Google or Facebook advertising: Which is the best choice for your business?

Google ads and Facebook ads are two giants when it comes to pay-per-click advertising on the Internet. Both can be a significant driver of your business, while many companies use both platforms to maximize their reach. Of course, resources are limited, so you need to focus on the channel from which you will get the most in return.

Google and Facebook have a lot in common, but there are also a few significant differences that will ultimately determine which platform is best for your business.

Google ads and Facebook ads – what is the difference?

First of all, what are Google and Facebook ads? It doesn’t matter if you have advertising experience or not, if you use the Internet you have certainly come across one of these ads. But how are they created?

Both are advertising platforms that operate on a pay-per-click basis. When you create an ad, you bid for the amount you want to pay for the ad, and choose for what period of time. From then on, every time someone clicks on one of your ads, you will be charged a certain amount of money.

For now, let’s focus on the differences between a Paid search and a Paid social campaign.

Google ads (Google AdWords) is paid search. This means you pay for your ads to make your business appear in Google search results. Namely, when you search for a term, for example “car sales Florida”, several ads will first appear at the top of the page (marked with „AD“ next to the text), and only after them, the first organic search result is shown (unpaid search).

With paid search, your ad is placed based on targeted keywords, which are listed in your ad preferences, rather than targeting specific audience interest or demographic targeting. That said, you can (and should) adjust your campaign settings to target users by location and other factors.

Keep in mind that Google ads can appear in a number of different ways. So there is advertising on platforms: Google Search, YouTube, Google Display Network, Google Shopping, Google Maps, Google Play.

Unlike paid search on Google, Facebook ads offers paid social advertising. After a series of changes in the Facebook algorithm over the past few years, brands are finding it increasingly difficult, almost impossible, to show their content in an organic – unpaid way to potential customers, who are already following their pages. Since the content published by the page is displayed only to a small part of the users (about 10% of the total number of followers of the page), businesses are forced to set aside a budget for Facebook ads.

Like Google, Facebook has several different platforms on which ads can appear. Those are: Facebook News Feed – homepage, Instagram Feed – homepage, Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Video Feeds, Facebook Right Column – right column, Audience Network, Facebook Messenger.

Google and Facebook advertising – Pros and cons

1. Audience size

Both Google and Facebook have enormous reach – Google handles an estimated more than 5.8 billion searches every single day, while Facebook has an estimated 1.73 billion daily active users.

It is clear that your audience is present on both platforms, so the decision to advertise cannot be made solely on the basis of this criterion. Additional questions need to be asked:

• Is the target group of your business active on these networks?

• Is the product/service you offer search-oriented or is it social, or does a paid search or paid social campaign suit it better?

Because, even this number of Google searches on a daily basis will not help you if in fact no one, or a negligible number of people, are searching for your product.

If you offer something new, innovative, something that people have not heard of or are insufficiently informed – then Facebook is a better option for you.

2. Costs and Return of investment

The average CPC (cost per click) on Google ads is $2.69 globally, but it varies wildly from industry to industry. For example, e-commerce companies can expect a cost-per-click of $1.16, and legal up to $6.75. Currently the most expensive keyword on Google search, globally, is “insurance” with a price of $54.91 per click!

In small countries, due to less competition and markets, all these prices are significantly lower and that is why Google is a great and inexpensive way to advertise there.

Facebook tends to be a bit cheaper. Businesses in the clothing industry pay around $0.45 per click, while finance and insurance are the most expensive type of business, with an average cost of $3.77 per click. The average cost-per-click varies not only by industry, but also by the position in which the ad is placed, so research shows that ads on the Instagram feed are twice as expensive as those on the Facebook homepage.

As with Google campaigns, prices for Facebook advertising in small countries are significantly lower than the global average.

In addition to CPC, CPA (cost per action) must be considered to determine if you will have a high return on investment in your campaigns. Prices also vary, depending on the campaign, as well as how the ads are targeted and the appropriate parameters are correctly set.

The average CPA globally, counting all industries, is around $18.68 on Facebook, $48.96 on Google search (keyword search) and even $75.51 on Google Display campaigns (banner ads).

3. Buyer Intent

When it comes to the intentions of the customer – the user of these platforms, in this duel Google ads almost always win. It is clear: if the user has a broken home device, he will at that time look for information about servicers on Google, he will not remember the ad he saw on Facebook 3 months ago. So, Google is a great way to advertise to those users who have already shown interest in our products/services, and that’s how we best target them.

On the other hand, people more often go to Facebook to relax, socialize, and not to shop. On this network, it is better to work on the image, build the brand and relationship with users, because Facebook is extremely useful for creating your loyal audience. Therefore, if the goal of your campaign is to build brand awareness, rather than immediate conversions and purchases, then Facebook is probably a better choice.

4. Targeting capabilities

Both Google and Facebook provide the ability to target and retarget, according to age, gender, location, interests, and a number of other parameters. However, when it comes to advanced targeting – the winner is Facebook.

Facebook allows you to create an audience based on a large list of interests and behaviors, thanks to the rich information it collects from its users. So, for example, vegetarian parents with children aged 5 to 7 can be targeted. Also, “lookalike audience” can be created – an audience that is similar in parameters to your existing audience.

Which platform to focus on?

Which platform is more suitable for your business? Before the final answer, it is necessary to address the following questions:

What is the goal of your campaign, increasing sales in the short term or building a brand? For the first option, Google performed better, for the second Facebook.

Are you more focused on B2B or B2C business? Both campaigns are present on the Google platform, while Facebook more often gives better results for B2C.

Is your product already recognizable or do you want to build awareness about the new product? Google ads are better for recognizable, Facebook ads for newer products.

What budget and technical skills do you have? Google needs a larger initial budget if you’re in a competitive industry. On the other hand, Facebook is looking for more creativity and creating different advertising formats.

Whichever way you go, it is necessary to monitor the results, compare the budget that has been invested and how much profit has been made, and, if necessary, make corrections in the campaigns themselves.

Advertising on these platforms is not an easy task. Experienced experts in this field work on market research, creating a strategy of appearance and communication, advertising at the right time and in the right place, defining target groups of users, in a way that the invested funds are as low as possible, and the results are as good as possible. Therefore, for digital advertising services, you can contact the marketing team of AMR Global Advisors.

AMR Global Advisors

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