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PPC Basics #2 - Platforms

ppc platforms
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To people who have just heard the abbreviation PPC before but don’t know much about it – they might just assume it’s to do with Google advertising. And, you can’t blame them – because Google is God at the moment when it comes to online ads. But, PPC means Pay Per Click, and isn’t exclusive to Google. Wherever you see a post that is promoted, then that’s on a platform that allows people to promote, or advertise, their content.

There’s a variety of platforms you can have your PPC ads on, each with pros and cons. Here are the key ones.

 

Google Ads.

The obvious one! The largest PPC network, with 91% market share in 2018, it’s hard to escape. Google covers Search (their own search engine and others they’re partnered with) and Display (a network of over 2 million publisher sites across the internet, capable of reaching 90% of the world’s internet users. Includes YouTube and Gmail), so is great if you need volume quickly. The downside is the number of competitors means costs are relatively high – most long-term advertisers on Google have seen their CPCs creeping up over the years. There are of course ways around it, or Google wouldn’t still have so many paying customers, but it requires an understanding of the finer points of Google Ads that a lot of advertisers don’t have time for.

Bing Ads.

The second largest search network, made up of Yahoo and Bing search engines, with nearly 3% market share! Bing ads work in a similar way to Google’s; you can even copy across your Google campaigns in minutes rather than having to set them up from scratch. With a much lower market share, you might not get tremendous traffic volume, but competition is likely to be lower so your costs will be low. Bing is a good way to reach the small segment of users who don’t use Google.

Facebook.

With 1.49 billion users worldwide, it’s hard to ignore the power of Facebook.  Facebook also owns Instagram, has a large network of mobile sites and apps, and has incredible amount of targeting options, so it can be complicated to get it right. But clicks are relatively cheap and if you do find audiences that work for your business, it can be very profitable.

LinkedIn.

Essentially a social network for business, LinkedIn PPC is for BTB advertisers. Its advertising platform is simple compared to others like Facebook – some critics suggest it is years behind – and costs are inconsistent, but there’s no doubt it can be effective for the right businesses. The ad formats are limited but allow you to get your brand in front of specific companies or job roles.

Twitter.

Not PPC technically, as rather than just paying for clicks, you pay for performance whether your goal is sales, leads, Twitter engagements, etc. CPCs tend to be low and your ads are promoted to users right as they are engaged with your chosen keyword/hashtag, so it can be a powerful way to reach potential customers if you get your targeting and ads right. It is, however, relatively fast-paced with users having a lower attention span whilst on this platform, so your advertising needs to be agile to work.

Baidu.

The largest search engine in China (where Google only have 2% market share). Baidu is extremely complicated to set up, but there are companies who will do it all for you, including any translation you need. Competition tends to be high, and Chinese users search differently (generally moving onto separate eCommerce platforms to purchase, for example), but if you want to reach this market Baidu is a good way to do that.

Yandex Direct.

Yandex is used primarily in Russia (with a 53% market share compared to Google’s 44%), as well as some other Eastern European countries. Unlike Google, where you can target any country with any domain you like, Yandex prefer you to use a Russian domain and Russian ads. Like Baidu, there are companies who can set this up for you and keep on top of the language intricacies and regional dialects.

 

We run PPC campaigns for our clients, and report on their website analytics weekly – so they have complete clarity on what is working or not working for their business. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss this service.