Facebook Ads vs Google Ads: How To Choose The Right Ad Network

Google Ads vs Facebook ads that is the main decision when considering online ads. If you want to reach customers, then Google’s search network or Facebook’s news feeds are the ideal places to reach your target audience. Facebook currently has two billion monthly active users, making it a hotbed for user activity.  Google Ads reaches

Gary Fox

Facebook Ads Vs Google Ads

Google Ads vs Facebook ads that is the main decision when considering online ads.

If you want to reach customers, then Google’s search network or Facebook’s news feeds are the ideal places to reach your target audience.

Facebook currently has two billion monthly active users, making it a hotbed for user activity. 

Google Ads reaches billions of people each and every day.

Both of these networks excel when it comes to delivering results.

So, when it comes to Facebook ads vs Google Ads, which platform is better?

Which one is right for your business? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.

Here’s how to make the right choice for your business.

But first, let’s look a little closer at why you should be considering either of these options.

Why Advertising Online is Essential

The way we search for answers has fundamentally changed because of how we have shifted to using our mobile phones. Because our phones provide convenient and quick access to the internet and social media we use them for the majority of our time.

Mobile Vs Desktop Screen Time
FACEBOOK ADS VS GOOGLE ADS – Desktop search vs mobile

We search for everything on the internet. In fact, “Googling it” is so common that it’s been added to every day vocabulary.

And according to a recent study, the average person will spend more than five years of their life browsing on social media.

Daily Time Spent On Screens

And to add to the increased connectivity, we’ve also become more curious, demanding, and impatient in our search for products, information, and services. Consumers want fast answers.

It’s easier than ever to find and search for products online. Where we search for products and when we search is what interests advertisers.

To get your brand in front of customers, you have to participate in advertising to assist them in their purchase decisions. Often this means helping them to solve the problems that they face before they even look for a specific product.

The point is to map and understand your customer’s journey. To understand the different platforms they use, key search terms and how they engage with brands on social media.

It’s become more interconnected and complicated than ever before, and you’ll need a way to stand out in this hyper-connected world.


That’s where online advertising comes into play.

Online advertising helps businesses in a number of different ways:

  • Builds brand awareness
  • Helps increase the spread of information
  • Provides context and relevance to their searches
  • Influences buyer behaviour
  • Provides purchase cues to potential buyers
  • Uses relationships building to improve sales conversions
  • Provides multiple purchase pathways

And that’s are just the beginning.

Marketers have also been studying consumer behavior for years, and in that time we’ve uncovered quite a few interesting principles that point to why ads work so well.

For example, one principle known as banner blindness points to the fact that the average online user avoids the sides of a web page almost entirely.

Facebook Ads Vs Google Ads

Both Google and Facebook ads have adapted to this and make it easy for businesses to reach, engage and acquire new customers.

Simply put, Google and Facebook ads are more the best way to grow your business.

But only if you know how to use them properly.

So now let’s take a look at which one to use for what type of marketing goal.

Do you Want to Skyrocket your Results Now?

Then you should start integrating both Google Ads and Facebook Ads in your strategy!

What Are Google Ads?

Before we go on, what are Google Ads?

Google is the world’s largest search engine. Yoube and those other ones are a distant second, third, and fourth.

Facebook Ads Vs Google Ads Chart

According to Internet Live Stats, there are now five billion Google searches per day.

And because of that Google Ads is a great place to advertise if you’re looking to tap into that enormous search traffic.

Where can you place your Google Ads?

  • Search network: the search network allows campaigns to appear for searches based on keywords like “local plumber”the result will show like this.
Google Ads Vs Facebook Ads Results
  • Display network: The display network campaigns show your ads on websites and apps when your keywords are related to the site’s content. These ads can come in forms of videos, images, and more.
    Here is what the typical display ad looks like:
Google Display Ads
  • Google Shopping: Shopping ads are eCommerce-based ads that allow you to show up for relevant, high-intent searches based on direct products.
    For example, when someone searches for basketball shoes, your product can show up:
Google Shopping Ads
  • Video: Video-based ads allow you to display ads on sites like YouTube as well as across the Google Display Network.
  • Google Ads Retargeting: Google provides you with the ability to retarget your customers so that you can remarket to that lost customer and win a sale.

These are some of the most common types of advertising on Google Ads.

Although there are other options, these are generally the most common and useful.

Now that you understand the basics of advertising, let me explain who this platform is going to work for:

According to Google, advertisers on their platform make $2 for every $1 spent.

That means that doubling your investment on their platform is commonplace.

In addition to all of this, you can also run ads in a wide variety of formats. As a result, you have the potential to reach a massive audience.

Facebook Ads Vs Google Ads: How To Choose The Right Ad Network

If you sell products online (e-commerce), you should use Google shopping ads.

If you are a locally-based company looking to get more sales, you can create location-based campaigns on the search network or even on Google Maps.

Looking to land more clients for your law firm or SEO agency? Search network ads based on specific keywords are among the highest converting, anywhere.

The Reason To Use Google Ads – Intent and Locality

Use Google Ads to target traffic customers who have a high intent to buy.

Another reason to use Google ads is for the geographical locality, in other words, you have intent and local context.

For example, when someone searches for a keyword like “plumber near me,” they’re most likely going to call the first few plumbers they find.

You know from simply reading that keyword that they are looking to solve problems fast.

But Google is also capable of doing more than just converting customers who want to buy now.

Google Display Network and YouTube ads excel at both building brand awareness and providing customer support after a purchase.

This is where Google Ads compete directly with Facebook ads.

But what about Facebook ads?


