Facebook Ads versus Google AdWords

Written by Zac Johnson
social social social

We run campaigns on both systems, often copying from one to the other. There’s no simple import utility that will copy campaigns between systems, like you can from Google to Yahoo. There likely never will be– since the traffic is so different. Some key differences:

  • Google has keywords– millions of them. Facebook has profile variables– perhaps a few thousand, if you look at DK’s list of top Facebook keywords. PPC keywords provide intent– what the user is looking for now, while profile variables tell you what the user likes– typically music and TV shows– but not what they want right now. The timing of when they want something is what makes AdWords convert well, while the demographic capabilities of social ads lets you target WHO they are.
  • Use the indirect method on Facebook. While you’d perhaps buy “weight loss” on AdWords or YSM, on Facebook you would instead buy the TV shows that middle aged females would most likely watch– The Biggest Loser, even. Speaking of weight loss, the user might be a Denver liposuction doctor, but you wouldn’t know that on Google when they’re searching. If you’re buying a professional service term to target funeral directors, you can’t even do that on Google– you can’t tell who is looking for a funeral director versus who actually is one.
  • Facebook ads are WAY cheaper. It’s a new system, they don’t have a public API, the user base is still mostly kids. But if you hit the right niches, you can get traffic for a fraction of PPC pricing. For example, SpyFu says garage sales costs 26 to 55 cents a click, but you know that you can get 5-10 cent clicks on Facebook for folks who have garage sales as one of their interests.
  • But volume varies: If you are targeting by interest, you won’t get many clicks. If you are an affiliate marketing network running acai berry– and you can get the ad approved– at 10 cents a click and a $40 payout, you can’t lose. You’d need one click in 400 to convert, but your volume would be low. The bid strategy we use on Facebook is somewhat similar to Google– bid high and then gradually lower bids by a couple pennies at a time. If you drop it too fast, your traffic will dry up.
  • Make LOTS of ads: Facebook doesn’t take into account the number of ads in a campaign when testing the eCPM of new ads. In other words, as new ads come into the system, they have to allocate a certain number of impressions to determine whether that ad will earn them money– based on the CTR and average CPC (which is eCPM). So set up dozens of ads– both to get more impressions, plus to test combinations of image, headline, targeting variable, and landing page. If you have 2 of each, that’s 2 to the 4th power, which is 16 variations. The great news here is that once you find a combination that works, your earnings can be sustainable. Other affiliates can copy your ads, but what’s the chance they have the same combination of variables?
  • Make lots of money: There’s plenty of money out there for folks who work hard and systematically test. Questions? Read my affiliate marketing blog.

This article was written by Harrison Gevirtz.

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39 Replies to “Facebook Ads versus Google AdWords”

  1. After all Google is still the best in marketing product out online, though FaceBook is cheaper, but I believe there are still people who do not use FaceBook since they might not know there is such a social site, while Google is a search engine, I believe young or old folks will know when they got an Internet connection,which is to mean, you get larger audience to market product to then FaceBook alone…

    <abbr>The Bad Blogger’s last blog post..Copywriting Isn’t A Job, It’s A Contact Sport !</abbr>

  2. I haven't tried Facebook before but I am thinking of trying them this year. thanks for the insights!

    <abbr>Paul Ubiadas’s last blog post..Miscellaneos Ramblings</abbr>

  3. I think Facebook is mostly used by the young generation and many are still not familiar with this site. Google has already stand the test of time when it comes to online marketing, so Google definitely rules!!!

    <abbr>Internet Marketing Tips’s last blog post..SaleHoo – A Wholesale Directory Review</abbr>

  4. I've recently experimented with advertising on Facebook, and my main issue with it was that the interests I was targeting would cost me about 50 cents a click…but then as the CTR got higher (after about a day), throughout the day I would be able to drop the CTR until it got into the 10-15 cent range. A BIG difference from 50 cents!

    This is all fine and dandy, but my problem was the fact that Facebook doesn't let you revise a creative…you have to make a new one. This starts the cycle all over again. My problem is that if all I wanted to do was see how big of a difference changing maybe a capital letter, or a slightly different headline on the same ad….I'd be stuck paying the high click through and monitoring the rate throughout the day to bring it back down. It gets expensive paying 5 times as much as I should be until I can get it back down.

