5 Alternatives to Google Ads
There is no denying that Google Ads is the biggest PPC network of them all, and it’s hardly a surprise, since Google is backing it and it has all the resources in the world to remain at the top. However, that doesn’t mean Google Ads will work wonders in absolutely every scenario or that all the other available options out there are useless. For instance, you may run into a situation when you are not getting the expected volume of traffic from Google Ads, be it because that your brand is relatively new and ranks low when it comes to brand awareness, or because you are targeting a specific niche with only a handful of specific keywords.
Also, if you are trying to advertise in an industry where profit margins are almost the same as the cost of Google Ads bids, you may want to consider alternative options which will allow you to get more value out of your advertising dollars. Finally, if you are getting too much traffic, it can be because you are targeting too broad of a subject, which then causes your CTR to plummet, as well as your conversion volume.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best alternatives to Google Ads and see if they are any good. Keep on reading for more details.
1. Bing Ads
Bing Ads are usually considered somewhat of an afterthought by most businesses, which is mainly because they haven’t taken the time to understand how Bing Ads work. Now, if you were to look at any Bing ads examples, you would be able to see that their CPC is lower than that of Google Ads, which is especially important for small and medium-sized companies which don’t have a huge marketing budget and which are looking to make the most out their landing pages. Also, Bing Ads sport higher CTRs and are usually better positioned that the equivalent ads on Google, which is another reason you need to look into how Bing Ads work.
Google Ads does a lot of things right, but it falls short when it comes to details such as dayparting. Basically, you set a time zone and an interval during which your ads will be displayed. Not a big deal, but it does mean that you will have to do the math every time when it comes to ad scheduling. Are Bing ads effective at this? No, they are actually better, because according to Bing Ads themselves, time zones are set based on the location of the person who is looking at/searching for your ad. It may be a small advantage, but that’s one less thing for you to worry about since you don’t need to worry about how to optimize Bing Ads based on time zones, which is handy for services like Essay on Time, as they need to reach college students at a very particular time.
Another trick you find in every Bing ads guide is its advantage over Google Ads when it comes to keyword targeting. In Google Ads, if you decide to apply a negative keyword, it will do it, even if it means blocking a query for one of your target keywords. Of course, you still get a notification in order to fix this in a timely manner, but with Bing Ads, your keywords always beat negatives. For instance, if you have blocked a particular keyword for one of your campaigns and it’s included as one of your target words, your ad will be displayed in related queries regardless. Although Bing Ads best practices tell you that you shouldn’t block those keywords you are targeting, it still comes in handy if you are trying to build a brand and run a huge campaign in which it’s easy to oversee some of the mistakes you have made. Although this is not all you need to know about how to use Bing Ads, it’s enough to make it a more interesting option.
2. Quora Ads
Although Quora is primarily viewed as a place where experts from various fields gather and provide high-quality answers, it is also a PPC platform which you shouldn’t eliminate right off the bat. Let’s check out how Quora ads work first. Well, similar to Google Display Ads, since they rely on topic targeting. However, Quora has one advantage over its competitors here, since it is already a platform which categorizes questions and answers based on topics, which means that its ads will be shown on the most relevant question pages, and therefore reach the right audience. Before we go on further with explanations on how to use Quora Ads, you should know that they appear on question pages, as well as inside every user feed.
Quora also has something called Website Retargeting, which is crucial if you want to figure out how to optimize Quora Ads in the best way possible. Using this feature, your business can target Quora users who have already visited your homepage or your landing page. You can even create an audience out of those users and build a marketing campaign that will target people who have visited one of your landing pages and who have ever reached a specific product page without making a purchase.
Quora Ads guide is pretty straightforward since their ads are text-based:
- Your business name should be 30 characters or less
- Headline featuring a maximum of 65 characters
- 105 characters for the body of the ad
- URL with less than 30 characters
- Call-to-action with a maximum of 16 characters
These are pretty much your main Quora Ads best practices and a template for all Quora Ads examples, since there are no video ads on Quora, at least for the time being. You can and should use images in your Quora ad campaigns, in order to make them stand out, even though they predominantly text-based. Are Quora Ads effective? Yes, because although not as powerful as Google Ads or even Bing Ads, they are still interesting if you are a marketer, mainly because of topic targeting and lower cost of advertising, for those among you which are operating on a tighter budget.
