If you’re in the business of researching, manipulating and exhausting lists of words within an inch of their life then you’ll know the value of having a useful tool to do the lion’s share of the work for you. Gone are the days of notepads, spread-sheets and repetitive strain injuries as now there are pay per click tools out there that will bend over backwards whilst enabling you to put your feet up on your desk and fiddle with your iPad until your heart’s content – well, sort of.

Ok, well the day that PPC tools do the whole job of keyword research for us aren’t totally here yet, although there are plenty of means by which you can certainly work to a more efficient beat. From mixing and editing, to cluster engines and educational hippos, check out the top five list below that gives you the free and the not so free PPC tools that you definitely want to be swinging around your utility belt in 2013.

Keyword Mixer

The Keyword Mixer is a handy little free to use tool that morphs 2 or 3 word columns into new and exciting variations that you’d never considered using before. This is an excellent means of coming up with some unique long-tails that no one else is bidding on as well as giving you plenty of ideas for fresh and funky ad campaigns.

Google AdWords Editor

This is the ideal tool for those PPC managers who have more than one account or massive lists of keywords to work from. The AdWords Editor is free to download and saves time and effort when making changes in bulk. Also, as you’re able to make changes offline it’s really great if someone wants to review your edits before they go live.

Cluster search engines

If you’re looking for any additional keywords that may have escaped your attention then cluster engines, such as Clusty, throw up loads of alternative ideas and groups that you might not have considered using before. As search results are collected into specific topics this is a great way to create new ad groups as you spread your PPC net ever wider.

Word Hippo

If you’re looking for a PPC tool that’s going to give you so many variations on your keywords that you’ll feel dizzy then check out the kid-friendly Word Hippo site that gives you: opposites, alternative meanings and example sentences at the touch of a button. Who said that keyword research had to be boring? This is a free site and presents lists that literally go on forever.

SEMRush

Warning: this is not a free PPC tool! However, it is pretty darn effective if you’re wishing to spy on your competition and gain some pretty conclusive insights into how they’re ranking, targeting and garnering traffic through their PPC campaigns. This is a must for anyone who’s looking to build an ad strategy based upon insightful metrics and calculated response.