17 Mar

Google Adwords vs Facebook Ads: How do you choose?

The truth is you don’t have to choose between Google Adwords and Facebook Ads – you can use both! Understanding their advantages will help you learn how to incorporate them into your digital marketing strategy.

 

The pros of Google Adwords

If you need proof that Google is the world’s leading search engine, consider that it processes around 5.5 billion searches a day. That’s why it has also become the preferred digital advertising avenue for marketers around the world.

 

As a business, Google offers you two primary networks for promotion:

 

  • Google Search Network, and
  • Google Display Network

 

The Google Search Network is part of Google’s wider search network and refers to all of Google’s webpages and apps. Essentially, it includes anywhere a text ad can be displayed.

 

The Display Network refers to Google’s network of Adsense partners who display visual adverts (such as banner ads) on their pages. The Display Network is often used by advertisers who want increase brand awareness rather than conversions.

 

Why you should advertise on Google

 

  • Access to a vast audience

Google has gone to great lengths to improve and refine its search results over the years. Its reputation has been built on providing billions of people with accurate and relevant information.

 

As a marketer, Google offers you the opportunity to reach a vast audience with very little effort. It’s no coincidence that Adwords is the most popular and widely used digital advertising platform in the world.

 

  • A fair and logical bidding process

Adwords revolves around keywords, those words and phrases that your potential customers use to find your business online. Every Adwords campaign starts with identifying potential keywords and building a compelling advert around them. To derive an income from offering ad space on their pages, Google auctions these keywords.

 

In a traditional auction, the highest bidder wins—but that’s not the case with Google. As their reputation depends on providing consistently accurate information, they take other factors into account when deciding who gets the top spot. An advert that is relevant to the user and provides a good user experience will always rank higher than one that is irrelevant—regardless of the keyword bid.

 

  • Customisation with extensions

While it’s true that most PPC ads are purely text, you do have access to a number of features to enhance your adverts. Ad extensions, site links, user reviews and location targeting can all be used to customise your adverts and make them more useful and appealing to your audience.

Once you include the Google Display Network, you can create more visually appealing ads that include images and video. Google is always evolving and new formats are likely to be offered in the future.

 

The pros of Facebook Ads

Although Facebook hasn’t been in the advertising game as long as Google, it’s proving to be a popular choice with advertisers. It remains the biggest social media platform with 1.86 billion monthly users, of which 14 million are South Africans. But it’s not its size that makes it so popular with advertisers.

 

Why you should advertise on Facebook

 

  • Superior demographic targeting

As much as people love to post their pictures of their children, pets and holidays on Facebook, they also use it to search for content that matches their interests, beliefs and values. Facebook allows you to harness this data and target audiences based on a very specific and personal set of demographics.

 

Another advantage is that Facebook allows you to create ‘look-alike’ audiences. You upload information about your existing customers and Facebook uses this to create a similar audience. With this feature, you can effectively double your reach by targeting an audience that is similar to your existing customer base.

 

  • Focus on visual appeal

Facebook is a visually-orientated platform which offers advertisers the opportunity to create visually appealing ads. This makes it easier to create adverts that appeal to the emotions and in certain instances is far more compelling than a simple text ad.

 

As Facebook further develops its advertising capabilities, marketers will benefit from innovations and new features.

 

  • Affordable and effective

Advertising on Facebook is not expensive and the platform provides options to stretch even modest budgets as far as possible. Small and medium businesses can afford to advertise on Facebook, and given all the advantages the platform offers, you can look forward to a good return on your investment.

 

Advertising on Google is commonly referred to as Paid Search while Facebook Ads are considered Paid Social. These two forms of digital advertising have much in common and where possible you should aim to include both in your digital marketing strategy. If you must choose, pick the one that aligns with your marketing goals and devote yourself to perfecting your strategy.

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