So you’ve decided on a business idea, created a website, and now it’s time to spread the word.
You’re probably already thinking about advertising on Google and Meta, the two online advertising behemoths. Is it, however, really worth it to buy ads? If that’s the case, what platform should you use?
Here, we’ll look at the differences between Google and Meta paid ads, so you can make the best advertising decisions possible in the future.
The Fundamentals Of Online Advertising
Online advertising can be intimidating, especially if you have no prior marketing experience. However, launching an ad campaign is quite simple. Let’s begin with some fundamental terms and concepts:
Both Meta and Google ads are classified as “pay per click (PPC)” advertisements. When you purchase PPC ads, you place a bid on a price and then pay that price every time someone clicks on one of your ads.
User Search Intent
This refers to the search terms that customers may use to locate your company. Why are they searching for a company on Meta rather than Google? When they search for a specific term, what problem are they trying to solve?
A user’s search intent can help you effectively target ads. This is the case because you’re anticipating people’s pain points and tailoring your ads to address them. If you know what someone’s problem is, you can figure out how to solve it and then show them the solution through ads (your product or service).
Depending on the platform and where they are in the sales funnel, a person’s intent will differ. Google’s algorithm is beginning to reward content optimized for user intent rather than just keywords. Good content triumphs over pages crammed with questions and keywords.
Cost Per Click (CPC) is the amount you’ll pay Meta or Google to run your ads. Cost Per Action (CPA) refers to how much an advertiser pays when a customer performs a specific action (product purchases, email signups, etc.).
What’s the difference between Google Ads and Meta Ads?
Both platforms have advantages and disadvantages, and each can reach audiences differently. Depending on your needs, you might decide to use both Meta and Google ads to broaden your reach as much as possible.
Paid search and paid social
Paid search ads are classified as Google ads, while paid social ads are classified as Meta ads. What’s the difference between these two types of ads, though?
Paying for your ad to appear on a search engine results page is known as paid search (SERP). Creating paid search ads established on Target keywords, not audience interest. You’re creating ads based on the keywords relevant to your industry that you believe people will use the most. Considering the intent of your target audience will assist you in determining what those keywords should be.
Paid social ads, on the other hand, are a way of getting your brand in front of social media users. It becomes more difficult to do this organically as platforms change their algorithms. You can jump to the front of the line with paid ads.
When purchasing ads, it’s also important to consider the distribution network you’re joining. Both Google and Meta have a large following.
You can use Google’s network to access YouTube, Google Display Network, and even Google Maps. Meta can put your ads in front of millions of Instagram users, send them out via Messenger, and include them in the news feed. The best option for you will be determined by where your customers spend their time online.
Size of the audience
Google and Meta both have large user bases. Meta is visited by an estimated 1.7 billion people every day, and over three billion people use Meta, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.
Every day, Google processes nearly six billion searches. People are four times more likely to click on a paid Google ad than any other ad on any other search engine, and the search engine owns over 90% of all searches through its properties.
This brings us to the issue of audience size. Consider your product when determining the size of your audience. Is it something that people will look up on Google, or is it something that they will look up on social media? If you don’t get any traffic, 5.8 billion daily searches won’t help you.
Similarly, if you’re marketing something that Meta users are unlikely to be interested in, you might want to go with Google instead. Where your target audience is active is what matters.
Cost and return on investment (ROI)
You’re buying these ads to make a profit (ROI). Depending on how much you pay for advertising, this will vary. You’d get the most reach possible in an ideal world without blowing your entire budget.
The cost of ads varies depending on various factors, including the keywords you use, the platform you’re using, and the industry you’re in. On Google, the CPC (cost per click) for certain keywords can range from just over a dollar to more than fifty dollars.
Ads on Google are slightly more expensive than ads on Meta. The average cost-per-click (CPC) for Google ads is $2.69, while businesses in low-cost-per-click industries such as apparel pay around $0.45 per click on Meta. However, if you use Meta and choose to run an Instagram ad, it will cost you roughly twice as much as a regular Meta ad.
