This blog post on choosing a PPC platform is the third and final part of a series on PPC advertising.
Just in case you missed it, we have written an introductory post to PPC advertising for those of you who are new to it. You can view this post here: How does Pay Per Click Work?
The second post in this three-part series is all about how to implement a PPC Strategy. You can find this post here: How to Start a PPC Strategy.
This post today is to help guide you on choosing the right PPC platform for your business.
- Which PPC Platforms should you use?
To re-jog your memory, we have defined ad platforms as:
“Ad platforms are a host website that displays adverts in return for a fee. When web visitors click on an ad through their website, the platform receives a split of the revenue.”
As we have already highlighted earlier in the series, choosing the right ad platform is critical to the success of your paid ads.
Paid ads through searches is now a highly lucrative way for businesses to gain more web traffic and sales, providing they have a well thought out PPC strategy.
Most widely known in the PPC networks are Google Ads and Facebook Ads, both together share 60% of total revenue in the paid ads market. But we are here to show you that there are many other ad platforms available. Read on to see the pros and cons of each, to help you decide which ad platform to go with.
Amazon is not only an e-commerce platform with 44% share of the US market, but it is being used more and more like a search engine. Many shoppers skip all search engine results and head straight for Amazon to find what they are looking for.
Amazon are fast risers in the PPC ad market. Last year they boasted of $10.1 billion in revenue for the “Other” category, this category mainly consists of sales of advertising services.
Their ads work similarly to Google, in that they are focused around keywords, but also include product categories too. They have three types of ads:
- Headline search ads (3 or more results at the top of the page).
- Sponsored products (displayed under related products, and at the top and bottom of the results page) .
- Display ads (the banner ads displayed on the right hand side of the screen).
- Your ads are displayed on a shopping site where majority of amazon account holders have their credit card details saved. That means fast, impulse buying!
- You only pay when a user clicks your ad.
- It takes a long time to set up your ads compared to other ad platforms, each campaign takes a while to get off the ground.
- Campaign reporting is lower quality.
- Hard to get ad placements if you don’t have a lot of reviews already.
- Can’t see exact volume of keywords, making it harder to decide on campaign strategies.
Google Ads(Formerly known as Google Adwords)
As you will know, Google Ads has the largest market share of any ad platform, currently holding almost 40% of all ad revenue for 2019. So it is no wonder that more than 1.3 million businesses set up their PPC ads using Google.
- It’s quick and easy to set up.
- You can set an automatic feature for Google to do your bidding on keywords within your budget.
- Google has the widest reach of any search engine ad platform with 8 billion people using its services.
- You have control of your campaigns, you call pull poor performing keywords immediately.
- No minimum budgets required, available to all size businesses.
- You can track conversions using simple coding.
- You can target customers in certain countries, regions and cities.
- There are always new features being introduced.
- Frequent sales calls from Google Ads reps, encouraging you to increase your campaign budgets, with the promise of better return. But it’s important to note that you may not get better results. The sales reps are calling to make Google more money- not you.
- With more competition= higher priced keywords.
- While its easy to get started it’s hard to master. Good skills are required for effective campaigns.
- Easy for ad blockers to be installed through plug-ins
Bing Ads(Formerly Yahoo)
Bing ads are similar to Google Ads. Although not as popular, it still attracts millions of users a day! Through Bing ads you get displayed on both Bing and Yahoo search engines. Plus, Bing is the biggest ad network behind Google (Slightly ahead of Facebook Ads).
- Much cheaper clicks than Google Ads (70% less expensive).
- Bing gives you more campaign control over language, location, and scheduling- more than Google.
- Bing has an additional Social Extensions app to help drive traffic to your social media.
- Wide range of analytics for campaign monitoring.
- Better chance of reaching the top page of results.
- Access to users through Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana.
- Older user demographic which is getting harder and harder to target to in this day and age.
- Lower click-through rate than Google.
- Lower Reach than Google.
- A much smaller reach to the under 35-year-old demographic.
- Does not display ads on third-party websites in Yahoo.
- Only popular in a few countries.
Social media advertising is exactly how it sounds, placing your ads on social media sites. This is a young model but very fast growing! It is also highly relevant for B2C businesses.
