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Should you use Google Ads or Facebook Ads?


Google Ads and Facebook Ads are both popular pay-per-click (PPC) marketing channels. Using either one or both of them combined has proven to be highly beneficial for many businesses. They can drive the growth of your brand and help you to boost your PPC and overall digital marketing performance.

If you are in a position where you’ll be leveraging only one of these PPC channels – we’ve created this list to help you consider your best option, depending on a few things.

What to use, Google ads or Facebook ads?

As a digital marketing agency – we are often asked which channel is going to perform better when it comes to PPC. The answer to this question essentially depends on the nature of your business and your unique PPC goals. We will consider a number of things, including:

  • How can you maximise results from your PPC budget?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What stages of the buyer’s journey will you be targeting with ads?
  • What are your main PPC objectives?

Both Google and Facebook Ads are very popular PPC channels – which is understandably why this question tends to arise again and again. If you are in a position where you can only choose one or the other – it is best to evaluate your situation carefully before making that decision. We suggest considering the following:

What is your digital marketing budget?

It’s important to work out a realistic digital marketing budget and what you’re likely to get back from your ad spend. Thinking about how much you can afford as a business to spend on a conversion is a great starting point. Below, we’ll look into a few more things to consider when working out your PPC marketing budget:

Your industry

First things first, you’ll need to look at potential PPC keywords depending on your industry. We recommend using Google’s Keyword Planner to work out your likely costs based on how expensive your clicks are. This is because prices may change depending on the nature of your keywords – i.e. if you have a more niche industry or higher keyword competition.

If you do find that your clicks are going to be expensive in comparison to your PPC budget – it doesn’t by any means mean that you should completely rule out Google Ads. You could use the RLSA (re-marketing lists for search ads) feature available in Google Ads. In a nutshell, this feature uses audience insights and data to display your PPC ads to users who are very likely to click and convert. It’s a way of making sure you’re maximising results within your budget. We have explained more about here.

Another option could be using Facebook Ads as a more affordable alternative. Facebook offers advanced targeting features that again, ensure your ads are being shown to a valuable audience.

What are your digital marketing objectives?

Once you’ve worked out your PPC budget in terms of your industry and keyword competition – you can start to really think about what you’re hoping to achieve from your pay-per-click strategy. Facebook and Google Ads can cater to various PPC objectives – but it’s important to work out which channel (or both) will lead you to those objectives in the cheapest and quickest way.

Different stages in the buyer’s journey

If your goal is to raise some initial brand awareness – then you might want to consider Facebook. You can use a creative PPC ad to catch the attention of users who fit into your customer profile and are therefore likely to be interested. Facebook Ads are a great way to target users with an existing or unknown need for your product. Think of it from a user’s perspective – have you ever scrolled through Facebook and ended up purchasing something that you didn’t know you wanted?

On the other hand, if you are aiming to drive sales – Google Ads could reach out to users who are further down the marketing funnel and are looking to buy something. You can display your PPC ads to users who are actively searching for what you are selling – therefore you’ll be targeting people with high intent to purchase.

With this in mind, both channels can certainly fuel the growth of your digital strategy – it just depends where you are currently in terms of your audience and your goals.

What is your keyword search volume?

If you are offering a new service or creating a product that hasn’t been on the market before – then it’s more than likely that nobody has searched for it. Even if you are now filling a customer need – if your product is new, then the search volume will be low. However – you can still drive results from Google Ads, just without using brand-specific keywords.

In this case, we recommend considering the pain points that your service or product provides a solution for. You can then target terms that describe your product – rather than directly refer to it. For example, Uber, as a new company – may have targeted terms such as “local taxi”, “book taxi by phone” or “taxi app”.

From a digital marketing perspective – it might also be worth using Facebook Ads to begin with. This is because it is a great place to start generating brand awareness, before driving sales.

What Next?

Hopefully this has helped you understand a bit more about how the two channels operate in terms of PPC marketing. As a PPC agency, we would recommend either one or both channels based on your audience, marketing budget, your industry and your goals.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but going through these steps and more can help you determine what will work for your brand. Here’s a quick summary of things to think about:

  • How much can you afford to pay for a click?
  • Are people currently searching for your product or service?
  • Have you done your keyword research?
  • Test, test, and test! (You won’t know what works and what doesn’t unless you try things out).

We’d be happy to talk you through your PPC options and how you can grow your business online. You can get in touch with our London-based team by clicking here.

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