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Google Ads vs Facebook Ads (Pay-Per-Click Ads Explained)

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Vicki Nichols

Digital Marketing Lead

Digital marketing is on the up for big and small businesses

Using paid advertising is a popular way to reach your target audience. Choosing whether social paid ads or search engine paid ads (Google and Bing) is right for you can be daunting.

We’ve put together an easy to read article to help you understand the key differences between the two. And to help you decide, which is right for your business!

As a digital agency, we have clients who have preferences for each type of paid advertising. For example, Bloomsbury Mill prefer Facebook Social Paid Ads. Whereas Something Different Wholesale  prefer to use mainly Google ads (and have seen amazing results). We also have clients such as Wild & Game whose digital marketing strategy includes using both paid search engine ads and social ads.

It all depends on your goals as a business and where your target audience is going to be easier to reach.

Social Media Paid Ads

Facebook ads are known as paid social advertising. You can choose your target audiences demographics and locations. This helps get your ads to your typical customers.

You can even choose where your ad is shown. For example, in the newsfeed, on a story or directly to the customers messenger inbox.

Search Paid Ads

Search ads are shown to users who are specifically searching for a service or product. To get your ads shown in the right searches, you will assign your ads specific keywords or phrases that are relevant to what you are offering. Keyword research is crucial before you launch any campaigns. This means that you’ll be targeting the right searches and more likely to get click throughs or conversions.

The adverts could be shown on Google search results (Google Ads or AdWords) or on Bing search results (Bing Ads). Every large search engine will offer their own advertising. You will get more traffic on your Paid Ads with Google than you would with Bing. Which makes Bing Ads campaigns generally cheaper to run. There is still a large amount of searches done everyday using Bing – so it’s a great place to capitalise on lower ads costs.

Key Differences between Social and Search Ads

  • Ad Formats

One of the main differences between Google Ads and Facebook ads is how, why, and when your ads are shown. There are several placements your ad will appear on Facebook ads, for example, the newsfeed, stories, or messenger.

However, in general, if you are creating a search campaign in Google ads your ads will be a lot less creative and follow the same text-based format as your competitors.

  • Viewer Intent

With Social Ads, you are targeting people who are most like your usual customers. However, they aren’t necessarily looking for your product/service. This means that there is much less user intent with social ads.

With Paid ads, the people who see the ads are actively searching for your keywords. This means that they are more likely to be further down the sales funnel.

  • Targeting Capabilities

Search ads have come a long way in offering you more targeting options. There are simply much more options for targeting with social ads. You can even target customers based on their behaviours and interests.

This means you can be more confident that your message is being shown to the right kind of audience.

Is Social or Search Ads better?

The truth is, it really depends. It depends on where your customers are more likely to be, what your product is and even what your brand voice is.

Having an omnichannel approach can mean that you get the best of both worlds, but does mean a higher ads cost.

If you would like to discuss the potential options for your business, whether it’s Google ads or Facebook ads or something else, we can help.
Get in touch today.

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