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Capterra vs. SourceForge: Which Is Best For Software Advertising?


Written by

Amber Dawson


11 MIN

Capterra vs. SourceForge: Which Is Best For Software Advertising?


Let’s get straight into how to advertise on software sites. The two examples I’m going to detail are Capterra and SourceForge. We run ads on both at Adzooma so I’m going to dish the dirt on our experiences, opinion and all-important results.


What is Capterra?

Capterra is a software review site designed for businesses who want to find a product that will help improve their processes. There are over 700 categories and 1,200,000 reviews covering a wide range of industries including:

  • Building maintenance software
  • Technology
  • Catering
  • Content management
  • Construction
  • Maintenance
  • Medical practice
  • Project management

There’s something for everyone.

This makes it a great advertising space for those who are software-related. Users on this site tend to spend a lot of time perusing their options; it’s easy to consume important information, analyse the reviews and learn about the product. They come with the intention of researching software – a key difference to those who use Google.

Why run ads on Capterra?

Capterra’s PPC program works similar to Google Ads. The main differences are that rather than keywords, you bid on categories. And, whilst Google allows you to search for everything, Capterra is focused wholly on software.

If business software is your niche – then Capterra is perfect for you. The audiences are already narrowed down for you, unlike on big search engines. This means you save time and money on ensuring your campaigns are tightly focused: your iron sights are already lined up on the target.

How much does it cost?

Connect with software buyers

Capterra works on a “who pays the most gets to the top of the listings” model, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue as competition isn’t going to be fierce with such specificity. Moreover, the site leaves loads of room to boast about the benefits of your software, so by utilising the space available and creating great content, you don’t have to rely on money to do all the talking.

Bids begin at $2 and increase in $0.25 increments. How much it costs exactly depends on the competition in your category.

Capterra does offer a free basic listing but you don’t get premium listing space, multiple site links or a host of other benefits. This may be worthwhile if you’d like to explore the platform more before you commit, however.

Whilst we’re talking about cost, Capterra has this PPC bid calculator. It asks you questions about your customers, revenue and conversion rates to help you determine how much your maximum should be. For those who are PPC savvy, this will be a little redundant, but if you’re after extra guidance on your budget, check it out.

PPC Bid Calculator

How to get started on Capterra

Firstly, choose the type of listing you want – basic or PPC. You can get a free estimate for things such as traffic statistics by filling in the form.

Once you’re registered and can log in, it’s just a case of populating your profile with everything you want your customers to know. Treat it like a sales landing page: make everything easy to understand, benefit-driven and valuable. This is even more important as the bottom of the listing allows users to compare your software to others. As Capterra is designed with comparison in mind, highlighting the pros of your product is imperative.

Once you’ve been up a running for a while and have some stats to work with, you can adjust your spend according to performance – much like other PPC platforms. Capterra divides your audience up into countries, so you can pause those where you seem to be underperforming and save budget for locations where people are clicking. Similarly, if a category is doing really well in India, for example, you can increase your bid to climb higher up the rankings.

Adzooma’s experience

“We find that people spend longer on the Adzooma site when clicking through from Capterra. This is mainly because the audience is highly-targeted: users are on Capterra to read reviews on companies they’re interested in purchasing from. The layout of the listings also makes it easy for us to get Adzooma’s numerous features across in detail, showing off the value of our product.”

Matt Hogan, Paid Social Manager

Currently, Adzooma bids on four categories. This is after some experimentation with others which either haven’t worked as well or have been too expensive.

Out of the four, we have one consistent performer that converts around 20% from click to sign up.

This success is in part due to the highly targeted nature of the leads, and because of the tweaks we’ve made as we’ve learnt the Capterra platform and its audience. But apart from making small adjustments here and there, the PPC campaigns practically run themselves so is a nice addition to the Adzooma paid channels.


What is SourceForge?

SourceForge is an open-source community platform designed to be a hub for its 3.7 million registered users. It promotes business software and gets over 33.8 million monthly unique visitors, with 123 million page views per month. It’s a bustling hub for all things software related, with over 430,000 software ‘projects’ to choose from.

This may seem a lot, but the software industry is still fairly niche, and you can narrow down your audience to your specialism. You’ll find categories such as:

How much does it cost?

SourceForge doesn’t work on a PPC basis but is a great PPC alternative. It’s actually cheaper than a PPC model would be as you just pay for a package and then all the clicks are free.

There are loads of different packages meaning it’s great for businesses just starting out and those with a larger budget.

Business Software Listings

Not sure which one’s the best fit for you? Use their comparison page to quickly see the pros and cons of each one.

Compare Packages

How to get started on SourceForge

First, have a look around the platform. Are your competitors listed? There’s a strong chance they may not be, in which case the whole cake is there for you to eat alone.

Browse the category pages to see where your product would sit and take notes of what others have done well. You can then use this data to make improvements to your own listing, making sure to attract as many customers as possible.

By signing up, you’ll receive newsletters and updates about the latest software providers, which will help you stay on top of your competition.

SourceForge couldn’t be easier to set up. To have your company featured, you simply have to request a page by filling in the request form.

Adzooma’s experience

“The quality of traffic we receive from our SourceForge directory listing is fantastic. We are finding that the level of intent of visitors from the site is high, resulting in a high conversion rate.”

Sophie Logan, PPC Manager

We’re still in the early days of using SourceForge, but the results we’ve seen so far have been really strong. Our profile is in a top position meaning we’re getting really good exposure for not a lot of money.

Our conversion rate to date sits at 9.86%.

The Adzooma profile tells you everything you need to know about our software in a nutshell. It highlights our product features, reviews, pricing, and more, with a video that shows how to use our software. At the top of the page are bold and direct CTAs pointed to our free trial landing page and website, so those who are interested can easily explore our platform further.

Setting up a listing like this doesn’t take much time at all, and doesn’t require any management after the initial work. You can leave it to bring in new leads by itself – something every business dreams of.

How SourceForge compares to Capterra

SourceForge is really similar to Capterra. You can either decide between them or go for both and then compare results. In our opinion, use both if you can. Think of it as simply widening your net: still focusing on a specific area but catching a lot more fish.

We’ve found that our performance on both platforms are similar in that whilst the volume is low, but the quality is great. And that’s what PPC alternatives are all about – identifying smaller areas to bring in high-quality leads.

PPC alternatives for marketing business software

Capterra and SourceForge have both become valuable channels in Adzooma’s paid strategy. Due to the focused nature of their audiences, we’ve found a lot of benefit in using both.

Their audiences convert at a higher rate because they’re pre-qualified.

That’s the beauty of finding alternatives to advertising on the big three search engines; these are profitable in their own way, but can’t be left to their own devices.

These alternative PPC platforms provide new insights and audiences into selling your software – win win.

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