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If you're exploring the idea of online advertising, you will undoubtedly want to consider spending your ad budget on Google Ads® and Facebook Ads®.

In this post, I will break down the difference between Google Ads® (primarily search ads) and Facebook Ads® (Facebook & Instagram) to help you decide where to focus your online advertising budget.

Both advertising platforms are amazing, in my opinion. There are a few fundamental differences you need to be aware of before you jump in.

Google Ads® is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform, even though the term gets used to refer to other online ad platforms that base their rates on a mix of impressions and clicks.

Whether you do search ads or display ads, Google will only charge you IF someone clicks on your ad.

Facebook Ads® will show you your cost per click (CPC); however, their revenue model is not based on charging you per click your ads get. Facebook ultimately charges you for the exposure your ad gets, regardless of the number of clicks you get.

Both platforms will allow you to set a daily budget to control how much you spend per day and ultimately per month.

If you have a monthly ad spend budget in mind, divide that amount by 30 to determine your daily budget.

Both advertising platforms want to get their hands on every last cent of your daily budget; however, I often find Google Ads® will end up not reaching a client's Daily Budget, simply because there aren't enough searches. In contrast, Facebook will almost always max out your daily budget.

For example, I have a Google Ads® search campaign right now, with a fairly narrow focus in a small city (population of 100K), which has a daily budget of $50. Typically this campaign will end up with a monthly ad spend of approximately $175. Far less than my $1,500 budget ($50/day x 30 days).

Facebook will typically have no issue finding enough "eyeballs on your ads" to charge you your full daily budget.

Google search ads let you target precise search terms so that your ads only appear when someone in your target area searches for said specific terms. If no one or only a few people ever search for the terms you're targeting, you will likely not pay very much, regardless of your budget.

On the other hand, Facebook lets you target people based on demographic indicators like gender, age, occupation, and interests, and will show your add repeatedly to the people you target until your daily budget is reached.

For example, if a roofing company in Regina, SK wanted to advertise online, Facebook Ads® would allow them to target people in Regina who might be homeowners. Facebook lets the roofing company would show their ads to the target audience to create awareness ultimately. Regardless of whether the people in the target audience are currently looking for a roofing expert.

Google search ads would allow this Regina-based roofing company to show its ads to people in Regina, who are actively looking for a roofing company.

People typically don't search for "Roofing Companies in Regina" for shits and giggles.

9 out of 10 people searching for "Roofing Contractors In Regina" need a professional roofing company based in Regina to fix or replace their roof. It's that simple.

If you are a professional roofing company in Regina, you would be silly not to want to throw your name it the hat and get your ad to appear in their search results.

It might sound like I'm trying to say Google search ads are better than Facebook Ads® because you only get charged when people, who are looking for your products or services click on your ads.

There are situations where Facebook ads might get you more sales or leads. If people are not searching for what you are selling Google search ads will not work. Instead, you might find Facebook Ads® allow you to create awareness of an innovative new product or service you have to offer.

At the start of the COVID-19 lockdown in our city, we ran Google search ads and Facebook Ads® to promote a new beer delivery service offered by a local brewery. We found that most of the sales they got during the first month of lockdown came from Facebook's ad network, including Instagram. People in this city were not aware that there were beer delivery services available. They never needed it. And they indeed were not searching for it on Google. Facebook allowed us to create awareness and so-doing drive sales.

As time went on, the need for delivery services grew. After a month of lockdown, we saw a massive rise in the number of searches for beer and alcohol delivery in the city. After some time, we started to notice their Google search ads gaining more traction.

The main difference between Google search ads and Facebook Ads is simply that the latter platform is excellent for creating targeted awareness. Google search ads are fantastic for reaching people when they are actively looking for something.

Both online advertising platforms can offer massive reach and exposure. Google's display and video ads allow you to create targeted awareness, much like Facebook ads.

Google Ads® & Facebooks Ads® allow you to target users based on demographics markers like gender, age, and interests. Facebook "knows" their users based on the data you provide the platform through your personal profile and the content you post, like, share, and your comments. In comparison, Google leverages Youtube, Gmail, Google Chrome (their popular internet browser), and Android (the world's biggest mobile operating system) to learn about their users and allow advertisers effective demographic targeting.

If you're interested in retargeting ads, you'll find both platforms will allow you to set up effective retargeting ads.

Both platforms have a partner network of websites and apps that will allow you to show your ads outside of the platform itself. So if you want your ads to appear on other websites and apps, you can do that through Facebook Ads or Google Ads.

Most importantly, Google and Facebook's ad platforms allow you to keep track of your conversions. So, you can try both platforms and, over time, clearly see which platform is best for you.

I hope you found this post informative. If you are interested in advertising online, no matter where you are based, feel free to reach out to us.


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