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Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads in 2024: Where Should You Invest Your Advertising Budget?

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, business owners often find themselves asking: 

Where should I spend my advertising budget to get the most bang for my buck? 

With Google reigning supreme as the most popular search engine and Facebook maintaining its position as the largest social media platform, both offer compelling opportunities for advertising. However, the choice between them depends on several key factors.

Whether you’re an experienced pay-per-click (PPC) advertiser or just starting, this article will help you navigate the crucial differences between Google Ads and Facebook Ads in 2024 and determine which platform aligns best with your business goals.

The Main Differences Between Facebook Ads and Google Ads

Before diving into the specifics of each platform, let’s break down their core distinctions.

Google Ads = Paid Search

Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, where ads appear in search results above organic listings, giving advertisers significant visibility. Every time a user clicks on an ad, the advertiser pays a fee. This platform primarily focuses on targeting specific keywords that advertisers bid on, hoping their ads will appear on the search engine results page (SERP) when users search for those terms.

Facebook Ads = Paid Social

Facebook Ads, on the other hand, fall under the category of paid social advertising. With over 2.9 billion active monthly users as of 2024, Facebook enables businesses to connect with users based on their online behaviors and interests. Unlike Google Ads, Facebook Ads do not rely on keyword searches but rather on detailed user profiles and activity patterns.

Choosing Between Google Ads and Facebook Ads

Now that we’ve outlined their primary differences, let’s explore how each platform can be used effectively depending on your advertising goals.

Targeting Users

Google Ads: Target users based on specific keywords related to their search queries. Through comprehensive keyword research, you can identify what users are searching for and tailor your ads accordingly. 

Tools like Google Keyword Planner can help you find relevant keywords and estimate their search volumes and competition levels. Additionally, Google’s machine learning capabilities have improved ad targeting by analyzing user behavior and search patterns to deliver more relevant ads.

Facebook Ads: Target users based on their online behavior, demographics, interests, and past interactions. Despite users not searching for products directly on Facebook, the platform’s advanced targeting options allow you to reach your audience effectively. You can create custom audiences based on your customer data or use lookalike audiences to find new users similar to your existing customers. 

Facebook’s retargeting feature is particularly valuable, enabling you to reconnect with users who have previously interacted with your business. This could include users who have visited your website, engaged with your Facebook or Instagram page, watched your videos, or interacted with your app. 

Keep in mind, with privacy updates like Apple’s iOS 14.3 requiring users to opt-in for data tracking, retargeting strategies may need adjustment.

Ad Placement and User Intent

Google Ads: Ads are displayed based on keywords users actively search for, indicating a higher intent to purchase. Users are often further along in the buying process when they click on these ads. 

Google Ads also offers various ad formats, such as search ads, display ads, shopping ads, and video ads, allowing you to choose the best format for your goals. For example, shopping ads can showcase your products with images and prices, making them highly effective for e-commerce businesses.

Facebook Ads: Ads appear in users’ feeds while they browse social media, making it essential to capture their interest with engaging content. These users may not be actively seeking your product, so the goal is to build awareness and interest over time. 

Facebook Ads support multiple ad formats, including image ads, video ads, carousel ads, slideshow ads, and collection ads, enabling you to create visually appealing and interactive campaigns. Video ads, in particular, have become increasingly popular on Facebook, with short, engaging videos capturing users’ attention effectively.

Ad Goals

Google Ads: Aim to drive immediate sales by targeting users who know what they’re looking for. The intent-driven nature of Google searches means these users are more likely to convert quickly. 

Google Ads also offers robust conversion tracking and integration with Google Analytics, providing detailed insights into your campaign performance and user behavior. This data can help you optimize your ads, adjust your bids, and improve your return on investment (ROI).

Facebook Ads: Focus on building brand awareness and engagement. By targeting users based on their interests and behaviors, you can nurture potential customers through the buying journey. 

Facebook’s powerful analytics tools, such as Facebook Insights and Ads Manager, allow you to monitor your ad performance, track key metrics, and make data-driven decisions. Additionally, Facebook offers various campaign objectives, such as brand awareness, reach, traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation, and conversions, allowing you to tailor your campaigns to your specific goals.

