Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads

From commercials to billboards to in-app display ads, we are constantly bombarded with advertisements in our daily lives. Although, it should come as no surprise - advertising is a tried and true method to put your product or service in front of potentially millions of viewers.

As digital marketing takes more and more of a stronghold over traditional marketing methods, search engine advertising has skyrocketed in terms of revenue - almost exceeding $50 billion per year.

Responsible for 36.2% of the digital ad spend in the United States, it's no surprise that most people would consider Google the most effective method of online advertising. However, Google isn't the only digital advertising channel available. Social platforms, Facebook and LinkedIn, also command a significant portion of the market share. But, how well do they fare against the mega-conglomerate: Google?

In this post, we'll compare and contrast the three popular ad platforms, as well as discuss the most appropriate scenarios in which to advertise on each.

Google Ads

Many may have never noticed, but if you go to Google and type in a popular keyword or phrase, such as: tennis shoes or concert tickets, the first several results are actually advertisements. These can be identified by the green box that says "Ad" to the left of the URL. These look almost identical to organic search results but they are, in fact, paid advertisements through Google's ad platform: Google Ads.

Google owns approximately 90% of the search engine market share and considering the sheer volume of searches on their platform alone (over 5.6 billion per day), it's no surprise that Google Ads is one of the most popular digital advertising platforms available.

Although the Google Ads reach potential is substantially greater than any other ad platform, it can be relatively expensive. According to a study by WordStream, the average cost-per-click (or the amount you pay when someone clicks on your ad) is $2.64 across all industries, while the average conversion rate (or the percentage of clicks that commit a valuable action on your website) is 3.75%. All of this leads to one of the most important metrics in Pay-Per-Click advertising, cost-per-action, (or the dollar amount you spent on advertising for a user to commit a designated action you deem as valuable) which averages $48.96 on Google Ads.

Google Ads also requires significant micromanagement. It's not as simple as creating an ad and setting it on auto-pilot (well it can be, but you'd most likely just be wasting your money). Running a successful campaign requires much more finesse. Bidding strategies, A/B testing, negative keyword implementation, conversion tracking, keyword research, audience targeting, and more makes managing Google Ads a full-time job.

There is a lot of work that goes into making just one ad successful.

Aside from the frivolous micromanagement and cost metrics associated with Google, it is the most popular ad platform because there is no niche. Quite literally, anything and everything is on Google. Whether you make and sell charm bracelets or provide septic cleaning services - everything in between can and is advertised on Google.

Facebook Ads

Although Facebook is beginning to plateau in terms of quarter-over-quarter growth, they still continue to add to their user base well into 2019. Despite not being able to reach the volume of searches/users per day that Google can provide, Facebook does receive significantly more usage per user. According to an article by AdEspresso, the average Facebook user accesses the app or website 8 times per day for upwards of 35 minutes. These metrics allow for endless scrolling and opportunities to place advertisements in front of potentially billions of people.

Comparatively, the average CPC and CPA on Facebook is significantly less than on Google - so if you're looking for a more cost-effective route for online advertising, Facebook might be your best bet. But keep in mind, the advantage in overall traffic and users goes to Google Ads.

Audience targeting is available on both Facebook and Google - with generic options such as age, location, gender, etc. but Facebook takes the audience refinement to a much higher level. Facebook provides you the ability to create custom audience lists based off of a large numbers of interests and behaviors. If you want to target "Mothers" between the ages "35 and 45" with "children between 7 and 12 years old" who like "video games" and live in the "Dallas" metroplex, that is entirely within the realm of possibility on Facebook's ad platform. This can prove extremely useful for organizations with specific and niche products/services.

Furthermore, search engine marketing provides added benefits in the sense that you are able to promote your products and services alongside your business. Google is limited with their branding capabilities, as only display and remarketing ads will allow you to provide any soft of graphics for brand recognition. Facebook constantly cycles ad formats that allow the inclusion of graphics and designs so you can show off your logos and products endlessly on their platform.

Facebook certainly wins over Google in the audience targeting and cost-efficiency aspects but you have to consider that a majority of users on Facebook use it as an outlet for entertainment as opposed to a purchasing platform. Google, on the other hand, is used almost exclusively for that purpose - whether that be informational, navigational, or transactional.

Conclusion

Digital advertising is a highly effective way to increase the bottom line for your business.

Whether you opt to choose Google Ads, Facebook ads, or a combination of the two, we can assure you your business will see an uptick in sales and visibility.

The digital marketing team at Code Authority has extensive experience optimizing campaigns for clients of all sizes and niches through Facebook and Google's ad platform. Our clients can rely on us to meet the specific demands of their organizational needs.

To see how we can assist you with digital transformation services, contact us today!