6 Powerful Online PPC Advertising Networks’ Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s difficult advertising online. It can be a struggle to find the right PPC ad networks. You have questions. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Google Ads? We’re here to help.

We will take advantage of Vantage’s experience in the PPC world to explain the strengths and weaknesses of some of the most popular online PPC ad networks.

By the end, you will have a strong understanding of which online PPC ad networks are right for you.

The PPC Ad Networks

  1. Google Ads
    1. Goodle Ads Search
    2. Google Ads Remarketing
    3. Google Ads Shopping
  2. The Google Display Network
  3. Bing Ads
  4. Facebook Ads
  5. LinkedIn Ads
  6. YouTube Ads

Google AdWords, the biggest of the PPC ad networks Google Strengths: Google’s search network share is enormous at almost 69%. They also boast a 31.1% share of the digital advertising market. This is one of the PPC ad networks that you want to be on.

Google Ads Search shows ads to customers the moment they search for the products and/or services that you offer by using keywords to determine a search’s relevancy. This means that ads are only shown to people who have buying intent and are likely to click your ad, boosting lead generation and/or eCommerce sales.

Another positive thing about Google Ads Search is that you only have to pay for your advertisement when someone clicks on it.

Google Weaknesses: If a potential customer does not know who you are or what your product is, they’re probably not going to be entering a relevant search, meaning your ads won’t show. Google Ads Search is not as effective as the Display Network for the building of brand awareness.

There are also character limits on the advertisements that show up.

Finally, the top three spots of the results page get the vast majority of traffic, meaning that competition is high to place in one of these spots and the cost of clicks in these spots can reflect that.

Example: A person might search for a law firm in Vancouver on Google. This ad could show up:

A search advertisement for vancouver law firm

The ad features a dark blue headline, a green URL, grey ad text and phone number, links to different sections of the business’s site, and a location extension that will show where they are on Google Maps.


Google Ads Remarketing

Google AdWords Retargeting, the biggest of the PPC ad networksRemarketing Strengths: According to SteelHouse, as much as 99% of traffic will not convert on a first-time website visit.

Remarketing gives businesses the ability to show ads to past visitors, creating a second chance for a sale. These ads can be personalized with enticing offers that cater to where and what the customer looked at on your website.

Remarketing ads experience more success as they can reach your customers further down the purchasing funnel. In fact, remarketing ads have a 3x more likely click-through-rate and can boost ad response by 400% according to Wishpond. Remarketing ads only cost money when they are clicked.

Remarketing Weaknesses: Unfortunately, remarketing ads can get creepy if they are served any more than 3 times according to Kissmetrics. Another downside is that remarketing ads might also be showing to people who have decided to buy a similar product or service elsewhere, making your advertisement irrelevant.

Example: If you’re a previous visitor of our site, you might have seen this ad on the web a couple of times:
An example of an AdWords remarketing ad from Vantage Search Marketing

Google Ads Shopping

Google AdWords Shopping, the biggest of the PPC ad networksShopping Strengths: Google Ads Shopping ads take advantage of Google’s network to display products to customers who are searching for them. These ads display visual depictions of the product as well as pricing information. These ads are paid for only when someone clicks on them.

Google Ads shopping is essential for competitive eCommerce businesses who want their products to display when people search on Google. A case study details how Google shopping tripled click-through-rate and raised conversions for Front End Audio.

Shopping Weaknesses: Google Shopping requires coordination between Google Merchant Center and Google Ads. Once the two are connected, it is essential that the Merchant Center feed is kept up to date because any discrepancies between a website and its corresponding Shopping ads will cause them not to show.

Example: A simple search for “buy ps4” displays these ads in the upper right corner of the search results page.
An example of an AdWords Shopping ad for PS4s

2. The Google Display Network

Google Display Network Ads, the biggest of the PPC ad networks Display Network Strengths:The Google Display Network consists of over a million websites, videos, and apps where rich media advertisements can be used to entice customers into clicking your ads.

Brands increase awareness with the Display network’s impressive reach. If managed correctly, this extensive reach can also result in an enormous volume of leads or eCommerce sales.

PPC managers choose relevant keywords, topics and specific websites that target your ideal customer. Additionally, payment is only required when someone clicks an advertisement.

Display Network Weaknesses: If your business does not translate well into visuals, the efficacy of the Google Display Network might be poor. The Display Network might also yield fewer conversions as customers might be seeing your brand for the first time, meaning they might not be ready to make a purchase when they see it. Results from the display network can also be volatile due to its sheer volume.

