Professional and experienced marketers need the right tools to help them effectively promote and sell their products or services.
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is one of the most commonly used methods. However, not everyone does it right. This type of marketing requires a lot of effort as it has many aspects to take care of.
Thankfully, you can choose from dozens of PPC tools and platforms that can take your business to another level. These solutions can help you run a successful PPC campaign, reduce your advertising budget, and increase sales.
There are many contextual advertising tools available, but before you decide to use one, it’s important to compare the capabilities of each tool and platform. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the best PPC solutions. Check them out below and make an informed choice.
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Table of Contents
Top PPC Solutions to Increase Your Ad Presence in 2021
You already know that Google is the largest PPC advertising network, with a global market share of more than 78%. Let’s put that share in numerical terms so you have an idea of its real meaning.
- 40,000 searches every second;
- 3.5 billion searches every day;
- 1.2 trillion searches a year worldwide.
Simply put, Google is the most popular search engine (excluding China with its restrictions on Google services) and the best way to reach most Internet users worldwide. This popularity makes it very likely that anyone in your target audience uses Google, so it’s a great platform no matter what industry you’re in.
However, for the same reason, your competitors are also likely to advertise with Google, so the cost per click can be incredibly high for the most competitive keywords.
In addition to being the largest PPC advertising network, Google also offers a great selection of free tools, like Google Analytics and Keyword Planner, to help you make your marketing efforts as impactful as possible.
Moreover, Google Display Network (GDN) leads the industry with PPC media advertising available on websites like YouTube, Blogger, and some of the most visited websites around the world.
Google Ads features:
- The broadest reach of customers worldwide (over 90% of Internet users worldwide);
- Wide range of bidding ways;
- Huge set of tools to optimize your PPC campaign.
Google AdWords Editor
If you’re constantly working on huge ad campaigns or campaigns from different accounts in Google AdWords, then you need Google AdWords Editor. It has almost everything you need to edit and optimize your ads. And although it’s similar to AdWords you can use online, the desktop version is 3-5 times faster, which makes it simply indispensable.
Bing Ads Editor
If you use Bing Ads, then Bing Ads Editor is your number one PPC tool. With this all-in-one solution, you’ll be able to manage your ad campaigns with no hassle.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Google Ads that offers a low cost per click, compared to Google, and still has excellent reach, then Microsoft Ads is a tempting option. Like Google, Microsoft Ads offers paid search results as well as a selection of popular websites where you can place your banner, video, or content ads.
While the choice of affiliate websites to display ads is not that huge (compared to Google), advertising on MSN, “Yahoo!,” and AOL definitely has its perks.
Another argument in favor of Microsoft’s PPC ad network is that users of relevant sites tend to make a lot of money.
Below are a few statistical facts about Microsoft Ads and Bing Ads:
- 5.4 billion searches per month;
- 36% market share in the U.S only;
- 20% market share in the UK;
- 1/3 of global market share.
When you look at the Microsoft advertising network from this angle, it looks quite tempting, doesn’t it?
Bing Ads features:
- Relatively cheap cost per click;
- Users from affluent backgrounds (especially in the U.S.);
- Lower competition for keywords and search phrases;
- Ability to choose advertiser-paid search engine results and media ads;
- Great for ad campaigns in the B2B segment.
In the USA, Optmyzr has won the “Best PPC Management Software Suite” award, which was absolutely well-deserved. The suite of tools offers lots of useful settings (bid optimization, data visualization, advanced reporting, and scripts) so you can better manage your AdWords and Bing Ads campaigns.
For instance, you can expect lots of great tools for every aspect of a Google Ads accounts. These include improved PPC performance and one-click optimizations, enhanced scripts, Slack integration, PPC insights, reporting & monitoring, budget optimization, alerts for KPIs and account policies, shopping campaigns, multi-platform PPC, and much more! Optmuzr invites you to get more eCommerce accounts and create better shopping campaigns.
Paid plans start at $208/month, and there’s also a free 14-day trial.
