14 Best SEM tools to boost your marketing strategies

updated June 27, 2024
Reading time12 minutes
Jaqueline Corradi
Jaqueline Corradi
Content Manager

SEM tools are fundamental to help you develop effective ads to appear on search results pages for target keywords. When you need to hire a service or buy a product, you probably use Google to find what you need, don't you? Most people do that as well. 

Having marketing strategies to appear in the paid search area is a type of advertising that enables you to focus on potential customers, people who are already looking for something related to your area of expertise.

SEM tools will enhance the chances to have success with those ads, and a high return on investment.

What are SEM tools?

First, it's important to understand the meaning of SEM, which stands for Search Engine Marketing. It's an umbrella term that encompasses the actions towards appearing on search results pages (SERPs), including paid search and SEO, which is centered on practices to rank your page at the top of the organic search results. 

SEM tools are focused on pay-per-click (PPC) ads. They were built to allow you to know which keywords to target your ads on, to create them, and to follow their results.  You are going to find important insights, which are based on valuable data, to create effective PPC campaigns. 

Why is SEM needed?

In such a competitive market as the digital one, companies need to think of ways to outstand their services and products online. Having a website, or posting regularly on social media isn't enough. 

Just look around, probably many of your competitors are doing all these things too, aren't they? So, the question remains: how to be seen by your leads, and turn them into customers? SEM rises as a solution to that since it combines strategies on how to use search engines in your favor. 

Through SEO, you will learn several practices to optimize your website and content, to make Google's algorithm understand that your content is relevant to your target audience, and show it to them on the first page. 

But, SEM is also going to be effective in assuring you can be seen on the top of the search results pages, in the ads space.

Both of those spaces are extremely valuable because we are talking about appearing to a group of people who may be already searching for what you have to offer.  Your ads can provide their demands.

For example, you sell sports equipment, someone looks for running sneakers and sees your ad at the top of the page. The chances to close a deal are much higher than if you had an ad on a general website.

In this case, the person is already on the decision stage of the buyer's journey, they want to buy a sneaker, and your ad appears as a solution to the problem. 

But, to be effective, it needs to direct to a well-constructed landing page, where, for example, the person will be able to see the options of sneakers you have, with complete information about each of them. To encourage the purchase, you can add a coupon discount.

14 Best SEM tools 

1. Semrush

Semrush's logo

Semrush provides several pay-per-click (PPC) keyword research tools that will help you to create great campaigns, connect with your audience, and increase sales. With the Keyword Magic Tool, you will count on a database of 20 billion keywords to search for new ranking opportunities.

You can select which are the target keywords to attach your ads on their search results and analyze each one of their metrics thoroughly, including the search volume, the level of interest, cost per click, the keyword difficulty, and the top competitors. 

You can also analyze the related keywords, and find less competitive ones, making it easier on the Ad Auction. Semrush has the Keyword Manager tool as well, where you can organize your keywords by groups and subgroups. 

Highlighted features:

  • Database of 20 billion keywords
  • 142 geodatabases
  • Keyword manager
  • Analyze up 1000 keywords at a time
  • PPC keyword tool
  • Analyze your competitors

2. OptMyzr

OptMyzr's logo

OptMyzr is an SEM tool where you can create your pay-per-click campaign, test and monitor them, optimize and create customized reports. First, you are going to develop the ads, select the keywords, then you can monitor their performance and get new insights.

OptMyzr algorithms help to point out opportunities, aligned with the industry best practices, so you can continuously improve your campaigns. To show the results, you can design fully customized reports.

You can do AB testing, search for keywords and analyze them, and do manual and automated bidding. You will also be able to use the quality score tracker, analyze your landing page, and get instant reports. 

Highlighted features:

  • Keywords search
  • Manual and automated bidding
  • AB testing
  • Landing page analysis
  • Quality score tracker
  • Instant reports
  • Multi-account reports

3.Google Ads  

Google Ads' logo

Google Ads is the platform where you are going to set the ads that are going to appear on the paid space of the Google search pages results, related to the keywords you decided to focus on. In the platform, you can set the maximum cost per click, along with a monthly budget.

