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The 8 Best PPC Ad Networks

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The 8 Best PPC Ad Networks

No two ad platforms are exactly alike.

This gives advertisers the opportunity to gain massive reach to potential customers across audiences and online behaviors.

So which PPC ad platform is right for your business?

It’s likely your business will benefit from several of the platforms that follow.

In this chapter, you’ll learn more about the following PPC ad networks:

  • Google Ads.
  • Bing Ads.
  • AdRoll.
  • Yahoo Gemini.
  • Facebook.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Twitter.
  • Pinterest.

Google Ads

Google Ads is the most popular ad network due to the volume of searches done in the Google search engine and large number of websites on the Google Display Network (GDN).

Google states “Google Ads display ads appear on over two million websites and in over 650,000 apps, so your ad can show up wherever your audience is.”

More than 3.5 billion searches happen every day on Google.

Placements: Google search engine, web placements on the GDN, shopping, mobile apps, and YouTube.

Mobile: Extensive mobile coverage on search, GDN websites, and apps.

Ad Formats: Text, image, responsive, video.

Pricing: Cost per click (CPC) model based on the competition and ad quality. GDN allows Cost-per-1,000 impressions (CPM).

Tip: Often times advertisers will find higher CPCs on Google Ads on search keywords. Time to think creatively and try a highly relevant display network campaign, or move to one of the other platforms.

Bing Ads

The Bing search engine share of searches on desktop is growing faster than Google with 145 million searchers not reached on Google.

Bing Ads has tools for advertisers to import campaigns from Google Ads, simplifying the process of getting started.

Microsoft has the advantage of exclusively serving Yahoo search traffic, powering several voice searches, and access to LinkedIn data, so look for even more opportunities as advertising technologies advance.

Placements: Search engines, native content placements on MSN, Outlook.com, the Edge browser, and select quality partner sites

Mobile: Mobile search across the Bing Network.

Ad Formats: Text for search, responsive for native placements.

Pricing: CPC model based on the competition and ad quality.

Tip: While Bing Ads allows advertisers to import campaigns from Google Ads, keeping an exact copy and not optimizing for the Bing Ads platform can be a mistake. Be sure to adjust bids (usually down), match types, and add any Bing Ads ad extensions.

AdRoll

This retargeting platform uses more than 34 million signals to make marketing predictions for targeting.

They leverage Facebook Exchange, Google, emails, and many other marketplaces and exchanges.

Placements: Websites.

Mobile: Retargeting for mobile and across devices.

Ad Formats: Web ads, dynamic web ads, native web ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, email.

Pricing: Minimum monthly media spends start at $300

Tip: A must-have especially for ecommerce to retarget with products the shopper viewed.

Yahoo Gemini

Search and native ads are served on Yahoo properties and Oath Network, composed of Yahoo, AOL, and other websites falling under those two entities, such as HuffPost and Tumblr.

As of the first quarter of 2019, Microsoft Bing Ads announced an expanded partnership with Verizon Media, which enables Yahoo search traffic, to be exclusively served by Bing Ads. This includes search traffic from the Oath Ad Platforms (previously known as Yahoo Gemini) and other partners.

Placements: Search, mobile search, native.

Mobile: Mobile search.

Ad Formats: Text, image, video, app install, Tumblr post, carousel ad, mail ad.

gemini-adtypes

Pricing: CPC model based on the competition and ad quality.

Tip: Yahoo would have the most value for the scope of native ads and serving to audiences consuming Yahoo products.

Facebook

As the top social network on the planet, 2 billion people use Facebook every month. User targeting can get very granular with demographics, interests, and behaviors.

Placements: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network on mobile apps.

Mobile: Facebook mobile properties and Audience Network.

Ad Formats: Video, photo, carousel, slideshow, canvas (mobile). Audience Network on mobile supports a variety of video and display formats such as native, interstitial, rewarded, and in-stream video.

Pricing: Cost per desired action, based on bid, estimated action rates, ad quality.

Tip: Best for targeting very granular audiences through detailed demographics, since level of targeting is not easily achieved on Google or Bing. Facebook ads tend to perform like display ads, but savvy managers can excel at getting conversions.

LinkedIn

Now owned by Microsoft, LinkedIn is a wealth of information and audiences for advertisers to target for the professional set.

More than 500 million professionals are on LinkedIn and they can all be targeted by professional criteria, such as job title, seniority, company, and many more.

Placements: LinkedIn, LinkedIn Audience Network contains ten of thousands of mobile sites, mobile apps, and ad exchanges.

Mobile: Ads in the LinkedIn app and LinkedIn Audience Network.

Ad Formats: Text/image ad on LinkedIn, native on LinkedIn Audience Network sites and apps.

LinkedIn-placements

Pricing: CPC model based on the competition and ad relevance, CPM, Cost-per-send (CPS).

Tip: One tactic that gets results on LinkedIn is offering valuable tips, whitepapers, or other content that directly relates to users’ industry.

Twitter

Twitter offers several options to reach users through the platform used by 330 million active users each month.

Unlike many of the other platforms, Twitter ads are entirely contained on Twitter, with no network partners.

Promoted tweets are probably one of the most flexible ad formats because these can include any combinations of text and other media that complies with the overall policies.

Placements: Twitter.com and Twitter app.

Mobile: Ads in the feed of the Twitter app.

twitter-feed-ad

Ad Formats: Promoted tweets (text and/or images, GIFS, videos), promoted accounts, promoted trends.

Pricing: Promoted tweets and promoted accounts is CPC, promoted trends is handled through a Twitter sales representative.

Tip: Advertising on Twitter should go hand-in-hand with having a solid Twitter engagement strategy. While promoting an account can get new followers, robust tweet content will yield the best results.

Pinterest

Pinterest has 200 million active monthly users who are researching trends, ideas, and products and many of them are in the mood to purchase.

The users skew majority of women at 70 percent, with 40 percent earning $100,000 household income.

Placements: Pinterest.com and Pinterest app.

pinterst-feed

Mobile: Ads in the feed of the Pinterest app.

Ad Formats: Promoted pins, one-tap promoted pins, promoted video pins, cinematic pins, promoted app pins.

Pricing: CPC for promoted pins, app installs, CPM for promoted video pins.

Tip: Search queries on Pinterest are more general than on Google, for example. So research keywords before getting started. A robust Pinterest presence will improve results as shares and saves on Pinterest stick around and done cost the advertiser.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
All screenshots: Taken by author

CategoryPaid Search
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PPC 101: A Complete Guide to Pay-Per-Click Marketing Basics

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Lisa Raehsler

SEM Strategy Consultant at Big Click Co.

Lisa Raehsler is a search engine marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) strategist, nationally recognized speaker, and columnist for industry leading publications. ... [Read full bio]

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