Both Facebook ads and Google ads are pay-per-click ad platforms. Each helps you reach different audiences and fulfill different business objectives. While a comprehensive marketing strategy may include advertising on both platforms, most small businesses are limited by their budget. When it comes to Google ads vs Facebook ads, one may not be better than the other — but one may be better for your business. The following information can help you decide which one.
Are Facebook ads cheaper than Google ads?
When it comes to cost-per-click (CPC), the numbers on each platform can vary greatly depending on your industry.
Across all industries, the average CPC on Facebook in 2021 was less than $0.50. This cost may fluctuate based on your industry but generally stays below $3 — unless you mismanage your ads. Some exceptions would be more competitive industries like insurance, law, or finance.
In February 2022, CPC for Google Ads ranged from $1.40 for real estate and travel industries to $8.67 for attorneys and legal services.
The cost-per-click of Facebook ads is generally cheaper than Google ads, but this is only one benchmark of many. For example, Smart Insights reported in 2020 Q1 that Google search ads had the highest click-through-rate (1.55%) compared to display ads and Facebook ads. If your focus is the cost per acquisition or conversion rates, Google may be a more favorable choice.
Which platform is easier to use?
Getting started with Facebook ads requires a bit of preliminary attention to the health of your Facebook page. You want to be sure that you post consistently and get routine engagement with your followers. Additionally, you need to install the Facebook pixel on your website to begin targeting the right people. Before setting up your campaigns, taking these steps can smooth your path to successful ads.
In theory, Google ads require less legwork for setup. Many Google campaigns can be set up automatically by specifying your budget and goals. The downside of this hands-off approach is that you have less control when it comes to optimizing your campaigns.
Once your campaigns are up and running, Google and Facebook have fairly comprehensive dashboards to monitor. For a beginner or casual user, keeping tabs on the analytics for your campaign – and optimizing for continuous improvement – can be overwhelming. This is where it can be most beneficial to work with a professional team for your ad management.
How does each platform reach your audience?
One key differentiator between Google and Facebook ads is where they are placed to reach your audience. Facebook ads are siloed to just Meta platforms like Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram. Google ads are served in search results and across more than 2 million websites in the Google Display Network, including Amazon, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more.
Your audience targeting options on each platform differs as well.
- Facebook ads: You can target people based on age and gender, geographic locations, or website traffic. Additionally, you can target audiences engaged with your Facebook page, upload a custom audience, or you can build lookalike audiences from your current audience.
- Google ads: Google Search ads use keywords to target certain search behaviors. You can also target certain websites, audience demographics and life events, and people interacting with your website or other ads.
Google Ads vs Facebook Ads: How to Choose?
Your marketing strategy can benefit from a combination of Google and Facebook ads, but your budget may be limited. If you are trying to decide between one platform or the other, you should consider your goals, audience, budget, and skill level.
What are your goals?
Facebook and Google can each facilitate different business objectives. Are you focused on brand awareness, leads, sales, or something else? If your goal is awareness, you may choose lower-cost Facebook ads to promote your brand. If your goal is sales, you may choose targeted keywords in Google search ads that indicate your customer’s purchasing intent.
Consider the goals of your ad campaign and choose the platform that most closely aligns with your goals.
What is your customers’ intent?
Because Facebook is a social media platform, most people are not looking to buy your product or service when they see your ad. However, they use the platform to explore their interests, so it’s a great place to discover your brand. Facebook ads can be beneficial for reaching customers at the top of your sales funnel.
On the other hand, keywords used in a Google Search can indicate a high level of purchase intent. For example, someone searching “final expense life insurance quotes” knows the product they are looking for and is likely considering who to buy from before they take action.
Using both platforms at the same time could allow you to reach customers at different stages of the buyer’s journey. When choosing just one, specifying the main objectives of your campaign will help you determine in which stage to target your customer and which ads can help you do so.
What is your budget?
Whether you choose Facebook or Google, you should aim to maximize your return on ad spend (ROAS). This is made possible by strategically choosing your campaign goals, monitoring your ad performance over time, and making changes when necessary.
You should aim to strike a balance between your budget and your goals.
What is your skill level?
There are many moving pieces for any digital ad – setting up your account, determining a budget, specifying an audience, choosing your ad format, designing ad creative, and monitoring and optimizing campaign results.
Both ad platforms present a substantial learning curve but can yield positive results over time, even if you go it alone. But if you want to save time and skip the learning curve, our team is happy to help. Talk to our digital assistants about setting up Google or Facebook ads for your business.