Google AdWords vs Facebook Advertising: Which One is Right for You?
We all have questions that we get a lot. For example, as soon as someone finds out you’re a remodeler, they probably ask you if you have friend discounts or if HGTV is realistic.
I’m going to address a question I get all. the. time. from remodelers. In fact if I’m honest, from PEOPLE all the time. I’ve been asked this question at a Remodelers’ Advantage Workshop in Baltimore, at a brewery in Grand Rapids, and even as a guest speaker at an International Social Media Conference in the Netherlands. As soon as someone finds out I work in social media marketing and search engine optimization, this is the first question I get.
I’m willing to bet you’ve wondered this (whether you asked aloud or not) at some point in time. “I have a limited budget. Should I be investing in Google AdWords or Facebook Ads?”
The quick and easy answer is “Yes.” So let’s dig in. (note: click images for larger view, click back to return to blog post)
The Basics of Facebook Advertising
Facebook Ads, in a nutshell, are simple, compelling, and can reach thousands with a very small budget. By nature of existing on a social media platform, they are just that – social. Facebook Ads are typically a picture with text, multiple pictures, a video, or some combination of all of these elements.
But beyond just the obvious, they can also carry weight because users see who their friends are following and liking which gives your brand even more promotion.
Consider your sales funnel. Social media sites and advertising target the top of your funnel. For many, your Facebook profile may be the first time they see you. If this is the case, it’s not because they were searching for you – it’s because Facebook has been gathering data on its users (such as interests based on other pages they follow) and is showing targeted ads.
In other words, those who see your ads on Facebook were not on Facebook to look for you – you simply showed up in their feed or side bar because you paid to.
There are two key options when putting a budget behind your Facebook marketing strategy, so let’s compare and understand those before we dig into the weeds.
If you’re pressed for time, here’s a complete checklist comparing Facebook Ads vs Google AdWords.
Once a post is already getting more organic traffic than usual, adding a budget behind it will give your post the opportunity to be seen by more people. Since your post performed well organically, Facebook recognizes that its users like this post so it will allow your budget to go farther.
Even with a boosted post, you can set a preferred audience. While not quite as targeted as a Facebook Ad, these preferred audiences are a great general target.
Herein lies a key difference between boosted posts and advertisements as well. While boosted posts tend to perform best on posts that don’t contain links, advertising performs well with posts that do contain links. This makes sense when you consider Facebook as a business model – anything linking away from Facebook’s platform should cost more to promote.
Unlike Facebook Boosts, Ads can show up in several locations – the Newsfeed, the right hand sidebar, within Messenger, and other spots all around the platform. With extremely detailed targeting, you can ensure that those who see your ad will be interested. You just don’t know that they’re looking for a remodeling company (yet).
How Does Declining Organic Reach Affect Facebook Advertising?
You’ve probably heard of the dreaded decline of Facebook Organic Reach. You’d think it was Armageddon for Digital Marketers.
Realistically, this shift was just an equalizer. Facebook updated their definition of “reach” and simultaneously took advantage of the extreme popularity by brands of using their platform.
The business model makes perfect sense. Any time you are asking for someone to leave your platform, you are risking that they won’t return. Why would Facebook want people to leave their platform? It’s only natural that Organic Reach is declining in order to maintain Facebook’s popularity as a platform.
Driven largely by Facebook’s popularity, content has been saturating the platform. In an effort to stave back the quantity of links and articles bombarding its users every day, Facebook added a higher price tag to gain reach. This movement encourages content marketers to think twice before writing an article or sharing it on Facebook because it will cost more to be discovered.
How Does the Facebook App Affect Advertising?
The Facebook mobile app complicates Facebook Ads even further. When in a browser, clicking an ad link typically opens in another tab which makes returning to Facebook that much easier. In the app, however, clicking an ad removes the user from the Facebook experience entirely.
