Google ads vs Facebook ads - what to know before you advertise

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: What to Know Before You Advertise

Until recently, many advertisers viewed Google AdWords and Facebook Ads in an adversarial way. The two companies’ long-standing rivalry, often dramatized by technology media outlets, was taken as irrefutable evidence that the two platforms were in direct competition with one another, and that it was necessary for businesses of all sizes to make a difficult decision about which platform was right for their needs; a false dichotomy that remains confusing and misleading to those new to online advertising.

Google Ads vs. Facebook ads: What is the difference?

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are a prominent example of what advertisers refer to as Paid Social. Being the largest social platform in the world, Facebook has the highest number of monthly active users. In Facebook advertising, you can find users and businesses using their interests and behaviors.

Facebook Ads

Google Ads

Google AdWords, otherwise known as Paid Search, happens to be the most popular and largest PPC platform globally. Here, advertisers use text-based advertisements and target people using keywords, hoping that the same keywords will be used in search queries by Google users. Advertisers pay a certain fee for these keywords and are charged anyone anytime clicks on their ad, hence the name PPC (Pay per click). In summary,  advertisers are using keywords to rank and get their business listed on search engine result pages.

Google Ads

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is a pay-per-click advertising program by Google. With Google Ads, you can reach people searching for products just like yours every day. Your digital advertisements can appear on Google at the very moment someone is looking for products or services like yours. You get to enjoy the best part, which is only paying for results! Get started today with just a few short steps and a $150 matching ad credit.

Where do Google ads appear?

Your ads can appear on the Google search engine results pages (SERPs), right when your prospective clients are in the process of searching for products or services that your business offers.

Search ads are always displayed above or underneath the organic search results returned by Google. Their positioning depends on the ranking a particular ad has when the search is conducted. What does this ranking depend on? Part of your ranking is due to what you are willing to pay, but this is not the whole picture. For the moment, just know that configuration is very important, and for this reason, it’s important to understand Google’s rules and preferences.

For these search ads to be displayed, you must create a list of keywords that accurately represent your products, services, website or brand.

How can you target people with Google Ads?

Demographic Dimensions

Demographic audiences differ from all other audiences on this list. When it comes to demographics targeting, there are some things that you can exclude, and others that you can’t.

For example, you can specify the exact location that you want to target as well as exclude the geographic locations that you in no way want your ads to be served.

Under the “Audiences” tab, you can add or exclude specific demographic groups that fall under any of the following categories – parents, marital status, education, and homeownership status.

When it comes to the remaining demographic categories – age, gender, and household income – you do not have as much flexibility. While the categories are fairly inclusive of all demographics, you cannot exclude any group of people.

While bid adjustments are an option and help give you better control over how much visibility each group gets, the most you can decrease the bid by is 90%. In other words, while the group will likely still get some visibility, said visibility will be at a minimum.

Demographic audience targeting is available across Display, Search, and Video campaigns.

In-Market Audiences

In-market audiences are comprised of people that are actively searching for specific products or services. Keep in mind that Google’s machine learning systems determine if a searcher is in a particular in-market audience based on their recent activity. The exact criteria that these searchers must meet is not known outside of Google.

In-Market audiences are available across Display, Search, and Video campaigns.

Affinity Audiences

Affinity audiences enable you to target searchers based on their lifestyles, purchasing habits, and long-term interests. This isn’t necessarily what they are currently searching for (you would use in-market audiences for that), but things they have shown repeated interest in over time. “Coffee Shop Regulars,” “Do-It- Yourselfers,” “Bargain Hunters,” and “Sports Fans” are just a few examples of specific affinity audiences in Google Ads.

Affinity audiences are available across Display, Search, and Video campaigns.

Custom Intent Audiences

Google Ads custom intent audiences are currently available for Display & Video campaigns only. With custom intent audiences, you use keywords and URLs to create an audience in Google Ads based on products and services for which users are actively searching (like in-market audiences).

Retargeting Audiences

Retargeting audiences are made up of people that have already interacted with your ads or website before. This is considered direct behavioral targeting in Google Ads, because you have an explicit record of these users interacting with one of your web properties. You can create retargeting audiences with your Google Analytics audience builder, or with a Google Ads retargeting pixel.

Retargeting audiences are available across all campaign types.

What kinds of ads can you create with Google Ads?

