24th Apr 2017

Google Adwords vs Facebook Ads: Which Should My Business Be Using?


As two of the biggest platforms online, Facebook and Google both have their own unique advertising platforms, that can offer a number of individual opportunities for your business to advertise online, helping you generate more traffic and increase sales. 

Despite their differences, both Facebook and Google can be viable paid advertising platforms, both working efficiently to promote your business and your product, depending on your budget, business goals and your target audience. These platform differences also mean that they work differently for individual businesses and industries, something that anyone looking to use paid advertising should be aware of. So let’s take a look at some of the key differences and important similarities between the two and how they can work for your business.  

Key Differences Between Facebook Ads & Google Adwords

Before you can decide which advertising platform works best for your business, it’s important to work out the main differences between the platforms, as well as determine the strengths and the weaknesses between the two. 

– Search Intent

One of the biggest differences between Google Adwords and Facebook is that Google focuses primarily on search intent, targeting those who are looking directly for something, acting as a pull marketing strategy, rather than simply increasing brand awareness like social media ads.

With Google Adwords, ads are triggered based on specific search terms and keywords and as one of the most powerful search engines in the world, can reach billions of people everyday, including the specific customers you’re looking to target for your business, product or service. For this reason many businesses look to use Google Adwords to reach out to new audiences and to those who are looking directly for something, as opposed to accidentally stumbling across an ad on Facebook.

Essentially, the goal of Google Adwords is to show an ad that matches the search intent, giving people exactly what they want, which can be one of the most effective ways to increase your clicks, conversions and impressions.

– Social Intent

Facebook Ads differ however, instead of reaching out to those searching for a specific product or service, they allow you to advertise to people who aren’t always looking for a certain thing. Facebook ads allow you to advertise to people who are simply scrolling through their Facebook feeds. 

Facebook advertising is a great way to generate awareness of your product to audiences based on their interests, not to audiences who are going out of their way to carry out targeted searches. Facebook is all about social and is a platform that often gathers plenty of information about it’s users interests, behaviour and demographic, all of which can be used to target the best audience for your business with your ads. Offering a more defined advertising experience.

It’s also important to remember that Facebook ads are an effective way to generate audience engagement, with many features available within ads that allow customers to like, share and comment on posts, increasing awareness and interaction. 

The Strengths Of Google Adwords 

As the worlds largest and most popular search engines, Google is often viewed as the leader of pay per click advertising, offering a huge amount of benefits to both marketers and their audiences, including;  

– A Huge Audience

Due to the size of the platform and it’s immense reach, Google has the ability to handle millions of search queries per second, meaning no other platform can offer the potential audience that Google can. With millions out there using Google to search for your product or service, Google can be a great addition to your digital marketing strategy for those looking to reach out to a significant number of people. 

– Range Of Ad Formats

While Google’s ads do stay predominantly text based, there are a huge number of features in place to make ads appear more compelling for potential customers, with options such as ad extensions, sitelinks, reviews and location targeting all available to help optimise ads. With so many ad formats available, one that is great for a number of unique industries and businesses, Google offers a service that can be used by everyone.

– Equal Experience

Despite many believing that that those with the biggest budget are the ones who benefit the most from Google Adwords, Adwords actually offers a level playing field for most businesses. The reality is it’s the quality of your ads that matter, not the price, meaning that even those with high quality, professional ads are competing for the exact same bid as those with poorer, lower quality ads.  

The Strengths Of Facebook Ads

Despite not being as established as Google Adwords, Facebook advertising also has a number of strengths and is continually improving it’s advertising platform, becoming a big contender in the paid ads sphere. But what strengths can it offer?  

– Audience Insights

One of the biggest appeals to Facebook advertising is that is gives you the opportunity to get your ads out there to an audience that are perfect for your business. Due to it’s insights, Facebook probably knows your target audience better than you even do, which can be hugely beneficial if you’re struggling to determine who to target, by using Facebook, you have a number of important insights that can be incorporated into your ads.

– A Visual Experience

Unlike Google, Facebook ads are often visibly powerful, letting you include images, videos and other forms of media into your ads and onto your audiences news feeds. By using visual media within your ads you can increase engagement and well as get your message across in a much more unique and creative way, something that can’t always be achieved with Google Adwords.

– Return On Investment

The cost of Facebook advertising often varies depending on a number of factors, however these ads are usually relatively affordable, especially given how much potential impact they can have and how much ROI they can generate. Despite being commonly used by larger brands, the competitive pricing strategy means that even smaller businesses can be utilising Facebook ads and making the most of the value they have to offer.  

Which Platform Should I Be Using? 

While Google Adwords continues to lead the way in paid advertising, Facebook can be an incredibly powerful tool for many types of businesses. Obviously there is a lot that goes into determining which platform is best for your business, including thinking about who your primary audience is, which platforms they are likely to use and whether you’re looking to appeal to an audience who need your services or those just browsing. 

You don’t even need to think or these platforms as one OR the other, there’s no reason your business can’t look to use both forms of advertising, increasing your reach across two platforms and targeting both types of audience. 

By having a solid idea of the strengths of each platform, you can gain more of an insight into how the platforms perform and how you can incorporate them into your own strategy. If you’re looking to learn more about paid advertising, through Facebook or Google, then why not speak with a professional, who can help you achieve more online!



Article By
Sarah Seymour,
Published: 24th April, 2017
Categories: Google Ads Marketing

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