Facebook V. Google Ads? Best Choice For Your Small Business

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Facebook vs. Google Ads - which one should you choose for your small business? We’re running through the pros & cons as well as…

Facebook vs. Google Ads

Which advertising channel is best for your small business? We break them both down in our 2022 guide!
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Facebook vs. Google Ads - which one should you choose to run for your small business?

Hint: the answer is neither but we’ll get to that a bit later.

In this blog, we’re going to break down the differences between Facebook and Google Ads, and give you our recommendations for which channel to run your small business Ads.

Let’s dive in!

Facebook Ads

Let’s tackle Facebook Ads first.

Facebook Ads are probably the easiest channel to tackle as a small business owner.

In fact, you may have already run a type of Facebook Ad if you’ve ever used the “Boost a Post” feature on Facebook or Instagram.

Facebook vs. Google Ads

Which brings us to our next point: 

If you’ve been boosting posts on your Facebook or Instagram - STOP! The Boost feature is simply a quick, “cheat-like” way for Facebook to make money off of business owners. 

When boosting a post, you have very little control over the performance of the “Ad”, and oftentimes you’re boosting a post that doesn’t have the conversion factors to ever bring your business more leads or money. 

If you’re set on running Facebook Ads, then you’ll want to run them the right way through the Facebook Ad Manager.

Through the Facebook Ad Manager, you can make tweaks and A/B test every nitty gritty detail, including audience targeting, budget settings, headline and description variations, and more .

Now, onto the Pros & Cons of Facebook Ads.

Pros:

  • Generally cheaper. Facebook and Instagram Ads are generally less expensive to run than Google Ads. Your cost per click should be below 30 cents, meaning it should only cost you max $0.30 to show someone what you are promoting.   
  • Imagery & Videos. If you have something to show (i.e. platform or course), you can use graphics and videos to catch your audience’s attention.
  • Promote a New Idea. With Facebook Ads, you can introduce a new idea or concept that people may not know to search for yet. That thing we never knew we needed? FB Ads are great for that. 
  • Brand Awareness. Facebook & Instagram Ads are a great way to get your brand in front of new eyes without spending an exorbitant amount. 
  • It’s harder to mess up. Facebook Ads are harder to get wrong due to the platform’s algorithm. In fact, some studies show that the best Ads are the ones that are set to run for weeks with zero audience selected, due to Facebook being “smart” enough to figure out your ideal client on its own. While we’re not convinced on this theory ourselves, it is true that Facebook Ads require less maintenance.

Cons:

  • Only top of the funnel leads. While Facebook Ads are great for brand awareness, they aren’t so great for “ready-to-buy” leads. That’s because you’re forcing your Ads in front of people at random - they aren’t necessarily looking for what you’re offering. 
  • Oversaturated. We’re tired of Ads!!  As a people, I think I can speak for all of us that we’re tired of seeing Ads. Everywhere we turn - influencers, TV, YouTube, hell, even our high school friends are selling us something online!
  • Not a long-term approach. Facebook Ads aren’t a sustainable marketing tactic, meaning as soon as you stop spending the money, people will stop coming. SEO is a much better place to spend your dollars.

Facebook Metrics to Test:

Unless you are trying to go viral or grow a huge following on Facebook and Instagram (Dental offices - this isn’t you!), forget about tracking vanity metrics such as Likes, Follows, and Shares. 

These are truly pointless metrics for small businesses to track. 