1) Get listed for free on Google Shopping

Make no mistake, Google Shopping is still mostly a paid PPC channel, but you can also enjoy its free traffic. Why is there a free option? After the introduction of the shopping channel, Google ousted most of the other price comparison websites from its SERP

2) Get impressions on Display and YouTube ads… but only pay for sales!

Video and display formats are not the type of ad you think of when it comes to online acquisition. They are more popular for brand awareness and influence targets. 

But now Google wants to convince you otherwise. Why? Google has so much data on users profiles and their intents that they can predict what they will buy.

Get impressions on Display and YouTube ads
YouTube Ads

3) Customer acquisition is good but NEW customer acquisition is better!

All conversions are not born equal. When it comes to acquisition channels, a purchase on your site from a new customer has more value than one from a returning one.

Of course loyalty is key and you need to take care of existing customers. But Search engine marketing is neither the main nor the most money efficient channel to do so.

CRM, whether through email marketing or earned social media are more efficient to re-engage your customers. The symbiosis between acquisition and loyalty is the best way to maximize your customer lifetime value.

Once you know how much money you can expect from a user on the long term, you are able to adapt the amount you are willing to pay for a new customer vs. an old one.

4) Get offline! How to keep tracks on offline conversions

In these days and times it is easy to forget that most of the business still happens offline and that zoom calls and online shopping are not all there is to life. Yet offline conversions tracking are not always taken into account.

According to Google, 30% of mobile queries are local searches and it is the fastest growing segment. And 75% of users making a local search will go to a store within 24 hours. This is a lot of conversion lost to online tracking.

5) Be creative! Push gallery ads over all networks

Gallery Ads and Showcase Shopping Ads on Search are good to be tested! 

85% of respondents put more importance on visual information than text information. Visual information is preferred over text by at least 50% of respondents in all categories except for electronics, household goods and wine and spirits (Intent Lab research, Feb 2019)

With Gallery Ads Google offers a new ad format integrated into the Search Network. As these ad formats are for mobile displays only, their dimensions enable advertisers to make a stronger impact than with a text ad.

Google will continue to serve the same user with your creatives on new placements such as: 

  • YouTube: On the “Home” screens where more than 90% of users say they discover new brands & new products.
  • Discovery: Google Discovery App while scrolling the news feed and searching by interest.
  • Gmail: … through discovery, even though Gmail Ads are being rolled out, Discovery ads allow you to expand your reach from Gmail to other Google owned surfaces!

Why Wait? Get Started Today!

What are Google Ads good for?

You can choose from 5 ad types:

1. Search campaigns: These are text ads that appear at the top of a Google search results page. Usually, Google search advertising campaigns are pay-per-click (PPC), so you only pay Google when someone clicks on your ad. Your ad copy is the focus of these types of campaigns, so take special care when writing.

2. Shopping campaigns: Shopping campaigns are for selling products or inventory. These ads include product details like a photo, product title, price, and your business name. These PPC ads appear either at the top or right side of a Google SERP.

You’ll need Google Merchant in addition to Ads to set up a shopping campaign and pull products from your website into the platform. 

You‘ll be able to specify negative keywords with shopping campaigns. These are keywords you don’t want your ad to appear for. However, you won’t be able to specify which keywords to target — Google decides when to show your shopping ads based on algorithms. 

3. Display Network Campaigns: Display network campaigns, sometimes known as Google Display Network (GDN) ads, appear on other websites rather than on SERPs. They usually contain text and images, which you determine when you set up your ad.

Display ads reach 90% of internet users because they appear when users are browsing online, checking email, or using certain apps. You’ll be able to specify which demographics to target within the display network when you set up your campaign. 

4. Video Campaigns: Video campaigns, or video discovery ads, are short videos that are shown just before or mid-way through a YouTube post. They can help drive subscribers, traffic, or conversions for your product or service.

You’ll still need to use Google Ads to set up this ad, even though it will be seen on YouTube. The platform allows you to adjust the target audience and build a 6-15 sec video clip. 

5. App campaigns: App campaigns are ads intended to drive app installs or in-app purchases. They can appear on SERPs, display networks, and YouTube depending on where Google’s machine learning predicts that you will gain the most from your ad.

When setting up this ad, you’ll be able to add your ad design and budget. Google will automatically show your ad in placements where the audience is most likely to be interested in your app.

How much does advertising with Google Ads cost?

In order to get a true grasp on what Google Ads will cost you, you first need to understand how the platform works. And one of the biggest misconceptions about Google Ads is that advertisers with the most money to spend have the most influence. While a bigger ad budget never hurts, Google Ads is actually a more level playing field than many new advertisers realize. 