It's possible to target the ads to find relevant customers by also adding other specifications to whom your ad will be shown, for example, based on the location and device the person is using, among other characteristics such as gender, and age.

The platform has an intuitive interface, which will guide you through the process. To begin, you will define your goal, then decide where to advertise, create your message, set your budget, and you are ready to start your campaign.

Highlighted features:

  • Reach your target audience
  • Define your budget
  • Be seen in one of the main search engines on the internet
  • Create a campaign according to your objectives
  • Smart technology to improve your ads


Supermetrics' logo

Do you want to integrate your sales and marketing data to the analytics platform you use, to be able to analyze all the information combined and create even better pay-per-click campaigns?

Supermetrics allows you to move your cross-channel advertising metrics and Google Analytics and Ads data into Google Data Studio, for example. 

By combining the metrics, it becomes much easier to visualize which ones are driving conversions. Besides, you will count on different types of templates to develop reports according to your needs.

It's going to be much easier to identify how to improve your SEM strategies by organizing and comparing metrics in a way that is tailored to your needs. 

Highlighted features:

  • Trusted by more than 16000 data-driven businesses
  • Pull all the SEO data you need into a single report
  • Automate keyword research
  • Integrate different data sources
  • Use marketing report templates

5. WordStream

WordStream's logo

When you connect your Google Ads account to WordStream, the software will analyze it and provide several insights, recommending cost savings, automating reports, and suggesting ad optimizations.

It will help you to get more out of Google Ads by, for example, pausing poorly performing ads, offering insights to improve ad texts and optimize bids. With an easy-to-use dashboard, it's simpler to study the data, and you can extend your campaign to Bing or Facebook if you want. 

Highlighted features:

  • Analyze your Google account
  • Recommend cost savings
  • Automate reports
  • Suggest ad optimizations
  • Send automated alerts tailored to your goals

6. HubSpot Ads

HubSpot's logo

If you are looking for an SEM tool where you can manage ads from different platforms, HubSpot offers exactly that. You can sync your campaign with the CRM program to closely follow all of your strategies and have a full view of all of their performances, which includes identifying the ads that are performing better.

It's an all-in-one solution, allowing you to understand your customers' journey, how to increase the number of conversions, and the return on investment. HubSpot's ads manager offers you new insights and helps you to segment your audience based on your CRM and web analytics data.

Highlighted features:

  • Ad management across multiple platforms
  • Lead syncing
  • CRM-powered targeting
  • Insights on the ads 
  • Full reporting
  • Marketer-friendly tools

7. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner's logo

Google Keyword Planner is a feature inside Google Ads, which enables you to discover and analyze keywords that are relevant to your business. You can check the search volume, receive suggestions of research terms that are related to your products and services, and see the average cost for your ad. 

You will be able to develop a keyword plan and see a forecast of each keyword. This means you will have a prediction of how many conversions, clicks, and impressions your ad is likely to have, based on your budget. You can also customize your plan by organizing the keywords into groups, and setting locations. 

Highlighted features:

  • Discover new keywords
  • See monthly searches
  • Create a keyword plan
  • Get new ideas for campaigns
  • Organize your keywords by groups
  • See each keyword forecast

8. Keywordtool.io

The image shows Keyword Tool website, where it's written " Find great keywords using Google Autocomplete".

Keyword Tool is an SEM tool focused on keyword research where you will encounter a free version that provides more than 750 long-tail keywords suggestions to each term you insert. You certainly are going to have a lot of insights to think about how to develop your PPC campaigns. 

With this software, you will be able to target your advertisements more effectively by being able to identify which keywords have a higher volume of searches made by your target audience.  

Highlighted features:

  • Free version
  • More than 750 long-tail keywords suggestions for each term
  • Helps you employ Google Suggest for keyword research

9. SpyFu

SpyFu's logo

Understanding how your competitors are making  PPC campaigns,  and which keywords they are focusing on is important to draw your strategies.

