When it comes to running advertising campaigns on Google Ads and other pay-per-click (PPC) platforms such as Facebook, success depends on two things:
- Getting the initial setup done correctly
- Carrying out ongoing optimisations of your campaigns based on the data that’s collected once they start running
Very often, it’s the second of these that gets overlooked, either because the advertiser doesn’t know how to analyse the data or because they don’t have the time to do so.
And even the most conscientious advertiser who is optimising their campaigns on a regular basis can easily miss things, especially if they are managing a large account.
Fortunately, there are various tools that can help automate some of these optimisation tasks. These include the automated bidding features that are built into systems like Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Microsoft Advertising, as well as third-party software such as Adzooma.
Choosing a PPC Optimisation Tool
When it comes to choosing a system to help you manage and optimise your PPC campaigns, there are several factors to consider, such as:
Which ad platforms does it support?
Some PPC optimisation tools, including Adzooma, work across multiple ad platforms such as Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads). Others focus just on a single platform.
How many accounts can you work on?
If you run multiple businesses, each with their own Google Ads account, or if you are looking after multiple client accounts in a PPC agency, then you’ll need to choose a system such as Adzooma that supports more than one account.
What does it cost?
PPC optimisation software tends to use the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model and so is purchased via a monthly or annual subscription. Some platforms charge based on the number of accounts you want to manage, while others base their fee on the total spend across all your ad accounts.
Adzooma used to charge a monthly subscription but, as of July 2020, they are now offering their complete ad management and optimisation platform for free. We’ll talk more about that and how they can afford to do it a bit later on.
What aspects of your campaigns does it analyse and optimise?
Advertising platforms such as Google Ads have a huge number of features and options built into them. And these can all have an impact on how well your campaigns run and how efficient and profitable they are. PPC management tools vary in terms of how many of these options they can help you optimise. For example, some focus primarily on bid management whereas others are better if you need help improving your ad copy.
According to its website, Adzooma is an “award-winning Ad platform [which] helps optimise your Google, Microsoft and Facebook Ads in one place”.
As such, it provides a single online interface from which you can create and manage campaigns on all three of those advertising platforms. So you can now manage all your Google, Facebook and Microsoft ad campaigns from a single browser tab instead of having to switch between three different ones.
Depending on your personal preferences, you may also find Adzooma’s unified interface easier to navigate rather than having to remember your way around three different user interfaces.
Where Adzooma really aims to save you time and money, though, is by continuously auditing your PPC accounts and suggesting improvements that will make them run more efficiently. In most cases, if you want to accept one of these recommendations, you can just click a button in Adzooma and it will implement the suggested optimisation into your Google/Facebook/Microsoft account for you.
Adzooma also lets you create automations so as it will, for example, automatically pause a keyword in your Google Ads account if it’s cost per acquisition (CPA) rises above a certain threshold.
The final component of Adzooma is its reporting tool. This allows you to create various reports to easily show the performance of various aspects of your advertising campaigns. This is particularly useful if you work in a company where you need to share marketing reports with colleagues or if you are a PPC agency trying to simplify the process of client reporting.
Adzooma was originally developed as a reporting and optimisation tool for Google Ads accounts. Although it now supports Facebook Ads and Microsoft Advertising as well, I suspect most people will use it mainly for improving Google Ads campaigns. This is because the Facebook Ads features of Adzooma are less comprehensive and because less people advertise on Bing than on Google.
When reviewing Adzooma, I will therefore be focusing primarily on how well it performs as a tool for managing and optimising Google Ads campaigns.
Who is Adzooma For?
Adzooma is aimed at both individual advertisers, as well as agencies that are managing PPC campaigns on behalf of clients. For agencies, there is the option to be featured in the Adzooma Marketplace.
The Adzooma Marketplace is a directory within Adzooma where agencies and SaaS companies can list their products and services in return for a monthly fee.
Unusually for a SaaS product, Adzooma only has two pricing plans. Equally unusually, the entry-level plan gives you access to all of the features of Adzooma. You can use it to manage an unlimited number of Google/Microsoft/Facebook advertising accounts – making it suitable for both single users and for agencies.
Even more unusually, this basic plan that gives you access to everything Adzooma has to offer is 100% free forever!
The second of the two plans is designed just for agencies. It too gives access to all of the Adzooma features and, in addition, it gives the agency a listing in the Adzooma Marketplace. This plan costs £499 per month.
So, just to be clear… whether you’re a marketer, a business owner, or a digital agency, Adzooma won’t cost you a penny. You only have to start paying if you have an agency and want to advertise in the Adzooma Marketplace.
Why Is Adzooma Free?
When I first came across Adzooma in 2019, their starter plan cost $49 per month. However, in July 2020 they made the service completely free for everyone. They’ve been able to do this because the income they get from agencies who advertise on the Adzooma Marketplace is now giving them enough revenue to keep investing in the platform without having to charge people to use it.
