Online advertising can be a chaotic and confusing world. How do you know which channels are best for your store? Why choose one over the other? What are the benefits? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we’re here to help! Read on as we explain the main differences between running ads on Facebook vs. Google or Bing, and how to determine which is the best option for your online business.

Targeting Methods

The targeting method is the first difference between Google/Bing and Facebook Advertising. With a search campaign on Google or Bing, you will typically create a keyword list to target. These keywords will be unique to the products you’re selling, and the goal is to get as specific as possible to direct people searching for those products to your site.

With Facebook, you will mostly target people using demographic and behavioral information, such as age, gender, interests and liked pages. Using this method, you'll reach people in your target market who will likely be interested in your products.

Search Intent

\With a paid campaign on Google or Bing, you’re targeting people who are already searching for the products you’re selling. This is beneficial, because that traffic is likely to click on your ad and then convert. For example, if you’re selling roller skate wheels in a size 57mm and using the keyword “roller skate wheel 57mm," then your ad has a chance to appear and target a customer who is looking for that exact product.

On Facebook, ads run to people as they are browsing the channel site, not when they are searching for specific products. This means your ads have a higher chance to show in areas where you may not have identified specific keywords; but the ads may not be as targeted for search intent. For example, your ad for skate parts may be targeted to people who are interested in roller skating, but may not be looking for that specific product at that moment. However, this can provide a great introduction to your site and brand, and many merchants see significant success with these ads.

Ad Control

The third difference focuses on the amount of control you have over how and where your ads show. On Google and Bing, you bid for a position (which takes many factors into account resulting in ad rank), and your ad will show on the top or right-hand side for keyword searches. You cannot specify if your ad appears on the top or the side; it’s all a matter of ranking.

With Facebook, you will use image or text ads that are eligible to appear in many places, including the right column, news feed or even the mobile news feed. However, you can choose the location where these ads show. With this functionality, you can test out different areas and see which gets the most clicks and sales for your business!

So Which is Better, Facebook or Google/Bing?

As always, it depends! No business is the same or will perform the same on these channels. It really depends on your products and how your customers typically shop online. For example, a client who sells very technical materials may not perform as well on Facebook as they would for searches on specific product part numbers. However an apparel client may thrive using Facebook ads to build up their brand and provide a visual ad experience.

For most stores, a combination of search and Facebook ads is ideal. This allows businesses to cover different audiences and see how both channels contribute to their overall branding and conversion goals.

Ready to get started? Visit Facebook Advertising and Google Ads now to set up your account or contact our team to set these ads up for you!

Any questions? Ask them in the comments below!