Whether you’ve been doing paid search for a year, or for more than 17 years like I have, it’s important to maximize your efficiency.
Most of the articles out there tend to list tools for PPC managers that relate to PPC – keyword tools, tracking tools, competitor research, Google Ads editor, PPC analysis tools, bid managers, and the like.
But what about the tools for PPC managers that help make us more efficient?
I’ve listed some of the go-to tools I use (in no order of importance) that have nothing to do with PPC to help me get more out of my day and make me look like a rock star with my clients.
While I work at an agency, many of these tools will work just as well for in-house PPC managers.
Note: I’m not being compensated to recommend any of these tools.
I’ve been using Calendly, a service that enables people to schedule meetings with me, for more than four years. It has saved me countless hours, back and forth emails from clients in different time zones, and missed calls.
I’ve set up four different call types, which allows clients to pick a time that works best for them.
Because it integrates with my Google Calendar, my existing appointment times are blocked out. When someone books a time, it automatically shows up on my calendar.
A link to my Calendly is included in my email signature, as well as on all my reports. Calendly sends a confirmation email with a calendar invite, as well as reminder emails, so the number of missed calls has dropped a lot.
Calendly is a handy tool for anyone who has to book appointments across time zones – no more back and forth or confusion. It also integrates with Office 365, Outlook and iCloud calendars.
We use the Premium version ($8/user per month), which allows for multiple users as well as multiple event types, but there is a free plan (one user, one event type) and a Pro plan which integrates with other systems like HubSpot, PayPal, Google Analytics, and more.
We’ve been using Highrise, web-based CRM system, as a company for more than five years. I use it to keep track of what I’ve done for clients, notes about my contacts, even things like HTML colors.
Many of our clients have been with us for years, so I constantly refer back to notes I’ve made, conversations I’ve had or even the name of a client’s child. Accessing that information quickly and easily makes me a better account manager.
It also allows for To-Dos, which I can set for myself or members of my team, including repeating task.
Unfortunately, Highrise no longer accepts new customers – they were initially owned by Basecamp, spun off into their own company, and then brought back under Basecamp in 2018.
Look for something similar that allows you to easily keep track of what you do for your clients, especially things that aren’t tracking in Google or Microsoft’s change history.
Highrise leads me to Basecamp. Where Highrise is a CRM, Basecamp is a project management solution. Basecamp allows members across JumpFly teams to share information and collaborate on projects.
When clients use Basecamp, we’re able to take advantage of the sharing and collaboration there – with every contact and decision tracked, instead of multiple emails.
Basecamp is also reasonable in price – $99/month with unlimited users, unlimited projects, and 500GB of storage. They also have a free version called Basecamp Personal, with limited users, projects, and storage space.
I use Join.me for screen-sharing, though they also offer hosted meeting capabilities. I’ve been using Join.me for more than seven years and it’s been so helpful working with clients.
I have a dedicated Join.me URL that makes it easy for clients to find. Instead of phone conversations with me explaining where to go in their Google Ads or Microsoft Ads accounts, I can share my screen and show them.
I’m a fan of Join.me for the ease of use, and it doesn’t cause problems with how my computer acts, like GoToMeeting has for me in the past.
Join.me costs about $250 per year for each user, though they have volume discounts.
5. Google Docs
If you aren’t using Google Docs to collaborate and share things like spreadsheets, documents, slides and more, you should be.
Real-time data means no more outdated spreadsheets, and everyone has the latest presentation. You also get change notifications, commenting abilities and more.
Cost = free
EditThisCookie is a handy little extension that deletes the cookies in your Chrome browser, but only for the tab you are currently on, instead of all cookies in your history.
I affectionately call it the Cookie Killer.
Cost = free
When I need a screen capture for an email or report, Lightshot is my go-to. I programmed the Print Screen button on my keyboard so that with one click the select option comes up.
I can annotate, draw arrows or boxes, and highlight – hitting the copy button then allows me to drop it into a doc or email without having to save.
But if I want to save it, I can do that too, or even print what I just captured. Super handy and so fast.
Cost = free
8. Awesome Screenshot
When I need to create a video of what’s on my screen, I use Awesome Screenshot. It also works well when I need to blur data.
I’m not as big of a fan of their screen capture as I am of Lightshot. Awesome Screenshot doesn’t allow you to capture the URL bar of Chrome which is sometimes important.
But from the standpoint of a video capture tool, it does the job.
Cost = free
9. Color by Fardos
We’ve been doing a lot of video for clients using Google’s Video Builder and need to know brand colors. Some clients have brand guidelines readily available, but some just don’t.
Maybe you can find the color buried in HTML code on their website, but something easier to use is the eye drop tool in Color by Fardos. (Of course, we need to convert that HTML to an RGB color for Video Builder, but that’s easily enough done.)
Cost = free
10. Checker Plus for Google Calendar
I rely heavily on reminders to make sure I am on time for the six to seven client calls I have a day.
The built-notifications Google Calendar seemed to have issues with consistency, but I’d only figure it out after I’d missed a call or two.
Troubleshooting was taking up too much of my time, so I set out to find a replacement.
I found Checker Plus for Google Calendar, which is a Chrome Extension. It very reliably gives me a pop-up for whatever pre-meeting alarm I have set. It also allows me to snooze the notification for a period of time.
Another benefit – I can see the countdown to my next appointment in my extension bar. And if I hover, I can see my full calendar for the rest of the day, as well as the next two.
Cost = free
That’s my list of 10 favorite, non-PPC tools.
Hopefully, these can help you thrive as a PPC practitioner.
Featured image: Adobe Stock