The Google Ads auction

Google Ads functions in essentially the same way as an auction. Let’s take a look at how this process works.

When a user types a word or phrase (known as a search query) into the Google search bar, Google then looks to see if that query contains keywords that advertisers are currently bidding on. If Google Ads advertisers are actively bidding on any of the keywords in the user’s search query, the ad auction begins.

Ad Rank

Google will l then calculate each contending ad’s Ad Rank, which determines if and where your ad will be placed in the paid results section. Ad Rank is calculated by your maximum bid and Quality Score

How daily budgets get spent

Let’s say you have an ad with a CPC of $0.25, and that you’d like to receive 300 ad clicks per day. Using these figures, you can calculate an estimated daily budget:

$0.25 x 300 = $75

In this example, $0.25 is the most that you’d be charged if $0.25 is your maximum CPC. However, the actual amount you could be charged per click can change, depending on the variables of each individual ad auction.Just remember that if you set your maximum CPC at $0.25, you’ll never pay more than that for a click, but you could end up paying less.

What are Facebook ads?

Advertising on Facebook is available to businesses in many formats. Ads can be as simple or as sophisticated as they want. No matter the scope, the reach is wide: Businesses have the ability to market to two billion people on Facebook every month.

The process is easy.Facebook allows users to target audiences through self-serve tools and it gives them analytics reports that track the performance of each ad. The reach and visibility can help level the playing field for an independent business that wants to compete with companies with much larger budgets.

Through Facebook’s Business Manager platform, businesses have a one-stop shop for all their marketing and advertising needs. Additional resources like access to Instagram and product catalogs are part of the mix.

Where do Facebook ads appear?

As there are so many options, it’s difficult to know which is the right ad placement for your campaigns. To help, we’ll take a look at each placement option and which ones work best for each campaign objective.

Ad placements are essentially where Facebook can show your ads. Placements are set at the ad set level of your campaign, and depending on your campaign objective, your ads can appear on Facebook, Instagram, the Audience Network and Messenger.

#1 Facebook News Feed Placement

Facebook News Feed Placement

The Facebook news feed placements mean your ads appear in users’ desktop news feeds and/or their mobile news feed. The mobile news feed includes both the Facebook app and Facebook accessed via mobile browsers.

#2 Instagram Feed Placement

#2 Instagram Feed Placement

Next up is the Instagram feed placement, very similar to Facebook news feed placements, these ads appear in users’ feeds.

#3 Facebook Marketplace

The Facebook marketplace ads are a new addition to the feed placements. This placement displays your ads on the marketplace home page or when someone browses marketplace via the Facebook app.

It’s currently not possible for ads to only appear in marketplace; when you select the marketplace option, ads will also appear in the Facebook news feed.

#4 Facebook Video Feeds

Facebook Video Feeds

This campaign placement option will display your ads in the video feed, specifically the suggested video feed and Facebook Watch feed.

#5 Messenger Inbox Feed Placement

Messenger Inbox Feed Placement

Last in the feeds category is the Messenger Inbox Feed placement. When selecting this placement, your ads will show in your audiences’ messenger home tab between conversations.

How can you target people on Facebook ads?

With Facebook ads, you can target people based on:

  • Location
  • Interests
  • Behavior
  • Demographics
  • Connections

These ads operate based on people’s interests and behaviors. Your ads appear in front of people that are interested in your business, products, or services. You’ll help your business connect with the right leads.

How much does it cost to advertise with Facebook ads?

A look at existing studies reveals that a ballpark Facebook ad cost for most industries is somewhere between $0.50 and $2.00 per click.

To get a better idea of how much Facebook advertising costs, let’s take a closer look at two of the more detailed studies available from WordStream and AdEspresso.

According to WordStream, the average cost-per-click for Facebook ads across all industries is $1.72.

However, this is certainly a skewed average thanks to some anomalies.

For instance, the finance and insurance industries have the highest average Facebook advertising cost at $3.77 per click.

Thankfully, not all industries have such a high average.

Apparel ($0.45 per click), travel and hospitality ($0.63), and retail ($0.70) have the cheapest Facebook advertising costs.