Why do people use Facebook? 

Are they looking to search a keyword and solve a problem? No and No.

Facebook is a social network. Which means most people are there to connect with others, check their news feeds and look for things that spark their interest.

The intent to purchase isn’t as high as Google Ads.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a waste of ad spend, either.

Facebook has more than two billion monthly active users. You can find almost any target or niche market on the platform.

Facebook thrives in identifying people’s interests – what they like.

Facebook Ads Vs Google Ads Chart Of Users

And with such a diverse and large user base, you have a great shot at finding success.

Remember that Facebook has 3 Advertising platform – Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram.

Facebook ads often come in the form of news feed style ads that integrate directly into your Facebook feed and look like a normal post.

Facebook Ad Example

On Facebook, you can tailor your advertising towards different marketing goals.

Facebook Ad Goals

Want to drive brand awareness and likes on your business page? Facebook ads are ideal for that.

Need to get more leads? Then Facebook works for that as well, it is a powerful lead generation platform.

Want more traffic to your blog posts or engagement on your site? Yes Facebook is good for that.

Need to drive more sales and store visits? Yes, Facebook works for this.

There are just as many different options as Google Ads but notice that many are more specific to a person interests.

The intent is different.

Facebook also excels when it comes to targeting audiences for your advertisements.

Facebook has “Custom Audiences” that allow you to target users by diverse demographics including job title, seniority, income level, and even things like hobbies, music, films and more.

You can get extremely targeted.

Facebook Ads Vs Google Ads Spread Of Costs

By now you will be wondering if Facebook is right for your business OR if you used it before then the obvious question is where did I go wrong?

Is Facebook advertising right for my business?

Here’s the answer:

More than likely, yes it is.

Here’s why.

Just about everyone and anyone who is potentially a customer for your business are on Facebook. This is equally true for B2B and B2C companies.

On top of that, the minimum ad spend is very low, and Facebook has an incredibly low cost per click.

In fact, although it varies by industry, you can see from the chart below that it is still low.

Facebook Average Cost Per Click

You could spend as little as $50 a month and for that get thousands of impressions for your business.

Recent benchmarking report on paid search and paid social, by AdStage, provides valuable insight into paid media metrics, to enable marketers like you and me, to decipher returns on investment from paid advertising.

The research from AdStage is based on over 3 billion desktop and mobile News Feed placement ad impressions and 80 million clicks.

Facebook Cost Per Click

Now for those of you who have tried Facebook ads but perhaps didn’t get a good return. The question is what were you trying to do? Remember the intent is much lower for Facebook.

So you need to complement your Facebook campaigns with other social media strategies, such as using Messenger chatbots to use an email-marketing style approach with your audience with tools like MobileMonkey. The critical part is that you need to nurture leads with Facebook and then convert them.

As an example, set up targeted chat blasts, create a drip campaign, or send out non-promotional messages to highly segmented and opted-in audiences. These methods are already seeing a tremendous amount of success, and you can even use them with Facebook ads.

Fcebook Ad Messenger Example

The point is that you need to have a clear strategy for your Facebook ads AND how you then convert them.

Invest money in Facebook ads to take advantage of lower costs and excellent demographic targeting?

Use Google Ads to take advantage of strong search intent that leads to higher conversions?

So should use one or both?

Google Ads vs Facebook Ads: Which Is Better for You?

Google Ads and Facebook ads are both excellent places to advertise your business.

They’re relatively cheap (depending on your industry). And each has billions of users with diverse audience targeting options.

So which one do you choose?

Is one better than the other?

There is no single answer. You need to understand your customer, but more importantly to start with focus on having clear marketing goals.

What is your end goal?

What are you looking to achieve?

If your answer is sales, leads, consultations, or anything of that nature — both platforms will be perfect for that.

If your answer was brand awareness or social following, Facebook is the place to be.

If you want to sell products or just about any other category, both platforms can do the trick.

Summary of Facebook Ads vs Google Ads

Comparison #1: Audience Size

Both Google and Facebook have enormous reach — Google handles more than 3.5 billion searches every single day, while Facebook has an estimated 1.45 billion daily active users – see Facebook Statistics. So Facebook ads vs Google ads – balanced.

Difference #2: Cost & ROI

Cost is another important consideration. The average CPC on AdWords is $2.69, but this varies hugely by industry! The average for Facebook is $0.72 but remember that intent is different. Again Facebook CPC varies by industry. So Facebook ads vs Google ads – winner Facebook.

Comparison #3: Buying Intent

When it comes to buying intent, AdWords beats Facebook Ads. Consider what kind of business you have — do people tend to search for their product or service when they are ready to make a purchase? Or do you need to nurture them more? So Facebook ads vs Google ads – winner Google.

Comparison #4: Targeting Options

Both AdWords and Facebook Ads give you options for targeting (and retargeting) specific audiences. On both platforms, you can target by age, gender, location, and income level, among other things.

However, Facebook is far better for advanced targeting options. So Facebook ads vs Google ads – winner Facebook.

Comparison #5: Ad Formats

What about ad formats? This goes back to the question: what’s the objective of your campaign?

You’ve got more creativity on Facebook because of the different channels and media. This makes it a much better platform for building brand awareness and loyalty. So Facebook ads vs Google ads – winner Facebook.

Facebook Ads vs Google Ads Infographic

Facebook Ads Vs Google Ads Infographic


Join The Ecosystem Community​

Enter your email address to register for our fortnightly newsletter to get the latest research and updates on ecosystems. Topics include strategies, case studies, sustainability and circularity, as well as key actionable insights you can use.

BDL Inline