In recent years, Google ads has been the unchallenged king when it comes to paid search and SEM. With billions of searches happening each day, Google has become the prime spot for businesses – small or big – to market themselves.
However, with the rise in competition between businesses, the average cost per click (CPC) on Google is only getting more expensive. For example, industries such as law and education can have keywords reaching upwards of £100 per click, if not more (as per PPC Hero).
And with a rise in prices, small business owners are now looking at Google ads’ competitors to get a positive return on their investments.
In this article, we’ll go through some of Google ads competitors or in this case, alternatives! Read along as we discover them one by one – in no particular order.
Google ads competitors – Why bother?
With around 8 billion searches per day on Google, surely your target audience is on Google. And no matter how big or small of a business you are, Google ads can serve you just right. However, the fierce competition for clicks on Google ads has caused a massive rise in the price of clicks.
And besides the obvious reason of high cost per click, here are some more reasons why you might be considering an alternative to advertising on Google:
- It’s not beginner-friendly. Google ads is known for being tough to use. It can take some time and money for the average Joe to start getting worthy results on the platform. Elements such as keyword research, budgeting, and more can take some time to learn.
- Exclusive Club. Your ads will only run on Google and its partners’ websites. And while its partner network is huge, you’ll still be missing out on other corners of the Internet such as Facebook & Instagram for example
- Attention is needed. Google ads can require attention due to its detailed approach to advertising. You can’t really set up Google ads and just forget about them. But if we’re being honest, this is the case for all platforms. However, Google ads is the biggest culprit when it comes to requiring constant attention
Now that you understand why it may be worth considering Google ads competitors, let’s get into them…
Google ads competitors: Bing ads
Perhaps the most popular Google ads competitor, Bing has been around since 2009 when Microsoft merged several of its search engines together.
Like Google, Bing offers paid search ads that display on the search engine results pages. The platform not only offers a cheaper cost per click than Google ads but also has more transparency and control over search partner ads.
While Google only allows you to either target search or search partners, Bing enables you to target between Bing & Yahoo, just search partners, or both – at the ad group level.
And yes, Yahoo is incorporated into Bing’s ad network. This means running ads with Bing ads will also show on Yahoo search engine results pages. Plus, like Google ads, Bing ads come with a collection of helpful webmaster tools, including its very own keyword research tool.
In comparison to Google ads, the one major disadvantage that Bing has is, of course, it has significantly fewer searches per day.
Amazon perhaps needs no introduction in this day and age. The world’s biggest online marketplace, Amazon started as an online bookseller in the 90s and grew to become one of the biggest companies in the globe.
Amazon offers a number of paid ads including display ads, video ads, and sponsored listings that can be used to target customers during their buying journey.
While people use Google for research purposes, most – if not all people who visit Amazon do it with the intention of buying something. They probably decided what they were going to buy and for how much.
And with Amazon ads, you can position your business and product at the top of the search results to ensure that your product gets the attention it needs. This will in turn increase your chances of attaining conversions.
Like Google, Amazon has its own network of ads which includes a range of websites and services managed by them. These provide hub spots where your ads would appear – outside of Amazon itself.
So, if your business mainly revolves around selling physical goods and you’re only familiar with Google shopping ads, Amazon might be for you.
But, the main downside to advertising on Amazon ads is the fact that your ad’s landing page has to be on Amazon. In other words, you can run ads on Amazon that will lead to a regular landing page on your website – which is a turn-off for many, rightfully so.
Established in 2007, AdRoll is an all-in-one advertising platform where marketers can have access to well over 500 advertising networks. The platform utilises many networks – some of which we’re going to discuss today – including Yahoo, Instagram, Outbrain, and more.
AdRoll is mostly known for its remarketing campaigns. This is because they have some of the best databases that can help you track audiences over the web. This helps ensure that they see your ads at the right time and place.
The platform has shopper profiles, AI-powered predictions, brilliant tracking and reporting, and more. If you currently operate within the realm of eCommerce and you’re looking to improve your sales through advertising, AdRoll might be for you.
Outbrain is different from most of the other platforms on this list since it’s a content discovery platform. What is that? You might ask. Well, it’s a platform that helps marketers to get their content seen and read.
Outbrain’s ad network is host to over 100,000 websites including the likes of the Guardian, CNN, Sky News, and more. What this means is that when a user visits one of these websites and reads an article, they’ll find a bunch of recommendations at the bottom. All of those are powered by Outbrain and are capable of attracting millions of users per month.
So, if you’re looking to drive relevant users to content on your blog with the hopes of converting them into customers, Outbrain is a worthy contender.
Google ads competitors: Facebook ads
This one is obvious. Facebook is home to billions of people around the globe and is perhaps the prime competitor of Google ads when it comes to advertising online.
Ever since its launch, Facebook has become the largest social media network in the world and in the process acquired other large networks (looking at you, Instagram). Today, Facebook is the crowned king of social media advertising.
The platform offers advertisers a wide range of ads including image ads, carousel ads, video ads, and much more. They also offer some of the best targeting options that a marketer could get their hands on.
So, it perhaps comes as no surprise that Facebook is one of Google ads’ main competitors even though they perform in two completely different mediums. And while Google sees millions – if not billions – of users every day, Facebook’s numbers are quickly diminishing. Many people are shifting to other social platforms including Meta’s very own Instagram.
Over the last few years, Instagram has grown to become the world’s home of the biggest social media influencers. Popular amongst millennials, Instagram is the go-to spot for products tailored towards lifestyle and such.
The ads can be displayed as pictures, videos, stories, and more within the app. And the great thing about Instagram ads is how seamless they can be. Sometimes, you’d be scrolling around or going through your friend’s stories; and you’d barely notice that the story you have on is actually an ad.
There is also the built-in swipe-up feature, as well as interactive polls and sliders – which make ads on the platform much more interactive than say your average Google ad.
Google ads competitors: LinkedIn ads
LinkedIn is home to millions of businesses and business professionals looking to network and collaborate. And while a platform like Google ads is a great way to explore B2B marketing opportunities, LinkedIn is still the best in that department.
So, if you’ve attempted to run SaaS (software as a service) or B2B ads on Google ads before and it didn’t work, it’s perhaps time to consider LinkedIn. With its manly targeting options and pricing models, getting into the B2B – and B2C market is quite easy with LinkedIn.
The only caveat to LinkedIn ads, in comparison to Google ads and other platforms, is how expensive they can be.
As you’ve seen, there are numerous worthy competitors to Google ads. However, there is no denying that Google ads is still king to this very day – and here are the numbers to prove it.
More often than not, the reason why your ads are costing a lot – to the point of considering an alternative – is that they’re not properly managed. And this is where a professional agency like ours comes into play, helping you achieve more on Google while paying less.
Leave this hassle to us
Looking for the right platform to run your ads can get overwhelming, especially if you’ve never tried any of them before. Worry not, though, as we can handle that decision for you. Just book a discovery call with us to get started!