With reporting, bid management, finding new keywords, analysis, tracking and more, search engine marketing can seem overwhelmingly complicated. The good news is that with technology and smart software, there are numerous products that can aid with your SEM management. This page explains tools in some detail to help you to better understand your options.
Keyword generating tools
Keyword generating tools are programs that examine your current keyword list or business category and suggest keywords for your campaigns. Instead of brainstorming all the keywords you should be bidding on, the idea here is that you give them a few keywords and these tools generate keywords for you. They grow your keyword list very quickly and without much effort from you, the marketer.
These tools can be divided into two categories based on where they find their data. Some, such as Efficient PPC and Speed PPC, rely on dictionaries, synonyms and reordering techniques. Others, such as Google's free Keyword Suggestion Tool and Keyword Discovery , examine your current keyword list and overall search popularity, and return the most popular searches that relate to the keywords you gave them. Though the latter category is a step ahead of the first because they give you actual searches instead of simulated, computer-generated keywords, the fact remains that these keywords are not necessarily relevant to your business. Though a word may be a synonym of a keyword, it doesn't always follow that the synonym is relevant to your website and should be added to your search campaign. Since relevance plays a large role in Quality Score  evaluation, having a keyword campaign full of irrelevant keywords can be quite detrimental. Also, you probably have a general keyword list that looks similar to that of your competitor, so these tools return the same list to both of you, increasing competition for the already popular same words and phrases.
WordStream's Keyword Discovery Tool , on the other hand, returns actual keywords that brought people to your specific website, so they're much more likely to be relevant, and this information belongs only to you, bringing you a step ahead of your competitors. Instead of filling your campaigns with the most popular searches, WordStream allows you to evaluate the long tail of search , continuously adding specific, less common keywords that landed people on your website. The long tail is where the majority of searches happen, and because they're more specific, they tend to have higher conversion rates.
bid management tools
Examples: Atlas Search, DART, Mediaplex, PPC Max Bid, SearchRev
Bid Management  is easy from inside WordStream, but some products go into deeper detail; you may find it helpful to use information gained from a bid tool while managing your campaigns with WordStream. If your Google AdWords account is active enough (at least 200 conversions in days), you can enable Google's free Conversion Optimizer . In general, bid management tools are considered a compliment to our software. With suggested keyword segmentation for the best optimization, workflow prioritization , keyword relevance ranking , keyword discovery , all of which and more are part of the WordStream software, a bid management tool will most likely only help improve Quality Score .
By using WordStream to increase your Quality Score  and optimize your campaign organization , obtaining good position with low bid amounts will follow. As a result, you may not feel the need for complex bid manipulation. For the best results, WordStream suggests managing bids on the keyword group level.
PPC reporting tools
Examples: SEO Count, KeywordMax, PivotLink
Reporting is a crucial aspect of search engine marketing. It's important to say on top of keyword relevance  and popularity , bid results , overall performance and more. However, the question remains--after learning from reports and analysis, what comes next? WordStream takes it a step further by not only evaluating different aspects of your campaign, but also suggesting the next courses of action. This ensures your time is spent as efficiently as possible.
The Workflow Tab  serves to direct your priorities, constantly evaluating keyword and keyword groups by popularity so you can start with the most important ones. You have the ability to set your own rules for group size, so you'll be alerted when the group size is larger than your preference and when you don't yet have a Google AdWords Ad Group associated with it. Different views are available so you decide how you want to evaluate priorities: by popularity, number of keywords, or number of visits. Select the keyword group, WordStream will analyze your keyword  and then suggest how to organize the group for the highest relevance and best performance.
SEM analytics tools
Examples: HBX, Marin Software, SearchForce, Omniture's SearchCenter
With analytics tools, you may find yourself in the same situation as outlined above with reporting tools--once you have your results, what do you do with them? WordStream not only tells you what's wrong, such as a keyword group is too large, but it tells you how to fix it, in this case by suggesting the best keyword segments within that group. Once a group gets too large and holds lots of keywords, it's less likely for the group to be relevant, one of the factors in ranking Quality Score, so WordStream evaluates the group and indicates how it should be divided.
Though it's suggested, of course you don't always have to take WordStream's advice on how to segment your keywords. If you don't agree with one of the suggestions, simply hit "Reject" and WordStream will evaluate the ten best ways to optimize keywords aside from the one rejected.
Likewise, if you find it doesn't work after all, or you "Reject" by accident, simply 'Reset Suggested Segmentations" to return to the original proposals.
wordstream: all you really need
WordStream continuously updates your account with new, relevant keywords, ranks your keywords and keyword groups by popularity, suggests ad creative based on your keyword group , has an API with Google AdWords so changes, be they bid amounts or group segmentations, flow into your AdWords account, analyzes your reports and suggests workflow prioritization and organization, and more. What else do you need for your PPC campaign? Take the Free Trial  and see all that WordStream has to offer.