Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads: Unveiling Differences, Deciding the Best

Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads: Unveiling Differences, Deciding the Best

The new age of online advertising has completely revamped the digital marketing world it now reigns over. However, choosing the right advertising platform for your unique business or brand is still a tough cookie to crack. Both Facebook and Google are massive networks with incredible reach, but which one is the right marketing solution for your business? Should you Google Ads? Facebook Ads? Both?

Don’t sweat it – we’ve analyzed these two marketing giants in detail and explained the benefits, as well as the “when” and “why’s” of using both, so you can ensure your time, effort, and advertising budget is the best spent.

Sit tight because we’re putting the Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads debate to rest for good to help you figure out which advertising platform will offer your brand the best chance at digital success.

The Importance of Online Advertising


While word of mouth and newspapers may be great ways to reach customers offline, most of today’s online customers use a search engine to find a business, product, or service. Nearly half of the world’s population, of all age groups, use the Internet as the primary source of information. Online advertising has overtaken print a long time ago and is no longer optionable – it’s a must for any brand trying to make it in the digital era.

Online advertising is a cost-effective way to put ads where a business’s target market/target audience spends its time. In other words, it’s a powerful tool to get your product or service in front of potential customers worldwide. This modern-age advertising tool enhances your client base, lead generation, and marketing reach, ultimately increasing your profits.

Benefits of Online Advertising

The benefits of online advertising are too great to be ignored in the 21st century and can be felt by businesses of all sizes. Any success-oriented business owner should harness the power of online marketing. Why?

Let’s take a look at six major benefits of online advertising and how it can boost your digital marketing strategy:

· Reaching a broad, global audience
· Targeting a specific audience with targeted campaigns
· Increased customer engagement
· Flexible, budget-friendly, and cost-effective
· Measurable performance (access to data and ROI, so you can measure and track results)
· Timely delivery

Key Differences Between Facebook Ads and Google Ads


Facebook Ads and Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) are the leading pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising platforms, each with its own set of strengths and pain points, as well as unique audiences and use cases. But which one is best for your business?

Not sure if you should run ads on the world’s largest search engine or social network? To help you leverage each platform to its fullest and play your cards right, you should have a deeper insight into their distinctive benefits, characteristics, as well as key differences.

Paid Search vs Paid Social

Google Ads runs search and display ads by utilizing keywords, while Facebook Ads are used for sponsored social campaigns on Facebook based on users’ habits, lifestyles, locations, and other factors. They both run pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements, but they do so on different channels and by targeting customers at different stages of the buying process.

Google Ads works on active search intent through Google Search and user search queries, making paid search a responsive (or reactive) form of advertising – it gets customers to come to you. It’s ideal for nabbing customers who already know what they want and are ready to buy.

On the other hand, paid social is based on passive user intent and your proactiveness – you’re reaching out to prospective customers (which can sometimes be seen as intrusive). However, it works best for building relationships, engaging, and generating interest among your target audience.

You can use paid social and paid search ads to reach users in different stages of the funnel (their buyer journey). If you want fast results to increase your online visibility and reach new customers – invest in search ads. Do you want long-term customer loyalty and to connect with your audience through more engaging ads? Social is the place to be.

Ad Formats

One of the biggest differences between these two advertising giants is the visuals. Although it offers different types of ads, such as Shopping Ads, Google Ads limit you to text-based ads to catch potential customers’ eyes on Search Engines. Facebook ads, on the other hand, allow you to get more creative and add visual impact to your advertising messaging through image-based ads or video ads, thus, grabbing the attention of users more easily.

Targeting Options

Both Facebook and Google Ads offer options for targeting specific audiences by age, gender, location, and other factors. However, Facebook’s advanced audience targeting options, including the new “Lookalike Audience” feature, exceed the ones of Google Ads.

They allow you to narrowly target the ideal customer based on endless demographics, a large list of interests and behaviors, and even life events, thanks to their massive data bank that can match your ideal user down to a T. This means you can tailor your ads to very specific and nuanced niches and users.



Costs-per-click and ROI

The ultimate ad campaign goal is to maximize your return on ad spend (ROAS), which leads us to another important difference between Facebook ads and Google ads to keep in mind. Although they vary by industry, the average cost per click of Google Ads is higher ($2.69), while Facebook Ads are slightly cheaper ($1.72).

