The two platforms are often positioned as competitors but the truth is more otherwise. Maybe it’s difficult to know which advertising is right for your business but when it comes to the primary difference between Google AdWords and Facebook Ads we can distinguish this: AdWords helps you find new customers, while Facebook helps new customers find you.
The main advantage for Google Ads (paid search) is the immense reach that comes along. Google and its powerful search engine handle 3.8 million searches per minute on average across the globe. That comes out to 228 million searches per hour, 5.6 billion searches per day, or 2 trillion searches per year. From 1997 they dominated the search engine market, maintaining 86.86% of themarket share. (Bing has 2.32% of the market share, Yahoo! has 1.6%, Yandex and Baidu less than a percent) So much so, for some people, Google has become synonymous with the Internet. And in terms of business, no other search engine can offer the potential audience that Google can do.
On the other hand, Facebook Ads (paid social) boast a global audience with 1.55 billion monthly active users — more than one-fifth of the entire world’s population, not counting inactive or infrequently used accounts. On the platform, users share the joys, struggles, and accomplishments of life’s milestones with their friends and networks presenting advertisers with a unique opportunity to tailor advertising messaging. One of the most important functionalities is the ‘“lookalike audiences” targeting new customers who exhibit the same interests and consumer behaviour as your business’s existing customers.
If Google Ads is a more text-based platform Facebook Ads is a more visual one.
In terms of budgets, Google Ads may seem a little more expansive than Facebook Ads who is remarkably affordable, especially when considering its potential impact. It’s very attractive to small businesses and companies with limited resources compared to Google Ads who can be better to big brands with vast marketing budgets. On average the cost-per-click (CPC) on Google Ads is $1 to $2 for the Google Search Network and less than $1 for the Google Display Network. Travel Hospitality and E-Commerce has the best average CPC of $0.45 on the display network and $1.16/$1.50 on the search network. The most expensive Legal and Consumer Services $6.40 on the search network and $0.80 on the display network. Facebook Ads are a little different and the costs vary by business and industry, although the overall average CPC across all industries is $1.86. The cheapest industry is food and drinks $0.42 and the most expensive is internet and telecom, with a $3.07 CPC. Industries with a higher CPC spend more on Google Ads.
Both have different ad types, or formats, are easy to use, and allow users to input combinations of text, images, and video. The best part of Google Ads – you only pay when a user actually clicks on your ad. It doesn’t matter how many times it’s displayed or how many people see it. You only have to find a winning keyword to bid on and a winning ad to run to maximize the earnings. Your results will depend on how competitive the niche and keywords you select are. Unlike Google Ads, Facebook Ads is not based on a keyword bid. Instead, audiences are created by the advertiser (you) during the ad setup process. They then set a bid for their chosen pricing structure and audience (CPC, CPM, cost-per-view (CPV), cost-per-lead (CPL), or CPA) to determine ad cost and reach. The more advertisers competing for the same audience and ad placement, the higher the advertiser’s costs will be.
Poor quality ad campaigns on either advertising platform can lead to wasted money.
How do both platform’s ads work?
Google – with an auction model to determine both ad placement and cost. Begins when a user searches for something on Google. If the search query matches up with keywords that advertisers are bidding on, eligible ads go on auction. Within the auction, everything is decided by the Ad Rank. Whoever ends up with the highest Ad Rank wins the top advertising spots. Ad Rank is based on 2 things: maximum bid for that specific keyword, and ad’s quality score (QS). The Ad Rank formula is maximum CPC bid x ad’s QS. Google generates your Quality Score called “wisdom of the crowds”, which ranges from 1–10, and is influenced by Click-through rate (CTR), ad relevance, and landing page experience. When your ad is more relevant to your audience it will get more clicks so better experience for users. More than 45% of page clicks go to the top three ad positions in Google. If you want your ad to rank in these positions, you need a high-Quality Score. Simple said if your score is higher, you pay less; if your score is lower, you pay more.
Facebook – Uses an auction-style pricing process. But instead of trying to provide every bit of information or explain every detail about products/services, it’s better to be short because research has shown that 4 words for the headline work better and 15 words for a link description. Also, 47% of the value of Facebook video ads happens in the first 3 seconds. To determine which competing advertiser gets their ad displayed, Facebook considers overall ad quality. Generally, ads with the highest ad quality and bid will be placed. What determines ad rank? Bid, Ad relevance, projected ad success. If the ad it’s more engaging the platform will consider the ad’s high quality and may reduce price while increasing reach. You need to test what resonates with your ideal audience(s) and apply it accordingly.
So Facebook Ads is working best for businesses seeking to increase awareness of their products/brands and Google Ads are more good for businesses with a product/service that users know they need and are actively searching for. The main weakness of Facebook ads is the lack of audience intent, but they overcome this with their targeting options and parameters. The average conversion rate for Google Ads is 3.75% instead of 9.21% for Facebook Ads. But both of them are varying and are different from business to business. (Facebook ex: monthly conversion estimation = with an industry average conversion rate of 12% with 500 clicks per month would mean you may acquire 60 customers.)
Online advertising is not always easy, and advertising platforms are frequently difficult to manage. Each offers businesses an opportunity to increase brand awareness and grow sales, but the final return of investments depends on your company’s targeting, bid spend, and creative ad elements. Overall Facebook may be cheaper, but Google users are more likely to make a purchase or take an action after clicking on a search ad.
Read the full article on medium.com