Example: On a website describing mobile phone apps, this ad was shown.

An example of a google display network advertisement, in this case, for Rocketcases

3. Bing Ads

Strengths and weaknesses of Bing Ads, one of the PPC ad networks Bing Strengths: While it might seem like Google is the only player in the search market, Bing and Yahoo’s search networks cannot be ignored. Because Yahoo and Bing are partners, Bing Ads has access to both of their PPC ad networks, accounting for over 19% of worldwide search market share. Bing Ads also claims to have a user base that is older and that makes more money. The best part about the Bing network is that the cost you pay for each click is generally lower than what you would pay on the Google network. This affordability is due to some advertisers ignoring the network, meaning lighter competition and a better ROI than Google Ads.

Bing Weaknesses: Bing Ads simply does not have the reach that the Google network does. We only recommend the Bing network for advertising in the United States as the Canadian market share is small and does not see the results usually expected. The set of tools available for Bing Ads are also not as advanced or developed as Google Ads’.

Example: An example of what an ad might look like on the Bing network. You can see that it’s fairly similar to an Google Ad’s ad.
An example of a Bing Ads text ad, in this case, from RBC

4. Facebook Ads

Strengths and weaknesses of Facebook Ads, one of the PPC ad networks Facebook Ads Strengths: Facebook PPC advertising is powerful. With approximately 1.44 billion users to reach, Facebook Ads is one of the giant PPC ad networks.

A plus side to Facebook PPC advertising is that ads are usually cheaper per click than on the Google network. Ads on the Facebook network can also have a slightly longer description than Google Ads. You can also create audiences that take advantage of Facebook’s massive amount of data. These audiences allow advertisers to target their ads using interests, demographics, and other data, similar to traditional advertising.

You can also promote content that isn’t necessarily an ad, like a blog post, with Facebook.

Facebook Ads Weaknesses: Facebook advertising does not cater to conversions as the customers you’re reaching with your ads may only be discovering your product for the first time, and they’re on facebook in a mindset that isn’t necessarily conducive to purchasing. Facebook ads are also short-lived and best for quick promotions. Customers grow uninterested when your ads show up multiple times in their news feeds.

Example: Facebook ads often include two calls to action, a like this page option, and an option to make a conversion.

An example of a Facebook advertisement, in this case, from NCIX


5. LinkedIn Ads

Strengths and weaknesses of LinkedIn Ads, one of the PPC ad networks LinkedIn Ads Strengths: LinkedIn is a network of business professionals where B2B ads work wonders. LinkedIn accumulates data that lets advertisers create targeting profiles that show ads to the best kinds of customers. With a variety of defining attributes such as job title, industry, profession, and more, LinkedIn PPC targeting gives business-to-business advertisers precise targeting. These business-minded customers are high quality and likely to click and become customers.

LinkedIn is the most B2B focused of the PPC ad networks.

LinkedIn Ads Weaknesses: Because the PPC ads are only targeting qualified individuals, the reach may be smaller and fewer clicks may occur. As well as fewer clicks, the cost of the clicks you do get are often more expensive when compared to Facebook or Google Ads clicks.

Example: MarketShare used this LinkedIn ad to target a very specific demographic of executives.
An example of a linkedin advertisement, in this case, from MarketShare

6. YouTube Ads

Strengths and weaknesses of YouTube Ads, one of the PPC ad networks YouTube Ads Strengths: With over 1 billion users and hundreds of millions of hours of video being watched every day, YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world. On YouTube, you can target users who have already performed a certain action like viewing or commenting, those who have watched a video but not subscribed, or people with relevant interests.

Additionally, all of the targeting options available for the Display Network and Google Ads are available for YouTube Ads. Targeted video ads appear in the YouTube search results, beside a video being watched, or played as a pre-roll ad before a YouTube video plays. You also only pay when someone views an ad (watches for 30 seconds or more), and you do not pay if they skip the ad.

YouTube Ads Weaknesses: With video advertising, you have a small window of time to hook the viewer before they skip your advertisement (5 seconds). In the same vein, because these people are not necessarily looking for your product, YouTube ads will not yield as many conversions as Google Ads Search.

Example:This ad for the Apple Macbook was shown before a video for indie folk artist Josh Ritter.
An example of a YouTube ad, in this case, for the Apple Macbook