You’ve got money to spend on Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising and not sure where the best investment is? The two main players, Facebook and Google, are the focus of most client questions we get. While there are scores of other PPC options, Facebook Ads and Google AdWords are the biggest and, for many people, the best.

While there are some similarities between running a PPC campaign on Google and running one on Facebook, they are very different tools. If you’re looking at doing some paid advertising, it’s important to understand the basic differences before deciding which one is right for your small business.

1. Target Audience (Targeting)

Targeting with Google AdWords is done by keyword. Through keyword research, you come up with a list of keywords that your target audience is likely to type into a Google search. This research – which we highly recommend versus guessing – helps insure that your money is spent wisely.

With Facebook, targeting is done by demographics. Much different and, for many people, much easier to understand and apply to their local business focus. As most of us know – through news reports and casual conversation about online privacy – Facebook compiles an enormous amount of profile data about their users. This is good news for advertisers because it lets advertisers target prospects by age, gender, college and/or graduate status, relationship status, employer, birthday and keyword. Keywords let you identify people based on their interests, hobbies, TV shows, favorite books, etc.

2. Ease of Use

Creating an ad and running a PPC campaign on Facebook is much easier than it is with Google. You can easily set your budget, create your ad, select your target demographics and get your ads running in a short period of time. We help small business owners and nonprofit organizations create Facebook campaigns and implement them – contact us to find out how affordable it can be for you.

Google AdWords is not quite as easy. Primarily because Google provides a much more comprehensive set of options to let you set up, tweak and monitor your campaigns. Depending on your goals, taking the time to understand these options may well be worth the extra degree of difficulty. There are people who are Google AdWords specialists and you can also find help from the people at AdWords, directly. Feel free to get in touch with us, too, for a personalized evaluation of your needs.

3. Cost, Competition and Results

Google AdWords is the established and proven advertising platform with a good track record of success with many advertisers. Google AdWords works and everybody knows it; competition may be higher (and more costly) for your keywords but with the right strategy and budget, AdWords is a proven winner.

Facebook is a relative newcomer to the PPC market. Many advertisers may not yet be familiar with it, so the competition level is generally lower; this is good for local small businesses as well as for online businesses with a good niche or relevant promo. It’s ease of use and wide-reaching audience that can be targeted by demographics can be a powerful win, too.