis

After you’ve done your keyword research, it’s time to put together your PPC campaign, manage it, and analyze metrics to determine how well it performs. Here are some tools we’ve found to be easy-to-use and effective at providing us with the insights we need. 

5. Google Ads Editor

If you’re managing multiple PPC campaigns on Google Ads, you definitely want to make use of Google Ads Editor, a free platform for PPC management. Google Ads Editor allows you to create and edit ads all in one place. Bulk editing tools and offline capabilities make this an extremely useful tool to have in your back pocket, and you can also use it to track conversions and get a big picture look at your PPC performance.

6. Microsoft Advertising Editor

It’s a good idea to diversify your PPC efforts with Bing placement in addition to Google. And if you are, then use Microsoft Advertising Editor to get the same bulk creation, review, and edit capabilities that you get out of Google Ads Editor, just for another interface. As a nice perk, this tool even allows you to import your Google Ads campaigns, so you don’t have to build everything from scratch.

7. Google Ad Performance Grader

The Google Ad Performance Grader by Wordstream generates a free report that breaks down everything from your Google Ads performance metrics and conversion rates to where your spending is being wasted. It also provides you with a report summary score that benchmarks your performance against similar advertisers. It’s a great jumping-off point, providing insight you can use to make targeted improvements to your PPC strategy.

8. Google’s Ad Preview Tool

There are a few different free ad preview tools, but we like this one, which allows you to easily mock-up what your ad will look like when it’s posted. Use it to help you or your clients visualize their ad’s appearance and ensure it’s compelling and has all of the necessary information. You won’t get any direct analytic data out of it, but it will help you put your ad into context and manage campaigns visually for better-written copy.

There are tons of great free and paid PPC tools out there. We like the ones listed above because they provide utility no matter your industry or objectives, combining intuitive interfaces with clear-cut information so that you don’t have to dig around to figure out what matters on the page. Use them to amplify your existing suite of PPC tools, and you’ll have a complete toolkit that you can use to boost your strategy and improve your PPC performance.