The Battle for ROI. Google Ads vs Facebook Ads

With over 100 billion monthly search queries, it’s easy to see why paid search is at the top of many marketer’s to-do lists. The problem is, getting your paid search ad in front of the right people can get pricey. It’s not as easy as it looks, and you’ll often be competing against other businesses for popular keywords. As the owner of a small business, you have to make sure that you are getting the most return for every marketing dollar you spend. We’re going to break down the myths commonly associated with paid search marketing and reveal how social media ad platforms, such as Facebook ads, can actually take your dollar much further than you expected.

Google ads and paid search marketing are effective marketing strategies, nobody can deny that. However, there are a few common misconceptions around the level of success a paid search campaign can do for you compared to social. Here’s a short list of reasons why social media ads are more effective for small businesses than paid search ads:

Better Targeting Options

For years, marketers have been restricted to the confines of understanding audiences from basic demographic information. Facebook and all its genius allow us to actually target people based on their digital behavior, interests, and common connections. In addition to this, you can create Custom Audiences which allow you to track users on your site with a piece of code. Then, you can target those people who visited your site with retargeted Facebook ads.

Retargeting ads are much more effective because they are reaching an audience that has already shown an interest in your business by visiting your page. You’re also showing the potential customer that you understand their needs by reaching them with the right message, at the right time and the right place. This will build trust between the brand and the consumer, which means they’ll be receptive to more ads/promotions like this.

Improved Conversion Tracking

While Google AdWords and Facebook both have their own platforms for analytics and managing your ads, Facebook actually has more options for accurately tracking your conversions. Facebook allows you to look a little deeper into the consumer’s buyer journey. Facebook ads will track users that click on your ad, as well as which of those users that clicked also converted on your website into customers. To do this, you will have to add a piece of code on the page you want to track conversions for, but it’s quite simple and quick to do. You can then build audience profiles around your campaigns to learn how certain audiences react to a particular message.

It’s not to say that you can’t track conversions with pay-per-click or paid search ads, but you can do the same thing with Facebook ads. So, why spend more time tracking two platforms when you could achieve the same and more by using a more efficient and cost-effective platform for advertising?

Positive User Experience

Paid search ads or banner ads are intrusive. As a matter of fact, most people will look for the top organic results because they know that they did not pay to be there.Visual content is much more engaging than the text-only Google ads that have been around for nearly a decade. According to recent social media studies, visual content (content that has a photo or video element) is 40x more likely to be shared, liked, and commented on than static text content. Google serves text-only ads, and for that reason, you’re that much less likely to have a higher return on your ad spend than with Facebook ads.

The customizable nature of Facebook ads allows you really mix things up as a marketer. Instead of the same, text-only ads appearing in your search, you can choose a wide selection of ad formats. Unlike a banner ad that just kind of sits on the side of your page like an eye-sore, Facebook ads seamlessly integrate into the users home page news feed.

Not only is visual content more appealing, but research has shown that consumers are 60% more likely to remember the information of an ad with visual content than text-only ads.


Facebook ads often cost FAR LESS per CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions), resulting in more ad views, link clicks, and customers.

Let’s recap.

The fact is, people are using their smartphones for entertainment. They are also using them for research, daily news, and more. If your audience is already using social media, then it’s only logical to reach them where they spend the most of their time, right?

While paid search ads may not be the best way to maximize your ad spend, they are still effective when used in conjunction with your other marketing efforts. For small and medium-sized businesses, your dollars are best spent on social media advertising and the magic of custom targeting. This will get you a higher return on your investment for every dollar, and provide those new customers with a user experience that your competition could only wish for.

Remember, marketing a small business isn’t about casting the widest net possible. It’s about bringing in quality leads and then retaining the loyal customers who will become your main source of income.

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