Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Which Platform Is Best?

Facebook Ads and Google Ads are two of the biggest platforms. As a business its important to know the differences between the two in order to decide which platform to use.

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To businesses, a reoccurring question is: When it comes to distributing your advertising budget, and deciding which platform to use should you choose, Google Ads or Facebook Ads?

How do you make the best choice for your company? Should you invest in both platforms? That’s why we’re here to find out.

But before that, let’s take a closer look at why you should consider either of these platforms in the first place.

Why It Is Essential To Advertise Online

We have dramatically changed the way we look for information and products online with the rise of smartphones and personal computers. 

“Googling it” is such a popular term, that it has been introduced to our daily, and vernacular routine.

In 2017 a study found that the average person will spend more than five years and four months of their entire life looking at social media. This includes several platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.

Chart on how much people spend on social media in a lifetime.

Every day, we are online for hours. We have become more eager, demanding, and restless in our search for information, services, and products.

Consumers want immediate responses. Yet this also means customers are much more motivated these days. Finding and shopping for goods online is simpler than ever. This means there is more competition than ever for businesses. You have to help customers in a way that will reassure them you are the best choice.

The consumer journey has drastically changed because of the shift in the way we shop and search for information. It’s becoming more complex than ever before, and in this chaos, your company needs a way to stand out.

This is where online advertising platforms come into play.

What Is Google Ads?

Google Advertising, formerly Google AdWords, is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform that runs advertisements, paid for by companies. Such ads are displayed in google.com search results, or on other websites through Google’s Search Partners or Display Network.

Google Ads campaign.

The center of Google Advertising is the Search Network, which enables marketers to display advertisements about their companies to users who actively search for the products or services that your company provides.

Keywords are the center of your search campaign. You need to pick keywords relevant to your product or company, so when a user searches for a query similar to your keyword – they cause an ad that appears on the SERPs for a user to click on.

Google ads.

Every time the user clicks on an ad, they charge a certain amount of money to the advertiser, hence the name “pay-per-click” advertising. Each keyword will be assigned a “Max CPC,” that will inform Google how much you’re willing to pay to have a user click on your ad.

Google’s main objective in advertising is to bring new (or existing) consumers to your website, who are actively looking for the product or service you offer.

Advantages of Google Ads

Several differences distinguish Google Ads. Let’s take a look at the main reasons why the PPC platform Google Ads is the most popular and widely used. One major difference and advantage between Google and Facebook is that Google provides you with a variety of ways to reach new customers.

Potential Audience Reach

Google has the largest potential users of any advertisement site. Google handles approximately 5.8 billion searches in a single day, with the ability to attract new users with each search.

While there is a huge reach associated with Google Ads, something to remember is that apart from targeted keywords. The choices are limited to base level user demographics such as age, gender, income, etc.

Wide Range of Ad Formats

As the number of ad formats available to advertisers has expanded over the years, so has Google Advertising.

Advertisers have endless options for add-ons like site link extensions, location extensions, price extensions, call extensions, and much more to steer relevant traffic for your business needs.

Ad Format Options:

  • Text Ads
  • Responsive Search Ads
  • Image Ads
  • App Promotion Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Product Listing Ads (Commonly known as PLA or Shopping Ads)
  • Showcase Shopping Ads
  • Call-Only Ads

Advertiser Equality

Although some people believe you need a vast digital advertising budget to remain competitive on Google, that’s not true! The auction for Google Ads operates on a 3-step system:

  • Quality of Ad
    • Is your ad relevant and useful?
  • Expected Impact of Ad
    • Use of extensions.
  • Keyword Bid
    • The maximum amount you are willing to pay for a click on your ad.

So if you don’t have an advertising budget of a million dollars, don’t worry. Simply make sure that your ads are very well written, useful, and have all the relevant extensions.

What Is Facebook Ads?

Just like Google, Facebook ads are paid advertisements that run on Facebook. 

Facebook ads will appear in various places such as:

  • Facebook Newsfeed
  • Instagram Newsfeed
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Video Feeds
  • Right-hand column
  • Facebook Messenger inbox

We will be focusing on Facebook Newsfeed placements since newsfeed is where the bulk of Facebook’s ad business is.

Throughout the years, Facebook has been extremely competitive. With 2.27 billion monthly active users, the social media site provides the ideal space for a range of businesses to advertise on.

Facebook Ads.

While Google Ads has active user intent, Facebook Ads are more passive. Facebook advertisements are shown to users not actively searching for a particular product or service, but rather advertisements will show up in users’ Newsfeeds.

Advantages of Facebook Ads

In 2007, Facebook initially rolled out its advertising platform with a growing list of changes and developments since. The primary advantage of Facebook Ads is its strong targeting of audiences – however, there are some other advantages worth knowing about before making your final decision.

Audience Granularity

It’s no secret Facebook users post a key part of their life, online including marriages, travel, kids, new jobs, etc. Facebook collects a massive amount of data, probably more than you realize. Users often browse and engage with personal interests-related content whether its companies, goods, ideas, or services. Facebook stores the pages you like, your friends, your birthday, and where you are from. All of the emotions and behavioral data helps advertisers find their perfect audience by focusing their search down to a small group of people using Facebook audience and targeting interest.

One of the most well-known targeting choices for Facebook is “lookalike audiences.” This lets an advertiser upload details about their existing customer base to Facebook, which would then build a similar audience to the original customer base. This new list will involve prospecting new users with the very same preferences and consumer behavior as existing clients. 

Lookalike audience.

Strong ROI

Facebook is not only known for its impressive audience reach but is also commonly recognized as being one of today’s most affordable advertising platforms. Facebook Ads cost is generally lower.

On average, Facebook cost-per-click appears to be about 56 percent lower than Google, varying on the vertical & location. Although CTR on Facebook is typically lower than on Google, the conversion rate on Facebook is slightly higher, around 9-10 percent, whereas Google hovers about 3.75 percent.

With its low-cost and high ROI, Facebook looks like a rather attractive platform for smaller businesses that need to use their minimal advertising budgets effectively.

If you’re interested in learning more about Facebook Ads cost, check out this blog post.

Visual Ads

A big advantage of Facebooks Ads over Google Ads is how the advertisements are incorporated into the app visually and effortlessly compared to Google’s text advertising.

Facebook’s most successful ads will blend into a user’s Newsfeed along with all the posts, videos, photos, and other information that a user scrolls through every day. Integration helps advertisers to display “sponsored” content in high-quality videos and pictures without disrupting the flow of information.

Facebook has several ad formats. If you’re interested in seeing more Facebook Ad examples and why they were successful, check out this post.

Which Platform Should You Use?

View these two powerhouse social media platforms as complementary to each other, not as rivals. Together, using Paid Search and Paid Social is a highly successful and cohesive marketing strategy that can have a major ROI impact on your company.

Social Media Expert Evan Weber says, “My advice to companies is to spend on search and social media. Every company needs those two channels.”

It boils down to the goals of your company and what you set out to achieve. If the KPI of your company is to attract new customers in the purchasing process, then Google Ads might be a better match for you. But if your main KPI is building your brand image & building a large audience, Facebook will get you there, at a lower price than Google.

What might fit for one business owner, may not work for another. I would also say that paid ads are not the end of the game, conversion rate optimization is. You can drive tons of traffic to a landing page yet not a lot of them convert.

Reach out to our team today to see what ad platforms fit your company best and learn how we can make your investment better.

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