Instead, you’ll need to meticulously track: 

  • CTR (Click-Through-Rate): This measures how popular your Ad is. How many people see your Ad and decide to take an action? While a good benchmark is at least 1%, we aim to hit ~3-5% here at Markology. 
  • CPC (Cost Per Click): Cost per click is how much you are spending for someone to click through to your website. As mentioned above, you’ll want to keep this below $0.30 on Facebook and Instagram. In more competitive industries and cities, this will naturally be higher, and can reach up to $1.00 per click.
  • CPL (Cost Per Lead): Pretty self-explanatory, but the most important metric to track is how much it cost to get a high quality lead. The ideal cost per lead will depend entirely on your business model. If you sell a B2B solution that brings in $10,000 per year, then a $50 CPL might be acceptable. If you sell a $30/month gym membership, then you’ll want to keep this much lower. 
  • Bounce Rate & Time on Page: These metrics are tracked in your Google Analytics platform, rather than Facebook itself, but they are equally as important to your success. If your Facebook Ads are returning a high bounce rate or low Time on Page (less than 1 min), then you have a problem with your landing page. Users didn’t get what they were expecting when click on the Ad.
TIP: You want to track all metrics on a daily basis. If your Ad is not performing well (in line with our recommendations), then stop the Advertisement altogether and create a new one. Facebook is stubborn in that way - it’s not going to get better as time goes on. 

Facebook Ad Recommendations: 

We aren’t raving advocates of Facebook Ads but we’re not anti-Facebook Ads either. It just depends on how you use them. At Markology, we use a small budget every month on Facebook and Instagram for general brand awareness and lead magnet marketing. 

Here are our biggest tips: 

  • Test a small budget. Cap your budget at $50 and see how many leads you get - and what kind of quality they are - before spending more. 
  • A/B test the HECK out of everything. Test the copy. Test the Graphic. Test the audience. Once you’ve figured out the optimal combination (i.e. lowest cost per lead), then you can go for gold and scale up your spend. 
  • Don’t use too much text in your graphics - FB doesn’t like it. 
  • Don’t try to cold sell with Facebook Ads. Advertise a free e-Book, YouTube video, or something else that’s valuable, and implement a nurture automation to close.
  • Keep your copy short! People have short attention spans. And frankly, they don’t care about every little detail of your business like you do. Tell people why they should click in as few words as possible. 

We’ll be walking you through how-to create the Perfect Facebook Ad on our blog later this month, so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to see that in your Inbox when it’s live. 

Google Ads

Now that you’re an expert in Facebook Ads, let’s move onto Google. 

Google Ads are Advertisements you run in order to appear at the top of Google when someone is searching your service.

Google Ads are trickier to set up, more labor intensive to maintain, more expensive per click, and more competitive in most industries. 

But, they’ll bring you better leads. 

Let’s break them down with our Pros and Cons. 

Pros:

  • Bottom Funnel Leads. Google Ads will always bring in higher quality leads because they show up when people are actively looking for your service. That’s all we’re really after, right?
  • Better Targeting. Google Ads give you control over most everything. The exact keyword you want to show up for. Keywords you don’t want to show up for. How many times a day you show up. Where you show up outside of Google. And on, and on. 
  • Imagery & Videos. Google has its own Display Network which allows you to promote images and videos just like Facebook. These images and videos can show up on blogs, news websites, YouTube, and more. 

Cons:

  • More expensive. Google Ads are generally more expensive to run. The average Cost-per-Click on Google is ~$1.00 or more. That means you’re going to pay at least $1 to even get one person to your website. 
  • Short-term tactic. Google Ads are a great tactic to use while your SEO strategy is in the works. However, once your SEO strategy is thriving, you’ll no longer need Google Ads. Why pay to appear at the top of Google when you can do it for free?
  • Labor intensive to maintain. Google Ads are not something that you can set and forget, and come back to in a few days. You’ll need to actively maintain Google Ads, by going into the Ad Sets every day and adding to your negative keyword list, adjusting your budget per keyword, etc. 

Google Metrics to Test:

The metrics to track on Google are the exact same metrics you track on Facebook, with the addition of 1 more. 

