Though Facebook Ads and Google AdWords are often positioned as competitors, they really aren’t. In fact, they’re pretty different. Like apples and oranges. Or pomegranates and Asian pears.
Yet, they get along really well. And savvy business owners have actually been using them in tandem to:
- achieve serious visibility
- increase sales and leads
- find new customers
- adopt different strategies that align with each platform
The result? They’re seeing some pretty serious ROAS (return on advertising spending - it’s not a thing, per se, but it should be).
What Are the Differences Between Google AdWords and Facebook Ads?
They’re not as different as the intent of their users. Here’s the main thing - Google users are driven, while Facebook users are browsing.
Facebook Ads test the waters to see if there’s any potential interest, while Google AdWords ads are extremely specific to an interest that is indicated by the user’s search term.
Google AdWords is paid search.
With Google AdWords paid search, you bid on keywords in hopes that your ads will be displayed alongside search results for these queries. Then each time someone clicks on an ad, you’re charged a certain amount of money (also known as cost-per-click, or CPC). Google Adwords experts are able to target users who are already looking for something when they type into the Google search box. (Hence the term ‘search,’)
Facebook, on the other hand, is paid social.
Paid social basically refers to the practice of advertising on social networks. Facebook has the highest number of monthly active users (MAUs) which makes it a highly competitive and potentially lucrative part of a digital advertising strategy for those looking to match with the interests of the users. But it’s not part of an active search.
So how does this translate?
Although Facebook has all of those monthly active users (over a billion, actually) with a trillion page views per month, they still only have the potential reach of under 50% of all internet users.
Meanwhile, Google AdWords can reach over two and a half billion Google searchers every month. And with over 180 billion Google searches per month, the potential reach of Google Adwords is closer to 90% of all internet users.
Quality of Ads
On Google, your ads are rather… primitive. And by primitive we mean that the most effective way to get your ad noticed is to make it bold and in all capital letters. That screams desperation. Or at least of being a little unhinged.
On Facebook, though, you have way more options, including graphics, a whole slew of photos or a video. Though you’re more than welcome to stick with the bold all caps option if you’re shooting for that desperate unhinged vibe.
Cost and ROI
On the surface, Facebook Ads will run you less than Google AdWords. Of course, this depends to some degree on the keywords upon which you’re bidding.
Plus, you also need to consider your return on investment. Google Adwords generally has a higher average conversion rate than Facebook Ads.
The Main Thing to Remember is That It All Comes Down to User Intent
Facebook Ads are an excellent way to build and maintainbrand awareness. They’ll get people onto your site to learn about your business and maybe even sign up with you. But it’s not likely their Facebook feed is going to lead to an instant purchase.
Google AdWords, on the other hand, is great for putting a product or service in front of the user when he or she is looking for it. In other words, when they want to actually buy it.
So as you can see, they’re not so much in competition with each other. They’ve actually found a way to get along. And that’s more than can be said for some people.