Facebook and Google are often viewed as competitors when it comes to online advertising. This can create a false sense that business owners need to choose one or the other. In reality, using both platforms simultaneously can help you achieve maximum visibility. So, what are the differences between Google AdWords and Facebook Ads?
Google AdWords is the largest and most popular paid search platform. There are two main networks within Google AdWords: the Search Network and the Display Network.
The Search Network displays text ads in Google Search Engine Results. These ads are targeted based on keywords, which are specific words and phrases included in search queries by Google users. With this platform, advertisers only pay when a user clicks on an ad, which is why it is commonly referred to as “pay-per-click” advertising. When using Google Search Network ads, you are essentially paying for the potential to find new customers based on the search terms they enter. This leads to being able to target people who have a high purchase intent. Search Network ads are well suited for less visual industries and urgent services such as dentists and towing companies because ads are shown to people who are actively searching for their service.
The Display Network is the largest digital advertising network, spanning over two million websites and reaching 90% of people on the internet. Ads are shown to users based on their demographics, behaviors and websites they have previously visited. These advertisements are more visually appealing than Search Network ads, as you can choose from text, image, video or rich media formats to grab viewers’ attention with color and imagery. This makes them ideal for products that people need to see before they buy or that have a long purchase process, such as retail items and cars.
Facebook advertising falls into the category of paid social media. It’s audience targeting methods and formats are similar to the Display Network. Facebook takes a more behavioral approach and allows you to target potential customers based on their interests and demographics with ads containing text, photo or video. For example, if you are a moving company, not only can you select the basic demographics you want to target, but you can take it a step further and target people who are likely to move based on their behaviors. Facebook has the highest number of monthly active users out of every social media site in the world, so their ability to reach and target users based on interests is almost unmatched.
To put it simply, the Search Network helps you find customers when they are actively searching for your products or services. The Display Network increases brand awareness because ads can be shown across millions of sites, and Facebook advertising helps bring people to you based on their demographics and interests. When used together Facebook and Google have the potential to increase customer acquisition and lead to more website conversions.