How do Facebook Ads and Google Ad Compare

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By Jacob Maslow

Marketing digitally offers a world of potential if you do it the right way. But that is the key. How do you know if you target the right audience and get the most reach out of your ads?

After all, most small businesses don’t have the marketing budget to compete with big companies with millions to spend in a traditional sense. This is why ads through Google and Facebook have become so important for those small businesses.

You want to make sure that you get the most bang for your marketing buck as a small business. This leads to the question: which one is better to use?

Which One Is Better?

This is a question that can get very subjective quickly. “Better” for a specific small business can vary depending on many different factors. But let’s take a quick look at the difference between the two and where they could be beneficial.

Google Ads are quicker and easier to start, which means a speedier ability for any business to get going. Even better, Google has a much more comprehensive range than Facebook Ads. This is because billions of Google searches are performed daily and, with the right ad, it could mean getting in on a piece of that massive pie.

That said, Facebook Ads offer greater nuanced targeting. While greater reach is undoubtedly a good thing, most small businesses have a focused aim as it is. Facebook Ads means a greater focus on your businesses’ target audience instead of simply advertising to a broader range of people.

For a small business, Facebook Ads are probably the better option. Most small businesses have a much shorter range to grow and develop their business. In addition, to have greater control over tracking insights and a much simpler and more effective means of targeting, it can make for a more effective tool for small businesses.

But if growth is desired, it can’t be done without Google Ads. The best course of action would be a combination of the two, but if the choice had to be made, Facebook Ads would likely be more beneficial.

Which One Is Less Expensive?

We need to take a step back and talk about both of these ad campaigns from a 10,000-foot view. First, both Facebook Ads and Google Ads are paid-per-click (PPC) ads. This means that users don’t pay for an ad until they are clicked on. This ensures better engagement and that the ad is seen instead of just floating out there ignored.

Both are affordable platforms and can make highly effective marketing for small businesses anywhere. Facebook is the less expensive of the two at $1.72 per click versus Google’s $2.69 per click.

This is partially because Google has a much broader reach than Facebook. With Google and its billions of searches per day, the exposure and potential are greater. This equates to a slightly higher overall cost.

But with Facebook’s more refined and customizable approach, it doesn’t automatically mean that Google is the better of the two. If anything, it takes a more passive approach to the market where the audience is targeted based on demographic information and interests.

What Are the Targeting Options?

Targeting is how the ads get in front of the end-user. As discussed in the previous section, Facebook Ads have passive user intent. This means that ads aren’t necessarily viewed by users who are actively looking for those services, brands, or products.

Google, on the other hand, has active intent. They are targeted to viewers looking for that service, brand, or product and are more than likely ready to buy. This is where the targeting options in the ad campaigns become essential.

For Google, they are limited. They are based on user demographics and primarily rely on the user’s search intent to create suitable ads. On the other hand, Facebook is more comprehensive in its targeting options. Providing relevant ads takes user interest, demographics, locations, life events, and buying behaviors into account.

What Are the Placement Options?

Generating the type of ads is just one part of the equation. Then, there is the actual placement of those ads before the end-user sees them. So it should come as little surprise that both Facebook and Google offer a plethora of different placement options.

Facebook has a feed, stories, marketplace, right column, and in-stream video through their platform. Through the messenger program, there are a plethora of options as well. They also own Instagram, which offers feed and story placement options.

Google, and their search partners such as Amazon, The New York Times, other search engines, and more, provide comprehensive placement options. This means garnering a much larger reach than through Facebook Ads.

User Interfaces

This is where the steepest learning curve is. It can be dizzying when you initially start using either Facebook Ads or Google Ads. Facebook Ads is considered the more user-friendly of the two, whereas Google Ads has a more data-focused setup.

Though it takes a bit of time to master either interface, most users find Facebook’s features easier to use. However, they find it challenging to get into the more advanced functions. Google may have the harder curve initially, but the platform seems easier to manage as time goes on.

Ultimately, the two provide their benefits to small businesses everywhere. For better control and a more straightforward setup, it’s Facebook Ads. For greater reach and better ease of use over time, it is Google Ads.


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