If you are working in the pay per click industry you’ll know about WordStream. They are the biggest player in the PPC software market.
Yet, in my opinion, you shouldn’t give them a penny…
To start this review, I’d like to be fully transparent about my dealings with WordStream.
My WordStream usage was through my business AdWords account and I made full use of a year’s subscription, which I’ve now terminated.
During this time I had three premier consultancy calls with a friendly and knowledgeable employee.
I haven’t had a customer service issue nor do I have anything negative to say regarding the company or its employees.
Now that’s out the way, I guess I can start telling you why you shouldn’t waste your money on a WordStream subscription.
What Is WordStream?
WordStream is a web-based account management platform that operates like the standard AdWords Account Interface – although it has more bells and whistles – as well as some additional tools.
One of its biggest selling points is its 20-minute pay per click work week, which can supposedly optimise your account in 20 minutes per week (this should raise a few eyebrows if any of you are managing accounts as large as I am).
They’ve got some nifty visuals too, like their success report tool, which ‘infographics’ your account, allowing you to review your monthly progress.
Why Are They So Popular?
Well, like any successful company (which there is no doubt WordStream are) it’s difficult to narrow this down to one reason.
They are extremely, extremely good at marketing themselves.
We can all learn something from their approach, of which, ironically, pay per click is the last factor that I notice (please guys, decrease your remarketing frequency capping, your brand does begin to annoy me at times!).
Search for a pay per click marketing subject on Google now. If they aren’t on one of the top positions organically, they will be there with paid ad. And if they aren’t, it’s probably not worth their while.
Their blog must be brilliant at pulling in traffic. It is wonderful content yet here I am telling you not to subscribe to their service…
What’s Wrong With It?
My problem with WordStream is the subscription price.
Its most basic package, for accounts spending under $10,000 a month, costs $349 a month.
Pay upfront and that is reduced to $2,700, which equates to $225 a month.
That’s one hell of a monthly subscription, so what do you get for it?
- 20 Minute Work Week (optimise your account in a few easy clicks)
- Campaign, ad group interface, ads and keywords interface (much the same as AdWords web interface)
- QueryStream (shows keywords that triggered impressions & clicks)
- Campaign Builder
- Ad Group Builder
- Smart Tools
- Add Keywords
- Add Negatives
- Split Ad Groups
- Recommend Keyword Bids
- Review Costly Keywords
- Performance Grader
- Keyword Research Tools
- Keyword Suggestion Tool
- Competitor Crawler
- Related Keyword Tool
- Negative Keyword Suggestion Tool
- Keyword Grouper
An impressive set of tools. But ask yourself one thing:
Does WordStream really do anything you can’t do yourself?
There is simply nothing in the package that justifies the subscription cost in my opinion.
Everything you can achieve in WordStream, you can achieve for free.
What’s The Alternative?
Grab yourself the AdWords Editor. Log on to your AdWords account and Analytics. Get your hands on a copy of Microsoft Excel.
You’re already most of the way there.
I’d like to throw down the gauntlet to you. If you subscribe to WordStream, have an honest think about whether you could achieve account optimisation without it and let me know.
Don’t let brand loyalty get in the way of saving yourself some money (and there’s no doubting that WordStream are a fantastic brand).
If anyone thinks there is a part of WordStream that can’t be replicated outside of the software, leave a comment below.
I don’t mind being proved wrong and I’ll try and point you in the right direction if you’ve got a question about how you could do it yourself! I might even write a tutorial on it if enough people ask the same question.