When it comes to running a PPC
campaign, the first name that comes to your mind is AdWords from
Google. While this is a really good ad network, it is also a very
expensive one. Even with careful keyword selection and targeting, it
is not an exception to pay more for AdWords ads than you make in
revenue. Cost is the main reason to look for alternatives to AdWords.
Fortunately, such alternatives do exist and the best is that some of
them could even outperform AdWords in terms of return on investment.
Here are 12 great AdWords alternatives to consider.
1 Facebook Paid Ads
Facebook paid ads are a
great alternative, especially if you are targeting a younger
is the number one social network and (almost) the whole world has an
account with it. Facebook ads offer lots of targeting options ‐ you
can choose age, location, gender, hobbies of the audience to watch
your ads. However, do have in mind that with Facebook generally the
click through is lower, so don't get discouraged if on Facebook you
get fewer clicks on your ads than on other networks ‐ this is
2 Yahoo!/Bing Ads from Microsoft
Bing and Yahoo are Google's competitors not only in the area of
search engines but also in online ads. Yahoo!/Bing
Ads, formerly known as Microsoft AdCenter appeared after the ad
networks of Microsoft and Yahoo! joined forces in order to beat
Google AdWords. Yahoo!/Bing ads isn't a cheap alternative to AdWords
but you should also consider it because it is really good. Basically
they offer search advertising (i.e. ads are placed in the search
results of Bing search engine) and if you manage to correctly
identify your keywords, you can see huge results.
3 Amazon Product Ads
The biggest online marketplace is also a huge ad board. Amazon
Product Ads place your ads on product pages. This makes the
positioning very targeted because if a user is reading about a
product similar to yours, your ads are likely to catch his or her
attention. Since Amazon sells everything but space ships, it is a
good alternative for almost any niche because chances are there will
be numerous products in your niche to publish your ads alongside.
In addition to the big three AdWords alternatives (i.e. Facebook,
Yahoo!/Bing ads, and Amazon), there are many smaller ones that still
serve millions of impressions a month. One of them is Clicksor.
It isn't the cheapest alternative because it has $0.05 cents a click
minimum but it is a good one because its conversions are known to be
excellent. If clicks are expensive for you, check the other forms of
ads offered by Clicksor, such as popunders and interstitials that are
CPM or mixed CPM + clicks.
In terms of cost, 7Search is
probably the most cost-effective ad network. It has low per click
minimums, high conversions (though this depends on the niche) but
also high numbers of fraudulent clicks, as some marketers complain.
Nevertheless, even with these allegedly high numbers of fraudulent
clicks, it is still a very good alternative to Google AdWords.
AdBrite is another big ad
network and some marketers claim it works really well for them. Costs
vary a lot depending on your keywords, so as an alternative it isn't
necessarily very cheap (though the same keywords cost much less than
on AdWords). AdBrite offers lots of flexibility in targeting,
numerous ad sizes and types (text ads, banners, BritePic, which are
cute photo ads), and decent conversions ‐ what more can you ask
Bidvertiser is very
similar to Adsense and AdWords. It is another big network of
publishers' sites. What is most distinguishing about Bidvertiser is
its relatively low CPC with moderate to good conversions. It isn't an
alternative for all niches but overall is a good choice.
8 Dynamic Oxygen
Dynamic Oxygen is a
relatively unknown ad network but with some good offers. Similarly to
Clicksor and AdBrite, they offer many more types in addition to PPC.
Its PPC division is not very expensive ($0.03 min bid per click) but
conversions could be a problem because Dynamic Oxygen doesn't have
that many sites to match your ad with, so your ad might end in sites
that are not completely relevant to your niche.
Infolinks is great for
intext ads. Its clicks are cheap, but targeting is a bit of a
problem. It has a requirement that you spend at least $15 a month,
which isn't much (many marketers spend ten times more a day on ads),
especially compared to the $50,000 a month min at Chitika, for
BuySellAds is an ad
marketplace. It's not a PPC network but you can buy ad space on sites
of your choice. Prices vary a lot depending on the traffic of the
site but it is possible to buy an above the fold spot on a relatively
high-traffic site for $15 a month or less. Because of this,
BuySellAds could turn more profitable than PPC. If you choose the
sites well, you can do great because for a flat fee a month you might
be getting targeted clicks at under 1 cent a click.
11 Adknowledge Miva
Adknowledge Miva is just one
more ad network to consider. It offers cheap PPC with decent
conversions, at least in most niches. They have a huge base of
publishers, which means you stand a better chance for your ads to be
run on relevant sites. Some webmasters have complained about
fraudulent clicks but unfortunately these are present with any ad
If you are interested in ads on popular blogs rather than ads on
search engines or other types of sites, BlogAds
is the place for you. They specialize in ads on popular blogs, so you
might want to check if the blogs you are looking for are listed
there. They also do social media advertising, so if your audience is
to be found on social media, you could consider this as an
alternative to reach it.
It is not possible to say which of the AdWords alternative is
best. In some cases one network might do brilliantly, in others it
might be a complete failure. This is why you'd better test with a
small budget how a network works for you. Try the same landing page
with multiple ad networks and see which converts best. And never
forget ‐ you must always measure performance because even if one ad
network used to perform well in the past, things change and you
wouldn't like to waste your money on expensive clicks that don't