This advertising network offers a diverse, yet attractive, advertising package. While Google and Microsoft Ads are based on search, Facebook Ads is focused on targeting. This means users don’t necessarily have to actively search for something to see your ads. Instead, you can place your ads on the two biggest social media feeds, Facebook and Instagram.
You can also show your ads on Facebook Messenger and Facebook Audience Network, an off-Facebook, an in-app advertising network for mobile apps. The emphasis is mostly on advertising within mobile apps. So if your business is built around those or focuses on their users, this ad network is definitely worth your time and money. After all, in-feed ads on Facebook or Instagram can be very effective.
Facebook’s algorithms allow you to show your ads to people from certain demographic groups and with relevant interests. Moreover, since your ads don’t really show up in search results, they’re more like regular, “natural” content.
You have to keep in mind that Facebook ads (incl. those on Facebook Audience Network) have to be visually acute. It’s not just about a text-only ad format, as is the case with advertising in search results. On Facebook, you can see beautifully designed and catchy ads with clickable content that users are happy to share.
The average cost per click on Facebook Ads is usually lower than on Google and Bing, averaging about $1.72.
Facebook Ads features:
- Great for targeting certain demographic groups;
- Native ads can be very effective;
- Visually acute ads are most effective on Facebook Ads and (especially) on Instagram.
- No need to bargain for keywords – your ads will be shown to your target audience whether it’s searching for something or not;
- Great opportunities for mobile app developers;
- Relatively low pay-per-click rates.
LinkedIn is a business social network known as “Facebook for Professionals” and it’s showing steady growth in popularity as a PPC platform. The reason for this phenomenon is that advertisers have access to a platform that is used by people with good education, business acumen, high purchasing power, and a desire to buy/use products/services.
As with Facebook, you can target your ads to specific demographic groups. With LinkedIn, though, you can choose from professional marketers, executives, and entrepreneurs. If you provide services to commercial clients, i.e., you work in the B2B industry, then you’ve probably previously considered using LinkedIn Ads.
As with all the other advertising networks above, your advertising on LinkedIn can come in a variety of forms:
- Sponsored posts (in-feed ads);
- InMail (sending messages directly to specific leads);
- Text ads;
- Dynamic ads;
- Contextual media advertising, which includes LinkedIn’s advertising partners.
So what is the average cost per click for LinkedIn Ads?
LinkedIn is asking $2 as the minimum bid in bidding for pay-per-click and pay-per-thousand-view ads. Therefore, LinkedIn can no longer be considered the cheapest PPC advertising network.
Interestingly enough, for said InMail messages, they offer the cost-per-send (CPS) payment model with a fixed price for each delivered message sent to a recipient. That price is approximately $0.10 per sent message.
However, as for the quality of the network’s user audience, at least from the perspective of B2B marketers, other advertising networks will have a hard time competing with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Ads features:
- Exceptional access to an audience of active professionals;
- Ability to place native advertising (sponsored content);
- Boosted direct marketing with InMail messaging;
- Excellent targeting of demographic groups.
Taboola is the first dedicated native advertising platform on our list that you’ve very likely already seen on your favorite news site. Taboola specializes in sponsored content, which is greatly embedded into any list of news articles or content that Taboola’s partner websites publish.
It’s like Google Adsense and Google’s contextual media network, but for a list of carefully selected websites.
What does Taboola look like from a marketer’s perspective?
If you want your brand to appear on websites like Business Insider, Forbes, or The New York Times, then Taboola is a quite affordable and effective solution.
You’ll need to create content that piques people’s interest and converts them into real customers while not looking like spam. Yes, such content typically means a blog post or news article about your product or service.
As far as payment models go, you can choose from cost per mile (AKA cost per thousand or pay per thousand impressions (views)) or pay per click.
The average cost per click on Taboola is usually only a few cents, which makes it one of the most affordable ad networks.
