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Search engine marketing (SEM) can be a pretty daunting task. The level and amount of competition in online advertising can be overwhelming, not to mention frustrating, especially if you think you’re doing everything right but you’re still not getting the traffic or conversion results you want.

You do know that SEM is more than just keyword research or paid ads, as SEM encompasses several other areas, each of which demands a high level of understanding from you.

Good news is that you can take advantage of SEM tools to make search marketing more manageable for your team and more results-driven for your clients. What’s even better is that these options are free, so you can use them without having to worry about actually having the budget for it.

If you’re having trouble with SEM, here are a few tools you shouldn’t be without:

1. TitleCap

As the name suggests, TitleCap automatically sets the text of your ads in uppercase letters including words with four or more letters, as well as words with five letters or more, depending on the writing style guide you choose.

This might seem pretty simple, but it’s something you should never get wrong. Proper capitalization is important since it makes your ads look neater and bolder compared with texts that do not follow capitalization rules. So the next time you’re wondering whether or not you should capitalize the “b” in “be”, don’t leave it to guesswork, just use TitleCap.

2. Ubersuggest

This tool gives Google Keywords Planner a run for its money by helping you improve your keyword strategy with more keyword ideas and suggestions than what’s being served by Google.

Ubersuggest bypasses Google’s search suggestions that automatically appear in the search box with more long-tail keywords that are not commonly used by your competitors.

The mechanics for using Ubersuggest are basically the same if you’re subscribed to Google’s keyword planner, but you get a more comprehensive combination of search queries.

3. SpyFu

If you want to research your competitor’s SEM efforts and results, including what keywords they’re using and how much they’re paying for search ads, you can do so with the SpyFu tool.

SpyFu can be particularly good for driving your SEM strategies because it can show you:

  • Particular sets of keywords that didn’t work for your competitors, which you might as well give up in your keywords planning.
  • Keywords that are getting the highest bids from everyone else, meaning they have high ROI potential that you probably should focus on.

4. Google Search Console

This tool (formerly called Google webmaster tools) can be leveraged to help manage your keywords for more clicks, more impressions, and better quality traffic.

Google Search Console has a “Search Analytics” function that lets you discover which search queries could be generating the most number of page views on your website but just don’t get clicked on and don’t translate into organic traffic for your site.

So, when it’s time for you to optimize your AdWords campaign, GSC ensures you already know which of your top-performing keywords to use based on the metrics generated.

5. Google Ads Preview Tool

Google Ads Preview Tool comes with your GoogleAdWords account for free. It enables you to search for your ad from your advertiser account and see how it looks on the search page without affecting the number of your impressions or CTRs, since it’s not an actual search.

You can also employ this tool to see your competitors’ ad content and extensions or check what makes other ads rank higher or lower than yours using specific search queries.

6. Google Data Studio

Google is offering this free data visualization tool to help you create multiple dashboards and SEM metrics-based reports for sharing with your team.

Google Data Studio is highly customizable, so you can easily import your data and filter them for different metrics. Account managers will find this tool really helpful because it lets them consolidate various data points for their reporting tasks.

Make SEM Life a Little Easier

So, keep in mind that SEM doesn’t always have to involve pulling your hair out. Whether you’re trying to optimize your conversion rates, increase your website visits, or prepare reports, there’s a whole lot of free SEM tools that you can use to organize your campaigns better.

There can also never be a lack of relevant freemium tools if you’re willing to explore your options thoroughly. Be sure to choose carefully because at the end of the day, it’s you who knows exactly what you need to make your SEM efforts truly work.

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