Facebook ads vs. Google Ads: How each platform benefits your business

The advantages of Google Ads

1) Adwords works faster than SEO

The topmost benefit of Google AdWords is that it works faster than SEO. Both SEO and Google AdWords are search engine marketing strategies to generate more traffic and leads. But, a well optimized AdWords campaign can work much faster for a business to get the much coveted first spot in search.

2) Increase brand awareness

Google AdWords, in addition to boosting traffic, clicks, and conversions, is also an efficient way to tell people about your brand. To verify this, Google partnered with Ipsos to run a study across 12 verticals, right from automobiles to retail. It was discovered that search ads lift top-of-mind awareness by an average of 6.6%.

3) Reach more customers through their Gmail Inbox 

One of the most used marketing strategies in every business is email marketing, which is why gmail ads can be helpful as well. In September 2015, Google integrated native Gmail ads with Google AdWords and made it available to all advertisers, which means you can reach more prospects through their gmail inbox.

4) Reconnect with visitors of your website

One of the coolest benefits of  Google AdWords is reconnecting with your website visitors. Let me elaborate.

You might have window shoppers on your website. These are people who have visited all the pages on your website but haven’t taken any action. How do you remind them of you and what you could do for them? Enter Display Remarketing and RLSA campaigns.

5) Measure your performance consistently

It is very difficult to measure the outcome of traditional advertisements like newspapers, radio, broadcast television, cable television, outdoor billboards, brochures etc. Also, they are much more expensive than Google AdWords. You can’t control your own budget and spend. Additionally, you wouldn’t know the source of the leads coming from these media, unless your customer chooses to divulge it. As a result, it would be very difficult to calculate ROI from traditional media.

6) Explore more using your ads

Confused with the title?  As I said, there is a lot more to explore when you link your Google AdWords account with your Google Analytics account. AdWords is a great platform but it won’t let you know what people do after clicking the ads. But, Google analytics would help you understand,

  • How long a visitor stayed on a page
  • How many pages have been visited
  • Bounce rate of your landing page
  • Details about new visitors and returning visitors and much more.

7) Tackle your competition better

When someone searches for something related to your product/services online, and you aren’t running ads, but your competitors are, then that means trouble for you. You’ll lose business almost instantly.

You need to keep an eye on them to see how they are promoting their business, what kinds of ads they run etc. The transparent system of Google AdWords helps you do this. Grab the opportunities that come your way and make yourself stand out from your competition.

The advantages of Facebook ads

1. Facebook Advertising Is Effective

Started as a student-only social-networking service in 2004, Facebook has become a significant part of people’s lives today. Considering the number of its daily active users, this trend does not seem to change soon. According to Facebook, the company has been continuously seeing an increase in its advertising revenue year after year, proof that businesses are finding Facebook ads effective. It’s not a surprise that businesses invest in Facebook ads, especially when Facebook users are also active buyers. In a survey, 44% of consumers admitted that Facebook influences their shopping decisions. 

2. Facebook Provides Advanced Targeting Tools

One of the major advantages of Facebook advertising is its wide range of targeting and retargeting options that allow you to reach your prospective customers. Facebook allows you to advertise to an audience based on location, age, behavior, and interests. Therefore, your ads are shown to people who have the potential to buy your product or service.  

3. Facebook Advertising Is Budget Friendly

In comparison to traditional marketing, Facebook advertising is cheaper. You can advertise your product to 1,000 people for $5 to $8 if the campaign is done well. In traditional advertising, you might have to pay up to $50 to show your business to the same amount of people.   

4. Facebook Users Are Engaged

Customer engagement plays a significant role in the success of an online business. Not only does it build trust, but it also maintains the interest of your customers toward your product or service. However,  pictures and texts alone may not generate the engagement you need. If that is the case, there are plenty of other ways you can engage your audience on Facebook. For instance, you can get a Messenger bot to improve your communication with customers, post live videos, or leverage Facebook groups.

5. Facebook Provides Free Analytics

Lukas / Pexels

Facebook gives you comprehensive report and analytics on the performance of your ad campaigns. The reports are updated in real time, so you can immediately see what is and isn’t working as soon as your campaigns run.

You can view your social metrics and conversion rates within Ads Manager. You will see numbers on page likes, post engagement, weekly reach, performance, and more. When you have access to such data, you can easily adjust your Facebook ads based on what’s required. Facebook offers you so much flexibility when it comes to tracking the progress of ad campaigns. Since you can track and measure even small details, you can better plan your strategies.