When to Use Google Ads in 2024

Immediate Results and High Intent Searches

Google Ads is ideal for businesses looking to achieve immediate results from users with high purchase intent. When users search for specific products or services, they are often ready to make a purchase. By targeting these keywords, your ads can appear at the top of search results, driving qualified traffic to your website.

Local Businesses

For local businesses, Google Ads offers features like location targeting and local search ads, which can help you reach potential customers in your area. This is particularly beneficial for businesses with physical locations, such as restaurants, retail stores, or service providers.

E-Commerce and Direct Sales

Google Shopping ads are highly effective for e-commerce businesses, allowing you to showcase your products with images, prices, and reviews directly in the search results. This can increase visibility and drive more traffic to your product pages, ultimately boosting sales.

When to Use Facebook Ads in 2024

Brand Awareness and Engagement

Facebook Ads are excellent for building brand awareness and engaging with your audience. By targeting users based on their interests and behaviors, you can introduce your brand to potential customers and create a connection with them. This is especially useful for businesses in industries like fashion, lifestyle, and entertainment, where visual appeal and brand personality play a significant role.

Content Promotion

If you have valuable content, such as blog posts, videos, or webinars, Facebook Ads can help you promote this content to a wider audience. By driving traffic to your content, you can increase brand visibility, generate leads, and establish your authority in your industry.

Lead Generation

Facebook offers lead generation ads, which allow users to submit their contact information directly within the ad without leaving the platform. This can simplify the lead capture process and increase conversion rates. Lead generation ads are particularly useful for businesses offering services, educational programs, or high-ticket items that require a longer sales cycle.

Best Practices for Google Ads and Facebook Ads

To maximize the effectiveness of your Google Ads and Facebook Ads campaigns, follow these best practices:

Google Ads:

  1. Conduct Thorough Keyword Research: Identify relevant keywords with high search volumes and low competition. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush to find keyword opportunities.
  2. Write Compelling Ad Copy: Craft clear, concise, and persuasive ad copy that highlights the benefits of your products or services. Include a strong call-to-action (CTA) to encourage clicks.
  3. Optimize Landing Pages: Ensure your landing pages are relevant to your ads, load quickly, and provide a seamless user experience. A well-designed landing page can significantly improve your conversion rates.
  4. Utilize Ad Extensions: Take advantage of ad extensions, such as site link extensions, call extensions, and location extensions, to provide additional information and increase your ad’s visibility.
  5. Monitor and Adjust Bids: Continuously monitor your ad performance and adjust your bids based on your campaign goals and budget. Use automated bidding strategies, such as target CPA (cost per acquisition) or target ROAS (return on ad spend), to optimize your bids.

Facebook Ads:

  1. Define Your Target Audience: Use Facebook’s detailed targeting options to create custom audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. Consider using lookalike audiences to expand your reach.
  2. Create Engaging Visuals: Design visually appealing ads that capture attention and convey your message effectively. Use high-quality images or videos that align with your brand identity.
  3. Test Different Ad Formats: Experiment with various ad formats, such as carousel ads, video ads, and collection ads, to see which performs best with your audience. A/B testing can help you identify the most effective creatives.
  4. Utilize Facebook Pixel: Install the Facebook Pixel on your website to track user interactions, measure ad performance, and optimize your campaigns. The Pixel can also help you create custom audiences for retargeting.
  5. Set Clear Objectives: Choose the appropriate campaign objective based on your goals, whether it’s brand awareness, traffic, engagement, or conversions. Align your ad creative and targeting with your objective.

Conclusion: Should You Choose Google Ads or Facebook Ads For Your Business Advertising?

Ultimately, one platform is not inherently better than the other. Both Google Ads and Facebook Ads offer unique benefits:

Benefits of Google Ads:

– Reach users ready to purchase

– Choose from a variety of ad formats

– Analyze your ads with Google Analytics

– Achieve immediate results with high-intent searches

– Utilize advanced targeting options for local businesses and e-commerce

Benefits of Facebook Ads:

– Massive audience reach

– Granular targeting options

– Visually engaging ad formats

– Build brand awareness and engagement

– Promote valuable content and generate leads

For the most effective strategy, consider leveraging both platforms. 

