Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Which Is Best? We’ll Boil it Down
Facebook and Google are two of the most popular advertising platforms out there. Although Google is a search engine and Facebook is a social media platform, they both offer effective, cost-efficient advertising strategies that allow businesses to sell more than ever before.
But when it comes to Facebook ads vs. Google ads, who is the winner? Who should you advertise with?
On this page, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of advertising on each platform, as well as which platform will likely drive a higher return on investment (ROI) for your business.
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Table of Contents
- Facebook ads vs. Google Ads: The basics
- Google ads vs. Facebook Ads: The differences
- Why use Facebook ads vs. Google Ads
- Why use Google Ads vs. Facebook ads
- Which is better? Facebook ads or Google Ads?
Facebook ads vs. Google ads: The basics
Before we can start to compare Google Ads vs. Facebook ads, let’s get into a little background of each.
Since a typical Facebook user clicks on 12 ads per month, it’s no secret that Facebook is one of the best places to advertise. Not only do you have access to an extremely vast audience, but you’re reaching customers where they already are — social media.
Facebook ads are known as a paid social strategy since you’re paying to advertise on the social platform.
You’ll choose exactly how much you’re willing to spend per day, or for the lifetime of the ad, so you’ll never overspend. You can choose from a wide variety of ad formats.
The targeting options on Facebook allow you to advertise to users with specific online behaviors and interests — making Facebook ads a fantastic advertising opportunity if you want to get extremely granular with your audience.
Check out the example above – there were three Facebook ads on my timeline within the same scroll!
Google makes up 38.6% of total U.S. digital ad spend — making it the most popular digital advertising strategy.
Google Ads, formerly called Google AdWords, is known as a paid search platform since ads show up in search results. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads show up above organic results in Google and sometimes, to the right of search results — giving tons of opportunity to advertisers.
When you opt for a PPC campaign you won’t pay for advertising space — instead, you’ll only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
Facebook ads vs. Google Ads: The differences
Now that you have a little background on each ad type, let’s talk about some major differences between Facebook ads vs. Google Ads:
|Facebook ads vs. Google Ads|
|Feature||Facebook ads||Google Ads|
|Targeting||Targets users based on previous behavior and interests||Targets users based on keywords|
|Placement||Ads show up on Facebook||Ads show up in Google search results|
|Intent||Audience might not be planning to buy, but is offered the right ads at the right time within Facebook||Audience is likely looking to purchase when they search for a product|
|Goals||One of the biggest goals is brand awareness||One of the biggest goals is to sell products|
|Purpose||Good for sign-ups, website traffic, etc.||Good for selling products to users with a goal|
Facebook vs. Google: Ad targeting
Ad targeting is perhaps one of the biggest differences between Facebook ads vs. Google ads.
Facebook ad targeting options allow you to focus on demographics, interests, previous actions, and more. This precise targeting means that with Facebook ads, you can target users based on who they are and how they act online.
In part, this means that a Facebook user might not be searching for you and your products, but with the number of targeting options available on Facebook ads, you’re able to get yourselves in front of them.
When it comes to Google ads, on the other hand, you’re targeting users based on keywords. In this case, you already know what it is that users are searching for (if you do ample keyword research).
In the case of Google ads, users are searching for you and your products, unlike Facebook ads.
Facebook vs. Google: What the audience wants
In terms of Facebook ads, as we mentioned, you’re likely putting an ad for your product or service in front of someone who has never heard of you before. This positioning is due to Facebook targeting options (interests, behavior, etc.).
At this point in the buyer journey, a Facebook user might not be ready to buy, since they didn’t intentionally seek out your product or service. That means it’s more about offering users the right ad at the right time, and hoping they take the next step in the buyer’s journey.
Talking about Google ads though, users get served ads based on keywords they search. This search behavior means that it’s more likely for users to click PPC ads in Google since the ads are based on something that they searched for consciously.
As a result, those who are served Google ads are likely further in the buyer journey and closer to purchasing than someone who sees a Facebook ad.
