It’s one of the most common questions business owners ask when expanding their paid media presence. Where should I spend my advertising money: Google or Facebook?
Another version of that question that commonly follows is: Which is better?
The answer is not that simple.
Both can be great drivers for your business, and many companies use both in order to maximize their reach. But since time is money and money doesn’t grow on trees, where does one begin to get the most bang for their buck?
Sure, the two ad platforms have a lot of similarities, but there are a few significant differences that will determine which is the best fit for you and your business.
Google vs. Facebook
Until recently, many business owners viewed Facebook Ads and Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords) in an adversarial way. The two platforms’ long-standing rivalry, often dramatized by technology media outlets, was taken as irrefutable evidence that they were in direct competition with one another. Businesses big and small felt pressured to make a difficult decision about which platform was best for their specific needs.
This is a false dichotomy that remains confusing and misleading, especially to those who are new to the world of advertising.
Although the two platforms are often positioned as competitors, nothing could be further from the truth in a practical sense.
Many businesses are leveraging the strengths of both Facebook Ads and Google Ads in an attempt to achieve greater visibility, increase sales and leads, and find new customers. The key is to have different strategies that align with the functionality of each platform and see an incredible return on advertising spend.
Before we dive into the various strengths and features of both platforms, it’s important to understand the primary differences.
Google Ads: Paid Search
Google AdWords is the world’s largest, most popular PPC advertising platform, making up 75% of the search engine market. In fact, there are over 5 billion Google searches every single day, according to Internet Live Stats.
This powerful platform is so widely used, it has become synonymous with the term “paid search.” The two terms are commonly used interchangeably, even though other platforms such as Bing Ads work in a similar way.
Paid search focuses on the targeting of specific keywords and the use of text-based ads.
Advertisers using Google Ads bid on keywords (distinct phrases and keywords included in search queries entered by Google users), in the hopes that their advertisements will be displayed alongside their search results. Each time a user clicks on their ad, the advertiser is charged a certain amount of money, hence the name “pay-per-click advertising.”
Pay-per-click bidding and bid optimization is a complex topic, but essentially, advertisers are paying for the potential to find customers based on the keywords and search terms they enter into Google.
Facebook Ads: Paid Social
On the other hand, there are Facebook Ads, which is a prime example of what is known as “paid social,” or in other words, the practice of advertising on social media networks.
With the biggest number of monthly active users (or MAUs) of any social media network in the world, Facebook has become an extremely competitive element of many businesses’ digital advertising strategies. Not only do advertisers have access to an extremely vast audience all over the world, but they're reaching customers where they already are: social media.
Although marketing on Facebook can be thought of as similar to Google Ads in that advertisers using both platforms are essentially promoting their business on the great world wide web, this is where the similarities end.
Unlike paid search, which helps businesses to locate new customers via keywords, paid social helps users find businesses based on the things they’re interested in and the ways in which they behave online.
When it boils down to the primary difference between Facebook Ads and Google Ads, you can think of it this way: Google Ads will help your business to find new customers, while Facebook Ads will help new customers find you.
Now that you understand the primary differences between these two incredible platforms, let’s explore the benefits of each.
Benefits of Google Ads
As we mentioned, Google is the most popular ad platform in the world. Why? Simply because it works.
You can target users who are ready to buy. When it comes to Google advertising versus Facebook advertising, it’s tough to find a clear winner. However, when we’re talking about targeting users who are ready to convert into customers, Google takes the cake.
We already know that when you use Google Ads, you are able to target users based on specific keywords, and you pull those keywords from tools that specifically tell you what users are searching for. Instead of simply boosting awareness of your brand, with Google Ads, you can target users who are ready to commit to a service or product.
You can use various ad formats. Sure, Google Ads might not be as “fun” or colorful as the Facebook ads you see on your social media feed, but you still have the option to add engaging features to your Google ads that can entice users to click them.
For example, you can add your website, a phone number, customer reviews, and so much more. These are called ad-extensions, and they can make your ads much more effective. When looking for an advertising company, be sure to find one like MuteSix who is well-versed in how to structure an effective Google Ads campaign with ad-extensions to help maximize your response.
You can analyze your ads deeply. When it comes to analytics platforms, Google Analytics is arguably the best. You’ll see important ad metrics that you didn’t know you needed, or that even existed, like average cost-per-click (CPC), impressions over a specific period of time, and more.
It’s an even playing field. One of the largest misconceptions among those new to PPC is that whoever has the most money and the biggest advertising budget somehow automatically “wins” at Google AdWords. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth, as this platform focuses primarily on the quality and relevance of ads - not how much advertisers spend, despite contrary belief.
