Google Ads & Facebook Ads

Google and Facebook are the two big players in the digital marketing game. They take up a huge percentage of users time online, and have equally sophisticated advertising networks that give you a whole array options for promoting your brand. The question is, which one is going to give your business the best results? To answer that, we need to figure out what exactly these two platforms offer.

What are Google Ads?

As the world’s largest search engine, Google is the place to be if you want more customers to find you, and Google Ads is the tool that will get you there. Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords), offers a wide range of advertising options including:


Search Network.

Probably the most well known, Search Network ads are the keyword specific campaigns that appear at the very top of Google search result pages (SERPS). They are short, text based ads that allow you to target the exact words or phrases your customers are looking for, and are based on pay per click (PPC) model, meaning you only pay when a user clicks on your ad.


Display Network.

Campaigns on the Google Display Network appear on other websites or apps that have content related to your targeted keywords. These ads can be in image or video format, giving you more creative flexibility.


Google Ads Retargeting.

Retargeting is a powerful way to recapture the attention who have interacted with your brand. It uses a tag installed on your website to track users, showing them relevant ads that help drive them back to your website to complete a purchase.


While these are the most common Google Ads tools you are likely to use, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Through Google, you can advertise on YouTube, Google Shopping, Maps, and so much more.

What are Facebook Ads?

Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms, with millions of users logging in every day. Unlike Google, people are not going to Facebook with an intent to solve a problem or look for a product, rather to engage with friends. But that does not mean it is not a powerful advertising medium. In fact, its power lies in how users engage with Facebook.


With the Facebook Advertising platform, you can create a wide range of campaigns that are targeted towards specific demographics, behaviours, and interests that users willing share. Audiences can be built on lookalikes audiences of people who have similar profiles to your existing fans, or from additional data linked in from your app or website using the Facebook Pixel.


As well, Facebook provides objectives for nearly every style of campaign you could want, from brand awareness and engagement through to lead generation. Ads can use images or videos, forms, appointment schedulers, and are formatted for mobile, Instagram, instant articles, and Messenger, as well as the regular Facebook newsfeed. Whatever industry you are in, there is definitely a way Facebook ads can work for you.

Which one should I use?

The key to determining the answer to that is customer intent. While people use Facebook all the time, the primary motivation is socialising with friends. This is a lot different to Google, where people go to look for specific answers. For that reason, you need to tailor campaigns to match the medium.


In Google that could look like a perfectly worded Google Search ad targeted at keywords you know customers are looking for. For Facebook that could be a well-designed brand awareness ad that grabs attention of more potential customers using targeted interests that match your ideal audience profile. Either way, both platforms have the potential to drive the results you business needs.

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Getting started with digital marketing can be an overwhelming process. Not only are there are a multitude of different platforms and strategies to consider, but they all come with their own set of acronyms and jargon you need to learn before you can jump right in. Like SEO and SEM. They both start off Search Engine, but what does that final letter signify, and what actually is the difference?

What is SEM?

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, and covers any marketing tactic used to boost a websites ranking in search engines. This includes methods like PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising through Google Ads. With nearly 395 million people actively using Google each month, SEM is an essential strategy for any brand that is trying to grow their business online.

What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is considered to be part of SEM, but refers specifically to organic marketing strategies.


What is organic you ask? Anything that helps to boost your websites rank in search engines naturally, so that you can attract more free website visitors. This involves proving to the search engines that your website is relevant, authoritative, and the best answer to a users search query.


SEO strategies fall into three categories:

  • technical SEO – improving your website’s usability and crawlability.
  • on-site SEO – optimising your content with relevant keywords.
  • off-site SEO – building connections with other authoritative websites.

What is the difference between SEM and SEO?

While SEO is a branch of SEM, when people are comparing SEM and SEO, they are usually referring to paid search engine tactics versus organic. The key difference is that with SEO you are investing in activities that boost your ranking in the organic section, while SEM can involve paying for your website to appear in search engine results as ads.

Which is better for my brand?

Many brands go with both options so that they can take up as much visual real estate as possible. However if you want to pick just one, you will need to consider your brands overall goals.


For example, using PPC as part of a SEM strategy is a great way to immediately boost your website traffic. It works well for promotions and campaigns, or for new websites that have yet to gain any credibility in search engines.  On the other hand, SEO tactics are vital if you want your website to show up in the prime search results spots. SEO plans are long term and results take time, but you will be rewarded with a higher click through rate, without having to have a PPC campaign continually running.


The important thing is to work out what your brand wants to achieve, and pick the method that best matches you.

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