Find out what strategy will work best for your business.

Digital360 on 17 August 2017

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising used in the right way can be a great to build leads and expand your market. The question is what is the best way? The answer to this depends a lot on your industry, business goals and approach to social media marketing. To help you decide what’s best, here is a closer look at the benefits and downsides of each platform.

What is Google AdWords?

With Google AdWords, you or your search marketing agency bid on keywords that are relevant to your business. When a potential customer uses those terms in search, an ad for your business may appear in search results, above or below the organic results.

Keep in mind that the success of your Google Ads will depend on your Quality Score.

Pros of Google Adwords

1. Reach

The most obvious benefit of Google Adwords is the massive reach of the search network. Google fields more than 3.5 billion search queries every day, giving your business the potential to reach an unprecedented audience. Importantly too, they are actively looking for goods and services. The intent to purchase can be much higher on Google, which can improve the conversion rate of your campaign.

2. Boost seasonal campaigns

Google AdWords also work particularly well with seasonal campaigns. Unlike SEO which improves your search ranking over time, AdWords can be used to boost web traffic in the short term. This can be a good tactic if your business is looking to promote a specific product or offer.

3. Targeted

Another benefit of AdWords is that it is targeted. You can direct your ads toward specific demographics or geographical areas which can improve the quality of your leads. Importantly too, the service lets you use negative keywords so your brand does not appear against unsuitable search results.

4. Diversity of platforms

A final plus of AdWords is that it lets your business use a range of platforms. While it remains heavily text-based, you can use ad extensions, sitelinks, user reviews and location targeting to make your ad more effective.

Cons of Google Adwords

The downside of AdWords is that the effectiveness of a campaign depends largely on your industry and business reputation. If you are a new business in the fin-tech industry, it will be very difficult to compete with competitors who have greater brand recognition. While your ad may reach a larger market, if that market prefers your competitor it may be difficult to boost traffic.

On the other hand, if you have a new product or service it is likely to have low search volume. In other words, if users are not searching for your product it may be difficult for AdWords to attract a wider market. This, however, can be overcome by finessing your keywords that describe a problem your product or service solves.

Another point to remember is that AdWords prioritises ads based on quality and relevance – not just on how much you spend.

What is PPC for Facebook?

PPC for Facebook is an advertising model that lets you create targeted ads that appear on the Facebook news feed. The model allows you to hone in on a specific market that is likely to be interested in your product or service. While AdWords helps businesses attract news customers with keywords, PPC for Facebook helps users find your business.

Pros of PPC for Facebook

1. Builds brand awareness

PPC for Facebook is a great way to build brand awareness. It may not lead to direct sales but over time it can create greater engagement and brand loyalty. Remember that most Facebook users check their newsfeed multiple times a day. While they may not click at first, in the long term a Facebook PPC campaign can dramatically improve recognition of your brand.

2. Targeted marketing

The major benefit of PPC for Facebook is that it allows you to target a market with unprecedented detail. Using demographics, interests and behaviours, you can filter your ad to target mothers, people interested in tech or animal lovers.

Another aspect of this function is that you can create ‘lookalike’ audiences.’ By uploading information about your current customers, Facebook will apply filters to find users who match your profile. In this way, you can potentially double your existing customer base.

3. Timely

Facebook’s targeting capabilities also allow you to provide more timely and relevant advertising. Your business, for instance, could target users who had recently become engaged or married, reached pensioner age or had a baby. If your product or service revolves around a specific life event like this, PPC for Facebook can be an enormous help.

Cons of PPC for Facebook

The downside to PPC for Facebook is that it requires time and commitment. You will need to monitor the progress and adjust accordingly which implies an investment of both time and money.

The other con is that Facebook news feeds are cluttered. Getting noticed can be a challenge. For some businesses, Facebook has a low click through and conversion rate. The idea, however, is that over time this changes as users become more familiar with your brand.

What wins?

Here is an overview of the strengths of each platform.

PPC for Facebook

Google AdWords

More targeted filters

Massive reach

Builds brand awareness

Better conversion rate

Visually-attractive platform

Diversity of platforms

Good for customers in discovery mode

Good for customers in buying mode


Remember PPC for Facebook and AdWords do not have to be adversaries. Depending on your business needs, you can mix and match both approaches.

For more information on what would work best for your business, contact a social media marketing expert.