6. Facebook Provides Effective Remarketing Tools

Over the past few years, Facebook has evolved into a robust marketing machine, through which any business can extend its reach. Facebook remarketing is one of the most excellent ways to reach visitors who saw your products or services in the past, who are still in the awareness stage. 

Suppose a person sees your product on Facebook or your site. He looks at your product and goes further without making a purchase, even though he had a little interest. Remarketing helps you show your product again to that person in the future. Maybe you can give a better price or exciting offer this time, improving your chance of converting that lead.

7. Facebook Offers Custom Calls to Action

Another great advantage of Facebook advertising is its custom call-to-actions (CTAs) that can help you improve your conversion rates. A call-to-action button enables you to give your potential customer explicit instructions on what exactly you want them to do, such as signing up for a subscription, watching a video, or using an app. CTAs certainly make a big difference in the performance of your ads. According to a report by Ad Roll, adding CTAs to your Facebook page can increase CTR rates by up to 285%.

Facebook currently offers the following CTAs:

  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Play Game
  • Sign Up
  • Download
  • Learn more
  • Use App
  • Watch Video
Facebook Statistics 2021

3 tips for using Google Ads and Facebook ads together

#1: Maximize reach & brand awareness

Using Facebook Ads

Due to the Reach and Brand Awareness campaign types, cost per thousand impressions (CPM) bidding and optimization, and myriad placement options (including Instagram), Facebook gives advertisers unparalleled ability to drive brand awareness – and, in doing so, fill the top of their funnels with net-new prospects.

Using Google Ads

Google Ads offers a wide range of campaign types and placements to help you expand your reach to gain brand awareness. Depending on your marketing goal, you have a range of campaign types to choose from: Search, Display, Video, Discovery, Shopping, and Universal App. Each campaign type and placement ensures that you have the opportunity to capture reach and brand awareness where it makes sense for your business; whether that’s tied to an active search, an in-market audience, or a related YouTube video.

#2: Leverage audiences to engage prospects of all intent types

Using Facebook Ads

Facebook is a bit like the Display Network. Users browsing on these networks don’t have the same level of commercial intent as users browsing on the Search Network, because they’re not actively searching for the solution your business offers. Now, that does not mean Facebook is worse for engaging prospects; it simply means that the prospects you engage on Facebook will have a different level of intent than the prospects you engage on Google. Both are important, and, in fact, you can use Custom and Lookalike Audiences in Facebook Ads to build a large, cost-effective prospect pool that you can either convert directly from the platform or remarket to in Google Ads.

Using Google Ads

You’ve heard it from us before, and we’ll continue to say it: Audiences on Google are becoming more and more crucial for your Google Ads strategy, particularly on the Search Network. Gone are the days of only targeting audiences through keywords and topics on the Display Network. Now, you have extensive options to strictly target or observe new and existing audiences across your Google Ads campaigns. You can leverage these audiences to tailor your offer, message, and bid to optimize your return on ad spend.

#3: Generate leads in quantity and quality

Using Facebook Ads

Facebook gives you the ability to convert a lot of leads for a relatively low cost. Facebook converts at a significantly higher rate than Google (9.21% compared to just 3.75%), and Facebook lead ads in particular give lead gen advertisers the ability to convert leads at an even higher rate. An internal review of our customer data here at WordStream showed a 12.54% conversion rate; this compared to just 10.47% when using Conversion campaigns to send prospects to a landing page to fill out a form. Therein lies the feature that makes Facebook lead ads so effective—when your prospect engages with the ad, a lead form opens up within the Facebook app. Thus, your prospect doesn’t need to navigate to a new browser window and wait for a new page to load before submitting his information. Facebook lead ads are a highly valuable lead gen tool.

Using Google Ads

Not much can beat the quality that comes with search intent. If a prospect is searching, it means they are actively looking for an answer or help with their query. This makes them a better prospect for your business to engage than a more passive prospect. You can balance your ad spend through a range of campaign types on Google to bring in the top-notch quality while reaching your quantitative goals.

Let Optimum DMA help you set up your paid advertising campaign

Ads on Google and Facebook help you gain brand exposure and reach new people interested in your business. By running these paid ads, you’ll earn more leads and conversions for your business. At Opt In Biz, we have years of experience creating both PPC and social media advertising campaigns.

24/7 Free Consultation

Optimum DMA is meant to simplify your digital marketing efforts

Take the next step in growing your business using digital marketing. Connect with one of our expert digital strategists to learn how Optimum DMA can help you reach your business goals.