Pay per click (PPC) advertising is an essential tool for your marketing strategy. Several online platforms offer PPC. In this article, we’ll explore and compare the top three platforms: Google ads vs. Facebook ads vs. Bing ads.
PPC generally serves the bottom of the sales funnel. Potential customers turn to search engines when looking for information or searching for a product or service. Additionally, if someone sees an ad on Facebook, they are probably already interested in it. The difference is in the timing.
When using PPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad (regardless of the platform), which seems like a no-lose advertising solution – and it can be. However, not all PPC platforms are created equally. There are two things you need to know about how PPC ads work on Google, Bing, and Facebook.
- Ads appear on search engines like Google and Bing in response to a direct query made by the user, whereas ads appear on Facebook based solely on the user’s past online activity. People go to Google and Bing to search for something. So when your ad appears on the search engine results page (SERP), it will be relevant to the thing the person is looking for at that moment. It’s likely showing up at the “right time” in the “right place” for the “right person.”
Facebook as a PPC platform is more passive. When an ad shows up in a user’s Facebook feed, it’s usually relevant to things the person is interested in. However, the piece that is hit or miss here is the “right time” part.
- You have more flexibility in targeting Facebook ads to your audience, whereas Google and Bing ads only target keywords. On Facebook, you can schedule your ads to be shown to people based on specific metrics, like interests, past searches, past clicks, age, location, and other demographics, which isn’t an option on Google and Bing.
Given these differences, choosing which PPC platform to use for your business depends on what you want the ad to do.
Which PPC Platform to Use
Deciding which PPC platform to use can feel less overwhelming if you know what each one works best for.
Google PPC Ads
Google is the number-one search engine with over 70,000 searches each second, making it an indispensable powerhouse that marketers can’t ignore.
Businesses use Google ads to reach a customer ready to purchase. They can also be useful for brand awareness lead generation.
Because of Google’s vast vault of data that it collects every day, your ad can appear in front of users at the exact moment they are looking for a specific product or service. You will want to pay attention to how the ad is written to encourage the user to click on it. You can optimize the content of your ad over time for more clicks by studying the analytics of its performance.
Another reason you might choose Google ads for your business is to take up more real estate on the SERP. If your website’s SEO is good and it’s showing up on the first page, why would you care about having an ad there too? The simple answer is to take a spot that a competitor would otherwise have on the page.
If you are still working on your website’s SEO and not yet showing up on the SERP, using ads can be a shortcut to that first page.
Bing PPC Ads
Bing is the second most used search engine in the United States and is owned by Microsoft, which also owns Yahoo and AOL. When you use Bing PPC ads, they can show up on all three platforms. Although, you have the option to filter your ad to run only on one or two of those three if you wish.
Bing ads work the same as Google ads. They target keywords in which someone is searching, and you can optimize the ad for the most clicks over time, just like you can with Google. However, optimization could be different on Bing. There might be fewer or varied types of data because of the differences in the people who use Bing over Google.
According to recently studied data, Bing users tend to be older, more business-class, and more affluent.
You could even use Google Ads and Bing ads simultaneously to get the most possible eyeballs on your ad.
Because of the difference in search volume, Bing PPC ads are usually less competitive than Google ads. If they’re less competitive, it means they cost less per click, as well.
Facebook PPC Ads
PPC ads on Facebook should have a different goal than Google and Bing. Facebook PPC ads are great for retargeting, lead generation, and brand awareness. A click on a Facebook ad may not lead directly to a sale, but that doesn’t mean the ad isn’t working.
Facebook ads appear in users’ feeds when they’re scrolling through content. It’s more of a passive advertising method because the user isn’t necessarily searching for what you are advertising at the time they come across your ad.
This point doesn’t mean Facebook PPC ads aren’t suitable to use. Facebook ads should be part of your marketing mix. Your organic posts are not getting the views you might think they are. However, you need to set correct measurement expectations for them.
The great thing about Facebook ads is that you can get very granular in choosing who sees them with little margin of error. Your ad is virtually guaranteed to show in front of people who have recently shown interest in the item or topic in your ad.
When to Use Google Ads vs. Bing Ads vs. Facebook Ads
Here are a few example scenarios to consider when deciding which PPC platform to use.
|You have a product or service to sell and you want to get in front of potential buyers who are actively searching for a product or service like yours.||Google ads|
|You have a high-end product or service to sell that usually has a longer sales cycle or is relatively expensive. You want your ads to be served when an interested buyer is actively searching.||Bing ads and Google ads|
|You have a relatively inexpensive product to sell that can be a quick and easy purchase decision.||Facebook ads|
|A customer added a product to their online cart on your website and then abandoned it (left the site without completing the purchase).||Facebook ads for retargeting|
|You want to grow your email list.||Facebook ads for lead generation|
|You have a blog with ad revenue and you’re trying to get clicks to your website.||Facebook ads and Google ads|
How Much Does it Cost to Run PPC Ads on Google, Bing, and Facebook?
The thing about PPC advertising is that you can set your price. You decide how much to pay per day for clicks. You set up the limit when you start the campaign, and it won’t charge you more than that amount for the designated time frame.
The real question is how much does a click cost? The answer is, it depends. The cost-per-click (CPC) for an ad is generally between a few pennies to a few dollars on any of these platforms.
On Google and Bing, the CPC is determined by the competitiveness of the keyword and its number of monthly searches. Competitiveness refers to how many advertisers are bidding on that keyword. If you’re bidding on a popular, highly competitive keyword, the CPC will cost more than a less popular or less competitive keyword.
On Facebook, the CPC is also based on competitiveness. Here, though, the metrics are the size and type of audience you choose instead of a keyword.
One more thing that influences the cost-per-click on all three platforms is your daily budget. PPC ads operate through a bidding system. The platform’s algorithms are set up to consider the campaign’s daily budget. It distributes the number of times your ad is run as evenly throughout the day as possible, and you could also win the bid for ad placement if you’re willing to spend more per click.
On Google and Bing, the algorithm also considers the relevance of your ad copy to the keyword. Search engines are more interested in serving search results that the user is looking for. Their algorithms are set up to give the user what they need, not to give advertisers what they want.
All of these decisions and more are made by the platform’s algorithm in fractions of seconds. There are also tools available to research a CPC range before deciding what keywords or audience to target.
As you can see, deciding which platform to use for PPC advertising isn’t a simple discussion. If you can afford to do all three, that would be the best answer. Just be sure to use each one for their respective purpose and to continually optimize your ad copy for best performance.