SpyFu allows you to see the keywords they have bought on google, how many clicks they get, and even how much they have paid. This way, you can understand how to avoid their mistakes, and think about how to outstand your ads.

You also will be able to monitor your PPC competitors by keeping track of the domains bidding on your Google Ads. Spyfu shows you the most profitable keywords that you aren't buying as well and the ones that aren't worth investing in. 

Highlighted features:

  • Google Ads Competitor Keyword Spy Tool
  • Monito PPC competitors
  • PPC negative match recommendations
  • PPC ad rank tracker

10. Moat

Moat's logo

Moat is an SEM tool focused on metrics, enabling you to measure consumer attention through different channels, devices, and platforms. Analyzing data and your marketing actions performance is essential to developing effective PPC campaigns, understanding your target audience behavior, and how to connect with them.  

With Moat, you will be able to have a complete view of each media channel and its metrics, determine the effectiveness of every campaign, see which is the media that drives the most engagement, identify the best formats and develop new ideas. 

Highlighted features:

  • Advanced metrics
  • Customizable views
  • Effortless integrations
  • Measure campaign reach from TV to digital
  • Easy-to-use platform
  • Cross-campaign performance

11. PPC Protect

PPC Protect's logo

PPC Protect was developed to ensure that your PPC ads are going to be seen only by valid users, avoiding that you pay more because of invalid clicks. By using cybersecurity and real-time data, the software classifies the traffic that should be eliminated from interacting with your ads. 

Every click on your ads is going to be monitored in real-time, tracking user behavior and interactions through your campaign, then the profiles are analyzed. After this, the platform separates them into legitimate, suspicious, and invalid traffic, which will be helpful to improve targeting and bidding strategies. 

Highlighted features:

  • Real-time cybersecurity monitoring
  • Eliminate bad traffic
  • Identify suspicious traffic
  • Analyze ads interactions
  • Self-learning protection

12. Microsoft Ads

Microsoft Ads' logo

If you want to make PPC campaigns for Bing's search engine, you are going to use Microsoft Ads. You can import your Google Ads campaigns and use the same keywords, or develop new ones. 

There isn't a minimum rate to start advertising, you will be able to define your budget, and test the keywords to ensure good performance.

 You will just need to create your account, choose the keywords,  and define if the ads are going to appear considering the location and type of device where the search is made. Then, it's up to you to create amazing content to catch your audience's attention.

Highlighted features:

  • Reach relevant audience
  • Import Google Ads campaigns
  • No minimum rate
  • Set your budget
  • Evaluate the performance of the ads

13. iSpionage 

iSpionage's logo

iSpionage is an SEM tool designed to allow you to analyze your competition. Through the platform, you are going to see the keywords your competitors are targeting, be able to see their performance and perfect your strategies. 

iSpionage provides SEO keywords data from the main search engines, Google, Yahoo, and Bing. It will also identify who are your top AdWord competitors, and give you an estimate of their monthly budget. This way you can make a more precise PPC campaign plan. 

Highlighted features:

  • Drive targeted traffic
  • Increase conversion rates
  • Generate more leads
  • Competitors' analysis
  • Competitors users' journey report 
  • SEM watch

14. Answer the Public

The image shows Answer the public's website where it's written "Discover what people are asking about".

Answer the Public is a software that uses the autocomplete data from Google and other search engines to offer you insights on which keywords to invest in PPC campaigns. It also enables you to monitor trends and compare search behavior over time. 

To keep track of certain topics, you can set up search listening alerts, then you are going to receive weekly emails to show you new questions that have been made about the selected theme. It's possible to organize your researches on folders and export results to CSV.

Highlighted features:

  • Search insights
  • Data from autocomplete search engines
  • Discover hidden niches
  • Monitor trends
  • Set up search alerts
  • Compare data over time

Use the best SEM tools and  improve your PPC ads results

PPC is a valuable feature to conquer visibility online and sell more, but only if it’s properly planned and strategically implemented. By using SEM tools, you can identify the keywords that will provide a better return on investments, get new insights, monitor your competition, and optimize existing campaigns. Enjoy this opportunity to make the best out of your ads.

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