Facebook Ads v. Google Ads: Which One Is Better for Your Business?

In the world of online advertising, there are two kings: Facebook and Google. Between the two of them, they account for a large percentage of all ad traffic online. Given how many people use at least one (if not both) of these two services, it’s not surprising that they’re the go-to for countless businesses, from large corporations to small, local businesses, in just about every industry and niche.

The problem that many business owners face is how to choose the one that is right for their company, or whether they should opt for both at the same time. It depends on what the business’s goals are, how they intend to market their products, as well as their monthly advertising budget.

Each of these factors comes into play when deciding on whether to use Google ads, Facebook ads, or both ad platforms for any specific small business’s PPC (pay-per-click) marketing. Today, we’re going to cover the fundamental aspects of both. That way you’ll be able to make a smarter, more informed decision for your company’s growth.

Facebook Ads and Google Ads: By the Numbers

Here are some fun statistics for you:

  • Facebook has over 2.7 billion monthly active users (MAUs).
  • If you include other Facebook outlets (Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.), that number climbs to 3.14 billion people.
  • Google processes about 3.8 million search queries per minute around the world.
  • The number of Google searches per hour: 228 million. Per day: 5.6 billion. Per year: 2 trillion.

In other words, Google and Facebook have the eyes of the world. Arguably more than anything else, advertisers need eyeballs, because businesses need people to see their ads and buy their products and services. That’s why so many businesses choose to pay for their ads to show up on Google and Facebook.

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In terms of overall ad revenue, Google’s haul from ads in 2019 reached over $134 billion. By comparison, Facebook’s “paid social” ad network pulled in $70.7 billion. Between the two of them, they make up a hefty percentage of all online advertising. As we’ve shown above, there are very good reasons for this.

Both of the two major platforms have specific use cases that might work for a particular business. It’s all about setting goals and using the right platform for those objectives. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best use cases for both Google ads and Facebook ads.

Facebook Ads v. Google Ads: Best Use Cases

To fully understand which one is better for your business — Facebook ads or Google ads — it’s critical to understand the primary benefits of each platform. At the end of the day, one small business may decide to use Google, while another company sees better success on Facebook, and a third business is able to use both cost-effectively.

Ultimately, it comes down to how your business’s goals line up with a platform’s best use cases. Naturally, this will substantially affect the cost effectiveness of one over the other, another key consideration for small businesses looking to grow without straining their budget.

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Behavior and Demographic Targeting

Because of the inherent nature of a social network, Facebook “knows” a lot about its users. As members of the Facebook platform, people are constantly “liking” posts, comments, images, videos, and even branded content. All of this tells Facebook exactly what you like (and when you like it).

With all of that personal data, Facebook is the ideal platform for targeting specific behaviors and groups. And you can get very, very specific. Gender, income bracket, geographical region, and a whole lot more. Google doesn’t really allow that level of specificity (at least not in the same way). With search traffic, you are essentially targeting keywords and phrases.

On Facebook, then, you have a sort of captive audience: they’re choosing to spend time on the social network for personal reasons, and when they see an ad that feels personal to them, they’re likely to click on it.

So, if you want to target people with specific behaviors or demographics and have them discover your site and become aware of your business, then Facebook is much easier. You can get relatively cheap clicks and drive traffic to your page day after day based on the specific type of individual that fits your target market.

At the other end of the spectrum, Google is all about searching for the right tool. This means that people might be in the discovery phase of their buying journey. In other words, they’re exploring lots and lots of different companies and brands before making their purchase decision.

BEHAVIOR TARGETING AD WINNER: Facebook.

Search and Keyword Targeting

There is absolutely no question on this one: Google is far superior when it comes to targeting keywords, keyword phrases, and search terms more generally. Since people are literally coming to Google in order to do a search for some specific word, phrase, product, service, etc., it makes sense that they would be the winner in this space.

Google’s whole business for most people is tied up in search. Even with Gmail or other services in the Google ecosystem, search plays a certain role. They’ve arguably mastered it better than anyone else. If you know what your customers are searching for (often called “search intent”) and want to target that effectively, then use Google AdWords. It’s the best for that type of advertising.

In stark contrast, Facebook is a platform based on social interaction, not search. They do behavior and demographics better than just about anybody, but they don’t do search very well, because Facebook is not intended to be a search platform, but a social one. For search traffic, you really need to be using Google.

WINNER: Google.

Which One Is Better Overall?

For a small business that has a very specific type of customer, Facebook can work wonders. But a different small business with a more general potential customer at a different point in the buyer’s journey would almost certainly need to use Google.

In fact, many businesses can (and need to) use both Facebook ads and Google ads for their PPC marketing. Considering the sheer volume of eyeballs, it’s a wonder that every company doesn’t use both. Again, it will all depend on the business’s objectives, but there are very good reasons to use both Google and Facebook for ad campaigns.

WINNER: Google + Facebook

Wrap Up: Advertising Metrics Matter

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No matter what type of business you’re running, it’s important that your revenue exceeds your spend. That’s as important in advertising as it is anywhere else in your company’s balance sheet. As a result, sometimes it simply comes down to which metrics are important to you — in addition to the return on your investment in ads (called “return on ad spend”, or ROAS).

Are you getting a lot of impressions (people seeing your ad), but not a lot of clicks? What if people are clicking your ads a lot, but they aren’t buying anything, or signing up for an email list, or setting up a phone call with a team member? How about a cost per conversion that’s less than the actual sale of your product or service? Any one of these can be an issue for a small business looking to maximize their marketing budget to help the company grow and realize higher profit margins.

At Cut Throat Marketing, we cut out all the BS and stick with what works for you. No cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all marketing. We tailor the plan to the company. We explain exactly what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. We figure out what’s working and what’s not, we determine why, and we fix it as quickly. There’s no sense in spending money for lackluster results. That’s why our focus is on data-driven, provable metrics that help your small business get where you want it to be.

Don’t let one more client slip through the cracks with another bad ad campaign. It’s time to get your company on track with Facebook ads and/or Google ads. It’s time to get Cut Throat. Call or email us to see which one is right for your company’s budget and goals today.

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