The more relevant an ad is to the Google user, the better experience that user is likely to have, meaning the more likely they are to keep using Google as their go-to search engine for all of their internet needs. For this reason, Google AdWords rewards relevance and quality above all other factors. This is why smart advertising companies like MuteSix are able to save their clients so much money on their marketing efforts. They use relevant, well-optimized, high-quality ads, and rarely have to bid as high as advertisers who have poorer ads.
Certain keywords may cost more than others, but how much advertisers have to bid will depend mostly on the relevance and quality of their ads. Some metrics are more essential to Google in its evaluation of relevance and quality than others, such as click-through rate, which is considered a reliable indication of an advertisement's overall quality and appeal.
Benefits of Facebook Ads
Compared to Google, Facebook is the scrappy newcomer to the world of paid online advertising. However, over the years, Facebook has worked hard to refine and improve its advertising solution. Today, this popular platform is considered a pioneer in the realm of paid social and has become a central part of many businesses’ online marketing strategies.
Facebook gives you an expansive audience. With over 2.4 billion users and growing, Facebook is, without a doubt, a fantastic advertising platform. It provides an opportunity to get your business in front of millions of people globally. The more people you can get your business advertisements in front of, the more your brand awareness will increase. Over time, that will lead to more traffic to your website and more sales overall.
Facebook gives you granular targeting options. Do you want to target a specific audience based on where they live in the world? How about their schooling status or even their marital status?
With Facebook Ads, you can.
One of the best advantages of Facebook Ads is that you can advertise to an extremely specific group of people, making it more likely that your ads will reach the right individuals successfully.
Facebook Ads are eye-catching. Facebook Ads are simply more visually appealing than Google PPC ads. Advertisers can get creative with Facebook Ads and feature graphics, a video, a carousel of products, and much more. With this platform, you have a lot more design abilities, which means you also have the upper hand in showing off your products or services to potential customers.
You can get an incredible ROI. Businesses and advertisers that utilize Facebook Ads are often blown away by the granularity of its targeting options, as well as the incredible tools they have at their disposal for creating beautiful and engaging ads. However, one element of Facebook Ads that consistently takes marketing newbies by surprise is the potential return on investment (ROI) that advertising on Facebook offers, and how far savvy advertisers can stretch a limited ad budget on the platform.
Although the budget of an effective Facebook advertising campaign will vary widely depending on a range of factors such as messaging, scope, and overall campaign objectives, Facebook Ads are surprisingly really affordable, especially when considering their potential impact and ability to help businesses get in front of their ideal target audiences. This competitive pricing makes Facebook Ads a very attractive proposition, especially for small businesses and companies with limited resources.
Combined with the incredible returns offered by the platform, Facebook Ads is undoubtedly one of the best-value online advertising solutions available.
Which Platform Should You Use?
Both Facebook Ads and Google Ads are incredibly powerful advertising platforms that cater to virtually every type of business. Whether you are selling financial and real estate services, or promoting your homemade candle business, both can be a valuable resource.
When evaluating each advertising solution’s strengths and potential applications, it’s also apparent that the two platforms should be viewed in a complementary way, rather than adversarial.
Some people new to advertising insist on comparing Facebook Ads to the Google Display Network, and while the two platforms do share some similarities, the ways in which the two platforms have evolved independently of one another shows that Facebook Ads and Google Ads should be used in a harmonious way - not in opposition.
Advertising online is of utmost importance. Since the rise of smartphones, tablets, and personal computers, the way people search for answers, products, and services online has fundamentally changed.
These days, “Googling it” is so incredibly common that it’s been added to our vernacular and daily routine. According to a recent study, the average person will spend more than 5 years and 4 months of their life browsing social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
Over the years, consumers have become more curious, demanding, and impatient in their quest for information, products, and services. They want answers fast, and it’s easier than ever to search for and find products and services online, which means it’s also extremely competitive for rival brands.
To help customers find your brand specifically, you have to participate in their search and help them in a way that will convince them that you’re the best option for their specific need.
Not sure how?
Mutesix is your answer. If you want to grow your business to unimaginable heights in this day and age, you need an advertising company that specializes in modern advertising and takes advantage of targeted media buying and data-driven analysis to get you the results that make the sales. Plus, they have a team of over 150 experts to deliver the perfect combination of creative and paid media expertise to maximize your brand’s awareness and results.
So, which performs better, you ask? The simple answer is - it depends. Or should we say, both.
It depends on many factors, such as your industry, budget, country, audience, objectives, and much more. Hire an amazing company like MuteSix that can handle all of your online advertising needs so you can focus on what’s most important - running your business.