This dual approach allows you to capture high-intent users through Google while building awareness and engagement on Facebook.

Ready to elevate your advertising game? Let us guide you. Email Stacey Ivol at si@iftsdesign.com or call IFTS, Inc. at 412.715.6266

Attorneys – Elevate Your Online Presence By Removing These NINE Key Elements From Your Law Firm’s Website

Are you tired of your website feeling more like a legal labyrinth that requires a map and guide than a client-friendly portal?

Are visitors on the site lost in a sea of legal jargon, unable to figure out what action to take?

Do you always have to tell people where information is on your website rather than them easily being able to find it?

Well, you are in the right place because your law firm website makeover starts now.

Picture this: a website that not only showcases your legal abilities but also captivates online visitors from the moment that they land on your site.  Imagine a digital platform that not only informs, but engages users, turning them from information seekers to eager clients that want to pay you for your services.

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, where you get 50 milliseconds for a person to judge your website, make it count.  Your site is your virtual storefront, your best salesperson and your online greeter all rolled into one…it’s also your ticket to reaching a broader audience full of potential clients.

Here’s the kicker – in order for your website to thrive in the competitive world of online legal marketing, you have to ditch outdated tactics and embrace a fresh approach that speaks directly to your target audience.

So, if you are prepared to say good-bye to cookie-cutter sites and hello to an amazing new website that gets you clients, let’s get started!  It’s time to unleash the power of your legal acumen and make a lasting impression in the digital realm.

So, what are the 9 elements that you need to remove from your law firm’s website to accomplish all of this?

Element 1 To Remove - Unclear Brand Messaging

Make sure that your homepage communicates your firm’s specialty in a succinct way, right at the top of the page.  Don’t make site visitors guess what you do.  They need to know immediately that they are in the right place with the right firm.

Avoid using vague headlines like “Leading Law Firm” or “We Get You Legal Results Fast”.

Instead, opt for more descriptive statements such as “Expertise in Corporate Law For Startups” or “We Take Women Through Every Step Of A Divorce”.

If you can call out your ideal client and how you will help them, you will have great messaging that makes them want to learn more and stay on the site.

Element 2 To Remove - Ambiguous Navigation Labels

Site visitors need to know where to go on your website intuitively.

Instead of having a page that lists out all of your areas of practice, create one page per practice area.  Not only does this make navigation easier, but it helps with your website’s SEO as well by having keywords in the menu.

practice areas listed in menu

You should also do this with the areas that you serve.  Instead of having one page that talks about your service area, create independent pages for each of the cities or towns.  This makes it much easier for a site visitor to know that your firm is in his or her area and can help.

service areas listed in menu

Element 3 To Remove - Generic Subheadings On Website Pages

Get the attention of your visitors with specific subheadlines that engage them immediately.  

You want them to say “This firm is for me” when they are reading the text on your site.

Instead of using a header like “Our Services”, try something more descriptive like:

  • “Comprehensive Family Law Representation”
  • “Strategic Criminal Defense Tactics”
  • “Starting A Business in 7 Steps”

When you make the subheadings specific, it allows a site visitor to self identify as a potential client.

In addition, more specific subheaders are great for telling the search engines like Google what your firm does and should help with your site rankings.

Element 4 To Remove - Slideshow Overload

Avoid overwhelming your visitors with excessive slideshows with multiple slides.

Streamline your pages to highlight key services or unique selling points effectively. Important information should not be hidden in a slide that someone has to wait for.

Not only that, but slideshows do not do well with accessibility for anyone accessing your site with a disability, so they may not get the information that they need. 

Our bodies are hardwired to react to movement, so if you have a moving element on your website, it’s distracting.  You never want anything on your website to distract from your messaging and stop someone from hiring you.

Element 5 To Remove - Inauthentic Imagery

Yes, stock images with pretty people and perfect lighting make your website pretty for YOU to look at.  Your web designer probably thinks that it is pretty too.

However, it comes across as really inauthentic and boring.