Another benchmark to consider is CPA (Cost Per Action), which is, again, pricier for Google Ads. However, the clickthrough rate is higher for Google Ads with a 2% average, in contrast to the 1.11% for Facebook Ads.

Despite the higher average cost per conversion, Google Ads is worth the investment if your goal is reaching users at the time of their purchase decision, while Facebook Ads are better for cost-effective long-term investment in building engagement with your audience.


Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads: Which Platform Is Better for Your Business?

It’s finally time to answer the burning question: Is Facebook Ads or Google Ads better for your brand? The ideal answer is both, maybe in different amounts depending on your business type, what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to, and what your overall marketing goals are.

The widespread belief that you must choose the “better one” is confusing and misleading, especially to those new to online advertising. Although these platforms were long seen as “rivals” and frequently compared to one another, Facebook Ads and Google Ads are complementary, providing different advantages to advertisers.

So, it’s not necessarily about which is better, but about utilizing both platforms and playing to their strengths to maximize your marketing efforts. The key is to adopt different strategies that align with the functionality of each platform.

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Advantages of Using Google Ads

Many benefits come with using the world’s largest search engine for advertising. Here are some of the most prominent pros for using Google Ads to amp up your online marketing game:

· A vast audience pool / wider reach of prospective customers
· Easy-to-use interface and advanced tool features
· Positions earned based on relevancy

Advantages of Using Facebook Ads

The biggest benefits of advertising on the Facebook social media platform come down to:

· Unmatched ability to target specific audiences thanks to diverse active user data
· Compelling, persuasive, and highly visual ads with more creative freedom
· Affordable with a high conversion rate and ROI

Benefits of Using Both

Using both Facebook ads and Google ads for a combined marketing strategy enables you to advertise to the core target audience in all the relevant places at the most convenient times, thus maximizing your advertising efforts.

By leveraging the best of both worlds, you’ll end up with combined web analytics and data, the widest possible reach, double results, and, ultimately, reap the maximum reward.

How to Choose the Right Ad Platform for Your Brand’s Goals


In an ideal scenario, a brand should be able to utilize both of these powerful advertising platforms since their simultaneous use perfectly complements one another, allowing the brand to reach, engage and convert its audience. But if you just rolled your eyes at this and came here to truly find out which one you should be using — we hear you.

Unfortunately, nobody has an endless marketing budget. Since time and money are often limited, businesses are sometimes forced to choose between running an advertising campaign on Google or Facebook. That means you must choose wisely where to focus your time and money to create a winning marketing campaign.

Don’t have the marketing budget or resources to leverage both Google Ads and Facebook ads? Here are a few things you should take into account to get the most bang for your buck:

Purpose of Your Campaign

What is the goal of your marketing campaign? What are you setting out to achieve? Answering these questions is key to steering you in the right direction.

Your Budget

Look into where your money will get you the furthest in relation to your business goals.

Customers’ Buying Stages

Certain platforms align better with certain buyer intent, consumer behaviors, and stages in the customer journey. Thoroughly research your targeted audience to see where your target users are in terms of their buying journey.

For example, Google Ads is best for getting brands, products, or services in front of people actively searching for them through targeted search terms (e.g., electricians). In contrast, Facebook Ads is best for advertising products or services a particular target audience isn’t necessarily actively searching for but is likely to be interested in (e.g., a new clothing line).

Choose wisely.

The Final Verdict? Teamwork Wins the Advertising Race


Facebook Ads and Google Ads work hand-in-hand to raise brand awareness and drive engagement, qualified traffic, and conversion your way. The most profitable online marketing campaigns are the ones dancing with the two networks in tandem. Using a blended, omnichannel approach is the ultimate holistic digital advertising strategy that can have a major impact on your business’s ROI and drive it to success.

If you have no other choice but to opt for one, it all boils down to your business objectives. If your main KPI is reaching new customers in the buying process and generating sales or leads, Google Ads may be a better fit for you. If increasing brand awareness and gathering a strong, loyal audience is your main goal of advertising, Facebook will get you there at a lower cost.


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