Facebook versus Google Pay Per Click

For a few years now, we've been hearing it… If you're going to advertise online, the place to be is Google. Every vendor started selling Google pay per click including the Yellow Pages publishers.  Everyone was trying to get in on the game. 

We had it made – Google showed our ads based on words searched terms.  All you had to do was write an ad, put in the zillion combinations of keywords and voila – You were now advertising on Google.  You could even pick geographically where your ad was shown.  Then we learned that you could put negative key words in so that if someone entered the wrong versions of your words, your ad wouldn't be shown.  And, not long after that – the long tail keyword phrase was used to really target the searcher.  Many have made money working with Google including us.

So, if Google shows ads based on geography, have you ever wondered how Google knows where you live?  They use the IP address of your computer to determine your Internet Service Provider and then they use that physical address.  When I looked up my IP address from my home in Elizabethtown PA, the location of my Internet Service Provider came up as Mount Joy, PA  about 8 miles from me in a different zip code.  That's not too far off, but it is sufficient proof that Google isn't showing ads too accurately by location. 

Let's stop right there… And compare Google's services to Facebook.  We've all heard the hype about Facebook and social media - that you have to be involved and posting comments every day.  But what about paid advertising on Facebook?

Facebook is a database of people.  It is different from the social sites like MySpace and others because real people enter their real names and not a made up user name.  They also enter their real towns and their real ages, and a host of other real information.

When you advertise on Facebook, you don't have to mess around with keywords.  You just choose your locations, the age range you want to advertise to, male or female, their interests if applicable, and how much you want to spend.

The consumer who is performing a search in Google is on Google for a few seconds.  They are looking for a website.  The consumer who is on Facebook is spending significant time on Facebook since it is not a search engine but a social network. 

The other interesting piece of Facebook is that you can point your ads to your company's Website or Facebook page.  I mean let's face it – it is time consuming to update your website and you can put a page up on Facebook in minutes.  For instance, say you are having a special on widgets and you want to advertise today.  But, you realize that widgets aren't even mentioned in your website since they are so new.  So you set up a Facebook page that is all about the details of your widget offerings.  Then you can set up your ad on Facebook and point it to your company's page.  (Incidentally, you can point your Google ads to your Facebook page too.)  It's quick and easy. 

Although Google pay per click advertising may attract the most attention in marketing circles, consider Facebook ads carefully for your next promotion.  You have an enormous database of real information at hand, users who are spending time browsing, setting up a landing page for the ads is easy, and the geography is always accurate.