Facebook Ads vs. Google AdWords: Which is the Smarter Investment?

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You might assume that there’s very little difference between advertising on Facebook and Google because, after all, both are online platforms with billions of users from across the globe. However, as you study both platforms, it becomes increasingly challenging to find similarities between the two.

In short, Google Ads, also commonly known as Google AdWords and paid ads, connects customers to businesses, whereas Facebook ads, otherwise called paid socials, connects customers to businesses.

So, how do you work out where to invest your capital?

Many people recommend choosing one or the other believing it’s best to stick with the superior platform, but that’s not always true because each has a unique set of pros and cons. Admittedly, however, different businesses have more to gain from one or the other depending on their objectives and requirements.

As a leading SEO company in Sydney, Australia, Smart Traffic take the time to understand your business before developing a long-term online marketing strategy that incorporates the most suitable advertising platforms. They can ensure your strategy yields the maximum return on investment by accurately determining where our resources will best be utilised, be it AdWords, Facebook Ads or both.

Below, we’ve detailed the primary differences between AdWords and Facebook Ads as well as the pros and cons of each to help you understand why it’s such a hot topic in the world of online marketing.

An Introduction to Google AdWords

Google AdWords, or paid search, is the world’s largest pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform, and with over 1.2 trillion searches per month, its reach is the largest of any search engine on the web. Paid search is focused on targeting keywords that users will search for when tracking down your products or services. Each time a user clicks on your advert, which will be featured in the sponsored results section rather than in the organic results, you pay a fee.

The cost of PPC advertising varies depending on factors such as how many companies are competing for the keywords you’re targeting and how often people search for the same or similar queries. Google employs a relatively complex bidding system to price its ads, and you’ll need to learn the basics of bid optimisation if you want to become a paid search pro.

How Does Facebook Ads Work?

Paid search refers to the strategy of advertising on social media, and because Facebook has – by far – the largest number of users compared to any other social media platform, paid search usually refers to advertising on Facebook. Facebook has over two billion active monthly users, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a huge scope for reach.

Unlike Google AdWords, Facebook Ads isn’t about connecting a user’s search term to your business. Instead, it offers its users the adverts it deems relevant for them based on a database of factors, such as interests and daily activities. This means that your advert is likely to be seen by more people when using AdWords, but Facebook Ads is extremely targeted and converts into leads more often than PPC adverts.

The Pros and Cons of Google AdWords and Facebook Ads

We’ve compared Google AdWords and Facebook Ads by placing them into the categories below, which should help you decide which advertising platform will be the most beneficial for your particular company. Of course, as a company specialising in SEO in Sydney, Australia, we’re more than happy to provide further details over the phone.

  • Targeted Advertising

While Google is great for connecting customers to relevant information, it doesn’t beat Facebook when it comes to pinpoint targeting. Facebook places your advert in front of people it believes genuinely want to see it by studying user habits, interests and activities, and because of this narrow targeting, it offers a high-value cost per click.

  • Timing

Because Google AdWords is search related, it often connects ready-to-buy customers to your business. People use their mobile device to search for companies in their local area when they practically have their wallet out, but Facebook users are rarely perusing their feed looking for products specifically.

  • Local Searches

Google AdWords also wins this category because, again, people use their mobile phone to search for businesses they require imminently. If somebody is looking for the closest supermarket in their area, chances are they’ll do a quick Google search (mobile phone searches surpassed desktop searches in 2015).

  • Community Engagement

When it comes to consumer-client interaction, it’s almost impossible to beat Facebook Ads. With Google, the best thing you can do is try to entice a click-through with a sentence or two and a headline, but with Facebook, you can create videos, open a dialogue with your customers and encourage shares and likes.

  • Advert Quality

Again, Facebook holds the top spot for ad quality because of the creative flexibility it gives you. Google AdWords has made some significant improvements to its platform in recent years, such as introducing templates for particular industries and expanding an advertiser’s scope to utilise multiple media forms, but a user will only see your finished ad design if you entice a click-through successfully.

  • Reach

If getting the word out about your business to as many people as possible in a short space of time is of paramount importance, then Google AdWords is a good place to start. Plus, the Google Display Network, which spans about 98% of the web, allows you to place banners on various websites to increase brand awareness, though some experts recommend sticking to AdWords if increasing sales is your top priority.

Facebook Ads vs. Google AdWords: The Verdict

Deciding whether to use Google AdWords or Facebook Ads largely depends on your aims and the nature of your business, but a combination of the two is usually the best approach. However, if your company has a visual appeal and a narrow target audience, Facebook Ads might be the most beneficial. On the other hand, Google AdWords might bring a higher return on investment for local businesses trying to stand out from the competition and grab the attention of ready-to-buy customers.