Facebook vs. Google: Ad goals
The goal of every ad is to sell a product or service.
However, based on what we talked about in the last section “what the audience wants,” the ad goals change just slightly.
For Facebook ads, the main goal is brand awareness. Since you’re advertising to people based on interests rather than keywords, your focus is more on exposing users to your brand rather than making immediate sales.
That might sound scary, but it’s great for building brand awareness — and it works because you’re targeting users based on their interests!
Over time, as you build brand awareness with customers, you’ll reach more goals like getting users to visit your website or sign up for correspondence.
With Google Ads, the main goal is to sell, since you’re targeting specific keywords, and the PPC model used makes it easy to do so. Like we talked about earlier, users see your Google ads based on the keywords they search.
When users search specific keywords, it means that they know the product they want, they’re searching for it, and they’re ready to buy when the time and product is right.
Why use Facebook ads vs. Google Ads?
Before you make your choice between Google AdWords vs. Facebook advertising, we want to give you all the facts.
That said, let’s dive into the benefits of Facebook ads:
Facebook gives you an expansive audience
With over 2.7 billion users, Facebook is undoubtedly a fantastic advertising platform — simply because you have the opportunity to get your products in front of millions of people.
The more people you can get your ads in front of, the more your brand awareness will increase. Over time, that will lead to more site traffic and more sales overall.
Facebook gives you granular targeting options
Want to target a specific audience based on where they live? How about their marital status or schooling status?
With Facebook ads, you can.
One of the biggest benefits of Facebook ads is that you can advertise to an extremely granular group of people — making it more likely that your ads will reach the right people successfully.
Facebook ads are visually appealing
For lack of a better term, Facebook ads are prettier than Google PPC ads, simply because you can feature video, graphics, a carousel of products, and more.
You have a lot more design abilities when it comes to Facebook ads, which means you also have an upper hand in showing off your products to potential customers.
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Why use Google Ads vs. Facebook ads?
Google is the most popular ad platform for a reason — because it works.
Check out the benefits of using Google Ads vs. Facebook ads in your marketing campaign:
You can target users who are ready to purchase
When it comes to Facebook vs. Google Ads, it’s hard to find a clear winner. However, when we’re talking about targeting users who are ready to convert, Google takes the cake.
Like we mentioned before, when you use Google Ads, you’re able to target users based on keywords, and you pull those keywords from tools that specifically tell you what users are searching for.
Instead of simply boosting brand awareness, with Google Ads, you can target users who are ready to commit to a product.
You can use a variety of ad formats
Although Google ads might not be as “fun” as Facebook ads, you still have the option to add engaging features to your ads that makes users more likely to click them.
For example, you can add customer reviews to an ad, a link to your website, a phone number, and so much more. These are called ad extensions, and they can make your ads that much more effective.
You can deeply analyze your ads
When it comes to analytics platforms, Google Analytics is second to none.
You’ll see important ad metrics that you didn’t know you needed, like impressions over a specific period of time, average cost-per-click (CPC), and more.
So who wins in a battle of Facebook ads vs. Google Ads?
In the Facebook advertising vs. Google AdWords debate, it’s hard to choose a clear winner.
The fact of the matter? You’ll find the most success with your marketing campaign if you advertise on both Facebook and Google.
The more real estate you can take up online, the more you’ll boost your brand awareness and make sales.
When you opt for both Google advertising and Facebook advertising, not only will you show up for keywords that your audience searches in Google, but you’ll bridge the gap by also having ads on Facebook that target potential customers by interests.
You’ll have the biggest possible audience of potential customers when you create product ads for both Facebook and Google.
WebFX can help you with paid search and paid social ads
We’re a full-service digital marketing agency that has over 10 years of experience working with hundreds of clients in a variety of industries.
No matter what kind of ads you’re interested in, we’ll get to know your company, your goals, and your budget to help you craft the perfect custom campaign.
If you’re ready to get started, contact us online for your free quote or give us a call at 888-601-5359!