Website promotion: Facebook versus Google adwords

Last week I ran facebook ads, and this week I ran Google ads so I could compare the 2. Here’s my findings on Facebook versus Google adwords.

I ran Google ads before, but this was years back, so I needed to refresh myself on the settings again.
My login was still valid, linked to my Gmail account. This is actually something I appreciate about the Google platforms, adwords, adsense, analytics, webmaster tools, docs, drive, gmail, google+… all linked to each other, and the analytics and webmaster tools experience came in handy

Facebook versus Google adwords

I wanted to use the same parameters as I did on the Facebook post so I can compare the data and effectivity of the campaign. So I am promoting our art gallery Mayak Art House in a radius of 50 miles around Bielsko-Biala, and want to reach people interested in art.

First impressions

At first the options available on the Google ads settings are quite overwhelming, and not at all as easy and straightforward as  the Facebook ads. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as you can set much more parameters to suit your needs, and reach your target.

Facebook versus Google adwords

Google ads option can look a bit too much

I would suggest you take your time setting this up. On facebook I was done after 5 minutes, setting up the Google ads took me 30 minutes, checking the text under the question marks (great help!) a lot, and sometimes clicking on to read more about the available options.
Once done I think that setting up the next one will go a bit faster.

Prepare before starting your Google adwords campaign

You will need to decide quite a few things when setting up your campaign.

  •  Type: I took the broadest and most simple: Search network with display, meaning my ads show up in Google search results, and on relevant websites that are showing google ads. But there are LOTS of options and fine-tuning possible..
  • Device: There is an option to display on only web or mobile, or both. And you can set different bids for both..  Our website is fully responsive, so I keep both. Remember there are now more people surfing mobile than on PCs and laptops. Facebook gave me 2 mobile visitors out of every 3 viewers.
  • Where to display (location). I could easily select our town and a radius around it, so could imitate my settings from FB, so choose Bielsko-Biała and 60km around. This just excluded Katowice and Krakow, which I added.
  • Languages to display the ad in. Nice one.  Not an option on FB. English/Polish it is.
  • Bid strategy: You choose to pay for people who click on your add CPC), or the amount of times your ad is seen (CPM). CPM is only available with the Search Network type, and is ok if you just want your name and brand show up a lot. If you want actual visits CPC is better.
    I choose CPC.
  • Budget: And here you go.. If you check Googles recommendation there is a tip: Tip: Start small. If you’re a beginner, try a daily budget of US$10 to US$50. Check your account daily after applying a new budget to see how your campaigns have performed.
    Yeah. Right. No way.. I spent 6 euro on FB over 3 days, and got 3500 views, of which nearly 100 people clicked through, and 40 visits to our site, and I want to compare. 1 euro/day, for 6 days it is.

There is question marks with extra info under them, and explanations while you go through the options. It seems quite overwhelming, and indeed.. it is. But I got through, so surely it is no rocket science.


Facebook versus Google adwords

Choosing the correct keywords is the most important for Google ads. This is funny.. when I was writing this post the news of the new Google subsidiary ‘Alphabet’ was not yet public.

Now this is possibly the most important part of Google ads. And the big difference with the Facebook ads. Here you can do your fine-tuning and targetting. With  keywords you lure the people, so these should be 100% relevant to your business. No use luring the kids in with a promise of ice cream when you sell quality wines. And the difficult part is to pinpoint your keywords so it is really you, and the keywords are unique. The better you keywords match a search, the more chance you have to be displayed. But of course there’s others advertising too, and if their budget is bigger they will be displayed first.
e.g. if you go for the keyword jewellery there will be so much competition that your ad wil drown. If you go for ‘art nouveau silver jewellery’ your ad will have a better chance to get targeted.
You will have less impressions (=times your add is shown), so you’ll have to find a compromise somehow, and balance keywords people look for regularly with really specific keywords representing exactly your business.

I’m going to do a future post on keywords and the relevancy, since this is too big a subject for this post. For this as I set up combinations with art gallery, Bielsko-Biała, Contemporary art, Sculptures, Paintings and some more. You can tell Google what the costs per click can be, or let Google use their automated algorithms.
Google helps you out here by pointing out how high you should set the budget per keyword to get to the first page, and also suggests keywords for you to add which you can just select and add to your list. I set 10 cent per click for most keywords, and for a total match (for me ‘Contemporary art gallery’ is one of these) I set 30 cents.