And with current attention spans of under 5 seconds, it’s highly unlikely that a user will remember they were browsing Facebook before they clicked away to purchase a dozen pair of earrings during a “flash sale” (maybe that’s just me).
In an effort to curb their outflow of users, Facebook developed their own browser. Now, when a mobile app user clicks into an ad, they are never leaving Facebook.
The down side for digital marketers everywhere is that this can make tracking analytics that much more difficult for your website and any campaigns you are running that include Facebook Advertising. The up side, however, is that Facebook users are having a more seamless experience on Facebook, making their ad experience that much more enjoyable rather than an interruption.
Reasons Why You Would Choose Facebook Ads
We are always on our phones – yes you too. If you are marketing at the generations born with tech, you need to be in social ads to be relevant. Your target audience is always connected. In the 21st century, you need to meet your target audience where they are – and that’s on social media.
Beyond just hosting your target audience for hours a day, Facebook Ads are geared towards the top of your funnel. Or, more realistically, they’re geared towards people who are not currently in your funnel and could expand the top of your funnel.
In fact, Facebook has mastered the art of the “Lookalike Audience.” Rather than continually building ads geared at your client lists, for example, you can build out a Lookalike Audience. Since Facebook has such strong ties with big data companies, they are able to match people with identical characteristics from those you have already reached.
You’ve probably heard of the “drip methodology” of constantly reminding your leads that you exist. Facebook Ads are another powerful way to remain relevant by occasionally targeting your lead lists and running an ad geared towards getting them to convert.
If you are looking to grow your audience, expand your brand’s reach, remain top of mind, and improve your brand awareness, then Facebook Advertising is a great solution.
The Basics of Google AdWords
Google AdWords are essentially bids on keywords that populate advertisements within a Google search. Showing up in a Google search requires that the searcher have entered specific keywords into the Google search bar that your company is then paying for to be discovered in this search.
Let’s consider your sales funnel again. The top of the funnel is geared at people who are researching remodeling companies. The middle of the funnel is geared at people who are researching YOUR remodeling company. The bottom of the funnel is geared at people who are making a decision on whether they want to work with YOUR remodeling company.
Google AdWords target the top and middle of your funnel. Since AdWords are targeted keywords, a user must already be searching for “remodeling companies in Seattle” or “bathroom remodeling in Dallas” to show up.
I’ll say that again because it’s so important. Those who find you through Google AdWords are already leads because they were searching for your services, your company, or something related when they selected your ad to learn more.
What Is the Difference Between Organic Search and Google AdWords?
Organic search is just that – it happens organically. In simpler terms, organic search happens naturally. A user who finds your website through organic search did not click on a paid ad to find you.
While both forms of traffic originate from a Google search, organic search requires that a user clicked on a search result rather than a paid Google AdWords ad.
In order to show up in an organic search, your company must be utilizing search engine optimization (SEO). SEO can show up in dozens of forms, but in this scenario it typically means that you are targeting topics and keywords that your audience is searching for and writing more content about them.
This typically means blogging about bathroom remodeling, kitchen remodeling costs, and other related topics that are popular questions among your clients. When a Google user searches for “kitchen remodeling costs,” then you would show up organically for that search.
In order to show up for Google AdWords, all your company has to do is pay. By selecting specific search terms, you can target specific audiences who are searching for the services you deliver. After adding a monthly budget or maximum keyword bid, your ad will consistently show up when a user searches those terms.
How Do Google AdWords Targeted Keywords Work?
Here’s a sample scenario of how Google AdWords work. In this example, you are trying to increase the amount of luxury whole home remodeling projects your Seattle-based remodeling company pulls in annually.
When setting up your advertisement, you can either build out a plain text ad (to mimic an organic search result) or you can build out an image ad. Setting up your ad will include selecting what keywords you want to show up for during searches as well. In this example, you may want to target search terms such as “award-winning whole home remodelers,” “luxury remodelers,” “high end whole home remodeling,” and other terms along those lines.
