Three Google Ads Alternatives For 2019

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Google as a search platform is free to use and getting organic traffic is amazing, but it doesn’t really come without cost. It takes a lot of time and resources for your website to rank organically and if it’s not on the first page of SERP then it might not even exist. According to Statista in October 2018, Google had 90.28% share of global search traffic, while Microsoft Advertising (previously known as Bing Ads) had 3.82% and Yahoo 2.76%. When advertising on Google your business will start getting visitors instantly but due to the level of competition, there is a certain cost.

The majority of Google’s revenue comes from Google Ads platform and in 2018 it was somewhere around $136 billion.

Even though Google’s dominance is unprecedented, businesses should still look for more opportunities to reach their customer base. Below, we discuss a few of the options available for your business.

Microsoft Advertising Platform

As the second largest search and ads platform Microsoft Advertising had 3.82% share of the global search traffic in 2018. It is owned by Microsoft, one of the world’s largest companies, and it currently generates around 12 billion monthly search requests, a large percentage of these coming from the United States and UK. In August 2017, Microsoft Advertising had 977 million searches from the United Kingdom.

One interesting fact is that in March 2018, 20% of Microsoft Advertising users in the United States were aged between 45 and 54.

If you are already running paid campaigns on Google, you can import them directly into Microsoft Advertising.

Microsoft Ads platform

Obviously, Microsoft Advertising is not even close to Google in regards to search volumes but it can still make a significant improvement to your business sales and should not be disregarded without testing. Historically, due to lower competition on the platform, most advertisers see a lower cost per conversion compared to Google Ads.

Facebook Ads Advertising Platform

Being the largest social network in the world, Facebook provides excellent opportunities to advertise your business. With the number of active monthly users constantly rising and reaching 2.4 billion in the 4th quarter of 2018, Facebook revenue hit a staggering $55 billion with a net profit of $22 billion. As the number one social network, Facebook revenue and profits mainly come via its advertising platform.

Facebook Ads platform

Facebook For Ads allows users to advertise on 5 different platforms:

1, Facebook Ads

The Facebook Ads platform with its enormous reach of around 2.5 billion users around the world can be quite overwhelming to use. Facebook claims that over 1.6 billion people worldwide are connected to a small business on Facebook. There are many ways in which the benefits of such a vast opportunity can be leveraged. If you’d like to get your content, product or services in front of a large audience Facebook Paid Ads could help.

Quick tip:

  • Register for Facebook Ads manager and manage your accounts, pages and ads from there.
  • Before you start advertising using Facebook Paid Ads think of the GOALS you would like to accomplish as this can be important when it comes to choosing your campaign objectives. As an example, you might want to increase your website traffic, get more leads, more brand exposure and so on.
Facebook Ads marketing objective view

2, Instagram Ads

Another social media advertising platform under the Facebook umbrella is Instagram. It is a photo-sharing application which Facebook acquired in 2012 for $1 billion, and according to Statista, Instagram reached 1 billion active monthly users in June 2018. That’s a huge number! At that time Mark Zuckerberg issued a statement confirming the future growth of Instagram as a separate platform that would complement Facebook.

Instagram ads statistics

Instagram as a photo sharing application offers the following ad formats incorporated into feeds and stories: Photo ads, Video ads, Carousels, Collection ads and Story ads.

In order to start advertising on Instagram, you will need a Facebook Ads manager which you probably already have if you were previously running any Facebook campaigns. You will have to click on “Claim New Instagram Account”, type username and password, authorise your Instagram account and you are good to go.

Quick tip:

  • Make sure you give serious thought before deciding on appropriate targeting in terms of location, interest, custom audiences, demographics, behaviours and lookalike audiences.
  • Follow the recommended best practices for aspect ratios.
Aspect ratios for Facebook and Instagram ads and stories

3, Audience Network

Audience Network Placements is another advertising channel offered by Facebook. Its sole purpose is to allow advertisers to reach more customers reaching apps and mobile sites outside of Facebook. On its page, Facebook claims that in cases where advertisers removed Audience Network Placements they got, on average, 15% fewer conversions. The additional benefit is that you do not need to add new creatives, you can use existing ones which will resize and adapt to fit the placement type.

Facebook audience network placements

4, Messenger Ads

According to Facebook, 1.3 billion people use messenger every day and running ads on Facebook Messenger could be the most appropriate way for your business to reach that audience. You can run all types of ads and creatives that you are already using on Facebook or Instagram, such as photo, video, carousel, dynamic ads etc. Once you start running the ads people will be able to see them in the messenger and if they click on the add it would take the action you have set up previously.

5, WhatsApp

In February 2014, Facebook acquired another popular app for $19 billion. This time it was WhatsApp, a popular messaging app that allowed users to send free messages by using internet connection. At the time WhatsApp had more than 450 million active users.

After only 5 years WhatsApp has 1.5 billion active users per month and as such, it could be an important communication tool for your business. Using the free WhatsApp Business app, businesses can reach and interact with their customers at any required scale with no impact on efficiency.

Whatsapp statistics

Amazon Advertising

Amazon is an international e-commerce company selling a vast number of products, such as groceries, consumer electronics, digital content and much more. According to figures, Amazon is a leading US online retailer with $232 billion of revenue in 2018. Most of the revenue is generated through online sales of electronics and other products, followed by third-party seller revenues, subscription services and cloud computing activities.

Amazon allows retailers to advertise on its platform through:

Sponsored Products

If you ever bought anything on Amazon you have seen the Sponsored Product Ads and they are used to promote individual listings. What makes them apart from regular listings is a “sponsored” label next to the product title.

It is quite easy to start with Sponsored Products Ads and the model is based on pay per click. You need to choose the products you would like to advertise, decide on keywords and how high you`d like to bid on them (It is more favourable to start with a small budget).

Sponsored Brands

Unlike Sponsored Product Ads which are published immediately, Sponsored Brands Ads must undergo moderation review. Their main purpose is to help registered brand owners promote their company and products.

Amazon offers £20 worth of in-click promotional credit which expires if unused after 90 days and can not be transferred.


It’s undeniable that advertising through Google Ads is a must for just about any business, however, depending on your goals and your audience, there are certainly more options out there to get your message in front of the right people, at the right time and on the right platform.

Here at Optimyzd, we offer a range of digital services such as paid search and display (Pay Per Click or PPC for short), paid social advertising, native advertising and more. In case you are thinking of starting with PPC advertising these are The Top Ten Most Important Questions to Ask Any PPC Agency.

Want to get more leads/customers without increasing your ad spend?

By targeting campaigns better, by testing ads, by testing landing pages and by continually optimising every aspect of the campaigns we run, you can get a better return on your ad spend.

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