Another difference between Taboola and GDN or Google Adsense is that websites of this ad network must meet high-quality standards. In other words, all of the websites have more than a million visitors per month, whereas Adsense websites can have a generally arbitrary amount of traffic.
- Created specifically for content marketing;
- Low cost per click, compared to other ad networks;
- Quality websites with a large number of visitors;
- Useful for retargeting, which is based on what actions related to your products or services users have done online before.
Outbrain is currently owned by Taboola so it’s pretty much the same ad network. Both are focused on content marketing and include a selection of quality websites.
So what’s the difference between Outbrain and Taboola?
Typically, Taboola sites attract more visitors and include industry giants like Forbes.
Outbrain, however, won’t shirk when it comes to displaying your content on its network of ad publishers. Your ads will appear on sites like The Guardian, CNN, Wired, Conde Nast Traveler, and Cosmopolitan.
Plus, Outbrain averages a low cost per click, reportedly at $0.10, while Taboola averages $0.45.
- Great selection of websites that advertise;
- Lower cost per click compared to Taboola, Outbrain’s owner.
Another similar advertising platform to Taboola and Outbrain. While RevContent doesn’t boast of top websites, it does have a good reach of U.S. audiences.
According to the dev team, RevContent is the highest-growth native advertising network in the world. So if you’re looking for a platform with growth potential and a much lower level of competition, RevContent may be a reasonable option.
For a PPC advertising network with a relatively small reach, one would assume that the average cost per click would be quite low here. However, users say that the cost per click on RevContent is about the same as on Taboola, which is about $0.44.
- Fastest-growing native PPC ad network in the world;
- Low level of competition;
- Thousands of affiliate websites ready to display your ad content to visitors.
Additional PPC Tools You Can Use to Increase Your Ad Presence
Free AdWords Performance Grader
Audit your AdWords account in 60 seconds or less with AdWords Performance Grader from WordStream Advisor. The latter is an online advertising management software solution by WordStream, Inc. With it, you can manage your Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook Ads campaigns from one dashboard.
AdEspresso is a great Facebook ad tool to create, optimize, and analyze campaigns. You can start with a free 14-day trial to test out the app. Monthly rates start at $49.
Keyword and Competitor Research
Want to learn more about your competitors? SEMrush is one of the best solutions to find out your competitors’ valuable keyword and domain statistics. It will cost you $58 per account per month (paid annually).
SpyFu has a lot of cool features not available in other similar solutions. You can download competitor keywords through a user-friendly interface, with all the information available. Annual plans start at $33/month (Basic): 5 projects, 500 keywords to track (+weekly updates), 10,00 results per support.
iSpionage is a simple competitor analysis tool that provides accurate, up-to-date information about websites. Paid plans start at $59/month.
Call Tracking, Analytics, and Conversion Rate Optimization
Calls represent an incredible value to companies. You need to know who’s calling you and why. With Invoca, you can record and track all-important business calls. The service integrates with 30 platforms. Free trial available and custom pricing (prices start at $1,000 per month).
Twitter Analytics and Twitter Ads
Twitter Analytics is a treasure trove of information. Use it to find out how many people are following your tweets, how effective your campaigns are, and which countries your followers live in. Contact Twitter Analytics to get current pricing.
By the way, Twitter Ads is a useful PPC advertising tool designed for entrepreneurs. This is where advertisers can choose from the following ad types:
- Sponsored Tweets;
- Sponsored accounts;
- Sponsored hashtags;
- Sponsor Moments (special tweets about world events).
For a fixed monthly cost of $99, Twitter Ads can become an effective method of pay-per-click advertising promotion.
As with all social media, the benefits of using PPC advertising on Twitter allow you to target by interest, demographics, and geographic location of users.
Need to create a landing page? Try Unbounce and choose among over 80 templates to create any type of landing page (merchandise, discounts, ebooks, etc.). Prices start at $90/month (up to 500 conversions and 20,000 visitors, 1 domain), but you can also try a free trial.
