Pay per click advertising can be a great way to grow web site traffic and increase leads and conversions. However, with multiple platforms available, it can be easy to get confused when setting up an account. I do recommend hiring an agency for almost all search engine marketing campaigns because the ROI you get from an expert is significantly different from what you would get on your own. Even if you do end up working with an agency, it is important as a business owner to understand some of the key distinctions in setting up paid search advertising (think, Google AdWords) and paid social media advertising (think Facebook Ads).
Geo-Targeting. AdWords allows for a greater degree of geo-targeting than Facebook, in general terms. Both can do countries, states, cities, and zip codes – which is most of what the average account will need. AdWords also enables metro areas, which I find incredibly useful for companies with products and services that are local, but have a large reach. For example, an auto dealer might draw shoppers from 75-100 miles away depending on the area. Therefore, a local target of the city in which they are located might be too restrictive, but a state-wide targeted area might be too big. Their ability to bulk import zip codes is also incredibly user-friendly. One thing to note – you cannot target by county.
Demographic Targeting. This is where Facebook’s ability to segment users can help it stand out. You can set your ads to run to certain users based on a number of demographic qualifiers that can improve your ads overall performance. In Facebook Ads, you can segment by age, gender, location, education level, keyword, language, and relationship status. Savvy users can use the keyword and interest qualifiers to further segment customers by things that might further qualify leads, like income (think, luxury cars or high-end brands as keywords/interests) or parents with children (people interested in children’s programming, parenting magazines, etc.) or pet owners (interested in Beagles or Bassett Hounds). Qualifying your leads is very important in the pay per click or pay per impression world, so ensuring that your ads are appearing to only the best potential customers is essential in minimizing wasteful marketing expenditures. In AdWords, you cannot segment beyond language and location, so you have to use your ad copy as a way of qualifying your leads.
Ad Rotation and Scheduling. On platforms like AdWords and BingAds, long-running ads are important in the testing process. The longer an ad runs, the more time you have to test it against other ad variations and the more successful it becomes. In Facebook, conversion rates drop by 50% after the first 24 hours and continue to drop thereafter. How often you decide to cycle your ads can be based on your own test results and how much time you have to devote to the ads (again, a good reason to hire an agency), but you never want to change out ad copy less frequently than at least weekly on Facebook. Because of return users and the high level of engagement on Facebook, stale ad copy is exactly that – stale. With AdWords, the opposite is often true.
Goals. While this is not a hard and fast rule, most AdWords and BingAds users are generally seeking leads and conversions (or sales). With Facebook, 41% of marketers are seeking an increase in the reach of branded content or increased engagement with existing fans and followers. I doubt anyone using AdWords would be upset about increased engagement along the same lines it’s doubtful any Facebook users would turn away sales or conversions, but these are generalized terms.
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