When people are looking for a lawyer, they want to be able to see YOU and your team.  People hire people, they don’t hire businesses.  They want to make a connection. Stock images make it impossible for a potential client to make a connection.

It doesn’t matter if the lighting is a bit off or you need to lose those extra 5 pounds, an authentic picture comes across as a human that they can trust.

Build trust with potential clients by using authentic images that reflect your firm’s identity.  Replace generic stock photos with genuine pictures of your team, office or clients (with consent of course) to convey credibility.

Bonus points if you let them know just a bit about your personal life, like sharing a picture of your dog or you at a local baseball game.  You’d be surprised by how many people connect with you in that way.

Element 6 To Remove - Social Media Distractions

Have you ever noticed the websites that have the firm’s social media icons at the top of the page above the menu?

Well, I can guarantee you that they are losing more traffic than they would like.

By putting the social icons at the top of the page, you are just begging your visitors to click off of your page…and get sucked into the attention time sink that is social media. By the time that they are done checking their notifications and seeing the latest Reels, they may have completely forgotten that they started at your website.

Minimize this distraction by moving the social media icons to your footer and on your “Contact Us” page.  This prevents visitors from being redirected away from your site and maintains their focus on your legal services.  It also puts your social media pages at an easy to find spot.

Element 7 To Remove - Outdated Content

Keep your website relevant by updating or removing outdated content.

If your blog templates have dates on them, remove them.  If the date is important, put it in the title or the text.

Most legal articles will be evergreen, so you don’t want people to click away because the article is 10 years old.  If it’s still good information, they should read it.  Don’t make it easy for them to dismiss.

Element 8 To Remove - Unreadable Content Blocks

Which paragraph looks easier to read?

content block that is difficult to read
Option 1

or

easy-to-read content block
Option 2

I think that most people would agree that Option 2 is much easier to read than option 1.  It has whitespace and gives the eye somewhere to rest.

Improve readability by breaking up dense paragraphs.  Some of the ways that you can do this include:

  • Shorter sections
  • Utilizing bullet points
  • Use easy to understand headlines
  • Highlight or bold key points that you want to draw the eye to

See what I did above?  I just made that easier for you to read by breaking it up into bullet points.

You want to do your best to enhance the user experience by making information more digestible and accessible. 79% of people scan new pages that they come across, so the text needs to be formatted to grab their attention.  Blocks of text just won’t work.

Element 9 To Remove - Excessive Legal Jargon

Simplify your website’s language by eliminating excessive legal jargon that may alienate or confuse visitors. 

Yes, your content may sound “legal” or impress your colleagues, but that’s not who your website is for.  

When writing your content, ask yourself (just like in law school), cui bono, who benefits? 

If the answer to your question is not “My potential or current clients”, you know what to do.

Instead of bombarding potential clients with complex legalese, strive for clear and concise communication that everyone can understand. Remove dense paragraphs filled with technical terms and replace them with plain language that resonates with your target audience.

By cutting through the legal mumbo-jumbo, you’ll make your website more accessible and user-friendly, ultimately fostering stronger connections with potential clients through authenticity and trust building.

You can even try a tool like quillbot to rewrite sentences with a certain reading level in mind.

What Is Next For My Firm’s Website?

In conclusion, optimizing your law firm’s website is essential for staying competitive in today’s digital landscape. 

By removing outdated elements and enhancing user experience, you can create a more engaging and effective online presence that attracts and converts potential clients. 

Let’s recap the nine key areas we’ve discussed:

  1. Ensure clarity in your brand messaging and homepage headlines.
  2. Use specific navigation labels to guide visitors effectively.
  3. Craft engaging subheadings that capture attention and provide value.
  4. Streamline your homepage to prioritize essential information.
  5. Opt for authentic imagery that builds trust with potential clients.
  6. Minimize distractions by strategically placing social media links.
  7. Keep your website content relevant and up-to-date.
  8. Enhance readability by breaking up dense paragraphs and utilizing formatting.
  9. Simplify your language by eliminating excessive legal jargon.

By implementing these changes, you can transform your website into a powerful marketing tool that showcases your expertise and attracts your ideal clients.