You can add or change words and bids later, so done for now, now I still needed set up the ad itself that Google would display.

Setting up the ad

Facebook versus Google adwords

Nearly there, last stage… Mind that Google needs to approve your ad still, and every time you change this the ad needs to go through the approval process again. Which can take 24 hours. And there is not much space.

Your headline is what displays most prominent, can contain 25 characters ( a space is also counted).
Then 2 lines of 35 characters follow for a short descrition, and a URL to show, which can be different from the page you send visitors to, you can redirect them directly to your shopping page, or a specific post. In my case our home page will do for both. You will see an example on the right on how it will look.

When you are happy you hit save, and Google promises to review your ad, and when approved will activate it. Now sit back, wait, and check your results… done for now (finally).

Statistics & reports

And the statistics will roll in after a day or so. Go back to the keyword tab to see the results of the individual keywords. You can see the most popular keywords with the most impressions (=the times it was shown) on top, with the times it was clicked on next to it, so you can see what people are searching for, what they click on, and what the percentage is of people clicking.

Facebook versus Google adwords

Google keyword report will give you the result per keyword

Now the thing is: I had set up 0.10 cent per click on most general keywords (galeria sztuki=art gallery), but a bit more, 0.30 cents, on more specific keywords related to our gallery (galeria sztuki współczesnej = Comtemporary art gallery), because people searching for contemporary art is really our target group, and I’ll happily pay a bit more to reach these.
The actual cost per click turned out to be a bit lower, the most popular one 10%, the second 30% lower than my bid.

Under the dimensions tab and Display network I found more useful statistics. The location of users, at which the ad was shown the most, and the exact search terms used. Which is very handy, as these I can copy, modify, and re-use in my campaign. And if I see a keyword that leads people to my site, but this keyword is totally off, I can add it to the terms that should be blocked.

Facebook versus Google adwords

The options under view give you further statistics on locations, search terms and more

Some stats:

  • Most impressions were on Wednesday and Friday
  • Most searches came from the big cities in the neighbourhood, Katowice and Krakow
  • 50% were male, 12% female, rest unknown
  • Most visiting age group was 35-44, 40%, second 45-54, which was 20%
Facebook versus Google adwords

The option under display network – placement shows where and on what device the ads was shown

And finally, under display network-Placements I could see exactly on which sites the ad was shown (6 on BBC.COM:-)), and from which site people clicked on, and the amount of impressions on mobile browsers (really, if you have a website, and want to be found, best make sure your site displays well on mobile phones, more people visit with mobiles and tablets nowadays than with a regular PC).

In total the ad was shown 3800 times, and 27 people clicked on the add to visit the website.
The Google adwords campaign has cost me just under 3 euro so far.
In comparison, the Facebook add which has cost me 6€ brought me 3500 views, and 45 to our website.

Comparison Google adwords versus Facebook ads

And now for the final comparison

  1. Google adwords has much more information and options for you to fine-tune your ad (plus for Google)
  2. Cost and redirection to the website (which is the objective) is roughly the same (remise)
  3. Google adwords however take much more time and knowledge to set up (minus for Google)
  4. You can set up and change your own keywords and search terms in Google, while with Facebook you have to use pre-defined categories (plus for Google)
  5. Adwords are really complicated, and you have to look in many different places to find all options (minus for Google)

Now I’ve set up the standard text ad in Google Adwords, where the Facebook ad was promoted with photos.
It is possible to also use an image or video to promote the Google adwords (Only discovered how to do this just now.. I’ve just changed my campaign to see if this is more effective for clicks, will keep you updated, complicated again, but quite cool).
While Google adwords is much more complicated, they have really tons of information hidden under the question marks, with links to visit for more detailed info. There is also an Opportunity tab, where Google gives you tips to improve your ad.
It is much more time-consuming though to set up a campaign, plus you need to monitor and adapt the ad regularly.

So far my personal experience. I think all things considered in the end I prefer the Google adwords over Facebook ads, because I have more control and options, but it needs much more time and knowledge to set up properly, while with FB I can promote per post, and is up and running very quickly.
Luckily I enjoy fiddling, finding out stuff, and checking stats, if that is not for you best go for FB ads.

Hope this will help you with the online advertising!