    Have you found any ways to get around this or deal with it?

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  5. As an online retailer with a low priced new product that we have developed, patented and manufactured we refuse to pay the sort of money the you need to on Google.

    With Facebook I get lots more hits for far less money (and some sales). The ability to include a pic of my new product is great!

    But even on Facebook the cost per click is too high when you take into account the number of clicks you need to get a SALE ie a ROI.

    I am finding that a lot of BIG companies are bidding high and spoiling it for the rest of us.

    If we have to pay much higher than 20 cents a click we will spend OUR MONEY on phone calls and web ads rather than Facebook or Google.

    As for Google their system is far too complex and takes far too much work to bother with as their are millions of keywords out there.

    Regards

    Digby

  6. Not better to use Facebook to make an popular app, then you could even advertise this app on facebook, filled in with users and then monetize with CPA offers.

    Many of us know that this is a great way of making a huge amount of money, I described it on my blog..

    <abbr>Michael Gann’s last blog post..How To Avoid The 3 Most Common Affiliate Mistakes</abbr>

  7. I think still google is more popular in the market eventhogh facebook is becoming so famous around the world. I do agree with the bad blogger that many people are still not using FaceBook as they don't have the proper idea behind it.

  8. Facebook was great for me a few months back when there were less ads on their platform. I had a free $100 credit that I used to direct people to a landing page that made me 100% profit. Google adwords is expensive and a little harder for me to convert from but its getting there.

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  9. How would this work (Facebook) if one were trying to sell a book of fiction, let's say, rather than a ringtone. Does anyone have some advice?

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  10. I think that Adwords is always better than Facebook because you can get targeted traffic more.

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  11. I just signed up for google adwords, does anyone know a website or forum that personaly helped them improve their keywords and tricks ect…my business is online laptop repairs and servicing where we collect laptops in the uk and return all for £59 it's for those who don't have time and who want to save money,

  12. This is very helpful. As a sidenote, it will be nice when Facebook allows ads to be placed based on what a person writes in their "Status." That way, if someone writes "Sara Smith is excited to buy a new iPod," you could have "iPod" ads show-up on her profile.

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  13. The facebook advertising platform is still very new to be compared to Google AdWords. In time they will improve things to offer better ad targeting capabilities. I just wish I had a website that converted well enough for PPC to be a viable option. Perhaps I just need to target some less competitive niches.

  14. Facebook ads are a waste of time, social media does not buy.

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  15. What are the best free ways to market a website? I have done Facebook ads, Adwords, and Google Base.

  16. Well I have tested both networks and have had different levels of success in each of them.

    In my personal point of view, Facebook could be considered as a more specified content network dealing with visitors having various demographics and interests.

    While getting traffic from content networks can be so effective, the rate of success in PPC direct from AdWords in keyword-targeted campaigns is fantastic. Converting a visitor who has personally started the process of research looking for an answer to his problem is much much easier than a user looking at our unwanted ads.

    These different channels have various characteristics. We need to find the powerful points and leverage them. Facebook is still a new network for many advertisers and due to its capacity, the pricing is very affordable for testing, tweaking and analyzing.

    I do believe that the Facebook Advertising Network could be a very effective place for running profitable campaign specially CPA offers.

    And finally, if you are looking for Branding, Facebook is a great opportunity out there to begin. Just go and give it a try!

    Thanks Zac for the article. I found it helpful.

    Regrads,

    Hooshmand

    <abbr>Hooshmand Moslemi’s last blog post..Niche Review Templates</abbr>

  17. I have tried both several times… I prefer much more Google adwords and I get result much better with Google… and who mentioned here facebook is cheaper, is wrong… it is not at all.. Today Google is also cheaper and not only better. For FB, Internet Surfers are stuck in one social site and activities.. and they see same place of ads static right place… For Google, Surfers are more free across the entire huge networks… the effect of discovering ads in every corner… is better. (Leading Banner ads of Google 728×90, 300×250 and 336×280 pixels are excellent, try them! – better than textual)

  18. To be completely honest, Google needs to be more gracious and compassionate.

    Our company spent almost $100,000 on Google Ads, but disputed $500 in clicks that didn't match our website stats.