Now, it’s time to take action! 

Review your website with a critical eye and identify areas for improvement based on the principles outlined in this article. Whether you choose to make small tweaks or undergo a complete overhaul, remember that every change you make contributes to a more user-friendly and effective online presence for your law firm. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to IFTS, Inc. or call for assistance if needed.

Your website is your digital face to the world—it’s time to make it shine. Start implementing these strategies today and watch as your online presence grows and flourishes. 

Here’s to a brighter, more successful future for your law firm!

10 Common Small Business Website Mistakes You May Be Making in 2024 – Part 2

For small business owners, your website is more than just a digital storefront—it’s the very first handshake with future customers. Ensuring this vital first impression is not only visually appealing but also user-friendly is paramount to your success. 

Our last article covered 5 common mistakes that small businesses make with:

  • Navigation
  • Pop-ups
  • Website load time
  • Responsive design
  • Jargon

If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here.

Let’s explore our final 5 tips on how to keep your digital welcome mat inviting and free from the usual slip-ups that can deter potential business.

Mistake 6: Keeping Your Website a Secret From Search Engines

Imagine you’ve got this super cool clubhouse, but you didn’t tell anyone how to find it. It’s got all the best games, snacks, and comfy chairs, but if nobody knows where it is or that it even exists, what’s the point? 

Your website is kind of like that clubhouse. 

You could have the best services or products, but if you’re not making it easy for search engines (like Google) to find you, you’re basically invisible online.

So, how do you send out a digital map to your site? 

It’s called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. This isn’t about tricking Google with magic words but more like using the right keywords that match what people are searching for and having the right website structure

For example, if you’re a lawyer specializing in family law, you want to make sure your website talks about things like “family lawyer,” “divorce help,” or “child custody advice” because that’s what people will type into Google when they need a lawyer like you.

If you ignore SEO, it’s like putting up a “Closed” sign on your website. You might as well be invisible. But when you pay attention to SEO, you’re putting up a big, flashy “Open for Business” sign that guides customers right to your door. 

And who doesn’t want that?

Mistake 7: Forgetting to Tell Your Website Visitors What to Do Next With A Clear Call To Action (CTA)

Picture this: You’re at a super cool amusement park with all these awesome rides, but there are no signs. You’d probably wander around a bit, feel confused, and might even leave without trying the best rides. 

That’s what happens when your website doesn’t have clear signs—or in website speak, a clear call-to-action (CTA).

A call-to-action is like that big, red button that says “Press Me!” It’s your way of telling visitors exactly what you want them to do next. 

Whether it’s “Buy Now,” “Sign Up,” or “Contact Us,” your CTA is your website’s way of guiding visitors to the next step. Without it, they might just wander off.

Think about what you want visitors to do most on your site. If you’re selling something cool, your biggest button might say “Add to Cart.” If you’re a lawyer, maybe you want them to fill out a form for a free consultation. That’s your CTA. Make it big, bold, and easy to find.

Also, don’t clutter your site with too many CTAs. If you do, it’s like a tour guide shouting directions at you from all directions. 

You wouldn’t know where to go first, right? 

Stick to one or two main actions you want people to take, and make those buttons impossible to miss.  Choose a contrasting color for your CTAs to really make them stand out.

Remember, your website isn’t just there to look pretty. It’s there to guide your visitors somewhere – like making a purchase, learning more about your services, or getting in touch with you.

If you’re not clear about what you want them to do, they might not do anything at all.

Mistake 8: Using Blurry or Low-Quality Pics

Ever scrolled through social media and seen a picture that was so blurry, you couldn’t even tell what it was supposed to be? 

Kind of a letdown, right? 

The same goes for your website. If you use pictures that are blurry, too small, or just plain bad quality, it’s not a good look. It’s like showing up to a job interview in a wrinkled shirt and flip-flops. People might not take you seriously.

Think about it: Your website is like your online storefront. The images you use are like the window display. You want everything to look sharp, inviting, and professional. 

That’s why picking the right pictures is super important. 

