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Google PPC (SEM) vs. Facebook Ads (SMM)

Posted by Tony Evans on November 16th, 2012 at 10:25 am

The game of advertising has ever so much changed since the birth of the internet. Most businesses nowadays channel their advertising campaigns online. It’s so much more cost effective compared to traditional advertising methods, extremely efficient and is proven to work! Online advertising through websites, blogs and search engine platforms are the craze in this day and age. Let’s take a peek at the two giants of online and see which one fares better: Google AdWords or Facebook Ads!

facebook insights

Google's Pay per Click Advertising

-What is PPC AdWords

AdWords is a Pay per click method of advertising used by Google mainly on their search engine but also on blogs, and other types of websites. Advertisers are paid on a pay per click basis, meaning basically for every person that clicks on the advertisement.

-How does it work?

Adwords functions through the use of keyword tagging, call to actions, links, language, network and other means. An advertiser will bid on words that are most likely to be used by their target markets on searches. This allows them to maximize their visibility among prospect customers while at the same time being cost effective about it. Advertisement spots are positioned all around web pages; most of the time it is the blog owner and the site admin who decides which ad is best placed for which position. On the Google search engine advertisements are placed on the top or bottom of search lists.

Facebook Ads

As most of us are familiar with this social networking site, we know that the services we use to entertain ourselves and to communicate with our friends online are free of charge. However, the cost of keeping Facebook up and running is no laughing matter! According to Facebook, it costs over a billion dollars! Just how can they afford that when their services are for free? Well, a big percentage of Facebook's revenues are drawn from advertisements, money which is then used to pay the extremely high costs of maintaining a free and clean social site.

-How do Facebook Ads Work?

Advertisers pay Facebook for placement of their ads to the network along with the criteria as to who will be able to view the ad. Facebook filters the advertisements that appear on your feed depending on the pages you like and subscribe to, your location, and demographics. There are other factors that the site uses to determine which ads you see. For example, an advertiser would inform Facebook to show their ads to Males who like cars, basketball and beer. If you want to know the details you may click on this link: www.facebook.com/about/ads

So how does PPC compare to Facebook ads? Is one better than the other? Let's find out!

1. Conversion

There is no fine definition of conversion; it varies greatly from segment to segment. Conversions are created when an ad completes its course, meaning the clicker gives the advertiser the desired result from the ad such as signing up for a newsletter or filling out a form.

The question of which gives a better conversion rate a difficult one, for each method has unique differences. To get the conversion rate percentage, divide the number clicks by the number of desired actions accomplished.

2. Reach

AdWords gives advertisers the capability of advertising to people who have a genuine interest in their products or services. Let's say for example that you are interested in Nissan vehicles. When you search "Nissan" on Google, you will see ads directly related to your search. In a nutshell, Google Adwords will propose a display of ads that you have a definite interest in.

Pay-Per-Click-GoogleThe mechanics are quite different on Facebook ads. Advertisements on this social media site will appear on your page based on personal information such as the pages you like. For example you are a follower of the Nissan fan page; you may see ads from Nissan at any time. Basically, unlike AdWords, Facebook will relay advertisements that you may or may not have an interest in.

3. Price

"Advertisers are completely in control of how much they spend for each campaign by setting a daily or lifetime budget. The larger the budget, the more people a campaign is likely to reach." -Facebook

"With cost-per-click bidding, you're charged only when someone clicks your ad, not when your ad is displayed. There are a variety of bidding options you can choose from. You decide how much or little you want to spend monthly, and you’ll never be charged more than that amount. There's no minimum spending commitment." –Google

There you have it guys! As for the winner of this comparison, I will leave up to you to decide! At the end of the day it will all depend on which method works best for your style. Keep these factors in mind when trying to figure just which one will suite you best!

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