All plans include the Smart Builder (AI-based landing page creation) and Classic Builder (AI copywriting assistant for writing and remixing content), unlimited landing pages, unlimited popups, and unlimited sticky bars.
With LeadPages, you can create a simple landing page or choose from dozens of pre-made templates. Cost from $27 (Standard): 1 site, landing pages, pop-ups, alert bars, unlimited traffic, and leads, free custom domain, free hosting, mobile-responsive site templates, lead notifications, tech support, 40+ standard integrations.
Contextual Advertising Texts
BuzzSumo offers the most popular content. Eye-catching headlines will attract lots of likes and reposts to your ads!
You can expect content analysis reports, domain reports, influencer searches, backlinks, journalist profiles. BuzzSumo paid plans to start at $99/month (Pro): unlimited monthly searches, 1 year of data, 5 users/alerts, unlimited projects and items, 10 custom feeds. There’s also a free plan (10 free searches/month, 1 year of data (max 1,000 results), 1 user, 1 content project, 1 custom feed.
Ubersuggest allows you to find keyword ideas. You enter one keyword and choose among thousands of similar queries. Prices start from $12/month (Individual). The cheapest plan includes the following features:
- Step by step SEO training course;
- Templates & worksheets;
- Biweekly coaching and Q&A call;
- Email support;
- 100 reports per day;
- 3 projects;
- 100 tracked keywords per project;
- Data reporting;
- 20,000 keyword suggestions;
- 2,000 content ideas;
- 3 years of link history;
- 2,000 backlink rows.
There’s so much more in every package, plus, you can also try a 7-day free trial.
Creating and Searching for Ad Images
Stencil was created specifically for content managers, but you can use it to quickly make an ad. Before running it, make sure your image is not copyright protected!
With Stencil, you can save images, use beautiful templates, Google fonts (or upload your custom fonts), logo/watermarks, upload up to 250 images, keep up to 100 favorites, create up to 25 collections.
Stencil’s free plan will, however, limit your options, and the paid plan starts from a $9 account (Pro, paid annually). The third plan (Unlimited) will, obviously, grant you unlimited access to storage, creation, and upload functionality.
Gifntext is cool stuff. You can create awesome GIFs to use in your ads. The best thing is that there are no forced watermarks. Add moving text and images over your GIFs, control when your text appears and customize its color and outline, add captions or subs, crop, resize, reverse and speed up (or slow down) your GIFs.
We didn’t want to tell you about this application because almost nobody uses it. But uh… here you go.
We know you love AdWords Scripts! Who doesn’t?! Scripts will automate the tasks that take the most time. Daniel Gilbert and Brainlabs have a wonderful collection of AdWords scripts, from split A/B testing to exact matches.
Google AdWords App.
If you want to place ads in an Uber (or whatever) apps, you’re in luck. This is a great and fast app for Android and iOS that allows you to assign bids for keywords, activate/deactivate objects in AdWords (e.g. campaigns, ads, groups). However, you can’t create new texts for ads and campaigns or add new keywords.
Facebook Ads Manager App
With the Facebook Ads Manager App (for iOS and Android) you can manage your campaigns: track ad performance, edit and adjust your budget, and even create new ads – all from your cell phone.
Google Analytics App
The features available in mobile Google Analytics are a little limited. And by “little” we mean “a lot.” But if you’re on the go and need to quickly check stats or a report, this app is great.
As you may have noticed, advertisers have a wide variety of ad networks and tools to choose from. Choosing the best one out of them is not easy. Definitely, the best of the universal ad networks is Google Ads, which offers the largest search engine with the ability to place contextual ads in search results, as well as a contextual media network with the richest selection of affiliate websites that place ads.
However, if you’re looking for a tool or a platform to target certain demographic groups or a pay-per-click advertising channel with less competition, our list can help you decide on that.
For example, if your ads need to target entrepreneurs, LinkedIn Ads may be your best bet. And if you’re thinking about using pay-per-click native advertising, we hope you’ll listen to one of our recommendations.