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Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Which Is Right for Your Business?

“Which paid ads platform is right for my business, Facebook Ads or Google Ads?”

We often get this question, especially from newer businesses.

When you’re just starting out and have a limited budget, you want to make sure you’re making the right investment.

Just because we’re a Google Ads agency doesn’t mean we think everyone should be running only Google Ads. (Unless they are a service-based business.)

If you’re an eCommerce business selling to consumers, running Facebook AND Google Ads might be a good idea. 

But how do you know which ad platform to prioritize? That’s what we’re talking about in this post.

Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

Should you run Facebook Ads or Google Ads?

Why use Facebook Ads?

Before we talk about why you should be using Facebook Ads, it’s crucial to understand how users interact with them. 

When people are browsing and scrolling through their Facebook feeds, they aren’t necessarily looking for ads. Most people want to see stories about their families and friends.

In other words, they aren’t intentionally looking for a product. This is a critical distinction between Google and Facebook.

Facebook Ads example

When Facebook Ads are served, it gets right in front of the user and is usually not expected. In a way, it’s a form of interruptive marketing. Because of that, Facebook does an excellent job at getting in front of people and advertising your brand. 

So if you want to increase your brand awareness and find new audiences, you need to use Facebook Ads. 

This is especially true if you are a new company or have a unique product that people might need help finding. It’s going to work for impulse clicks––where people immediately click on your ads and visit your website (and sometimes convert!) without any previous intentions.

Using Facebook Ads, you can get a lot of cold traffic to your website without breaking the bank. 

Why use Google Ads?

Aside from Google Ads being the number one PPC advertising system on the planet, there are a couple of reasons why you should consider using Google Ads for your business.

We mentioned earlier that Facebook is good at getting your business in front of people, even when they least expect it. 

Well, Google does a perfect job at getting your business in front of people who are ready to buy! 

Think about it. Google is the most popular and widely used search engine on the planet. And because of this, Google knows almost everything about its users. 

If Facebook knows “what we want or portray to be,” Google knows who we are and what we did and want to do.

It’s the world’s most powerful data acquisition machine. 

People use it to “search” for something. This means Google Ads is intent-based, and Google knows whether the users want to buy your product or plan to buy it in the future.

Capturing these people who are actively searching for your products is one of the most significant benefits of using Google Ads.

Another reason you should consider Google Ads is because of its powerful dynamic remarketing capabilities.

Dynamic Remarketing (or Retargeting) allows you to show ads to those who previously visited your website or engaged in your ads. 

For example, let’s say you viewed a product on my site. After leaving my site and browsing other sites, that product you viewed will appear again as an ad. And as Regina stated in this video, “that image will follow them around.” 

Doing this will not only make your brand consistently on top of your mind, but it will also help you get more conversions.

Which platform should I use?

You now know that both Facebook and Google have their own strengths. You might wonder, “which one is right for my business?”

If your product is unique and you want people to know about it, then Google Ads might not be a good option right now. Introducing your product to a new audience using Facebook Ads might work better.

But of course, the answer depends on a lot of factors.

  • Who is your audience? 
  • Where are they in their buying journey? 
  • What is your offer? 
  • What is your goal?

Now, if this sounds confusing, we have a better solution for you.

Just use both! Yep, use Facebook and Google Ads. 

They can actually work hand-in-hand. Use Facebook Ads to drive cold traffic to your site and warm up your audience, then use Google to remarket your products!

By doing this, you’re using both platforms to enhance your marketing and get the return on investment you want.

The next question is, how much should you spend on each?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a golden ratio. But what we can do is share a few examples of our clients who use both paid platforms and give our advice on whether they should be spending more on Google or Facebook Ads.

Examples

We pulled up our clients’ Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts in these examples. Then we compared the following:

  • How much traffic is coming from Facebook and Google Ads
  • How much they spent on Google Ads
  • How much return on ad spend (ROAS) they have for Google

A quick disclaimer: The numbers we found in Google Analytics aren’t 100% accurate. It doesn’t attribute the conversions back to the clicks from Google Ads. If you want to know more about this, check out our help article: Why is Google Ads reporting different numbers than Google Analytics?

