Google and Amazon are two titans when it comes to online advertising. Two multi-billion dollar ad platforms, both generating a massive amount of revenue for ecommerce stores. So, which one wins in the Google ads vs Amazon ads battle?
For a long time, Google was easily the most effective and widely used ad platform. However, in recent years, Amazon has stepped up their focus on the ad game. To the point that you’ll very rarely see a successful Amazon store that doesn’t use Amazon ads.
There are a lot of similarities between Google and Amazon ads. It’s easy to get confused about which one (if any) should get the majority of your ad spend.
That’s why we’re going to break down the nuts and bolts of each platform, and compare the strengths of each, in this post.
Similarities Between Google Ads and Amazon Ads
Both of these platforms focus primarily on keywords, otherwise known as search terms. You run ads on these platforms by bidding on keywords.
Winning a bid depends on factors such as the bid amount, relevancy of your ad, as well as platform-specific criteria.
Outside of search ads, both Amazon and Google also have an ad network, with several different ad types in each. Looking broadly at their ad networks, Amazon and Google match up very closely. But there are some clear differences, leading to benefits for each platform in certain situations.
Google Ad Types
Here are the different kind of Google Ads you can run to promote your Amazon products:
Text-based search engine ads give you a link and text snippet at the top of Google’s search results for your search term, above organic results.
Display ads, which can be a static image, animated, or interactive, can be shown across Google’s ad network (not search results). These ads are shown across many different websites as shoppers are browsing.
These types of ads can also include responsive text ads, which can change headline, copy, shape or more to fit different audiences and locations. They give advertisers the ability to test different elements, such as the ad’s headline. Google will show the highest-converting version, based on their machine learning algorithm.
These ads show before or during videos on Google’s network. It’s most common to see these ads on YouTube.
Product listing ads allow shoppers to see your products as they search. These ads show above or alongside organic Google search results.
Amazon Ad Types
Here are the ever-expanding options you have to advertise on Amazon’s platform:
Made to promote a single product, these ads are shown on the search results page (above organic search results, like Google search ads) or on product pages.
Sellers enrolled in Brand Registry can advertise up to three of their products, in a headline-style keyword-targeted ad.
Display ads differ from other Amazon sponsored ads, in that they are not targeted towards keywords. Instead, you can target broad interests, or specific product listings.
As well as product detail pages, display ads can appear on sites in Amazon’s network and Amazon devices (much how Google’s ad network operates).
Google Ads vs Amazon Ads – Which is Better?
Now comes the important question… which platform will give you the best results?
Honestly, there’s not a clear answer to that question. For some purposes, Google ads are better. For others, Amazon is best.
How you approach each ad platform should be different. Potential customers are likely at a different stage in their purchase journey when on Google versus Amazon.
Shoppers on Amazon are usually looking for a product they want to buy. Thus, targeting on Amazon should be very specific.
On Google, however, people are usually much earlier in their buyer journey, and may not be totally aware of what they want to buy just yet. So your strategy will revolve around informational terms, keywords with terms like what, how, best, etc. This platform is perfect for growing your brand’s awareness.
To look at it a little closer, here are the key advantages of each platform, and how each one helps your business.
Advantages of Google Ads
Google is best for increasing your brand’s reach. Google’s search and ads network are both incredibly vast, and thus great at getting your brand in front of new customers.
You have potential to increase brand recognition, and to push your unique brand image, without the restrictions of Amazon’s platform to worry about.
Possibly the most important benefit, Google ads also gives you the chance to build an audience. Something you can’t do on Amazon.
An audience is a vital part of building and scaling a business long-term. A customer list will give you much more control over your business, more options for marketing (such as product launches), and another channel to reach out and get more reviews.
Advantages of Amazon Ads
While Google ads help you broaden your brand’s reach, Amazon ads are a lot more focused. This means they will generally provide a better initial return for Amazon sellers.
Keeping your advertising on the same platform can be very advantageous. Shoppers on Amazon are actively looking to buy, and they know what they want to buy.
More than half of all product searches online today start on Amazon. That’s one of the reasons Amazon ads convert more than Google ads. Average conversion rates are 10% for Amazon ads, compared to 3.75% for Google search ads and 0.77% for Google display ads.
All you need to do is identify what people are searching for and get your (relevant) sponsored products in front of them.
Amazon’s advertising platform is getting more and more sophisticated, too. Allowing you more opportunities to fine-tune and improve on your Amazon PPC ads. Features like auto/manual keyword targeting and negative keywords help you to keep working and lowering your cost per click (CPC).
Why Not Both?
To put it short, Amazon is more likely to have an immediate return. Whereas Google is more focused on growing your business long-term, by helping you build an audience and increase brand recognition.
Because of the different areas each platform has an advantage, it makes sense (budget-permitting) to make use of both.
Use Amazon PPC and display ads to increase sales you’re getting from people already on Amazon. At the same time, you can use Google ads to prospect for new customers outside of Amazon, and start building a list.
Implementing an advertising strategy like this will help you maximize conversions and cash flow, while also strengthening the long-term pull of your brand, and your business. While you’re at it, check out these 5 tips to improve your Amazon seller rating.
Which ad platform do you use? Do you think there is a better option for Amazon sellers to promote their products? Let us know in the comments!
About the author: Andrew Buck leads content and customer support for LandingCube. As well as writing about Amazon (and cryptocurrency from time to time), he has a passion for movies and martial arts.