Google Ads vs. Facebook: Which Will Give You A Better ROI?

Sam Rose - Head of Content

Sam Alexandra Rose

10th November 2021

When you have a marketing budget to spend on paid ads, you want to make sure you’re using it wisely. And there are plenty of places where you can spend it - from Google and Bing search ads, to display and remarketing, to paid social media. In this article, we will look specifically at Google Ads and Facebook Ads to help you decide which of these platforms could give you the best return on your investment.


What is the difference between Google Ads and Facebook Ads?

Google Ads and Facebook are two very different platforms. With Google Ads, you can use search ads to target people at the exact moment when they are looking for products and services like yours. Plus, you can use Shopping Ads if you have products people can buy online, and enhance your search ads with extensions.

With Facebook Ads, you can target a specific audience while they browse Facebook, by defining their demographics and interests. You can either boost an existing organic post to get it in front of people who don’t follow your page, or you can create ads from scratch. Facebook is a very visual platform, so striking images will serve you well here.

While Google Ads shows ads to users based on the keywords they have searched with, Facebook uses the vast amount of data it has on users’ likes, behaviours and demographics to target them with ads.


Where is your target audience?

When you’re deciding whether to spend money on Google Ads or Facebook, the first thing to think about is who your target audience is, what your relationship might be with them, where they are in their decision-making process and how they are spending their time. For some businesses, Facebook simply may not be the best place to find your audience. It may be that you are a business-to-business operation and see more engagement on LinkedIn than other social channels. Perhaps your customers simply don’t frequent Facebook much, or when they do, it’s to connect with friends, family and groups, rather than looking at work-related content. On the other hand, it may be that your target audience does use Facebook a lot, you have a good following there, you get engagement and clicks through to your website, and you’d like to continue your growth on this channel. It’s also important to remember that Google Ads is effective for when people are ready to purchase, while Facebook reaches people at a variety of stages of their buying journey.


What is your goal?

Another thing to consider when weighing up your options is your goal for this individual campaign, as well as your overarching business goals. When you have a specific goal in mind, it’s also much easier to monitor whether or not you are reaching your goal. After all, how will you know if your advertising is working if you don’t know what you wanted it to do in the first place? Your goal for your ads may be to drive website visits, conversions or leads, or it may be to improve brand visibility. An ecommerce store may consider running Google Shopping Ads to increase conversions, while a lifestyle blog may use Facebook Ads to increase page likes and visits. It may not always be as clear-cut as that, but considering what you want to achieve will help you to set out how best to go about achieving it.


Forecasting Your ROI

The SilverDisc PPC ROI calculator can help you to determine whether paid search is a viable way for you to meet your business targets, regardless of which platform you decide to advertise on. For information on calculating your PPC ROI, take a look at our blog post on ROI forecasting.


Choosing Between Facebook and Google Ads

Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule to say which platform will give you the better return on your investment without trying it out first. It depends on a range of factors such as costs per click and the behaviour of your competitors. While Google Ads may provide the best ROI for one business, another may see more success with Facebook. Every industry varies, but generally speaking, many marketers agree that Facebook can provide a cheaper cost per click. However, users you target with Google Ads may have higher purchase intent, so it goes back to your goals and whether you’re looking for more sales, brand awareness, or something else.


Running Google Ads and Facebook Ads in Parallel

A good strategy would be to test out both Google Ads and Facebook Ads, run them for a good amount of time and see which one gets you closer to reaching your goal, or your ideal ROI, and then go with that. But hold on: who says you need to pick one or the other? Both platforms dominate their respective industries, and working with both of them could be a very effective marketing strategy. If you have the budget for both and they seem to work well, you may hit upon a winning combination. 


If you would like help with your paid advertising, whether on Google Ads or Facebook Ads, get in touch with our expert team.

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