Alternatives to Google AdWords

Alternatives to Google AdWords

Who surfs the Internet can hardly do without Google: even if the search engine is not used, it is easy to be a user of services such as YouTube, part of Google since 2006, the Chrome browser, which appeared in 2008, or the Android mobile operating system, in Operation since 2008. Since Google and its affiliated companies are ubiquitous on the Internet, the platforms and applications of the market leader are very valuable for advertisers.

Google does not usually publish figures, but it is estimated that the search engine receives at least 64,000 visits per second and in many of them advertising is shown to users. This Google advertising (in English Google Ads) is controlled through the advertising system itself, hence the Google AdWords platform is one of the most important marketing channels worldwide, to which we must add the ads that appear to through the Google Display Network on many other web pages.

However, we must not ignore other search engines and platforms for several reasons: on the one hand, some platforms (eg, Facebook) allow users to reach more selectively through various procedures and, on the other , users who declare themselves against Google also represent a solvent audience. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep track of Google AdWords alternatives.

The best alternatives to AdWords

There are different ways to promote your brand and your products on the Internet. In addition to the ads paid in the search results of other search providers, the alternatives to AdWords also include interesting combinations of social media marketing or content marketing, as well as the breadth of the diffusion of the classic display ads .

Bing ads

Bing Ads allows you to define exactly the keywords for which you want to bid.

The search engine Microsoft is the biggest competitor to Google, if you can qualify as competition to the defense of its territory. Bing’s market share is quite low, but compared to the other alternatives to Google, it is remarkable, which gives advertisers a very interesting perspective. Thus, a relatively broad target audience can be reached (Bing has a market share in Spain of over 8%), which includes many users of Microsoft mobile devices. Simultaneously there is less competition than in the case of Google.

As in the popular search engine, Bing Ads bids are also based on keywords: instead of reserving an ad in the search engine, you bid for a specific term in an advertising space and every time a user performs a search, a search occurs Automatic auction in advertising spaces. This form of advertising space auctions is called ” Real Time Bidding” (RTB), since the system decides who wins in a matter of milliseconds and, therefore, almost in real time.

Because the number of advertisers bidding for a position is much smaller in Bing, auctions are also less usual. This is especially interesting for small businesses that want to create advertising using highly popular search terms. Also, as an advertiser you are only required to pay when someone clicks on your ad, a principle called “Pay Per Click” (PPC) or pay per click . In addition, Bing has an interesting distribution network: as the search engine is part of the Yahoo! Bing Network, the ads are also displayed in the Yahoo search engine.

In relation to the formats of the ads, Bing does not differ much from its rivals: in addition to the usual text ads placed in the form of search results (far away), other texts appear with links next to the actual results. These are ads with images in the form of store offers in which, in addition, Bing shows the price of the products.

Yahoo! Gemini

Before creating a campaign on Yahoo! Gemini, select a marketing goal

The oldest search engine also has its own ad program. Yahoo! Gemini exists since 2014 and focuses mainly on mobile advertising in search engines . Like Bing, the numbers of Yahoo! They go far behind Google. However, both alternatives to AdWords offer a simple service with which to transfer data from Google, but also allow you to easily create ads and campaigns, since this works similarly to the assistants of the big competitors.

It is possible to delimit target audiences in a relatively precise way by selecting location, gender, age and interests. In addition, you can choose between standard ads or video format, something that Google only allows in combination with YouTube, your affiliated company. Yahoo! Gemini shows ads with videos and images on both its page and associated pages.

On the other hand, Yahoo! Gemini also stands out because of the remarkable representation of all ad formats on mobile devices with native ads , it is able to present its own content network and the native ads are reproduced as content in the news channels of the different platforms. Yahoo !, however, is more considered as a news platform than as a search engine. To this is added that Flickr (photo community) and Tumblr (blogging platform) belong to Yahoo! and, therefore, to a network in which ads are distributed. 

Since 2017, Yahoo! It is part of Oath , a search engine provider cooperation with AOL under the direction of the parent company Verizon. Because AOL has also gone from being an Internet service provider to a content provider to which they belong, for example, online media such as Huffington Post or TechCrunch, the ad network has expanded significantly. However, the situation changes when combined with Bing : Bing Ads are also displayed in the search results of the Yahoo! Search, but not vice versa, that is, ads created with Yahoo! Gemini do not appear in Bing search results.

