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Pros and Cons of Paid Search Platforms

The pros and cons of paid search (PPC) platforms

There are a lot of places, these days, to spend your PPC budget and it can be difficult to know whether to pick and choose the most relevant platforms or risk spreading yourself too thin. Thankfully, we’re here to help with a quick round up of the main platforms’ pros and cons

Google AdWords


  • Easy to use – quick set up and user friendly interface.
  • Great and immediate reach – you can appear on the first page of largest search engine.
  • Numerous options – with paid search, display, retargeting and others all on one platform.
  • No minimum budget – available to businesses of all sizes.
  • Full and immediate control – want to make a change, pull an ad or run a test straight away? You can.


  • Payment per click – if you’re receiving a lot of irrelevant clicks, it can quickly become expensive.
  • Hard to master – while it’s easy to begin, it takes work to ensure your keywords are relevant and ads are competitive in bid and quality.

Best Practices for adwords eBook download now

Bing Ads


  • Less expensive than Google – as the platform is less popular, the reach is less but so is the cost per click for well targeted ads.
  • Better chance of top of the page listing – Bing shows up to four ads, one more than Google, at the top of results.
  • Cortana is performing well – Microsoft’s digital assistant could well offer access to millions of Windows users.
  • Bing’s users are older – offering the ability to target this specific demographic harder and for less outlay.


  • Lower click through rate than Google – according to comScore, ads on Bing generally receive fewer click throughs.
  • Fewer extensions – the augmentation options for a Bing ad are few (though improving).
  • Smaller audience – if you’re targeting a <35 demographic, Bing has fewer users than Google.

bing shopping ads

Yahoo Gemini


  • Yes, it’s still a thing.
  • Native advertising – appearing on Yahoo Sport, Yahoo’s home page, social sites such as Tumblr and a variety of customisation options make Yahoo’s native advertising an interesting option.


  • It’s still on Yahoo.

Facebook Ads


  • The world’s largest social platform – Facebook gives you a potentially huge reach due to its active user numbers.
  • Targeting – as well as having a lot of active users, Facebook also has a lot of data on them and allows for extensive targeting.
  • Inexpensive – with ad campaigns happily running for as little as a dollar a day, there’s a Facebook budget for businesses large and small.
  • Native split testing – A/B testing permits tailored testing through Facebook’s own Power Editor.
  • Comprehensive data – Facebook’s native analytics platform for ads is as thorough as any other allowing for data-driven optimisation.


  • Clutter – due to the nature of the newsfeed, drawing the consumer’s eye can be difficult.
  • Low CTR – the click through rate on Facebook is much lower than on AdWords, as are conversions.
  • In flux – Facebook is going through changes and it remains to be seen how various privacy, news and other crack downs will affect advertising.

Marketer's Guide to Facebook eBook

YouTube Ads


  • Reach – with over a billion users, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine after its parent company Google.
  • Cost – with the first five seconds essentially free, YouTube offers a great way to pitch to prospective consumers without spending big.
  • Multiple options – with pre-roll, display and promoted videos there are a number of ways to reach your audience.


  • Lack of third party tracking – makes it difficult to independently carry out tracking and measurement.
  • Targeting is hit and miss – with all videos tagged by creators, your ad can end up appearing on videos with little or no brand relevance.


Twitter Ads


  • Second largest social platform – with 328 million active users, your potential audience is massive.
  • Easy to use – there’s little you need to get a Twitter campaign up and running, making it one of the easiest platforms to advertise on.
  • Keyword targeting – while Facebook allows topic targeting, Twitter allows greater specificity, targeting phrases and hashtags.
  • Offers retargeting – you can now specifically target consumers who have already engaged with your brand.
  • You only pay for completing an objective – there are no additional costs even if your post, somehow, goes viral.


  • The feed moves fast for most users, meaning there’s every chance you could miss your mark by seconds.
  • Campaigns can, and often are, co-opted if there is a weakness or opportunity shown (ask Walkers and many more).
  • Cost per click is greater than Facebook (and, often, Google), meaning Twitter campaigns can seem expensive.

Twitter eBook Download

For more information on paid search platforms or for help making the most of your PPC budget, contact us today.

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