Let’s look at some accounts that could help you decide whether to add more ad spend to Facebook Ads or Google Ads.

If you want to know where to find the data in Google Analytics, do the following:

  1. Go to your Google Analytics dashboard
  2. On the left-hand side, look for Reports 
  3. Click Acquisition
  4. Click All Traffic
  5. Click Source Medium
  6. Look for anything that says “facebook / paid” and “google / cpc”
How to view source : medium in Google Analytics

Example #1

a piece of jewelry

Product: Jewelry
Date Range: October 1 – 30, 2022
Facebook Traffic: 70.94%
Google Traffic: 3.26%
Ad Spend: $3,309.24
ROAS: 274.31%

This company sells jewelry in a niche industry. Plus, they have a community to tap into. We know that this client was hitting their ROAS goals. So even though they’re spending more money on Facebook, it’s okay since they are profitable and growing.

Example #2

Cool hat

Product: Hats
Date Range: October 1 – 30, 2022
Facebook Traffic: 7.78%
Google Traffic: 30.27%
Ad Spend: $3,187.98
ROAS: 134.22%

This company sells really cool hats for people with curly hair. Their ROAS is 134.22%, and while they’re profitable, they aren’t satisfied with the results from Google Ads. We advise spending more on Facebook Ads and less on Google Ads. Their product needs more awareness––it’s not very common, and very few people know it exists.

Spending less on Google might be the strategy they need to make their Media Efficiency Ratio right.

Example #3

furniture

Product: Furniture
Date Range: October 1 – 30, 2022
Facebook Traffic: N/A
Google Traffic: 85.04%
Ad Spend: $2,095.13
ROAS: 459.24%

This company sells furniture. Their ROAS of 459.24% might look good enough, but it usually needs to be higher for furniture brands. They aren’t running Facebook Ads because furniture isn’t necessarily something people will impulsively buy.

However, if some of their products are “impulse buy” items, spending more money on Facebook will help get more traffic. Then, we can remarket to those users using Google to increase their conversions.

Suppose your products are similar to their products. In that case, we highly recommend testing and gathering data to find out if Facebook Ads could be a good solution for you.

Example #4

chair

Product: High-End Furniture
Date Range: October 1 – 30, 2022
Facebook Traffic: N/A
Google Traffic: 87.41%
Ad Spend: $2,173.71
ROAS: 432.86%

This company sells high-end furniture. And just like the previous example, they aren’t running Facebook Ads for the same reason. Again, having a ROAS of 432.86% might not be ideal for their company. Usually, a good ROAS for furniture or similar product is around 700%, especially if they’re high-end. 

We’re not sure if we’d recommend running Facebook Ads for this company. They might get traffic to the website, but not many people will convert once they see their prices.

A good workaround is to teach Facebook’s algorithm to find the right people and show them ads. It might take a little more time and investment, but using Facebook Ads is the only way to get the most out of it.

Example #5

outdoor gear

Product: Outdoor Gear
Date Range: October 1 – 30, 2022
Facebook Traffic: N/A
Google Traffic: 26.34%
Ad Spend: $2,983.21
ROAS: 37.89%

This company sells outdoor gear (camping, hiking, etc.). Looking at the ROAS, we already know they aren’t doing very well just using Google Ads. Since their products could be something people would buy right away, then it might make sense to run Facebook Ads to at least increase their conversions. 

Of course, we still need to optimize other things in the campaigns. But running Facebook Ads could help us get one of those easy wins.

Final Words

By now, you should have a good understanding of why you might want to use Facebook Ads or Google Ads. Both paid ad channels are excellent ways to reach potential customers and get your product in front of them.

Remember, you don’t need to choose one––you can run both! It will all depend on your products, your audience, and, lastly, your business goals.

If you’re starting out with a limited budget, you might want to check out our sister company, StarterPPC! It delivers high-level Google Ads management at a fraction of the cost. 

This is an excellent alternative for businesses that want to grow and scale with Google Ads but need more wiggle room in their budget.

Author

Bryan is the marketing manager at Solutions 8, and has been on digital marketing since 2018. When he’s not working, you’ll find him working out at a local gym, reading personal development books, or playing music at home. He feels weird writing about himself in third person.

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