• Derick Ho

Google Shopping Ads vs Facebook Ads

"Google Shopping Ads vs Facebook Ads, which one is better for my business?”

You would have probably heard this many times. And almost every time we have a similar response – it depends!

Both are great, and yes one can be better than the other depending on your business, your audience, and your goals.

Here, I will explain the difference between the two.

Google Shopping Ads

Some of you might be wondering which is the difference between Google Shopping Ads and Google Search Ads.

The short answer is, none.

Basically, Google Shopping Ads is more targeted towards e-commerce stores.

The image above shows a quick Google search of self heating coffee mugs. Notice how all of the listings are categorised under “Sponsored” in the top right corner of the screen.

Google not only showed me ads most relevant to my search query, they also showed me relevant results based on my location.

How Google Shopping works is pretty straightforward – The core of Google Ads is the Search Network, which allows advertisers to show their businesses ads to users who are actively searching for products or services that their business offers.

Google determines when your product listing ads show up. They consider your feed, your site, and your bids to determine what keywords search trigger your ads. Basically, setting up shopping ads has some strong similarities to SEO.

Facebook Ads

While Google Ads are popularly referred to as paid search, Facebook Ads is more commonly referred to as paid social.

Why Facebook ads are so popular among advertisers and business owners is simply because it boasts impressive user data. It doesn't come as a surprise that in the year 2018 alone, Facebook Ads alone accounted for 25% of all online ad spend.

The biggest advantage of Facebook Ads over Google is the fact that it knows our social behaviour. We may not be aware of it ourselves, but we subconsciously input information about ourselves more than what we intended to.

I'll share with you one example. A while back I booked an vacation to Bangkok via Agoda. As soon as I've completed my bookings online, Facebook started showing me related holiday booking websites on my Facebook news feeds.

Now you are wondering. How come Facebook knows what I am searching for despite that I am not searching on Facebook? The reason is because Facebook partners with many different big established companies in exchange for data sharing. In short, Facebook knows exactly what you are doing online.

Yeah, it sounds kinda scary but this is a dream come true for marketers.

Facebook collects a lot of these data such as the pages you like, topics you engage in, your friends, your birth date, your current location, your vacation and so on.

Facebook would collect this data and store it into their data bank, created for advertisers looking to target specific users.

The below graphic shows Facebook Ads targeting options available to advertisers.

Facebook Ads remain popular among many small business owners as they offer the ability to pinpoint your target customer and only advertise to people who are actually likely to purchase your product or service. No other platforms is able to provide the advertisers in such a way, at least not in as great of detail.

For this reason alone, Facebook Ads remain popular among many small business as well as big business to build up their presence.

Google Shopping vs. Facebook Ads Cost

On average, depending on vertical & location, Facebook CPCs (cost per click) tend to be around 56% lower than Google. While CTR (click-through rate) is generally lower on Facebook as compared to Google, the conversion rate is remarkably higher, around 9-10% on Facebook while Google hovers around 3.75%.

This low-cost, high ROI model makes Facebook a very likeable platform for small businesses that need to make their limited advertising budgets count.

So…Which One Should I Use?

Well, if you are expecting to hear which one of these two would generate a better ROI for your business, you are in for a disappointment.

Rather than telling you which one would be a better platform to use. My best advice is to view these two powerhouse platforms in a complementary way, not as competitors.

But if you just rolled your eyes at my last two statements and came here to truly find out which one you should be using – well I kind of expected that.

It really comes down to your business goals and what you are setting out to achieve. If your business’s main KPI is to reach new customers who are in the buying process, Google Ads may be a better fit for you.

But if building your brand awareness & compiling a strong audience is your main KPI, Facebook will get you there, at a lower cost than Google.

In total, utilizing Google shopping and Facebook Ads together is a highly effective and holistic marketing strategy that can have a major ROI impact for your business.

If you ask me, I'll say run both!

Talk soon,