Are you trying to determine which would be better for your pay-per-click (PPC) strategy, Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads?
Both Google and Facebook have become giants in the advertising industry. They allow you to target your audience at a granular level so you can get the biggest return on ad spend (ROAS) possible.
But, like with everything in life, neither is a “silver bullet” tool.
That’s why, in today’s post, we’re going to look at the advantages and disadvantages of both Google ads vs. Facebook ads.
Our goal is to help you determine which platform will get your unique business the most bang for your buck.
Let’s start with Google ads (now known as AdWords).
With an estimated 3.5 billion searches made on Google every day, it is no wonder that advertising on Google is a popular marketing strategy. While SEO might eventually get you to the top of the SERPs organically, PPC advertising is guaranteed to get you a good spot.
Well... as long as Google deems your ad relevant, and you have the right budget in place, of course.
Google offers two main options for PPC. You can have your ads on their search network, which means they will appear at the top of search results when people look up relevant keywords on Google. Or you can have them on the display network, which puts your ads onto other websites, in their banner or sidebar.
You can choose to have ads displayed on both networks, too. And for eCommerce brands, there’s also the option to create shopping ads.
That range of options is one of the biggest advantages of using Google Ads. Let’s look at a few of the others.
a) Tailor your ads to search intent
This is the major benefit of choosing Google Ads over Facebook Ads. Google Ads gives you the option to create ads that are tailored specifically to search intent.
Not only will you reach the people who are most likely to buy your product or service, but you’ll also catch them at the point when they are specifically looking for something related to your company.
And because you can choose which keywords you want to target with which ad, you can easily adapt your copy to suit the needs of searchers. That means they are more likely to click through.
b) Access a huge audience
Other search engines exist. Or I’ve heard rumors that they do. But Google holds over 92% of the market share. The next largest is Bing, with just 2.46%.
The display network is no slacker either. It reaches an estimated 90% of internet users worldwide.
Google is so prevalent in today’s culture that it’s become its own verb. And those Google users are just waiting for you if you target your ads correctly.
c) Budget isn’t the only deciding factor
Although your budget does have an effect on the likelihood of your ad being served to searchers, it isn’t the only deciding factor, or even the most important.
Google wants to show searchers high-quality, relevant results. It’s how they retain their huge audience. And this strategy extends to PPC campaigns as well as organic results.
So, if your ad is most relevant to your target keywords, Google might feature it above a company with a bigger budget that is less relevant. That means even small companies can do well, as long as they choose the most appropriate keywords for their campaigns.
Google has some great advantages for PPC advertising. But it has some disadvantages too. If you are deciding whether Facebook Ads or Google Ads is the better investment, here are some other things to consider.
a) It can get expensive
If you are targeting popular keywords, the cost of advertising on Google can add up quickly. The flip side, of course, is that you only pay when someone clicks through from your ad. But the bidding model means that the cost per click can go up, especially for competitive industries.
b) There’s a steep learning curve
Choosing the right keywords and setting up successful PPC campaigns with Google Ads is both an art and a science.
As a newcomer, it can take time to get used to the platform and test what works best for your target audience. Unfortunately, that might mean a lower ROAS while you get to grips with how it all works.
The platform itself also takes time to learn, which can lead to costly mistakes if you aren’t yet sure how to set up your campaigns correctly.
c) Limited audience targeting
Although Google Ads offers some audience targeting, especially for video campaigns, there are limited options for search network campaigns.
So, if your product will only appeal to a very specific audience, you may find you pay for clicks that are never going to convert into customers.
If your focus is on conversions and sales, Google Ads is the platform for you. It catches searchers at the point where they are actively looking for a solution to their problem. If you can convince them that you are the right answer, you should do well from Google Ads.
Now let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook ads.
Facebook famously makes it hard for businesses to find new customers through organic posting alone. But its PPC advertising options help companies get themselves in front of new audiences.
And since Facebook took over Instagram in 2012, you can also use their advertising platform to display your ads on Instagram. They offer ad placement options for Facebook Marketplace and Messenger, too.
a) Plenty of options for ads
Facebook is a versatile platform that includes video, images, and text. And that broad range of content types is reflected in the wealth of options available for ad formats.
