Our reviews of Facebook ads and Google AdWords

facebook vs google ads

Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising seem to be the two most talked about online ad platforms so its time we reviewed these puppies to give you a better understanding of what they are and whether your online advertising campaign can benefit from them.

In both cases, you’re only charged on a “pay-per-click” rather than a “pay-per-impression” basis or in layman’s terms “pay-per-appearance”. You actually could select a “pay-per-impression” campaign but we don’t recommend it.

Both ad platforms can be geographically targeted which is vitally important if your product or service is only provided in a certain geographic region. For instance, if we (SBM) wanted to place an ad for our “website design services”, and if we only serviced Hoboken, Jersey City and New York City businesses (though we really service clients all over the US) we could set our Facebook or AdWords campaigns to only target people who live in these cities. Pretty cool, right?!

location of your Google AdWords ads
This is where Google AdWords appears.

Overview – AdWords ads appear above and to the right of a Google search listing. You’re allowed 25 characters for the title. 70 characters for the ad text. 35 characters for the display of the URL. The key is to make your text compelling and relevant enough to entice the person who just searched for the term that your paid to advertisement next to. The placement of your ad is largely determined by how much you bid on that search term. So you gots ta pay-to-play. That’s how the world of internet advertising works. Learn it. Love it. Live it.

What’s good – Anyone who types in a Google search term is actively seeking information on that very subject that your ad (hopefully) corresponds to. So if your ad is relevant to that topic and appealing, there’s a good chance they could click on it.

Something we like to put great emphasis on… customer service. Unlike Facebook ads, there is actually a phone number to contact the Google AdWords department!!!

The performance tracking and analytics are phenomenal. If you’re a numbers person, you could study the data and charts until the cows come home and tweak your campaign to the n-th degree to maximize your return-on-investment.

What sucks – It can be friggin’ expensive. You’re in a bidding war with tons of other companies all trying to get in the face of the Google searcher. So it’s highly competitive.

The advertising dashboard, user interface and setup process can be overwhelming to a novice. There’s just so much information and tools and data to take in.

There’s a steep learning curve. It’s going to take a while to get the hang of it. You might blow through a little money before you first see a return-on-investment.

Facebook Profile Page
This is where your ad appears on Facebook

Overview – Facebook ads appear to the right of Facebook profiles. They feature a title of 25 characters, ad text of 135 characters and an image. The ads appear on the profiles of those individuals that you decide to target, based on their profile characteristics (i.e. demographic information that Facebook stores, and you probably wish they didn’t!).

What’s good – Unlike Google AdWords, you can include an image in your advertisement which can help make it that much more enticing.

The setup process is very streamlined. You can see the exact number of people your ad will target based on the targeting demographic info you set.

What sucks – You must have a Facebook account to run ads. If you don’t have an account… I guess just setup a dummy account.

Another thing is, they don’t have a customer service hotline like Google… yet.

Facebook ads are kind of a shot-in-the-dark because people logged into Facebook aren’t necesssarily “searching” for information like they are when they type a search term into Google.

SUMMARY – So our suggestion is, give ’em both a shot. Test the waters and see what happens. Set a small budget to start and see if you get a good return on your investment. If so, ramp it up. If not, move to plan B.

Keep in mind though, there is a downside to doing it yourself… it could wind up being a major time suck and waste of money if it’s not done right. If you’re having trouble getting the most out of your campaign, or just don’t have the time or patience to do it yourself, then give us a ring.