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Google Ads vs Facebook Ads For Local Business Marketing

For local business owners, there is this common debate on whether to use Google Ads or Facebook Ads to drive customers. While both platforms have their advantages, we will discuss what is a better choice based on the options that each platform provide.

As a business owner, you have to get into your clients' shoes first and understand how these platforms are used. Google is the most popular search engine that people use to find what they need. The sole purpose for it is to serve the best solutions for your clients' problems. Google offers the opportunity to place your business right there where the demand is, by choosing the proper keywords and location.

Facebook, on the other hand, is a social media platform. People do there a lot of things, including socializing, following their favorite brands and some even do business. Looking for a solution is not something that people have in mind when they login to their Facebook account, therefore targeting the people that are looking for your product or service can be tricky. How often are you attracted to an ad while browsing Facebook or Instagram vs while searching on Google? I would guess that not so often.

Facebook is different in terms of the data they collect about their clients and how well you can increase your brand’s awareness. When it comes to filtering your audience, there is no match to Facebook filtering. If you want to choose people that just got married and point them to your flower shop, you can do that. Also, with Facebook ads, your business page will also receive a bunch of organic traffic, likes, and comments, which in time will result in more conversions. That’s why Facebook is becoming so popular.

Google is much simpler when choosing the audience, and the main point of selection is the keywords that people use when they search. But this simplicity is often times much more effective in getting sales at the best price. When you use Google to advertise your brand, you show your business directly to local people that are looking for exactly what you offer. In this sense, Google ads are more like a laser, while Facebook ads are like a flashlight.

When it comes to local businesses, it seems that going with the simplest option might be the best idea. The reason for that is because growing your Facebook page and gathering a lot of social attention doesn’t necessarily bring sales when it comes to local businesses. For example, if you have a coffee shop and you post amazing cappuccino designs that your bartender make, it may attract a lot of likes and comments, yet only a small percentage of those people are individuals that can actually come to your coffee shop. That’s why I consider that Facebook ads can be more lucrative for businesses that sell online and don’t depend on the location of the customer.

When it comes to PPC ads, we want to get the best bang for our buck. And when we also target only a specific area, it seems legitimate to think that Google ads are the best choice. While it does make sense to run some tests and see which platform performs best, using keyword-specific targeted ads is a sure way to display your business to your customers exactly when they need it. Because, after all, nothing stops you to increase your brand awareness on Facebook without paying, and there are plenty of methods to do that.

We mentioned earlier about putting ourselves in our clients' shoes. Thinking about myself, I always reached for Google when I tried to find a business or a service, way before checking their Facebook page and see what reviews they have. This is even truer if I wanted to check something locally. After the Google search, I can check the website, the location etc. All in the same platform. It seems much more efficient, while Facebook can sometimes be a pain when it comes to finding something you need. This doesn’t apply to all cases and businesses, but for me, that is the case.

Now try to think where are your customers looking for your service? Are they looking for it doing a Google search or they expect to see it on Facebook and Instagram? Is your product or service a solution that provides a quick result, or is something that they have to browse for longer and then decide? Answering these questions and testing both platforms for conversions will help you decide which one is better for your local marketing efforts.

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