Slideshows, carousels, photos, and videos are just some of the options on offer.
Compared with Google Ads, Facebook Ads have a much wider range of formats. This means you can really showcase your brand and catch people’s attention with powerful imagery.
b) Advanced audience targeting
Another advantage of Facebook Ads over Google Ads is the nuanced audience targeting it offers.
You can select audiences based on basic demographic criteria, such as age and gender. And you can add locations to that too. But you can also go more in-depth and target people based on their interests, hobbies, education, job title, or relationship status.
This means you can create ads that are fully tailored to your ideal audience.
c) Excellent ROAS
If your budget is limited, I have some good news for you: Facebook Ads can deliver a high ROAS for your PPC campaigns.
For a platform with such a big audience, Facebook has kept its PPC advertising surprisingly affordable. Even a minimal daily ad spend can get you in front of thousands of new people.
You can also tailor your campaigns depending on your desired outcome. If you want to increase your brand awareness, push more traffic to your website, or maximize your reach, you can set up your campaign accordingly. And you can also focus on lead generation, event registrations, or downloads.
Of course, there are some disadvantages to using Facebook Ads. Here are some reasons it might not be the best option.
a) People aren’t looking to buy
When you advertise with Google, you can tailor your keywords to get in front of people who are actively looking to make a purchase.
Not so with Facebook Ads. Although plenty of users also connect with their favorite brands, most use Facebook predominately to stay in touch with friends and family.
You can still catch them in the mood to buy, especially if your business lends itself well to impulse purchases. But you are unlikely to see the same level of direct conversions as you will from Google.
b) Facebook may reject your ads
Although the 20% rule has been relaxed in recent years, Facebook may still reject your ad if it contains too much text over the images.
You can use captions, of course, but they won’t have the impact of a powerful image with attention-grabbing text.
Facebook also has strict rules around nudity in images, as well as sexually suggestive content. This is a logical step to protect its audiences, but some users have noted it can be applied overzealously. Adverts for swimwear or underwear especially need to tread carefully.
c) Negative comments
Feedback is important. It helps us all adapt our products and our advertising to fit the needs of our target audience.
But negative feedback in a public forum? That’s not so great.
Unlike Google Ads, many Facebook Ad formats allow viewers to add comments. And not all of those responses are positive.
You’ll need to have a strategy in place for managing negative comments on your Facebook Ads, which can be time-consuming.
If your focus is on growing your brand awareness and reaching new audiences, Facebook Ads might be the best platform to choose. Lead generation campaigns can also do well, with dedicated forms to catch potential leads right on Facebook.
Our goal today was to help you understand the difference between Google ads vs. Facebook ads. That way, you could select the right platform for you!
But regardless of which one you go with (or both), there’s one crucial step for getting the most money back from your investment: tracking the results.
This is crucial when it comes to ad spending budgets, because they can add up and fluctuate so quickly.
Plus, with all your other marketing efforts, it can be easy to slack off on the tracking part and let ads run on autopilot… even if they aren’t working.
That’s why we always recommend using a global reporting building tool like Metrics Watch:
Metrics Watch is one of the best marketing report builders on the market. It lets you create professional reports in a matter of minutes.
Plus, you can source key performance indicators (KPIs) from your favorite marketing channels, such as:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Facebook (organic and paid)
- LinkedIn (organic and paid)
- Instagram (organic and paid)
- And more…
With a drag and drop report builder, you’ll have automated reports set up in no time at all. Then, you can select who needs these reports, and send them on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
But here’s the best part: Metrics Watch is the most frictionless report sharing tool around.
That’s because we send reports directly via email, which is different from most report building tools out there.
That means no more messy PDF attachments for your team or clients to organize, and no more 3rd-party user dashboard logins to manage.
Instead, you’ll send the right information to the right people in a format they already know.
It doesn’t get much easier than that!
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And that’s it for today! These have been a review of Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads.
If you found this post helpful, you’ll likely want to check out the following resources:
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Pay-Per-Click Advertising
- Agency Resource: White Label Facebook Ads Agencies and Tools
- The Best AdWords Reporting Tools to Track Your ROAS
These resources will have everything you need to improve your PPC strategy.