Facebook Ads vs Google Ads: Which Platform is Best?

Business owners often wonder: which is better for their budget, Facebook ads or Google ads? However, the answer is not as straightforward as the question.

Google and Facebook are two of the biggest platforms for online advertising. Google is known for being the most popular search engine, while Facebook is a social media platform where people connect with friends and family. If you’re planning to advertise your business, you need to consider which platform would work best for you based on various factors. Before we get started, it is important to understand the differences in the types of advertising available on both platforms.

What is Facebook advertising?

Businesses use paid Facebook advertising to serve branded messages to users of the world’s largest social network. Facebook ads can be placed on the newsfeed, sidebar, and audience network on mobile.

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads is a paid system that allows brands to amplify their messaging throughout the Google network. That includes over 2 million websites and the results pages of 3.5 billion daily searches.

Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads

Both Google and Facebook have an extensive reach that covers all corners of the internet. Google’s display network has a reach of 90% of people online, and searches on its proprietary engine have exceeded a trillion per year. On the other hand, Facebook is the largest social network in the world, with over 3 billion users.

Advertisers are no strangers to either network—Google and Facebook own 60% of digital advertising dollars worldwide. Google dominates the network, but at what cost? Here are some things to consider before choosing:.

Granular Targeting

Facebook keeps a mountain of data on its users. Even though it’s cut ties with third-party data collectors, the social network still allows advertisers access to a trove of audience information, which users primarily offer.

Google, on the other hand, serves ads contextually based on keywords and behavior. It has no storage of user information that can be compared to Facebook’s. Advertisers who need to target specific life events, such as marriage or a child’s birth, choose Facebook.

What you’re advertising

Google may have the advantage of wider reach and more experience, but in terms of ad creativity, Facebook takes the lead. Facebook offers innovative formats like immersive Canvas, which is now known as “Instant Experience,” that can turn a user’s screen into a product showcase. Additionally, 360 videos can provide a window to the world, while lead ads can generate leads directly from the platform.

Facebook’s interactive ad types make the social media platform a great choice for businesses advertising visually appealing products or services.

In contrast, while Google offers a variety of ad types, they may not be as engaging as Facebook’s. However, if you prioritize flexibility in advertising, Google may be a better option.

If your ad campaign has viral potential, the ability to like, comment, and share will only add to its reach. If it doesn’t, Google ads may provide a better audience.

Your industry

Finally, the industry in which you work may have an impact on the allocation of your budget. Google Ads has a reputation for attracting high-quality traffic in particular business sectors. As more and more businesses in those sectors turn to the platform and bid aggressively on keywords relevant to you, the cost per click could increase.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use Google ads; you simply may find less competition on Facebook. And less competition translates to a lower CPC. In your industry, it may make sense to start on Facebook.

The goal of your campaign

The ultimate goal of advertising is to attract buyers and retain their loyalty. However, not all ads aim for sales. Like members of a team or business, each campaign plays a distinct role in achieving the ultimate goal. Here are some smaller objectives that you may be considering for your next ad group:

Top-funnel goals:

At the top of your funnel, the largest part is where potential customers first become aware of your brand and its solutions. This is where visitors might start following and engaging with your social media accounts or searching for information on a particular problem that your brand can solve. Therefore, common metrics for measuring brand awareness include:

  • Website visits
  • Social media interaction
  • Social media reach
  • Blog reads
  • Social shares
  • Newsletter subscriptions

Middle-funnel goals:

As prospects move further down the funnel, they begin to narrow down their options within the same category of product or service. For instance, if prospects have decided to outsource PPC management to an advertising agency rather than using software to do it themselves, this stage is about choosing the right agency. To measure success in the middle of the funnel, a business could focus on:

  • Session length
  • Bounce rate
  • Case study downloads
  • Email opens
  • Email click-throughs
  • Landing page visits
  • Webinar signups
  • Demo signups

Bottom-funnel goals:

The bottom of your funnel is where prospects decide to purchase your product or go with another. Some common ways to measure bottom-funnel success are:

  • Sales
  • Revenue
  • Gross profit
  • Sales page conversion rate

So why do these stages matter? They correlate to the users of each network.

Facebook is a powerful tool for increasing brand awareness, particularly in the early stages of a marketing campaign. Unlike Google, Facebook can generate viral content that users can easily share. Social media platforms like Facebook are where people spend their time browsing and sharing things that are important to them. However, it’s important to note that most of the content shared on social media is not intended for direct marketing purposes.

Google beats Facebook when it comes to drawing bottom-funnel traffic. The reason is the intent of the searchers.

By “intent,” we’re referring to a searcher’s need for a solution to their query. After all, that’s why you navigated to a search engine in the first place. If you’re searching, you’re looking for an answer.

If a user searches on Google with keywords related to a business that advertises on the platform, an ad will appear on the search engine results page. These ads are designed to lead potential customers to a landing page where they can avail of an appropriate offer.

For instance, if a user searches for “email marketing software,” a Google ad may direct them to a page where they can try the software for free.

Here’s an example from SendinBlue:

Facebook Ads Vs Google Ads : Adnivate
Google Search Ad Example

Are you B2B or B2C?

Facebook traffic is much less qualified than Google Ads traffic, which is full of intent. Still, this is no problem because the CPC is so much lower on Facebook. For example, say you have an 8% conversion rate on Google AdWords and a 3% conversion rate on Facebook:

  • If you’re paying $8 per click on Google Ads, each conversion costs you $100.
  • If you’re paying $0.70 per click on Facebook, each Facebook conversion costs you $23.33.

The effectiveness of your marketing efforts depends not only on how much money you have to spend but also on how efficiently you allocate those funds. While a certain advertising platform may appear to have a higher return on investment due to a higher conversion rate, you may be paying more per conversion on that platform.

Breaking down the numbers

In the example above, 1,000 clicks on Google at $8 apiece will cost you $8,000, while 1,000 clicks on Facebook at $0.70 apiece will cost $700. With a conversion rate of 8% on Google, you’ll have earned 80 conversions from those thousand clicks. On Facebook, with a 3% conversion rate, you’ll have earned $30.

So, $8,000 for 80 conversions on Google averages to $100 per conversion. On Facebook, $700 for 30 conversions averages to $23.33 per conversion.

It’s possible to spend ten times more on Facebook and generate 300 conversions for $7,000 while spending less than it costs to convert 80 people on Google. However, marketers often focus too much on conversion rates, even though a higher conversion rate doesn’t always mean greater efficiency.

Conclusion: Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads

As is often the case when comparing tools and networks, the answer is rarely straightforward, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be one or the other. Facebook and Google can work effectively in combination with each other, particularly when it comes to remarketing.

By running remarketing ads across both networks, advertisers can use the Meta Pixel and Google retargeting to bring visitors back to their landing pages in the event that they do not convert. Remarketing on both networks is a recommended first step for many marketers.

There is no correct or incorrect answer to the question of where you should spend the majority of your budget. It depends on what works best for you. If you are just getting started, let these ideas guide you, but keep collecting data to see what works best and change as needed.

Measure KPIs throughout the funnel and boost campaign conversion rates with Adnivate Digital Marketing Agency. Contact us today!

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Team Adnivate
Team Adnivate

Adnivate is a full-service Digital Marketing Agency based out in New York, USA.

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