Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads
In expanding their paid media presence, businesses often ask this question.
Google search or Facebook ads: where should I spend my ad budget?
Is Facebook Ads better than Google Ads?
Compared to each other, there is no “better” since their methods are very different.
More appropriate questions are:
- What would be the best fit for my budget?
- Does one of them make more sense for the product landscape I’m in?
- Where am I targeting in the buyer’s journey?
Why are these two topics discussed so frequently?
Both platforms are proven performers, and the majority of internet users use them.
In the case where you are comparing Facebook Ads and Google Ads, which one should you pick? This comparison is based on Google Ads’ search ads product.
Costs associated with digital advertising & acquisition
Make sure you understand your numbers before spending any money.
Identify your budget for gaining a customer. You’ll waste a lot of money if you don’t know this.
To break even, you have to convert half of your website visits just to acquire a customer if you can afford to spend $20 to acquire a customer.
It doesn’t add up.
Using your full budget, start with retargeting, and then move the leftover funds as high in the funnel as you can: take a look at your total budget and start from the highest intent backwards.
Investing further back in the customer journey will ensure you are getting the best return.
Your Competition & Your Industry
Using Google’s Keyword Planner, determine your likely costs for your industry.
A certain industry or sub-industry has crazy-expensive costs per click and advertising budgets.
The cost of keywords related to law, for instance, is very high.
You might want to reconsider going after those searches if you do not have a huge budget.
Consider the situation where you have a $500/day budget and a $200 CPC on average (yes, it exists). Two or three clicks per day will be your maximum!
The most effective keywords, ads, and landing pages will be those that generate hundreds (or hopefully thousands) of impressions.
With a tiny budget versus an expensive click, you’ll take a long time to get there.
In many industries, Facebook ads might be a cheaper, more effective alternative to Google Ads, especially since they offer extremely powerful targeting capabilities.
The RLSA feature in Google Ads can also be used to only show ads to users who have already been to your site.
Depending on your industry, you may not be able to show this to your hottest prospects, but if you are, it will still allow you to reach them.
Stage in Buyer’s Journey
You can also determine which advertising channel to use based on where the user is in the buyer’s journey. There may be a great fit for both platforms but at different times.
Due to the high level of intent from your audience, Google Ads would be your best bet if you want to capture them at the moment they are ready to purchase.
Using Facebook ads, however, can help you target people who need your product or service but don’t know it yet.
Your digital marketing strategy and your organization will benefit from both channels.
Defining Your Objective
It is then necessary to consider the goals you hope to achieve from this marketing strategy once you have determined your organization’s budget and considered the industry and competitors.
Facebook ads may be more economical for you if your goal is to increase brand awareness or generate demand.
Google Ads may be a better choice for your business if you wish to generate sales or leads (i.e., demand generation).
User searches for your organization’s products in that scenario. As a result, you will be able to target people who are more likely to purchase.
The next step is to take a look at your overall Google and Facebook ad spend once again. Facebook Ads have often resulted in lower cost per conversion (cost per lead).
Identify your cost per solid, qualified lead and measure quality.
Do Google Ads convert better even though they are twice as expensive?
To find the most favorable path, you will need to do the math up to your final objective.
Overall Search Volume & Product/Service Maturity
In my experience, many businesses overlook this as a good starting point.
Google search ads won’t give you a lot of volumes if there is little or no search volume for your new product or service.
Take Uber as an example. When rideshare was first invented, nobody searched for it, so it wasn’t even a thing. There was no real demand for services like Uber and Lyft until they disrupted an industry.
Users didn’t search for solutions to this pain point because taxis filled a huge need.
It may be possible to find a series of keywords that describe your product’s benefits and how it solves the problem before completely ruling out Google Ads.
Among the first Bluetooth trackers, Tile was described as a “Bluetooth tracker.” “Bluetooth tracker” keywords were not searched.
The problem, however, was solved if users found their wallets, keys, or phones.
Tile’s ad copy would likely generate more volume if it addressed the pain point in these phrases rather than just using its technical name.
Your budget may not be enough for that.
Using Facebook Ads is a great way to get started if your product solves a problem people don’t search for.
If you prefer to target based on demographics and interests instead of user intent, your offer will be introduced to your desired audience.
A factor is not as important as some others, but worth noting.
Despite your efforts to build brand awareness, a new company is most likely to perform poorly in search of an established, mature company.
You have much fewer brand loyalists and much less brand recognition than your competitors.
Your competitor’s paid advertising will likely have a higher click-through rate (i.e., higher success rate) than yours since users do not recognize your business.
Consider the market position of your company.
To increase your chances of success with Google Ads, you may need to build up your brand reputation and recognition through Facebook ads first.
Products and services that are demographically sensitive
In this case, Facebook is most likely your best option, especially if your product or service sale strongly correlates with life events.
In addition to targeting based on life events, Facebook offers powerful targeting options.
You still target people who are searching for those terms even when you target life events through Google.
You won’t be able to use demographic targeting in Google Ads if, as we mentioned above, it’s not commonly searched for.
As a result, Facebook is the primary method of targeting, allowing you to reach a far greater number of people in certain circumstances:
Google Ads vs. Facebook ads doesn’t offer a one-size-fits-all answer or a comprehensive guide.
The following steps can be taken as a starting point:
- Calculate the cost of acquiring a customer.
- Think about whether your industry is heavily search-driven.
- Google Ads CPC ranges can be found by doing keyword research.
- Evaluate how far different scenarios would stretch your budget.
- Find the right mix by testing, testing, and testing!
edited and proofread by nikita sharma