Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads for Private Practice

In the world of digital marketing, Facebook Ads and Google Ads are two major advertising platforms that many businesses use including solo and group private practices.

Both platforms can be effective for promoting your private practice and generating leads and brand awareness, with each offering unique advantages and features.

Related: Google Ads or Facebook/Instagram Ads – Therapy Flow Q&A Video

Let’s dive in to understand more about these platforms, including the main ad types used by private practices to attract new inquiries and get more therapy clients.

About Facebook Ads vs Google Ads

Facebook Ads is a digital advertising platform that allows businesses to serve ads across Meta properties such as Facebook, Instagram, and its audience network. This includes the main feeds, Facebook Stories, and Instagram Reels.

Facebook Ads are highly customizable and can include images, a series of images (carousels), and videos. You can also reach users based on their demographics, interests, behavior, and more.

Google Ads, on the other hand, is Google’s online advertising platform that enables businesses to display ads on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), YouTube, Google Maps, and partner websites.

Google Search ads are primarily text-based but do offer some options to include images. These ads can target users based on their keywords searched on Google (search queries), browsing history, geographical location, and other factors.

While both ad platforms require an initial setup to create ads, set targeting options, and make sure tracking is in place, Facebook Ads have historically been the easiest to start with, and at Therapy Flow, we often recommend starting with Facebook Ads.

This is due to how Facebook ads provide a built-in form for prospects to submit, with submission tracking built-in as well. Also, with the right offer, Facebook lead ads can be effective if you don’t have a website, which is required for effective advertising on Google.

Comparing Facebook Ads & Google Ads

This table shows the main Facebook and Google ad types used by private practices to attract new prospects along with key features and differences:

FeaturesFacebook AdsGoogle Ads
Ad Type
Lead Ads – Show ads on Facebook and Instagram feeds with built-in form submission & tracking.Search ads – Show ads on Google Search that point to your site such as a homepage or service page.
WebsiteNot required for lead adsWebsite required
Conversion TrackingNo tracking setup required for lead ads. Collect lead info directly in the platform. Facebook Ads aims to optimize for submits over time.Tracking setup and compatible forms/booking widgets are required. Google Ads aims to optimize for calls and/or submissions over time.
Location TargetingYou can show ads to people located in specific states, cities, towns, zip codes, or a radius around a specific location. You can also exclude areas and set an ad schedule.You can show ads to people located in specific states, cities, towns, zip codes, or a radius around a specific location. You can also exclude areas and set an ad schedule.
Audience TargetingShow ads based on demographic information such as age, gender, interests, behavior, location, device, and more.Show ads based on Google-searched keywords and demographics like location, age, gender, income, device, and some interest categories.
Ad NetworksFacebook Ads can be displayed across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and the Facebook Audience Network.Google Ads can appear on Google Search Network, Google Display Network, YouTube, Google Shopping, and on partner sites.
User IntentFacebook is typically more passive, and users are often on the platform to socialize rather than to make purchases or seek services. However, ads with a compelling message and offer can generate leads that turn into long-term clients for your practice.Google tends to capture more active intent, as users are often actively searching for services or products. This makes it potentially more effective for driving immediate conversions.
CostFacebook ads can result in lower costs per inquiry or submission than Google Ads. However, the leads may need more warming up due to the nature of the platform.No tracking setup is required for lead ads. Collect lead info directly in the platform. Facebook Ads aims to optimize for submits over time.
Data & AnalyticsFacebook Ads provides a dashboard for campaign management and analytics, such as views, clicks, click costs and submissions.Google Ads also provides a dashboard for management and ad performance stats, including clicks, impressions, cost-per-click, and conversion rate.
Facebook Ads vs Google Ads Comparison Table

Using for Mental Health Practices

When marketing for mental health practices, both Facebook and Google Ads can serve distinct roles and purposes depending on the desired results.

Facebook Ads for Mental Health Practices

Facebook Ads are great for brand awareness and allow you to engage with potential clients on a personal level due to their social nature. They offer an opportunity to share informative content, patient testimonials, visual ads, and interactive posts that can humanize your practice and establish trust.

Facebook’s highly detailed targeting options enable you to reach people based on their location, interests, lifestyle, and behavior, which can be beneficial for promoting specific mental health services or conditions.

For instance, if your practice specializes in child psychology, you could target parents within a specific age range and geographical location, or who have shown interests related to child wellness and parenting.

The visual nature of Facebook Ads is another benefit. By using compelling images or videos, you can more effectively communicate the benefits of your services, or perhaps convey the environment and experience of your therapy sessions.

