It can be confusing about which platform, Facebook Ads or Google Adwords, is the best choice for your company’s PPC campaign. Are there any differences? Does one platform perform better than the other?
We understand you may have questions about which platform to choose for your next campaign. So, we’ve created this article to explain the differences and which one is best for different types of businesses.
What are Google Ads and Facebook Ads?
Both of these are advertising platforms that use the PPC advertising model to send traffic to websites. When creating an ad on either of these platforms, you must place a bid to on the amount you’d like to pay for ad space. When this is accepted, then you’re charged a specific amount when a person clicks on your ad.
Of course, it’s more involved than this, but at least you can see that both platforms are somewhat similar at first glance. Now, let’s take a look at some of the differences between these ad programs.
Facebook Ads: Social Advertising
Facebook ads are a type of paid social advertising. In other words, you’re paying Facebook to get in front of customers who use social networks. So, your ad doesn’t only appear on Facebook, it also appears on Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Video Feeds, Facebook News Feed, Instagram Feed, Audience Network and Facebook Right Column.
Facebook is a highly targeted way to gain new customers because of the all the data the platform gathers about its users. Data includes:
- Geographic location
- Relationship status
- And more
Facebook then uses this data for the PPC ads bought by companies running ad campaigns. For instance, if you’re wanting to promote an event, it’s easy to target friends of those registered for the event. There’s a higher chance these people may also want to attend. In the process, you’ve reached a greater audience made available through Facebook’s ad program.
It’s even possible to create a custom audience. This is an audience where everyone shares the same interests and likes as your customers. All you have to do is upload your customer list to Facebook, and then they match the email addresses with the email addresses of users on the platform. There’s about a 30-35% chance of addresses matching, but those are pretty good odds.
You can use Facebook Ads to target audiences in various ways:
- Create lookalike audiences: Facebook can generate an audience that’s similar to your custom audience. Why is this useful? If you have a small customer list, this method lets you target potential customers who are similar to your current customers. There’s a higher likelihood of these lookalike audiences making a purchase.
- Segment email list: by purchases customers have made in your shop. Then you can advertise products and services that are similar to what they’ve purchased in the past.
- Create a Facebook Ad: you can create a Facebook ad for existing customers on your email list who haven’t liked your Facebook page. You’ll have a higher success rate because these people are already familiar with your brand and products/services.
In general, Facebook Ads are better to:
- Build awareness
- Increase your audience
- Selling new products
Google Adwords: Paid Search
Google Adwords is slightly different because this is a paid search type of PPC strategy. When people are searching for a product or service they need, they won’t use Facebook, they usually turn to Google, as they want to find the product or service near them, in their area. For this reason, Google Adwords is great for businesses that want to target customers through the keywords they use when searching.
When a company chooses to use paid search, it means that their ad will be featured on the search engine. Remember those ads that appear at the top of a Google search?
We can use a simple example here. Let’s say you’re looking for a local wedding florist. If you choose to use Google to find the florist near you, it’s simple. Just type in the keywords “wedding florist near me,” hit the enter button and a list comes up with florists who do weddings in your area. At the top of the search results, you’ll find targeted ads from wedding florists on top of the search results page. For this reason, the paid Google Ads have a high chance of converting.
The ads are placed based on targeted keywords, rather than targeting a specific audience (like Facebook Ads). With Google Ads, you can put ads on Google Search, YouTube Ads, Google Display Network, Google Shopping, Google Maps and Google Play.
Because Google ads are so targeted, it’s important to choose the right keywords. However, you’ll need to be careful—you may have to pay for keywords even if there’s no sale, which can be expensive. This why it’s essential to ensure your keywords are correctly targeted and to track all Adwords campaigns.
In order to properly track your Adwords campaign, you’ll need to track these data points:
- Click-through rate: this is use to determine the quality score of your keywords and lets you know if ads are effective at converting or not. It also shows how often your ad is clicked. If you have a low click-through rate, it may mean that you need to modify or remove your ads.
- Quality score: Google assigns each of your keywords a score, which is used to determine how much you’ll pay for clicks and ad ranking. This measurement shows you if the keywords in the campaign are effective or not. A low-quality score indicates there’s an issue with the keywords, which means you’ll need to fine tune the keywords in your campaign.
- Conversion rate: this is metric tells you how many times your ad is clicked and results in a conversion.
- Keywords: should be monitored on a regular basis to make sure the money spent is effective. You can tell if the keywords are correct or not with this metric.
Which PPC Platform is Best?
This is something you’ll need to decide, as you have the most insight, experience and knowledge about your unique business. However, here are some questions that can help guide you to the right platform:
When it comes to campaign goals, are you focused on making sales quickly? Then Google Ads may be the right choice for your business. However, if you’re looking to expand your target audience, then Facebook Ads may be the more effective choice.
Then consider your advertising budget. Do you have money to pay for Google Ads? Do you have the skills, or can you outsource, the creation of images/videos for Facebook?
And last consider your industry. Each industry is different and one platform will be better for some industries over the other ad platform. What it all comes down to is doing a careful analysis of your business operations and knowing your specific goals before choosing either Google Adwords or Facebook Ads.
Once you’ve made the decision, then make sure to closely track and monitor your ad campaign. Look to see if the platform you’ve chosen is working for your business. If not, then you’ll either need to make adjustments, create new ads, or try out the other ad platform to see if it provides better performance for the money.
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent a decade working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.