Pay-Per-Click Software Companies

Are you looking to hire a pay-per-click agency? Looking to work in one?
There are really a lot of companies in this industry, so how do you choose the right one?
In online advertising, technology can really give a company an edge so it’s worth understanding which technology the agency you choose is using. Obviously this is not the only thing to look for but it is a good place to start.

To run a pay-per-click campaign it is essential to be able to track when people click on the ad and whether they go on to buy something from your site. What happens after clicking the ad is called post-click tracking and this is the basic technology that all SEM campaigns need.
We can divide companies up into three groups based on the the type of post-click tracking software they use as follows:
1) Search Engine’s own tracking software
2) Third-party tracking software
3) In-house or Proprietary software

1) Search Engine’s own tracking software
Google, Yahoo and Microsoft all provide their own tools and software to track post-click sales. If you have a small site/budget or you work with a small agency then this is a common choice. Google’s system integrates with Google Analytics so this makes implementation easier.

Pros:

  • Cost– No extra cost for using their software.
  • Integration– The software is integrated with the click data so all the data is in the same place.

Cons:

  • Compatibility– Difficult to use the same tracking across multiple search engines.
  • Data Ownership– All your data is owned by the same company that is selling you the ads.

2) Third-party tracking software
Companies like Doubleclick (Google owned), Atlas (Microsoft owned) and Clickable (independent) provide access to their software on a self-serve basis. The payment system varies but often it is based on cost-per-click. These systems are popular with cross-media agencies as they are often connected with tracking systems for display advertising.

Pros:

  • Compatibility– Using the same system across multiple engines is one of the big selling points for these companies.
  • Data Ownership– The data is not owned by the search engines.
  • Added extras– Often you will get advanced features that aren’t supported by all the engines.
  • Cross-media Tracking– Often these systems integrate with tracking software for other media like Display Advertising.

Cons:

  • Cost– The price might seem low per click but it can add up to a lot. Depending on the price structure this can be a problem in some verticals (low-margin/low CPC industries).

3) In-house or Proprietary software
Many search engine advertising agencies have their own custom tracking software. This can be a differentiator for these companies. Companies with their own proprietary systems are normally pay-per-click specialists.

Pros:

  • Compatibility– Same as in number 2, using the same system across multiple engines is one of the big selling points for these companies.
  • Added extras– Many agencies will use their technology to differentiate themselves. This can mean access to advanced features, reporting and other value-adds.

Cons:

  • Data ownership– Changing agencies can be an issue as it means changing tracking software. Re-implementation and transfer of data can be an issue.
  • Cost– Some agencies will charge a separate fee while some will integrate it into their regular fees.

Summary
So that gives you an idea of the available options. A lot will depend on the goals of your marketing.
Generally speaking, small companies or companies with low budget campaigns will often go with Number 1.
Companies with a large marketing budget across many media often go with Number 2.
Online companies or companies in verticals where search is very important (travel, classifieds etc.) often go with Number 3.
But again, this won’t suit every company or every agency.

If you are looking for a company with their own proprietary system (Number 3), I’ve put together a List of 3rd-party pay per click tracking software.
If you know of other companies and would like to add them to the list then please let me know on the Feedback page.

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