They need to be clear, high-quality, and they should make sense with what you’re talking about. If you’re a bakery, show off those cupcakes in all their mouth-watering glory. If you’re a photographer, your pictures need to be top-notch, showing off your skills.

But remember, the pictures you use should do more than just look pretty. They should tell a story about who you are and what you do. A great image can grab people’s attention and even help explain things better than words sometimes. 

So, take a bit of time to choose the right ones. It’s like picking the perfect outfit for a first date. You want to make a good impression!

Mistake 9: Letting Your Website Collect Metaphorical Dust

Ever visited a company’s profile only to see their last post was from 2017? You might wonder if they’re still around or what they’re up to these days. 

It’s the same deal with websites. 

If someone lands on your site and the last update was ages ago, they might think, “Hmm, is this place still in business?” 

Keeping your website fresh is like keeping your social media profiles lively. It shows you’re open, active, in the game, and ready to engage.

Here’s another thing: Google and other search engines are always on the lookout for fresh content. 

When they see that you’re regularly updating your site, they think, “Hey, this site is alive and kicking. Let’s show it to more people.” This could mean better spots in search results.

Updating your site isn’t just about adding new products or services (though that’s important, too). It’s also about refreshing your blog posts, changing up images, or even just tweaking your homepage now and then. It shows visitors and search engines alike that you’re keeping things up-to-date and that you care about providing a good experience.

And don’t worry; you don’t have to overhaul your site every month. 

Small, regular updates are like watering a plant—a little bit consistently can help it grow big and strong. So, whether it’s sharing news about your business, adding tips or insights in your blog, or just updating photos, keep your website’s content fresh. It’ll make a great impression on both visitors and Google, keeping your site in the spotlight and getting clicks!

Mistake 10: Skipping the Safety Gear for Your Website

Imagine surfing the internet like riding a bike. 

Now, what if I told you that not having a secure website is like riding that bike downhill without a helmet? Sounds risky, right? That’s because it is. 

Your website needs something called an SSL certificate to keep everyone’s data safe—kind of like how a helmet protects your head.

When a website has an SSL certificate, it’s like having a secret code. Anything people do on your site, like shopping or filling out forms, gets scrambled into a code that only you can understand. It keeps hackers from sneaking a peek at private info like addresses or credit card numbers. Without it, you’re telling your customers, “Hey, it’s okay to ride this bike without a helmet.” 

Not cool.

Here’s the kicker: Google, the apex of search engines, is now checking if sites are secure before showing them in search results. That means your website might not show up as easily when people are searching for stuff online. It’s Google’s way of making sure everyone plays it safe on the internet playground.

So, how do you get this magical SSL certificate? 

It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Often, your website host can set you up with one. It’s a simple step that tells everyone, “We take safety seriously around here.” Plus, it keeps Google happy, which is always a good thing. 

Make sure your website is wearing its helmet. Safety first, folks!

What To Do Next…

Wrapping up our digital deep dive, let’s remember that your website is essentially your online handshake. 

It’s the first, and sometimes the only, impression potential customers will have of your business. 

So, it makes all the difference to ensure that this virtual greeting is as warm, inviting, and effective as possible. Avoiding the common pitfalls we’ve talked about is key to keeping your digital doors open and reaching your business goals.

First off, clear navigation and a speedy, mobile-friendly site aren’t just nice-to-haves; they’re must-haves in today’s fast-paced, smartphone-dominated world. Every element of your site, from the words you choose to the images you showcase, should tell your story in a way that’s easy to understand and engage with. 

Remember, the goal is to make visitors feel at home and ready to explore what you have to offer, leading them gently but firmly to the action you want them to take, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or reaching out for more information.

Lastly, keeping your content fresh and your website’s security tight shows your customers that you’re not just open for business, but you’re also a reliable, trustworthy partner in this digital journey. As the online world continues to evolve, so should your website. Regular updates, attention to SEO, and ensuring your site is a safe place for visitors will help your business stand out in a crowded digital marketplace. 

So take these tips, tweak your digital strategy, and watch as your website becomes your best salesman ever.

Need help implementing any of the tips above? Contact IFTS to set up a free consultation.  Just send si@iftsdesign.com an email with the subject line “Free Consult”.