  • CTR (Click-Through-Rate): This measures how popular your Ad is. How many people see your Ad and decide to take an action? While a good benchmark is at least 1%, we aim to hit ~3-5% here at Markology. 
  • CPC (Cost Per Click): Cost per click is how much you are spending for someone to click through to your website. Try to keep your CPC around $1 on Google, depending on the competitiveness of your industry. 
  • CPL (Cost Per Lead): Pretty self-explanatory, but the most important metric to track is how much it cost to get a high quality lead. The ideal cost per lead will depend entirely on your business model. If you sell a B2B solution that brings in $10,000 per year, then a $50 CPL might be acceptable. If you sell a $30/month gym membership, then you’ll want to keep this much lower. 
  • Bounce Rate & Time on Page: These metrics are tracked in your Google Analytics platform, rather than Facebook itself, but they are equally as important to your success. If your Facebook Ads are returning a high bounce rate or low Time on Page (less than 1 min), then you have a problem with your landing page. Users didn’t get what they were expecting when click on the Ad.  
  • Quality Score: Google has its own metric for Ads called the Quality Score, with a rating from 1-10.

And it encompasses three different factors:

  • Expected Click-Through Rate (CTR): How likely is someone to click your ad when Google shows your ad for the keyword they search for?
  • Ad Relevance: Is the ad relevant to your keywords? Does it make sense for the ad to appear when someone searches for a particular keyword?
  • Landing Page Experience: Does the information on the landing page correspond to what the ad is offering, and vice versa?

You can read more about Quality Scores on Google here

TIP:  Even more so than Facebook Ads, it’s imperative to track all metrics in your Google campaigns on a daily basis. The good news is that you won’t need to stop your Ad if it isn’t performing to your standard. Simply make your tweaks within the campaign (add negative keywords, remove low-performing Ads) and keep going. You won’t get any difference in performance by starting again. 

Google Ad Recommendations: 

Google Ads have their time and place. While they are more expensive than other Ad platforms, they are generally more successful. However, as mentioned, we recommend only using Google Ads when your SEO rankings aren’t up to par. Otherwise, they’ll simply be a waste of money. 

Here are our biggest tips: 

  • Test a small budget. Cap your budget at $50 and see how many leads you get - and what kind of quality they are - before spending more. 
  • Monitor your Ads daily. You should be adding to your negative keyword list daily. 
  • Use Exact Match and Phrase match to start. Too much money is wasted from Broad Match terms. 
  • Use persuasive copy. What will make people click on your Ads rather than others?
  • Add sitelinks. Google Ads with Sitelinks get 30% more clicks, according to Google.
  • Add call extensions. For the same reason as above. 
  • Create a landing page specific to the search terms you are using. If your Ad is showing up for “Bookkeeping services” , the landing page should be about bookkeeping, not general accounting services. 
  • Have a lead magnet on your landing page. You don’t want to pay exorbitant Google Ad costs and not get something in return for the Click. Offer a free guide, tutorial, video, or other valuable content in exchange for the user’s name and email address. 

We’ll be walking you through how-to create the Perfect Google Ad on our blog later this month, so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to see that in your Inbox when it’s live.

Facebook vs. Google Ads

So… Facebook vs. Google Ads? Here’s What We Think

Both Facebook and Google Ads should only ever be used as a small, supplementary tactic to your overall marketing strategy. 

At the end of the day, they’re expensive to run and not a sustainable method. 

As a small business, you’re much better off investing in a long-term SEO & Content strategy so that you can show up in front of ideal clients for free!

Here at Markology, we use Facebook and Google Ads on a case-by-case basis. 

Facebook Ads are great if you are launching a brand new product, or want to get your service and/or idea in front of as many people as possible. It’s much more successful when used for products, or a time-relevant service special, rather than services. 

Google Ads are great for bottom of the funnel leads. When people are searching for “bookkeeper near me”, you can show up first. We recommend using Google Ads if you’re really short on leads or going through a slow patch. 

Whichever one you choose, we strongly recommend getting an expert to help. 

There are so many intricacies to set up and monitor, and it takes years of experience and practice to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Here at Markology, we’re happy to take a look over your existing Ads and give you our recommendations for where to improve.

Simply book a complimentary call to start. 

Have a question we didn’t answer? You can also reach out to us via email anytime. One of our marketers will get back to you as soon as possible.

Until next time!

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Facebook vs. Google Ads

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