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Google Adwords vs Facebook advertising – which is best?

Updated: Feb 11, 2019


Like most countries, the most popular online advertising channels in NZ are Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising. But how do they differ and which is the best option for a small business?

Google advertising and Facebook advertising are quite different and each have their own strengths. They can often be complimentary depending on your type of business, your advertising objectives and the nature of your target audiences.

Google advertising

Google is very much the go-to place we all visit when it comes to searching for information. Often, this activity in Google Search is representative of prospective customers that are already in the buying cycle, and in the process of reviewing brand and product options. This is why search ads in Google are so successful, as they allow you to advertise directly to people that are actively looking for your product and or service.

Pros of AdWords

  1. Taps into existing demand, by allowing ads to target specific search keywords and queriesGeographical targeting
  2. Flexible budget options from as little as $5 per day
  3. Provides keyword insights that can be used to understand the size and shape of online search activity.
  4. Ideal for direct-response campaigns
  5. Provides good volumes of conversions, usually at attractive return rates

Cons of AdWords

  1. Click costs can be costly in highly competitive segments
  2. Not effective for cross selling or substitute selling
  3. Complexity of the platform can make it difficult for novice users

For further insights about the effectiveness of AdWords, see our article on Does Google Adwords Work.

Facebook advertising

Facebook is very much a social media network whose highly-active members are there to stay in touch with friends and family, and for news and entertainment. In NZ, Facebook has approximately 2.5M members. Facebook knows a great deal about these members including location, gender, age, interests and much more.

The Facebook advertising platform is more attuned to traditional broadcasting advertising, with one major difference: Facebook allows for ads to be targeted to highly-specific audience segments based on customer profiles, location, interests, behaviours and more.

Pros of Facebook ads

  1. Allows the broadcasting of advertising to reach specific audiences in Facebook
  2. Highly effective at reaching audiences on mobile devices
  3. Great range of display ad formats which are very engaging
  4. Good for direct-response campaigns
  5. Flexible budget options from as little as $5 per day
  6. Cost-effective and relatively cheap, especially compared to traditional media
  7. Suits branding

Cons of Facebook ads

  1. New ads need to be created on a regular basis to keep your ads fresh
  2. Becoming more competitive as more advertisers jump into Facebook
  3. Advertising platform interface can be confusing
  4. Users can comment on your ads which requires management

Why use both Adwords and Facebook ads?

Adwords is a very effective direct response form of advertising, targeting prospective customers that are searching for your product or service in Google. It is very good at driving new and relevant visitors to your website. Facebook Remarketing can very nicely compliment this process by allowing you to retarget these visitors with your proposition, thereby increasing the chance of a conversion.

If you are maximising your Adwords opportunity and wanting more traffic and enquiries, then Facebook advertising is normally the next best option. Using both Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising will further increase your website traffic by targeting highly relevant audiences with your proposition.

For more information on Facebook Advertising, see our article on Does Facebook Advertising Work.

For help with determining your optimal online advertising strategy, contact us today.

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Our reputation goes hand-in-hand with our team’s dedication to best practice. As a registered Premier Google Partner, our team refreshes our certifications every 12 months — A tradition we started over a decade ago. To stay ahead, we are always looking forward to upcoming certifications for online advertising, website development and search engine optimisation.