On the other hand, the payment model is the same: it is bid in advertising spaces and only paid when a user clicks on the ad (PPC). The costs are, as in Bing, much lower than those of the leader, so Yahoo! It stands as a true alternative to Google AdWords. However, it is difficult to predict whether the return on investment ( ROI ) is more profitable. Because of the small number of users, many fewer leads are generated (interested people with a high probability of becoming customers). In addition, the problem of click fraud should not be underestimated regardless of the platform that works with PPC.

Amazon

Amazon is increasingly important for the marketing mix of companies. Because the platform’s product range is increasingly wide (including Amazon Marketplace), the importance of the search function also increases: to find products, most users resort to the search mask, thus obtaining ordered results. Many people also use Amazon to compare offers and prices, so the platform becomes an important field of work for both SEO  and SEA. And as today there is a market with numerous competitors for each product on the platform, it is very important to be visible to customers.

Amazon shows different types of ads: while sponsored products and headline search ads depend on keywords, product display adsThey appear based on the interests of users or other specific products. This means that you can redirect potential customers to your product page by establishing a specific area of ​​interest or by displaying your ad as a sponsored entry on another product page. Both ad formats are based on keywords and can appear in the search results at the top (headline search ads) or at the bottom (sponsored products). The latter, in Spanish sponsored products, may also appear on the article pages for other products.

The Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) are available to any registered Vendor Central, Central or Vendor Advantage Express user. Also, it is also possible to access them if you are a marketing specialist who represents a seller on Amazon, which also means that it is necessary to become an Amazon partner to use their service. As a seller, that is, as an external supplier that sells its merchandise independently through the marketplace, all marketing possibilities cannot be used. In this case, only Seller Central Sponsored Products and Headline Search Ads can be hired.

As in other alternatives to AdWords, in the marketing services of Amazon (AMS) advertising spaces are also granted through auctions . The highest bid is the one that receives the award and advertisers only pay when someone clicks on the links. Here it is irrelevant if the customer really buys the advertised product, since it has to be paid anyway. Therefore, it makes no sense to invest the advertising budget on products that receive a negative rating from buyers, because despite being taken into account, they will not be purchased.  

Additionally, Amazon offers another marketing program: with the Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP), managed by the Amazon Media Group (AMG), the online store offers classic online marketing possibilities for its partners. As display ads, such as banner ads, the platform focuses primarily on brand awareness (brand awareness). Campaigns can be managed autonomously or with the support of AMG, although a minimum annual marketing budget of 10,000 euros is necessary. The advantage for merchants who use the AAP is the large amount of user data that the company has.

Therefore, Amazon targeting measures are particularly effective. The online store knows its users and knows exactly what products they are interested in. What has the user looked at but not bought? What was the last thing you bought? What types of products are you most interested in? Thanks to Amazon’s Echo assistant , there may be more advertising options in the future.

Facebook

On Facebook, not only is social media marketing possible , but the social network par excellence obtains most of its revenue from the sale of advertising spaces. Unlike viral marketing measures, which in principle are free, advertising placement is paid. Facebook offers both mixed forms and classic display ads. The firstare obtainedWhen you sponsor your content: by boosting the payment (Boost), Facebook disseminates the publication you want to promote to many more users than those who follow your company.

On the contrary, the commercials offer more possibilities, because they can integrate text, photos or videos or select more complex options, such as ads by sequence (carousel) or presentation (slideshow). The ads by sequence show several videos or photos in the same ad, while the ads with presentation are an animation of photos and text that in the case of poor Internet connections (for example in the mobile) offer better results than an advertisement of normal video For smartphones, Facebook offers Canvas, a format that opens a full screen slider ad when touched.

Advertising campaigns on Facebook are used to generate leads that increase brand recognition or encourage users to make specific interactions , so that it is possible to define the target audience accurately. Like Google and Amazon, Facebook knows its users very well and, therefore, its browsing habits in the community, its hobbies, its friends and its general interests, but Facebook is not alone. The company, and therefore the social network, also owns Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Facebook Audience Network, a network of mobile applications that cooperate with Facebook and allow to display advertisements. 

On Facebook, auctions determine the advertising shown. In general, the highest bid is not the only decisive factor for the allocation of the advertising space, but Facebook also takes into account the expected effectiveness of the ads, as well as the quality and relevance of the advertising. Therefore, it is not possible to win auctions solely through a high advertising budget, but it is also important that the ads have shown in the past that they achieve good results.  