Let’s say a Google user is searching for “award-winning whole home remodelers in Seattle.” Google AdWords is able to geotag searches, meaning that only those who live in Seattle will see your ad. Since you chose “award-winning whole home remodelers” as a search term for your ad, then your ad will show up either above the organic search results or along the right-hand bar of Google.
If the user clicks on your ad, then it comes out of your budget. This is what is referred to by the name “pay-per-click” – you only pay if someone clicks on your ad. Facebook Ads are largely set up as a pay-per-click functionality as well, whereas Facebook boosts are generally used to gain a larger audience to the Facebook post itself.
Clicking on your ad will then deliver the user to a specific page on your website that you choose. In this example, it would probably be a pillar page (a long form content page describing every facet of that topic, example: https://www.builderfunnel.com/remodeler-marketing) about whole home remodeling including information about past projects, client testimonials, awards you’ve won, project costs, and more.
You can also link a landing page (a short page without a navigation menu that is concentrated on asking a user to relinquish their information for a download) if you are looking to convert leads immediately rather than letting them self-qualify themselves by researching before filling out a form.
This landing page could be promoting an eBook you have written about whole home remodeling for luxury homes in the Seattle area including trends, timelines, design ideas.
Reasons Why You Would Choose Google AdWords
Google AdWords are perfect for trying to pull in those who are searching specifically for your services. At this point, a click is already a lead.
When using pay-per-click, you are bidding with others to pay for each click of specific keywords. For example, if you are bidding on the keyword “Seattle remodeler,” you may run into some pretty stiff competition since there are likely hundreds of Seattle remodelers who want to appear in Google for the same keywords. In some instances, you can pay for $1.50 – $6+ for a similar keyword.
Facebook’s cost for a click is still typically below $1.50 because it doesn’t have the same authority for searches as Google, and its clicks aren’t based on keywords but rather by the audience you build. One key to note is that when you are paying for a click on Google AdWords, however, is that this person is already a lead because they are searching specifically for your keyword.
Another way to set up Google AdWords is to ensure that anytime a user searches your company name in Google that you are the top result. This naturally will cost far less because there will be no competition or bidding wars for your company name. If you set up “Builder Funnel” to always to direct to builderfunnel.com, then you can guarantee that anytime a user searches for you, they will find you.
You can also set up “re-targeting”.
Once a user clicks on one of your ads, they will continue to show up in other places online. You may have noticed that after clicking an ad for premium yoga mats on Google, suddenly they’re in every article you read and even on Facebook. This is a major benefit to Google AdWords – once a user shows interest, the ad continues to follow them in an effort to increase conversion rates. You can also set up re-targeting on Facebook that functions very similarly after a user has clicked on the ad.
Another good reason to use Google AdWords is if your SEO isn’t working well yet. Rather than waiting for organic search to slowly increase as you build out your blog or content pages, you can direct traffic to your blog subscription page. This will increase your page views which is a strategic move to tell Google that the page is relevant and deserves to show up in more searches.
This method is like investing in protein shakes to improve your workout so that you can get in better shape – Google AdWords are like the protein shakes because they improve your SEO (your workout) which will get your website in better shape.
How Do Facebook Ads and Google AdWords Work Together?
Facebook Ads and Google AdWords do not need to work together, nor do they need to work in silos. Since they are targeting largely separate audiences, they do not interfere with one another or create large overlaps.
Facebook Ads are great at showcasing your awards, recent projects, and other brand awareness topics. They are targeting people who may not even be searching for remodeling yet but have shown an interest in related topics like home maintenance, interior design, and related publications or TV shows. This audience, however, can be narrowed down to the right region to the zip code, number of kids, income range, employer, and other buyer persona details.
Google AdWords are perfect for pulling in traffic that is already searching for what you have to offer. This audience is likely engaged and actively seeking remodeling services, but they may not be ready to make a decision yet. They’re gathering information and researching companies, costs, and more.
Both advertising tools are deeply powerful and can grow your business when harnessed properly.