Adzooma Pros & Cons
Adzooma does a great job of highlighting errors or shortcomings in the way your Google Ads campaigns are set up and it makes it easy to fix these issues at the click of a button. It's simple to understand and it includes some very good reporting and automation features. Although it doesn't give many recommendations for optimising Facebook Ads campaigns, it's good to be able to manage and monitor ads on Google, Facebook, and Bing all from one central dashboard.
It's not so strong when it comes to making recommendations for ongoing optimisations of bids, ad copy and keywords, mainly because it doesn't allow you to specify what your campaign goals and targets are.
Overall, though, it's still a very useful tool and one that I would definitely recommend you use, especially now that it is completely free of charge.
Key Features of Adzooma
The Adzooma app is split into five sections, each of which is accessible from the main menu at the top of the screen:
The first time you log in you'll be prompted to connect your PPC account to Adzooma. I suggest you start off by adding your main Google Ads account. If you've got more than one Google Ads account, or if you have Facebook Ads or Microsoft Advertising accounts that you want to connect to Adzooma as well, then you can add these later on.
The Adzooma Dashboard
Once you've connected your account(s) the default page you'll see whenever you log into Adzooma is the dashboard:
The dashboard provides you with an overview of how your account has performed recently and also highlights how many opportunities for improvement Adzooma has discovered.
If you want to view information for a different PPC account (Google, Facebook or Microsoft), you can select it from the dropdown list of accounts in the top menu bar.
Campaign Management With Adzooma
Click on the Management tab on the menu and you'll be taken to a page which lists all the campaigns within whichever advertising account you've selected:
As you can see, this screen is very similar to the campaign management area within Google Ads itself. You can see how each campaign is performing, edit campaign budgets, and pause/activate each campaign. There's also a button you can click if you want to create a new campaign.
Where things get a bit different from Google's own interface is once you click on a campaign to look at the ad groups in it. On Google this takes you to a new screen, whereas Adzooma uses a tree-view style layout to show everything on the same page:
This makes it much quicker and easier if you want to switch from one campaign to another to look at things at the ad group level.
Similarly, if you click on an individual ad group, it will expand to show you both the ads in that ad group and the keywords - all at the same time:
This is really useful and is something that you simply cannot do if you're managing your campaigns via the Google Ads website.
Identifying Opportunities With Adzooma
Now it's time to look at what promises to be the most interesting part of Adzooma - the Opportunities screen.
Opportunities is where Adzooma lists all the things it recommends you do in order to get more conversions from your campaigns and/or to reduce wasted spend. The list is split into four sections:
- Improve performance
- Reduce wasted spend
- Best practice
- Account structure
Within each section you'll see a list of all the items that Adzooma is checking for you. If it has found opportunities to make improvements in respect of any of these items, you'll be able to expand the item and see more information:
Clicking on the Details button lets you see exactly what Adzooma is recommending you do, as in this example where it is recommending disabling Google Search Partners for one of the campaigns:
To accept the recommendation and get Adzooma to implement it, you simply need to click the Add to Queue button. Once you've added all the required items to the queue, you can return to the main Opportunities page and click the Apply All button to upload the queued changes to your ad account.
How Good Are Adzooma's Recommendations?
The majority of Adzooma's recommendations are very good and would, in my opinion, be certain or highly likely to improve your Google Ads results.
Adzooma tends to be at its best when it comes to identifying aspects of your campaign set up which have been overlooked. For example, in this screenshot you can see how Adzooma spotted a campaign where the advertiser had forgotten to implement callout extensions:
With the number of changes that Google has made to its PPC platform over the years, it can be very useful to have Adzooma looking over your shoulder and alerting you to any features and settings in Google Ads that you might not have thought to use.
Where Adzooma falls down a bit is when it comes to recommendations based on the real-world performance of your Google Ads campaigns.
For example, in one account that I hooked Adzooma up to it made this recommendation to pause some poorly performing keywords:
So, looking at the third row in that table, Adzooma is saying that a keyword which has only had three clicks should be paused because it has not generated any conversions.
However, as far as I'm concerned, if a keyword has only had such a small number of clicks then it is way too early to conclude that it is not a good keyword to have in the account.
I can only assume that Adzooma's algorithm has decided that £14.62 is excessive and that, after spending that amount, the keyword should have produced at least one conversion. The trouble is that it's making that decision without knowing what an acceptable cost per acquisition (CPA) is for this particular Google Ads account.
This is one of several instances I've found where Adzooma has made a recommendation based on insufficient data and/or without knowing what the acceptable CPA is.
My other concern is that, across the multiple accounts I used to test Adzooma, it did not identify any queries from the search terms report which might need to be added as negative keywords. And yet, in my experience, regularly reviewing the search terms report and adding negative keywords to block irrelevant searches is one of the most important things you can do to make your ad campaigns more efficient.