3. LinkedIn Ads
Are LinkedIn Ads effective? This is something that you shouldn’t even ask, especially if you are running a B2B company, since LinkedIn is used by over 560 million professionals, in each in their respective fields. How do LinkedIn Ads work? They are somewhat similar to Facebook Ads or Google Display Ads, with the addition of segmentation feature which allows you to target professionals based on demographic parameters like skills, job title, and seniority. You can even set up campaigns to include a specific LinkedIn group where like-minded professionals with similar skills gather. When it comes to LinkedIn, you have to worry less about how to optimize LinkedIn Ads, since its targeting is more accurate. However, there is a trade-off in the shape of higher CPC.
LinkedIn Ads examples vary because you can choose between eight different ad types. Here is a short LinkedIn ads guide:
- Text-only ads which show up at the top of the page or in the right column
- Single image ads which are displayed on the LinkedIn newsfeed
- Carousel ads featuring multiple images
- Video ads which show up in the newsfeed
- Follower ads which are used to promote your LinkedIn Page and are only shown on the Linked desktop platform
- Spotlight ads which are used for special promotion. Also visible on the LinkedIn desktop platform only
- Job ads which are used to advertise open jobs
- Message ads which are sent to your target audience’s LinkedIn inbox
As for LinkedIn Ads best practices, make sure that your headlines are punchy, and your ad copy short and to the point. You can also include a destination URL, which should be pointing to a landing page designed specifically for your LinkedIn audience. If you want to do this, but you're short on time, remember you can simply pick up one of landing page templates and speed up your work.
Also, regarding how to use LinkedIn Ads, you should make sure to include a photo, which not only draws the eye but inspires trust as well. Don’t make it too detailed, because LinkedIn ad dimensions are relatively small.
4. Capterra Ads
Capterra Ads are probably not the first PPC platform you will think of, or even a second one. However, if you take the time to discover how to use Capterra Ads, as well as take a look at some of the more representative Capterra Ads examples, you will see that it’s definitely worth your consideration, especially if your company is in the software business. Before we get onto how Capterra Ads work, we need to point out that more than 5 million business software customers rely on Capterra. In other words, with their PPC program, you will gain access to their software directories. This will enable you to get prospects to your website which are 3 times more likely to convert than on other platforms.
As in the case of LinkedIn Ads, you don’t have to stress about how to optimize Capterra Ads, since they are highly targeted, but there is more to them than that. First, there is the premium placement option, which shows your ad at the top of the Capterra directory. Second, there is the free conversion tracking tool, which allows you to monitor your PPC campaigns and to see where most of your leads are coming from, and then use that information for future bids. This can be seen in more detail in any Capterra Ads guide out there.
Finally, you can customize your bids easily in order to achieve the right combination of placement inside the directory and traffic coming targeted prospects. Are Capterra Ads effective? Yes, especially if you can follow Capterra ads best practices. However, they only work for software companies.
5. Reddit Ads
Reddit, also known as “the front page of the Internet” is constantly among the most visited websites in the world, which easily averages over 1.5 billion visits per month! Reddit has been gaining some traction in recent years as an advertising platform, and rightfully so. If you are wondering how Reddit Ads work, the answer is pretty simple. Everything revolves around finding the most relevant subreddit for your business, and then becoming a valuable member of the community by posting quality content on a regular basis.
Well, then, what about advertising and figuring out how to optimize Reddit Ads? Before you can start placing your ads, you need to start creating valuable content, which will allow you to build your Reddit karma. After you have mastered this Reddit Ads best practice, you can start placing your ads inside relevant subreddit. And make sure that they are relevant subreddits, because Redditors frown upon seeing both ads and content which are irrelevant to the subreddit they are posted in. If you stick to this Reddit Ads guide, you will be able to reach a large number of highly targeted users at a very affordable rate.
Are Reddit Ads effective then? Well, since the whole process is organic, it will take time before you can start posting actual ads, which can be a turn-off for most advertisers. Make the most out of Reddit by analyzing Reddit Ads examples and then learning how to use Reddit ads to promote your brand.
As you can see, Google Ads and Facebook Ads are not the only viable option out there for PPC marketing. In fact, all of the alternatives described in this article have something unique that Google Ads don’t, be it Capterra’s focus on software buyers or Reddit’s organic approach to advertising. We hope that you will give some of these options a shot and benefit from what they have to offer. Good luck!