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Google Adwords and Facebook Ads dominate the advertising sphere: In December 2017, Business Insider Australia confirmed Google and Facebook “now account for 25% of all ad sales, online or off.” In a world of billboards, radio, TV, print, and online advertising, this really makes the mind boggle.

Facebook has more than two billion monthly users. Adwords reaches billions of people daily. When it comes to delivering results, Facebook and Google are undoubtedly where it’s all happening. But in The Big Fight: Who Wins?

As always, it comes down to What Is Right For Your Business?

Here’s how to find out.

Google Adwords

Google is the world’s #1 search engine with more than 3 million google searches a day. Launching in 1997, as of April 2017, Google was at #2 of the top ranking companies in the world, worth more than $USD579 billion (second to Apple, though it appears Amazon overtook them in February, 2018).

The world wide web presents an amazing platform to reach an audience by tapping into the immense search traffic. Also known as Search Engine Marketing SEM, Google Adwords allows advertisers to place search results to their website on a Search Engine Results Page SERP with Click Through Ads. Google Adwords is Google’s advertising service where advertisers use

  • text ads
  • image ads
  • display ad builder ads
  • app or digital content ads
  • product listing ads, and 
  • dynamic search ads

to reach their target customers. 

Within the Adwords system, budgets are set, insights are gathered, performance is optimized and bids are offered. The higher the bid, the better quality the ad, the higher the ranking for the ad to display. There are six campaign Ad Types in total, with the following Adwords Classics:

Search Network Only

Google AdWords is split into two networks, the Search Network, and the Display Network. When advertising on the Search Network, businesses place text ads in the search engine results such as Google Search, Shopping, Google Maps and partner sites like AOL. This campaign type is meant for advertisers who want to target only the people directly searching for their products without taking up the time and budget of targeting customers who aren’t.

Display Network Only

On the Display Network, ads are displayed on websites, apps, Gmail, Youtube, Google Maps, and Google Finance as videos, gifs, or images. This is great for branding and is consistent in targeting and conversions, so tends to be cost-effective (or, cost less).

Google Shopping Campaign

Google Shopping is powered by both Adwords and Merchants Centre. Google Merchants Centre is the product feed, organized into a format Google likes best – which depends upon a number of factors. Adwords is where the shopping campaigns are managed. Google Shopping promotes products to boost traffic to websites or online stores and takes the optimization of your product feed and website along with successful bids as the triggers for search queries.

Video Ads

As video is incredibly engaging, video ads are the most compelling way to reach an audience, featuring on streaming sites like Youtube.

Adwords Retargeting

Also known as Remarketing, Retargeting shows ads to people who’ve visited your website or used your mobile app, stalking your customers to reconnect showing ads across different devices, sites and platforms.

The Benefits

Google Adwords operates on the premise that we’re using Google intentionally to search for something specific, while actively looking to buy around products and services. For the price point, Google calculates that $2 is made for every $1 spent.

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The Reality

With Google Adwords, it’s difficult for small businesses to outrank big brands as big corporates drive up the cost of advertising. If you have the budget, Adwords allow you to cheat dodge all the hard work of building an organic business through quality fresh content and back links over months, to jump straight to the top of Google. While it’s a straightforward system, Adwords do not always guarantee sales, largely because it depends on the sales funnel capturing the customer. It also takes incredible patience – because Adwords takes time.

Facebook Ads

Here’s a thorough recap and rundown with our comprehensive blog >Why Advertise On Facebook?

But the question we need to ask first is: Why Are People On Facebook?

Everyone lives on Facebook because it’s a social network. Businesses, owners, their employees, their customers; from your favourite cafe to major banking institutions, everyone you know – and want to know – is on Facebook.  

Sure we’re less likely to be searching for a local electrician – unless it’s asking our friends to recommend someone they know or have worked with. Facebook taps into our behaviour, interests, demographics, connections, and age ranges. And with such a huge reach, every target and niche market can be found with ads for

  • mobile
  • desktop
  • Instagram, and
  • Facebook Messenger

to reach the target customer. 

Within the Facebook Ads Manager, pages and ad accounts are managed, ads are created, custom and lookalike audiences are targeted, budgets are set, insights are gathered and performance is optimized. The better quality the content and the more relevant your ad, the more likely your Advertising Campaign will perform well. From our blog Decoding Facebook Ad Types, we presented all the tips to understanding the good, bad, our favourites, the special ones, and the rest – we even included a handy guide to download and save. Ultimately, Facebook allows advertising to be a level playing field for all businesses.

The Benefits

If you know what you want to achieve, Facebook Ads have created the option to reach it. From lead generation to driving traffic to your website or driving sales to your store, Facebook Ads make it all happen. However, it is with Targeting Audiences where Facebook particularly comes out on top.

  • Custom Audiences targets users through their shopping habits, favourite movies, or location and are incredibly specific
  • Lookalike Audiences takes this to the next level, creating new audiences based on the traits of your current Custom Audience
  • Add your Facebook Pixel, and Facebook’s targeting capabilities are astonishing
  • With a minimum ad spend of $1 per day, Facebook offers one of the most targeted and cost-effective forms of advertising.

So Who Dares Wins? Facebook Or Google?

Two different advertising systems using different intentions with different benefits. Both are relatively cost-effective, both reach billions of users and both are sensational to promote your brand, business, products, and services.

The answer comes down to this: What Are You Trying To Achieve?

If it’s

  • Brand awareness and building an audience: Facebook Wins.
  • Being top of mind when someone is actively searching: Google Wins.
  • Converting sales, generating leads, or selling products: Both Win.

You can use both to maximize results, though (depending on your industry) it’s more likely that Facebook is right for your business.

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Dahna Borg

Author Dahna Borg

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