Cost-Effective PPC Alternatives To Google Ads For SEM

Cost-Effective PPC Alternatives To Google Ads For SEM

Google Ads is without a doubt one of the most effective online advertising platforms in generating an ROI for your marketing budget. With over 3.5 billion searches per day, Google Ads offers prime online real estate for any business that’s looking to attract new customers. However, depending on the industry and competitiveness of your target keywords, you might find that you need a sizeable budget to start with in order to turn a profit on Google Ads. Despite this, what you may not already know is that there are more cost-effective PPC alternatives to Google Ads that can deliver a healthy ROI, increase sales and grow your business. As such, here are some alternative suggestions to Google Ads.

Google Shopping

Since the rebrand and shake-up in 2012, Google Shopping has grown to become a hugely popular PPC platform, especially for eCommerce based businesses. By enabling users to list product based ads, rather than text based ones, Google have provided business owners with an additional channel with which to market their business an attract new customers. Not only that, but showcasing the product as part of the ad it delivers a better shopping experience for potential customers and a greater ROI for merchants.

In fact, Google Shopping Ads generate 26% higher conversion rates and have a 23% lower cost-per-click (CPC) when compared to text based ads. In many cases, this is due to the fact that when browsing Google Shopping Ads customers exhibit high purchase intent – meaning that they’re already primed to buy, but may be simply browsing for who to buy from. Because of this, many businesses are opting to spend their marketing budget on Google Shopping Ads over traditional Google Ads, where in Q1 of 2018 60% of ad clicks on Google were from Shopping ads so it’s clear people are favouring the newer platform.

Google Display Network

As part of Google Ads, Google Display Network (GDN) consists of over a million blogs, mobile apps, and reputable sites that offers business owners with the opportunity to expand their reach with creative visual ads. Google claim that GDN reaches 90% of Internet users worldwide, so can hugely expand your reach and enable you to promote your products/services to new audiences. In addition, with GDN, you’re able to create ads for free using the easy-to-use Google Display Ad Builder and have heaps of targeting options are your disposal to customise your campaigns.

One of the best features of GDN, though, is that you have access to comprehensive reports on your advertising so that you can track ad engagement and measure impact. All in all, the CPC’s is generally considered to be cheaper on average than text based ads and they can have a much greater impact too, so Display Advertising can prove to be a more cost-effective alternative than conventional Google Ads.

AdRoll/Google Remarketing

Remarketing/Retargeting is where a potential customer visits an online store and adds a specific product – say a pair of ‘Nike trainers’ – to the basket of an online store, before a cookie is stored within the visitor’s browser which then communicates with the remarketing/retargeting platform and serves them an ad for the viewed product. To do this, you should choose from one of two major platforms; Google Remarketing and AdRoll.

Google Remarketing

Google Remarketing is where most online businesses will first get started, as it’s the perfect place to learn more about how it works and how effective it can be for you. While this is a great starting point, though, the major drawback is that it’s not the most customisable as you might like it to be. This means that you’ll only be able to feature your remarketing ads on the Google Display Network, which contains both good and bad sites, so with a fixed budget you’ll get a mix of both. Ultimately, if you want to cherry pick the best performing sites, then you’ll have to use a different platform such as AdRoll.


Retargeting on AdRoll is essentially the same as Google Remarketing, except not only will you have access to the GDN, but also supports it own ad network too. Designed to be more flexible than Google Remarketing, AdRoll enables their customers to select which sites and platforms they want to feature their ad on, making their budget go further. Although AdRoll is known to be relatively expensive, it can easily boost conversion rates and generate additional revenue so it’s definitely something worth considering.


In summary, while there are plenty of other marketing platforms that operate on a PPC model aside from the ones mentioned, Google Ads really is the best platform there is. However, sometimes you may just not have the budget available to generate a healthy ROI for the keyword groups you’re targeting. If this is the case, then you should be looking to more cost-effective PPC alternatives that won’t break the bank, but still generate new sales and traffic. With that in mind, why not take advantage of the other options available to you as mentioned throughout this piece!

Alison Morgan