If you’re involved in managing and monitoring PPC campaigns on a regular basis, then you have most likely heard of bid management software.  Basically, bid management software helps automate certain aspects of PPC campaign management, including individual keyword bid adjustments, data gathering, as well as campaign, ad groups, and ad creation, reporting, etc.  Before you can determine which bid management software is right for you, you first need to determine if you need to be using it in the first place.  Bid management software can be a great time-saving tool for agencies or in-house PPC managers running very large campaigns with thousands of keywords, hundreds of ad groups, etc.  For people running very small campaigns, however, bid management software may not make much sense from a cost standpoint.

If you’ve determined that bid management software is something you can use, the next step is deciding which software you should be using.  There are tons of options out there when it comes to this type of software, and most of them offer unique features, requirements, and price points.  Below are just a few bid management software options, along with some details to help guide you in choosing the best one for your needs.

  • Acquisio

    • Starting Price: 5% of ad spend under $30K
    • Requirements/ Minimums: Minimum $500/month fee
    • Key Features (as listed on product site):
      • Reporting
      • Day-to-Day Management
      • Multi-User
      • Tracking/ Google Analytics Integration
      • Automation (keyword bids, keyword status updating, etc.)
    • Additional Notes: Acquisio provides complete PPC management software solutions, and is a leader in PPC automation software.  As a part of Google’s Preferred Adwords Pricing Program, Acquisio allows users to manage their Google Adwords accounts without incurring any additional API fees.  Acquisio also provides managed services for those who don’t want to run their own PPC campaigns, as well as training and consulting services.
  • BidMax

    • Starting Price: $49.95/month or $490.00/year
    • Requirements/ Minimums: Standard Edition allows up to 5 accounts and 500 keywords
    • Key Features (as listed on product site):
      • Reporting
      • ROI Tracking
      • Account, Campaign, Ad Group, and Keyword Management
      • Automated Bidding System
    • Additional Notes: BidMax is a software product of Apex Pacific, who specializes in Internet marketing and web promotion solutions.  BidMax is available in three editions: Standard, Professional, and Corporate.  Each edition offers additional features and the ability to include more accounts and keywords.
  • BidRank

    • Starting Price: $14.90/month or $149.00/year
    • Requirements/ Minimums: Standard Edition allows up to 100 keywords
    • Key Features (as listed on product site):
      • Desktop Application Interface
      • Reporting
      • ROI Tracking
      • Manage multiple campaigns across different PPC platforms
    • Additional Notes: BidRank is another company that also appears to offer on-going SEM management services.  BidRank is very limited in what it provides.  With the Standard Edition only offering up to 100 keywords, you’ll be upgrading before you know it.  Their main product, BidRank Plus, is also not compatible with Yahoo! Search campaigns.  You’ll have to purchase BidRank Yahoo if you want to run PPC campaigns on Yahoo and Bing.
  • KeywordMax

    • Starting Price: $99/month
    • Requirements/ Minimums: Merchant Standard Account includes one domain and unlimited keywords
    • Key Features (as listed on product site):
      • Automated, rules-based methodologies
      • Changes bids up to 24 times per day
      • Fraud Management
      • API Suite
      • International Support
      • Private-label Branding
    • Additional Notes: They do not list any pricing on their site, so I had to do some additional research.  KeywordMax also provides management, training, and creative services.
  • Atlas Search

    • Starting Price: Not Listed
    • Requirements/ Minimums: Not Listed
    • Key Features (as listed on product site):
      • Cross-channel insight
      •  Multiple Search Engine Support
      • Mass Optimization
      • In-Depth Reporting
      • ROI Tracking
    • Additional Notes: Not much information to be gathered from Atlas’ product site in terms of pricing tiers, requirements, or minimums.  You need to request more info by filling out a form, which is kind of a pain.  Atlas Search is a Microsoft product, so it should work seamlessly with your Bing campaigns as well.

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