Why Small Businesses Should Stop Relying On Facebook & Google Ads

Facebook and Google Search ads may seem like exciting ways to reach new customers and grow your business. In some cases, they can be, but relying on paid advertisements alone isn’t sustainable for small businesses. It takes a lot of work to write and manage an effective ad—effort that won’t necessarily help build long-term success. Here are a few reasons why small businesses shouldn’t rely solely on Facebook and Google Search ads.

Paid Ads Are a Big Investment

Paid ads aren’t cheap. In fact, the more they’re used, the more expensive they become because of the pay per click (PPC) advertising method. Both Google and Facebook massively benefit from this model because they make money any time someone clicks on your ad, regardless of whether the user completes a sale or not. This means if someone clicks on your ad but decides not to use your business, the money you paid for their click is a sunk cost. If this happens consistently, you’ll quickly notice how much money you’re losing to advertising platforms.

You Have to Compete with Industry Leaders

When you bid for ad space, you aren’t just bidding against companies with the same budget as yours. Depending on your industry, it’s likely that you’ll be bidding against big-name companies. For example, if you’re a small insurance firm or independent agent, you’ll have to compete with industry giants like Progressive, State Farm, Allstate, and more.

Unlike small businesses, the primary goal for big-name brands isn’t to use paid ads to boost sales. Instead, large companies care more about pushing their growth and increasing their valuation through ads. Though small businesses should also use paid ads to grow, it’s hard to outspend big-name companies who aren’t as concerned about the cost or making their money back.

Paid Advertising Rules Constantly Change

Even if you understand paid advertising perfectly, the rules could change at any time. Google and Facebook are constantly updating their algorithms and ad platforms to be more appealing to users. These updates could cause changes in where ads appear, the kind of content allowed in ads, and even how much it costs to have an ad on the platform.

The most recent change to shake up the ad landscape made targeted ads less effective. In 2021, new privacy policies rolled out that banned platforms like Facebook from monitoring users’ behaviors outside of their site without the users’ permission. This behavioral monitoring once helped Facebook determine which users to target with specific ads. But now, without this information, Facebook ads are less targeted.

Paid Search Campaigns Take Time to Manage

Because of the stiff competition and the constant changes to paid search, you’ll need to routinely monitor and manage your ads. Investing time into developing new copy, testing ads, monitoring their performance, and adjusting can be tough work, but it’s necessary. You can either spend time doing this yourself or you can hire an expert ad manager to monitor and improve your paid ad campaign for you. Either way, paid ads require extra effort to succeed.

Ads Don’t Build a Long-Term Local Search Presence

Paid ads can be a great supplement to a strong digital marketing strategy. But there are far more sustainable practices like building a strong website, optimizing Google listings, and creating consistent content that are better at developing a local search presence for small businesses. Once that foundation is in place, small businesses can start looking into paid ads to take them to the next level.

Learn more about advertising on Google, how social media can help your small business, and more on the Local Search Fuel blog!