I'd also like to have seen Adzooma doing a better job of split-testing the ads in each ad group and making more recommendations for pausing ads that weren't performing as well as others.
In summary, then, Adzooma will certainly help you make sure your Google Ads campaigns are properly configured at the outset and that you are following best practices. When it comes to ongoing optimisations, you need to remember to sense-check Adzooma's recommendations to ensure they're aligned with your business objectives, and you should also keep an eye out for any opportunities Adzooma may have missed.
Adzooma's Automation Rules
Adzooma includes an extremely useful automation feature which allows you to put certain aspects of your PPC management on autopilot.
Unlike the automation rules that are built into Google Ads, the automations in Adzooma are really easy to use. This means you can free up time that you would otherwise have to spend on repetitive and mundane campaign management tasks.
Adzooma lets you create automation rules for managing your campaigns, ads, and targeting. With each rule, you can tell Adzooma what to do when a certain condition is met - with the choices being for Adzooma to change something automatically, or send you a notification so as you can decide whether to adjust something yourself or not.
For example, you could configure an automation to send you an alert whenever a keyword's CPA exceeded a certain level. Or, as in this screenshot, you could create an automation to pause a campaign automatically if its total spend for the week goes over a set amount:
As well as creating automations to keep your Google Ads campaigns in shape, you can create automations for your Facebook Ads and Microsoft Advertising accounts.
Reporting with Adzooma
Adzooma actually began life purely as a reporting tool for Google Ads. So it's no surprise that its reporting suite is one of its most powerful features.
At the time of writing, Adzooma comes with seven built-in reports for Google Ads (some of which also work for Facebook Ads accounts) and you can also create your own custom reports.
The most useful of these built-in reports has got to be the Performance Report. It's basically an audit report on the current state of your account and I'd recommend you look at it as soon as you've connected your Google Ads to Adzooma as it will highlight any areas for concern within your account.
As you can see from this example, it gives an overall performance score for your Google Ads account and uses a red-amber-green system to show how well each aspect of the account is configured:
Reviews of Adzooma
A search of the web reveals that I'm not the only one who is impressed by Adzooma. Here are just a few of the Adzooma reviews that I found online:
The common themes in the majority of the reviews I found were:
- Easy to use
- Gets good results
- Very helpful customer service
The only negative review I could find was the one shown above from someone who had bought a lifetime deal licence for Adzooma before it became a free product. I can see why that would be frustrating but, equally, you can't really expect Adzooma to refund all of their past customers now that they've changed their business model.
I was also pleased to note the reply from Adzooma in response to the review that said the product wasn't much use for Facebook Ads accounts. That's a view I share at the moment, but it's good to know that the guys at Adzooma are working on this.
Alternatives to Adzooma
There are a three other Google Ads optimisation tools which you might want to consider in addition to Adzooma. I say "in addition to" rather than "instead of" because, with Adzooma being free, you may as well sign up to it anyway, even if you think you might need to supplement it with another tool either now or further down the line.
The key selling point of WordStream Advisor is its "20-minute work week" feature which, each week, provides suggestions for new keywords and new negative keywords to optimise each of your Google Ads campaigns.
Starting price: $49 per month
I've been using Opteo myself for several years and can definitely recommend it. It provides daily recommendations for improving your Google Ads campaigns but doesn't cover any other advertising platforms. Opteo outperforms Adzooma when it comes to split-testing ad copy, managing bids, and making sure that campaigns stay within budget.
Starting price: $97 per month
You get a lot of features with Optmyzr, including one-click campaign optimisations, built-in scripts, bid management tools, campaign automation, and enhanced reporting. As well as helping you improve your Google Ads account, Optmyzer can also be used to optimise Amazon PPC campaigns.
Starting price: $249 per month
As you can see, although these alternative tools have the edge on Adzooma in some areas, they are all considerably more expensive! So my advice is to start with Adzooma, see how you get on, and then decide whether you need to use one of these other paid-for tools as well.
The Final Verdict
Although it doesn't perform quite as well in some areas as its competitors, there's no denying that Adzooma provides a simple way for small businesses to manage their online advertising.
Most individuals and business owners don't have enough time to properly keep on top of their Google Ads campaigns. And not everyone has the budget to pay for professional Google Ads management.
Fortunately, if you're in that situation, the automation rules and one-click optimisations in Adzooma will allow you to spend less time on maintaining your Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Microsoft Advertising campaigns, and more time on growing your business and servicing your clients.
On the other hand, if you run a digital agency, you will probably find that Adzooma allows you to take on more clients without having to employ more people in your PPC team.
Whichever of those categories you fall into, now that Adzooma is 100% free for everyone, there's absolutely no reason not to give it a try and see what improvements it can make to your PPC campaigns.