Facebook is the most-used social media platform in the world. That’s why it is the most popular site to use for social ads. Coming in second to Google, Facebook currently has 22% of the digital ads spending market share.
- Worlds largest social platform (more than a billion users).
- Targeting is easier as Facebook has a lot of data on its users.
- Clicks are relatively cheap.
- The analytics data is comprehensive.
- Several ways to target, including users interests- (not available on Google Ads).
- Ads include Instagram on the same PPC network (As Facebook own them).
- Hard to block Facebook ads = more exposure.
- The Facebook newsfeed can look cluttered, making it harder to attracts user’s attention to ads.
- Lower CTR than Google Ads.
- Ads images and text needs changing frequently.
There are around 330 million active twitter users worldwide. With a revenue increase of 21% year-over-year the total advertising revenue for Twitter is currently at $727 million.
- Second largest social platform.
- One of the easiest platforms to use.
- Enables retargeting (so you can retarget to consumers who have engaged with you previously).
- Only pay for completing objectives, that means viral and popular posts won’t be charged extra!
- Higher cost-per-clicks, making campaigns expensive.
- Low visibility on ads as twitter feeds move so fast.
- Using hashtags or mentions can reduce CTR by up to 23%.
LinkedIn is the best social ad platform to use for B2B businesses. Instead of using keywords, LinkedIn uses demographics such as geography, job title, industry and position to allow you to tailor your ads to the right audiences. Ads are fed to users through the LinkedIn home feed.
- Great for targeting people in specific roles and seniority.
- High ROI through this narrow targeting.
- Great for the B2B industry (80% of all B2B leads come through LinkedIn).
- Great reporting on ad performance.
- Advertising on LinkedIn is expensive! Almost 4x higher than Google Ads.
Even though Facebook owns Instagram they both have a very different user base. A whopping 70% of Instagram’s audience is under 35 years old. So if you have a product or service that is particularly suited to that age bracket, you may be better off narrowing your targeting to save on PPC costs, and get a higher conversion rate. With over 600 million monthly users, Instagram is a great platform to supply ads with visual content.
- High visibility with 600 million monthly users.
- Best social market for under 35 demographic.
- Instagram allows clickable links as part of a promoted posts to increase website traffic.
- Increased brand awareness is easy without being too disruptive to users.
- Can set your own budget, audience and duration for an ad campaign.
- Targeted ad placement is available through setting specific demographics such as age range, gender, location, and interest.
- Can link with Facebook Ads for wider audience reach.
- Less effective than Facebook Ads.
- Older age demographics are limited through Instagram.
- Campaign management options are limited in Instagram compared to Facebook.
YouTube is the most popular video sharing site in the world. It is also the best place to use video ads. However, views for an ad are only counted when someone watches 30 seconds or more of an ad video.
- Has huge reach with over a billion users.
- Best for video ads.
- Ad targeting can be defined through demographics, topics, keywords and interests.
- The first five seconds of an ad is free, dramatically reducing price.
- Ads can reach users in multiple ways, through pre roll ads, display ads, and promoted videos.
- Tracking and measurement is difficult as no third party tracking is allowed.
- Targeting is difficult as video creators can use irrelevant tags, making it possible for your ads to appear on unrelated and irrelevant videos.
Mobile advertising is advertising across mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and wearable tech through mainly apps. It’s being reported that mobile ads are more likely to get clicked on.
While there are so many mobile ad platforms out there, for the purposes of keeping this post generic, we will limit our pro and cons list to using mobile in app ads in general.
- In app ads can be interactive and play videos.
- In app ads are growing very fast, with the spending predicted to beat mobile-web by nearly 3-to-1.
- Mobile ad spend is rising, catching up to desktop spending. (51% of the digital ad market).
- Advanced analytics and targeting available through mobile.
- Access to global market.
- Mobile in-app ads tend to be located as banner ads, which can make it hard to squeeze information onto. Making it more difficult for ads to get noticed.
- Extremely low CTR with an average of a 1%CTR on banner ADS.
Give it a go!
With the information provided throughout this post, you should be one step closer to deciding which PPC ad platform to use to suit your business.
We hope you enjoyed this three-part series on PPC ads. Good luck and happy converting!
To view the other blog posts from this series, click below:
Part 1: How does Pay Per Click Work?
Part 2: PPC Strategy