There are a lot of bid management tools you can use, however most of these big management tools want a percentage of your total monthly spending budget. Most PPC management companies charge 10% to run and manage the account, seems unfair but thats how the cookie crumbles. When i was at the SMX show last week there were a few booths there offering PPC management tools. the only one i seem to remember is a program from Marin software. Its fully integrated with Google Yahoo and MSN.
I'm familiar (intimately) with every large scale tool and most of the agencies that use them.
I'm just wondering if there is a smaller scale tool that will manage 5,000 keywords or so and costs maybe $100/month.
When I first started I was using Adwords Editor a download directly from Google Adwords. Very useful and offers all the functionality you need. I actually managed multiple campaigns with it no problem. You can set rules for individual keywords all the way to your ad campaigns.
You can download your adwords statistics and compare which words are doing we'll and find the bad ones out the bunch, and make multiple changes to them at once. It also allows you to make multiple changes at the campaign level or specific keywords. It also allows you to set negative keywords by specific ad groups or at the campaign level.
Again, I'm aware of all of that.
I'm not looking to manage campaign architecture or negative keywords. I'm looking for a bid management tool that works with the API. Something inexpensive enough that a small business could use it.
Does one exist?
I don't know of anything targeted to that size spend, and whose fees would be doable. The closest thing is Clickable, which is in beta now, but they're going after $5-50K/mo campaigns.
Reality is the API fees Google charges are such that it wouldn't be economically feasible for a third party to build a business that supports 100's-1000's of advertisers each spending ~$1000/mo.
Of course there is, a great one that exactly fits your requirements is BidRank. I use it and love it and pay under about $60 per month. It runs on your computer and you pay your own API fees directly to Google. Since you determine how often your bids are changed you have full control of your API usage fees. I recommend letting it run on a dedicated computer that is used only for that purpose.
BidRank works very well for Google Adwords and YSM. The only drawback is you cannot use it for MSN, but I checked recently and they are working on that.
[edited by: UnitedRigo at 3:59 am (utc) on Mar. 15, 2008]
Take a look at BidHero. I don't know what the price point is, but I spoke to the rep at Pubcon, and seemed like a pretty decent solution.
Personally, I prefer to manage my own bids manually. But, if you've done it long enough, and are comfortable enough to maintain your accounts via automation, then go for it.