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Facebook Ads vs Google Ads: Which is Right For You?

In the battle of the two largest online advertising platforms in the world, which one is the correct choice for your business?

Facebook and Google have both benefited hugely from paid advertisements on their sites. With both platforms monetizing billions of dollars from their respective advertisement methods, the question is...which one is right for your company? It’s important to mention that although there are differences in the methods of advertising, both platforms can be successfully used in harmony with one another.

Google Ads

Every second, there are over 2.3 million searches performed on Google, and the majority of search results pages include Google ads. Google ads have been used for advertising on the search engine since 2000. As the most used search engine, advertisements on Google can be extremely beneficial for advertisers looking to increase engagement, conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI). Google ads operate on an auction system, where advertisers pick keywords that are relevant to their business and pay to appear in the ad section every time a user searches the chosen word(s).

Advertisers bid to appear on the ad section and subsequently pay for engagement or clicks to their website (PPC). A high bid amount isn't the only means of appearing on Google ads, Google's algorithms search for good quality content for each keyword. Google has specific incentives to encourage good quality content, such as rewarding advertisers by lowering their cost per click (CPC), therefore helping to improve ROI. Google will also show ads more often and in better positions if you have good quality content. Thus, the best way to win the auction and get the most out of Google ads is to have good quality content in conjunction with your bid.

One advantage of using Google ads is that the ads are more strategically placed, meaning they might only appear to the viewer if they have used the right keywords or search phrases. There is no attempt to show everything to everyone.

Another advantage arises in the form of competitive advantage for startups or smaller companies. 75% of people will never scroll past the first page on a Google search. So the ads give advertisers, no matter their size or popularity, the chance to be at the top of the search results in the ad section - meaning a smaller company can compete with larger companies that dominate the organic search results.

Facebook Ads

Beginning in 2007, Facebook ads were introduced as a means of advertising for companies which allowed them to target ads to their desired audience. Facebook’s method of advertisement differed from those of Google’s most notably in that Google ads appear when users search relevant words or phrases, whereas Facebook ads were integrated into the social media feed of relevant users. Facebook's success was hugely accredited to the platform's user statistics. With over 2 billion active monthly users and each user averaging an hour on Facebook every day, wide reach is almost certainly guaranteed.

Facebook ads work by using data given voluntarily by users (e.g. page interests, age, location, occupation) to give Facebook a clear idea of their user demographics. Using this, Facebook can target ads to users based on their likelihood to purchase or engage with the ad. Many criticise Facebook ads’ ability to be effective, as, unlike Google, people are not going on Facebook to make purchases, they’re going on it for social purposes or entertainment.

However, success is subjective to each advertisers goal, purchases may not be the only aim. Target goals can be anything from conversion to directing traffic to your site. In the latter, Facebook is extremely successful as the ads are seamlessly integrated into the natural news feed on targeted timelines - presenting an opportunity for users who are scrolling through the timeline to engage with the ad. The ad, unlike regular feed posts, will have a call-to-action, asking the user to learn more, sign up, download, or contact us.

Pedigree used Facebook ads to raise awareness for dogs in shelters, growing the likes on their Facebook page from 55,000 to over a million and raising over $600,000 in donations. Showing that despite users initially going onto Facebook to make purchases, successful campaigns are still highly possible on the platform.

Final Thoughts

Though the two platforms differ in methods, both have proven to be hugely successful means of advertisement. Due to its wide reach, Facebook ads may be more useful if your goal is brand awareness whereas Google may prove to be more beneficial if your goal is to drive up sales. However, as aforementioned, both platforms can work in conjunction with one another successfully.

Are you interested in creating the perfect PPC or paid social media campaign? TANGA Digital can create a bespoke strategy that best suits your budget, product and desired outcome.

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