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Google Ads Vs. Facebook Ads: Which Platform Offers The Best ROI?

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By Marco Mottola, CEO/Founder at Trigger Digital. He oversees advertising operations, business development and client partnerships for the agency. 

It’s no secret that Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) and Facebook Ads have a longstanding rivalry. What is it about these two platforms that cause so much discussion? And how do you choose which platform to utilize for your business?

When it comes to your ROI (return on investment), it’s essential to make sure you invest in the right platform to generate ad revenue. Digital marketing experts are no stranger to this question, but the response is almost always the same: It depends on your company and your target audience.

Both options are great, and depending on your business objectives, one may be a better fit for your budget. In this ever-changing world of digital marketing, it’s helpful to invest in the right ads. If you’re ready to invest in one of these platforms and finally choose a side in the Google Ads versus Facebook Ads debate, this article is a must-read.

Google Ads Versus Facebook Ads: Why The Debate?

In reality, there isn’t a “better” option, because both platforms perform differently from each other and bring their unique benefits to the table. Some more specific questions to ask are:

• What is my available advertising budget?

• Which one is better for reaching my target audience?

• What stage of the buyer’s journey am I trying to earn?

Most internet users regularly use both of these platforms. Depending on the age, income range, lifestyle and other factors that make your audience unique, one may be better at investing your budget. But what other factors are important to increase your ROI? When you take a look at what makes these platforms unique, and the Google Ads versus Facebook Ads cost, it can become easier to make your decision.

What Are Google Ads?

Customers have more choices now than ever before, as businesses worldwide create websites for their businesses. To be successful, you need to change how you find, deliver and retain customer interest at each stage of the purchasing funnel.

The different types of campaigns you can use with Google are:

• Search network campaigns

• Display network campaigns

• Google Shopping Ads

• Video campaigns

• App campaigns

Google has been instrumental in facilitating these changes by implementing their PPC (pay-per-click) advertising approach that uses your industry’s keywords to charge you only for the clicked ads. Also known as paid ads, this technique can be efficient or expensive, all based on your industry. Other search engines use other and similar methods, but Google is the most popular and successful option available for this type of marketing.

What Are Facebook Ads?

While Google Ads focuses on paid search, Facebook Ads is all about paid social. Your target audience’s behaviors and patterns are what make social advertising so effective. Through Facebook, your customers can connect with other consumers, voice their personal experiences with your company and stay up to date with your business.

The different formats of ads you can use on Facebook are:

• Video

• Photo

• Slideshow

• Carousel

• Dynamic product ads

• Lead form ads

Over 180 million businesses use Facebook for their business advertising or to connect with customers. Like all things on the internet, ads on other social media platforms, like Instagram and LinkedIn, are quickly becoming valuable tools for business owners around the world, as I’ve previously written about.

How Does Each Platform Benefit Your Business?

What are the different benefits each of these platforms offers your business, and what are the different options available? When it comes to brand awareness, sales generation and more, this list of top three perks for each has you covered.

Benefits of Google Ads:

1. You can bid on millions of keywords to get your ads to rank higher, reach new people, increase your exposure and more.

2. Earn higher SERP (search engine results page) ranking by creating relevant ads. Money doesn’t buy the top advertising spots, so any sized budget can allow you to compete with top brands for customers.

3. Google uses search and display networks to help you create ads that will appear in search results. The variety of options can help you generate more leads.

Benefits of Facebook Ads:

1. People share tons of information about themselves on Facebook, like interests, beliefs, hobbies and more. You can use this natural transference of data to target the people most likely to shop with you.

2. Once you have a database of the people most likely to shop with you, you can import that data to Facebook and target those people with your ad campaigns.

3. A critical part of successful advertising is your conversions. Earning sign-ups, sales, subscriptions, followers, leads and whatever else matters to your business will help you succeed.

So, Which Platform Has The Best ROI?

It’s clear that there are benefits to advertising on both platforms, but what matters at the end of the day is your ROI. In the great debate of Google Ads versus Facebook Ads, it comes down to which one will bring you the highest return.

Theoretically, if you took two campaigns in the current market and ran them for 30 days to gauge their performance, specific trends may start to appear. Both Facebook and Google are focused, in this instance, on earning memberships for a gym:

• The Facebook option earned 103 memberships and had 150,000 impressions, but had an $11.00 cost per conversion.

• The Google option gained 200 memberships at an impressive $4.00 per conversion and collected useful data about the types of ads that worked best.

While Facebook looks like the more expensive option, you can’t deny that a large number of impressions could lead to a higher long-term return. The best social media platform campaign is truly based on those valuable impressions and regularly reminding your audience that you can help them solve their problems.

Where To Start

Your business and industry will heavily weigh which platform would be best for your business. Rather than Google Ads versus Facebook Ads, consider instead what your company needs and where you can reach your target audience.

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5 Effective Ways to Run Facebook Ads A/B Tests

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Testing-and-Scaling-Facebook-Ads

Facebook Ads A/B Tests or split tests help them try different versions of ads with various campaign elements. This process helps them arrive at the best version for the organization’s target. 

A/B Tests offer a vast pool of resources to try out various versions. You may get caught up and lose your way to arriving at the best version in a limited time. To better understand this topic you can read the Facebook ad testing guide. Here are five effective ways to run Facebook Ads A/B Tests-

1) Start with the minimal number of variables

This approach will help you analyze the impact of a variable much better. The lesser the variables, the better will be the relevant results and more conclusive. Once you have various versions, you will need to run them through the A/B Significance Test to determine if the test results are valid.

2) The second way is to select the correct structure. 

There are two structures in A/B tests. One is a single ad test, and the other is multiple single variation ad sets. All the variations will go under one ad set in the first structure. Each variation will be under a separate ad set in the second one. Out of the two, the second one works out to be better and gives better results.

3) Use of spreadsheets is important to stay organized. 

These spreadsheets help collect and analyze data to get meaningful insights and arrive at data-backed decisions.

4) Do target advertising and set realistic time goals. 

One approach is to choose an entirely new set of audiences. Also, the data pool should be vast and not the same as some existing campaigns. The reason for choosing a different audience is that Facebook may mix up your ads and give contaminated output. 

Another approach to choosing the right audience is to pick geography. It works better, especially when you have business in a particular region.   

It’s also essential to set a realistic timeline for your testing. Facebook suggests one should run a test for at least four days, but you can choose to run the test for up to 30 days.   

5) Set an ideal budget. 

The concept of a perfect budget is subjective. But, you can fix it yourself, or Facebook can do that for you based on your testing data. A large part of the test budget is spent on avoiding audience duplication. If the same audience sees variations, it could affect the test results.

Besides these top five effective ideas, you will need to take a few more action points to make the testing process efficient. Make sure you put the website’s domain link and not the landing page link in the ad, as that doesn’t look good. Put appropriate Call To Action Button, such as ‘Learn More,’ ‘Buy Now,’ etc. It’s also important to see how your ad is coming across on various electronic gadgets- mobile, tablets, etc.

Another strategy that works is trying to engage the customer. You may add social engagement buttons such as ‘Like’ or ‘Comment.’ Use high-resolution images as they work better with the customers. Low-quality, highly edited images are often not liked and trusted by the consumers.

You can learn more about the audience behavior patterns with A/B test results. Conducting these tests on Facebook streamlines the entire process and makes it smooth for you. With the test results, advertisers and marketers can work on the creatives they need to utilize.

To sum it up, you can run an effective A/B test campaign within the specified budget. You don’t need to spend massive amounts to get your advertisement right. You’ll make the correct assumptions about the performance of variations with a good understanding of business and consumers.

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