Google Ads for Mental Health Practices

Google Ads (previously Google AdWords) offers an effective way to get in front of people who are actively seeking help based on their Google search queries. Users who are searching for terms like “therapist near me,” “couples counseling,” or “depression therapy,” on Google are likely in a state of need and more ready to inquire about services or products.

The Google Ads platform allows you to position your ads in front of those potential clients when they’re already looking for mental health services, which often results in higher conversion rates. You can also show a Google ad in a specific area.

In addition, by using ad extensions, you can include additional links to your website, add details about your practice, and show a phone number in your ad, providing potential clients with more ways to connect with your practice.

Both Google Ads and Facebook Ads can be used to complement each other’s strengths. For example, you can improve practice awareness and reach with a relatively low ad spend on Facebook and also gain new clients.

Then, you can run a Google ads campaign to strengthen your reach and gain more conversions. Furthermore, a prospect could see your Facebook ads first, then see your Google ads, or vice versa. These extra impressions can help entice or remind more prospects to reach out.

Facebook/Meta Ads Library

If you plan to promote Facebook ads, the Ad Library includes details about all active ads, including information on the ad’s content, start & end dates, performance data, and the demographics reached. This makes it a valuable tool for market research and competitive analysis.

Benefits for Private Practice Owners:

  1. Competitor Insights: Private practice owners can analyze the advertising strategies of competitors within their industry. By understanding what type of content resonates with their target audience, they can tailor their advertising to better appeal to potential clients or patients.
  2. Targeting Optimization: The demographic information provided in the Ad Library allows private practice owners to understand who responds to certain kinds of advertising. This can guide more precise targeting, enhancing the effectiveness of Facebook advertising campaigns.
  3. Transparency and Compliance: For practices operating in regulated industries (such as healthcare), understanding the norms and compliance requirements in advertising can be crucial. The Ad Library provides visibility into this landscape, helping to ensure that advertising aligns with industry standards and regulations.
  4. Creative Inspiration: By exploring various ad creatives and messaging strategies in the Ad Library, private practice owners can gather ideas and inspiration for their ad campaigns. This can help in crafting compelling and engaging advertisements that resonate with their specific audience.

The Ad Library can be an essential tool for private practice owners, aiding in competitive analysis, targeting, compliance, and creative development. It can help you craft more informed and effective advertising strategies for your practice, which can lead to increased engagement and practice growth.

Google Keyword Planner in Google Ads

For Google Ads and SEO as well, check out the free Google Keyword Planner tool. This tool is built into Google Ads and provides valuable insights into the keywords that potential clients or patients might use when searching for services similar to yours. This valuable keyword analysis tool offers data on search volumes/demand, competition levels, and estimated costs per click for specific areas.

Benefits for Private Practice Owners:

  1. Keyword Research & Analysis: Private practice owners can identify relevant keywords that resonate with their target audience. Understanding the search terms used can help in creating content and ads that align with potential clients’ or patients’ needs and interests when they see your ad in Google Search results.
  2. Budget Optimization: With insights into the estimated bids and competition for different keywords, private practice owners can make informed decisions on budget allocation. This ensures that they invest in keywords that provide the best return on investment.
  3. Trend Analysis: The Keyword Planner tool allows practice owners to analyze trends over time for specific keywords. This helps in identifying seasonal fluctuations or emerging opportunities, enabling timely adjustments to advertising strategies.
  4. Localized Targeting: For private practices operating in specific geographic regions, the Keyword Planner provides localized search volume and competition data. This assists in creating Google Ads campaigns that are tailored to the local market, enhancing their effectiveness.
  5. Content Strategy Development: Beyond paid search and advertising, the insights from the Keyword Planner can guide content creation on websites and blogs. By incorporating the identified keywords into their content, private practice owners can improve their search engine rankings and online visibility.

The Google Keyword Planner tool can be a critical asset for private practice owners, assisting in keyword research, budget optimization, trend analysis, localized targeting, and content strategy development. Utilizing this tool can lead to more efficient and effective advertising campaigns, helping practices reach their desired audience, increase engagement, and ultimately support practice growth.

Final Thoughts: Facebook Ads vs Google Ads

Both Google Ads and Facebook Ads work as paid advertising solutions to attract more ideal clients and grow your private practice.

The best advertising platform depends on your goals, budget, target audience, target location, and the nature of your services.

If you need more in-depth assistance in choosing and running Facebook or Google Ads, we invite you to book a free strategy call with our team!

Therapy Flow offers specialized programs to elevate therapy practices to 6-7+ figures, featuring dedicated support, live coaching, and a HIPAA-compliant all-in-one CRM to make marketing easier, handle more inquiries, and transform your front office.

Discover the “#1 thing” that will propel your practice forward. Let Therapy Flow be the catalyst for realizing the full potential of your practice. Book a strategy call today!

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