When people think of digital advertising, Google Ads is often the first thing that comes to mind. The platform enables brands to tap into audiences on Google properties — some of the world’s most popular websites — including Google Search, YouTube, and Google Play.
Search ad spend is expected to reach $95 billion in 2022 in the US alone — up from $55 billion in 2019 — accounting for a massive 34% of all online ad spend this year. And Google Ads is responsible for the majority of that search market share.
But as the Google Ads space becomes increasingly crowded, advertisers have been seeing continual rises in prices, with many finding their campaign performance reaching a plateau.
If this sounds familiar, you might be wondering: what are my options? Is there really a viable alternative to Google Ads?
Let’s take a look.
What is Google Ads (or Adwords)?
Originally known as Google AdWords, Google Ads is a digital advertising platform which brands use to launch campaigns across Google properties including Google Search, YouTube, Gmail, and Maps. Google allows brands to run ads that help them meet specific goals, like generating website traffic, driving phone calls, or increasing store visits.
The most common Google Ads formats include:
- Search ads: They show up at the top of the Google Search results page when someone makes a search that includes specific keywords.
- Display ads: These image ads show up on Google-owned properties, as well as websites and apps in the Google Display Network (GDN).
- Video ads: These short videos play at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of YouTube videos.
Google Ads uses a pay-per-click (PPC) model, so advertisers only spend money when someone clicks on their ad. Their cost-per-click (CPC) is determined by an automated bidding process, which is set up through the Google Ad Manager (GAM) platform.
When a brand runs a campaign, they can choose their maximum CPC so they don’t go over budget. If they bid too low, however, they risk losing to the competition and missing out on valuable opportunities to reach customers.
The average Google Ads cost-per-click is $1-2, according to WordStream. But that CPC can increase dramatically depending on your industry and target keywords. Keywords relating to mortgages, for example, have an average CPC of $47.12, while insurance related keywords have an even higher average CPC of $54.91.
What are the best alternatives to Google Ads?
Social Media Platforms
Brands seeking alternatives to Google Ads might think of turning to social networking services. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok all offer advertising solutions that let brands target their audiences with image and video campaigns.
One issue with these platforms is — even if you can master targeting on each individual social network — your campaigns are stuck inside their walled gardens. And so your reach is limited by the audience of a particular social site. Another issue is that the companies behind these platforms, like Meta which runs Facebook and Instagram, keep your campaign data locked within their platforms — making it difficult to leverage insights to launch campaigns elsewhere.
Native Ad Platforms such as Taboola Ads
Native advertising platforms help brands target consumers on the open web, in contrast to within the limits of any brand’s digital properties, be it a social network like Meta or a search engine such as Google. Native ads closely match the surrounding content to not appear out of place, as can be the case with other ad formats, for example, banners.
Taboola Ads is one native advertising solution for reaching engaged audiences across top publisher sites like MSN, The Independent, Business Insider, NBC News, and BBC.com. As the web’s largest content network, Taboola offers massive reach — delivering 400 billion monthly content recommendations to 500 million daily active users across 9,000 premium properties. As such, Taboola Ads is a solid choice for native advertising.
With Taboola Ads, brands can turn their dynamic content — like articles, quizzes, and videos — into native ads that reach consumers at every stage in the marketing funnel. Campaigns can be tailored to drive brand awareness, grow website traffic, capture high-quality leads, and increase conversions and sales.
How does Taboola Ads compare to Google Ads?
Taboola Ads is one of the few solutions that can truly compete with Google Ads in terms of scale. In fact, as the world’s largest content discovery platform, Taboola serves more than 360 billion content recommendations to over one billion people on the web each month.
Advertisers can reach built-in audiences across Taboola’s network of premium publisher sites. Advertisers find this particularly beneficial as they can reach their unique target audience across multiple individual publisher networks, all in one advertising platform.
They can deliver ads above the fold, mid-article, or in a continuous feed at the bottom of the page — reaching audiences when they’re already engaged with the subject matter and interested in purchasing related products.
Taboola also offers a range of dynamic ad formats, including:
- Image Ads — made up of an image, headline, and optional description and CTA button.
- Motion Ads — graphic, eye-catching images that move for up to 15 seconds.
- Video Ads — immersive ads that integrate seamlessly into the content feed.
So, how do Taboola Ads and Google Ads compare?
The main similarities between Taboola Ads and Google Ads include:
- Massive reach: Google Ads helps brands reach customers across Google properties and Display Network sites, while Taboola Ads helps brands reach customers on premium publisher sites across the open web.
- PPC models: Both ad solutions use a PPC pricing model to help advertisers optimize their budgets to drive clicks and conversions.
Still, Taboola Ads offers distinct benefits from Google Ads with these major differences:
- Contextual targeting: While Google uses third-party cookies — which will soon become obsolete — to target customers, Taboola distributes campaigns using contextual targeting. In other words, context-driven signals to reach people with ads which are relevant to the content they’re consuming at that moment.
- Potentially lower costs: Taboola uses SmartBid — an AI-powered, automated bidding tool — to optimize your bids to drive conversions. While Google’s CPCs can easily become inflated, especially in certain industries, Taboola can help you better manage your spend to meet your goals.
Branch out with Taboola Ads
There’s more to advertising than search campaigns. And there’s more to the web than Google sites. For an effective addition to Google Ads — with no compromise on scale — try launching a Taboola Ads campaign.
Since Taboola Ads offers massive reach across top publisher properties, contextual targeting, and the ability to generate leads and conversions, it can be the perfect solution to complement Google Ads campaigns. You can use both solutions to grab customer attention across the open web — without being limited to just one platform.
Ready to expand your reach, and grow your conversions? Get started with Taboola Ads.