    Google refused to budge.

    We left Google for 6 months and when we returned Google would not let us continue – despite again paying them $100,000.

    This is the uncool thing about Google. Despite the fact they pretend to be so 'liberal and open' about everything – they're brutal when it comes to the last penny.

    Will never do business with Adwords again.

    Hip, Hip Hooray for FACEBOOK!

  19. I think advertising on Google is way better than Facebook. Google user are intending to find something when searching. If they find related stuff on ads then they will click. On Facebook, the users already found what they want, and that is sharing photos , farmville , etc – so the ads that might be relevant to the user based on profile , are not what he/she want at the moment.

  20. I have tried both several times… I prefer much more Google adwords and I get result much better with Google… and who mentioned here facebook is cheaper, is wrong… it is not at all.. Today Google is also cheaper and not only better.

  21. have tried both several times… I prefer much more Google adwords and I get result much better with Google… and who mentioned here facebook is cheaper, is wrong… it is not at all.. Today Google is also cheaper and not only better. For FB, Internet Surfers are stuck in one social site and activities.. and they see same place of ads static right place… For Google, Surfers are more free across the entire huge networks… the effect of discovering ads in every corner… is better. (Leading Banner ads of Google 728×90, 300×250 and 336×280 pixels are excellent, try them! – bette

  22. While its clearly better at targeting, all the rest of the information on here seems misleading if not just straight wrong. They are better at doing different things- when you look at his chart, it seems like facebook is 100% better, when its not. You have no control over the costs, infact, when you check from day to day, there cost projection is different for the exact same thing. You can't really get below fifty cents a click, either, but you can get it per 1k impressions (at a rate cheaper then youtube).

    I feel like this article was pumped out and I really get the feel he barely knows what he is talking about or is working for facebook to sell ads. I work at advertising everyday and what he is saying just is not real.
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  23. I've been thinking about trying Facebook for advertising and I was doing some research when I found this blog posting. From what I gather, advertising on Facebook is not perfect and you have to be pretty selective with what products you are advertising. But, Facebook seems to be certainly less expensive than Adwords and it has much better targeting…these are certainly things I need to consider.

  24. For FB, Internet Surfers are stuck in one social site and activities.. and they see same place of ads static right place.

  25. Facebook is better for running branding and awareness campaign for companies or your products at a cheaper price but don't expect for a high ROI. Google is still the best in terms of targeting potential customers and will have a better ROI. It is nice to use both though.

  26. With Facebook I get lots more hits for far less money (and some sales). The ability to include a pic of my new product is great!

  27. This is very helpful. As a sidenote, it will be nice when Facebook allows ads to be placed based on what a person writes in their "Status." That way, if someone writes "Sara Smith is excited to buy a new iPod," you could have "iPod" ads show-up on her profile.

  28. For a week I am placing ads for FB and Google adwords. For a newbie like me I'd say FB is better than Google. I get more impression and clicks to my ads in FB than Google. I think Google is more expensive than FB. For $100, I get nothing from Google no impression and clicks while FB for $50 I get more than that.

    When it comes to ad interface, I find Google somewhat complicated creating ads than FB. In Google you have to search for keywords – the keywords you targeted may cost you $10 per click. If your budget is limited and your ad ended – you may wonder, did you ad worked or not.? I think Google probably better if you are not worried with your budget and willing to bid high so you ad will appear on the first position.

    In FB, you get to see the results. Once you are in Facebook’s ad interface, you are given several different options
    You can determine who sees your ad based on a location that you choose. You can market to everyone if you would like but more than likely, you have a good idea of at least a country, state, region, continent or city where you want your advertisement to be shown. You can determine the age of the people who see your ad. Moreover, FB will you send you notification of the amount you spent on that day. The fan page, I can able to keep those connection and people who like my product while in Google – as soon as your ads END that's it….

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