What industry you’re in has a big impact on price. The insurance industry, for example, receives that $50+ price tag. If you’re in an industry where Google’s CPCs are high, Meta might be a better place to start.
CPC is only one factor to think about. The CPA is another option (cost per action). How many clicks are you paying for, and how many of those who click through take the desired action?
To make ad costs acceptable, you’ll need to figure out how many conversions you’ll need. If you pay more but get more paying customers as a result of those targeted ads, it’s probably worth it in the long run.
When deciding where to place your ads, think about the context in which people will be looking for your services. Do you have a business that people are likelier to find through a web search or social media?
If you own a mechanic shop, people will most likely look for a mechanic near them if their car breaks down. That means a search ad will put you in front of them at precisely the right time when they require your services.
If you run a photography business, social ads may be the best way to get people to find your page while browsing and then return when they’re ready to buy. Social ads are ideal for this type of business because, while they may not convert right away, they will broaden your audience over time.
It all depends on your potential customer’s intent. You can position yourself accordingly, whether you need to be there right away when they have a problem, or you want to raise brand awareness.
Targeted ad options are extremely granular on both Google and Meta. You can target ads to people based on a variety of factors, including their geographic location, age, and income level.
While you might expect Google to come out on top in this category, Meta gives you the most data. You can segment your audience based on their specific behaviors and interests, which Meta collects from its billions of active users.
Meta ads will allow you to match detailed customer personas if you’re a business owner who enjoys doing so. You could target demographics as specific, so if your target customer is a very specific demographic, you may want to take this route.
Available ad Formats
The ad format is another important consideration for targeted advertising. What kind of work does your company do well? A medium like Instagram might be best if you sell something you can exhibit visually, such as clothing or furniture. However, both Google and Meta provide many options for you to experiment with.
Because Google’s search ads are usually limited to just text, that will be your primary tool for catching people’s attention. You can add extensions to your ads for no additional charge to boost clickthrough rates. The following are examples of Google ad extensions:
- Dynamic Site Links (menu, about us, etc.)
- Options for engaging people, such as a “call this business” option
- Structured snippets that include a brief description and a link
Ad extensions can be manually configured or appear automatically when Google’s algorithm determines that they will improve ad performance.
Meta ads are much more visually appealing. Not only can you use eye-catching images in your ads, but Meta and Instagram also allow you to use video content (though Google also allows you to buy video ads that run on YouTube).
The significance of visuals should not be underestimated. Image-based content receives 94 percent more views than text-based content. It can be an effective way to entice people in and pique their interest.
In targeted ads, Meta allows you to use a variety of ad types, all of which include visual elements. Carousels, images, video, and other elements will help your ads stand out, especially if you’re running an eCommerce site.
In this case, Meta can be particularly useful for increasing brand awareness. People will flock to your page if you regularly share appealing images and short videos from your freelance photography business as advertisements. They can stay up to date by following you once they’ve arrived.
Additional Considerations for Google Ads vs. Meta Ads
Now that you’ve gotten a sense of what each platform offers, there are a few more things to consider before making a decision.
First and foremost, what will your ad campaign’s goal be? If you’re looking to build a community and raise brand awareness, Meta is probably the better option. To attract more local customers, you could use Google ads to increase your visibility in “near me” searches.
It would be best to consider where people are in the sales funnel when they see your ads and how that relates to your goal. Are you a mechanic looking to increase sales by attracting more customers to your shop? People looking for that service are usually ready to buy, so Google ads are probably the best way to go.
Consider the maturity of your product or service and the likely search volume. If you’re marketing a service that no one had heard of yet, before ride-sharing was invented, Google ads might not be as effective.
Google Ads vs. Meta Ads — Which is Better? There are many factors to consider when deciding where to spend your advertising dollars. Your product or service, your business model, and the best way to sell your product are just a few things to consider.
Whatever you choose, make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Spending a little more money could be good if it results in a larger number of people ready to buy from you.
Consider your goals, budget, and target audience when creating your campaign. Experiment with both types of advertising to see which will best assist you in achieving your campaign’s end goal. You could even combine the two and use them in different ways.
Visit The Unicorn Of Marketing blog for more information on digital advertising and running a business.