While you are creating your advertising campaign you can choose, depending on the objective pursued, in which to invest your budget, whether in clicks (CPC), in a thousand impressions (CPM) or in likes and conversions (CPA), adapting your bids to your own strategy of marketing. Likewise, Facebook also allows measuring the success of advertising campaigns.

Outbrain

Although social networks are increasingly important for collecting information, a lot of content is still generated in the classic web pages, as the online versions of many newspapers and magazines are very popular among Internet users, which makes these are accustomed to receiving suggestions about other articles when they finish reading, which Outbrain takes advantage of.

Outbrain is a Content Distribution Network or content distribution network and an interesting alternative to Google AdWords. As such, it is presented as a mediator between the advertiser and the support. The idea is that instead of creating traditional ads ( display ads ), companies write content that may be interesting to readers. These publications can then be displayed on other pages, usually the most popular ones, whose managers obtain their compensation in the form of fees. Thus, to avoid that each web page manager has to formalize a contract with the advertisers, pages like Outbrain have been born.

Outbrain provides a widget thatAdministrators can incorporate on their website. With this, the visitors of the pages receive suggestions of articles that do not appear in them, but in the pages of the advertisers. A click on the thumbnail image or the title redirects to the article. Advertisers only incur costs when users click on the links (CPC), for which a budget is established. Once it is sold out, the item stops being distributed.

Another advantage of using Outbrain is that in the words of the company itself, 50 algorithms help show users the content they really like. To do this, these algorithms focus on the context of current articles, on user behavior and on the actual user’s browsing habits. To do this, Outbrain uses cookies, the use of which can be avoided by means of an opt out method. In addition, the company also tries to understand when an article ceases to be relevant, for example, because it is no longer current, so that these types of articles should no longer appear in the widgets.

When you create a campaign, select the title and preview image. This means that the link title, as viewed through the widget, does not have to match the heading of the linked article, which is especially relevant if SEO interests are pursued with the content. The keyword that appears in that header may work well for search engines, but it does not have to encourage clicks, unlike advertisements. The second step is to decide the budget and the CPC to compete in the auction (Outbrain also auctions the advertising spaces).

A period is also set in which the announcement must be active (in case you do not want to carry out the campaign until the budget is used up) and define the target audience. Indicates the geographic location where the content has to be reproduced, as well as the users’ devices. An indicator next to the selection indicates the expected range. With these few steps you can now put your campaign online, whose success can be easily monitored. Likewise, with the help of A / B tests it  is possible to check which is the best strategy.

Only one article can be promoted per campaign, although it can be accompanied by different photos and titles to test which variants work and which generate clicks. This optimization of links gives rise to one of the biggest problems of Outbrain and other similar providers: the clickbait . Instead of offering relevant content, readers are encouraged with promising links that redirect them to pages that contain exclusive advertising to a greater or lesser extent.

With clear guidelines , Outbrain tries to put measures in this regard. Thus, for example, sexual or illegal content and also purely advertising links or with deceptive titles are prohibited. However, applying these rules is an arduous task and the fact that you do not act strongly against clickbait may be due to publishers, as online media is largely financed through Outbrain or its competitors.

Taboola

Like Outbrain, Taboola is a content distribution network and, with it, another of the most interesting alternatives to Google AdWords. In principle, it does not differ much from Outbrain, its competitor, and campaigns are created in a similar way: only three steps are needed (selection and adaptation of content, scope and budget, introduction of account information) to put campaigns of online content marketing. The same does not happen with the selection of the contents. While Outbrain only authorizes real articles, with Taboola you can promote landing pages and complete web pages. However, according to its norms, directories and home pages of web pages, forum messages or deceptive, offensive or illegal content are not allowed.

With respect to the network of both providers there is a considerable difference both quantitative and qualitative. In order to be present in the most important online media, both providers must be used simultaneously, since some pages cooperate with Outbrain and others with Taboola.

The segmentation of the target audience, unlike as with Google, Facebook or Amazon, is limited both Taboola and Outbrain. The reason for this is that content distribution networks only act as intermediaries, so they cannot collect as much user data as large Internet companies, in which users reveal or have to reveal a large amount of information.

According to own statements, Taboola has 30 employees who are responsible for fighting against false news and clickbait. On the other hand, the founder of Taboola, Adam Singolda, elevates freedom of expression to the highest level and justifies everything that is published through the service. Although the concept is still successful today, some publishers have understood that their reputation can be negatively influenced and turn to their own solutions. This makes this alternative to AdWords only interesting for serious advertising messages.



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