Facebook Ads vs Google Ads: Which is best for your business? -

One of the questions that you are likely to ask yourself if you are a business owner is; “Should I advertise on Facebook, on Google, or, should I try both?” This article points you in the right direction, as far as reaching the correct type of audience at the right price is concerned. After reading it, business owners, both large and small, should have a better understanding of the options that are open to them as far as online advertising is concerned.

Facebook and Google are the Big Brothers of Online Advertising

Before weighing the benefits of advertising either on Facebook or on Google, the first thing that we need to do is take note of the is fact that the two companies are, without doubt, the biggest online advertising platforms that can be found in the world today. Think we are exaggerating? Well, just consider the following facts;

Differences between Facebook and Google Advertising


Difference between facebook ads and Google Adwords

There are a number of differences between Google and Facebook Advertising. Understanding them will be instrumental in helping you decide the platform on which you can best reach your business’ target audience.

  1. Ad Delivery

The first major difference between Facebook and Google advertising lies in the issue of ad delivery;

How Facebook Delivers Ads

With Facebook Advertising, the delivery of the ads is done in a way that one may term interruption marketing. What this means is that a person only needs to log into their profile in order to have ads deployed on their screen.

This is more or less similar to what happens with television. An individual does not actually need to be looking for something in order to have ads delivered to them. One only needs to turn on the television and the rest is out of one’s hands.

Facebook, of course, does not simply deliver ads at random. It uses a wide range of targeting options, all of which enable your ads to reach the right kind of audience.

How Google Delivers Ads

Where Facebook Ads target people even without their express intent, Google delivers ads based on what people are actually looking for. A person may, as an example, use the keyword “restaurants near me,” in Google Search.

How does Google deliver ads

Whatever, they are looking for, there is a high degree of intent in the search query, and Google uses that to target the ads that are placed on the platform.

  1. Targeting Options

Another difference between Facebook and Google Advertising lies in the available targeting options. The table below illustrates the targeting options that are available in both Facebook and Google AdWords;

Google Facebook











 Although there are more similarities than differences in the available targeting options, as far as Facebook and Google Advertising are concerned, there are still key differences.

Facebook, as an example, allows you to precisely zoom in on the people to whom you wish to have your ads delivered. The result is that where an AdWords Ads may be expected to reach hundreds of thousands of people, Facebook Ads are much more refined, to the extent that they will only reach people who are most likely to respond to them.

  1. Social Engagement

This is another factor that differentiates Google and Facebook Advertising, and weighs in heavily on your choice of advertising platform for your business.

Social engagement is important

Facebook Advertising

We have already noted that Facebook is one of the largest advertising platforms that can be found out there. In fact, the company makes most of its money through advertising revenue.

If you are interested in creating your own Facebook Ads, feel free to refer to any of the guides to Facebook Advertising that we have previously written on this blog. A few examples are Facebook Advertising for accountants, Facebook Advertising for auto repair professionals and Facebook Advertising for divorce attorneys.

Social media is the place where every business should be

The majority of people in today’s world spent large amounts of time on social media. It is not surprising, therefore, that Facebook, which is the largest social media company in the world, generates the amount of revenue from advertising that it does annually.

Social Engagement

If, therefore, you are looking for Social Engagement for your business, then Facebook Advertising should be your first port of call. Although Google does have Social Engagement through its various tools, including Google Plus, it gets nowhere near the kind of reach that is achieved by Facebook.

  1. Ad Formats

Ad Types on Google

Available Ad Types are another of the things that differentiate between Facebook and Google Advertising. If you have ever used AdWords, you will have noted that most of the ads that appear alongside organic search results are text ads. You can also create video ads should you wish to have them appear on YouTube.

Ad Types available on Facebook

Facebook is much more versatile as far as ad types are concerned. The following ad formats are available when creating Facebook ads;

  • Videos
  • Slideshows
  • Carousels
  • Photos
  • Collections
  1. Cost per Click

The issue of cost is, without doubt, one of the major preoccupations for businesses that wish to sell themselves over the internet. One of the major challenges in this regard is the fact that advertising in general, and online advertising in particular, is so difficult to quantify. So, is there any difference between the CPC for Facebook Ads vs Google Ads?

The CPC, it has to be said, is, under normal circumstances, usually lower in Facebook Ads than it is in Google AdWords. In the year 2016, as an example, the average Facebook Ads Cost Per Click stood at around $0.28. On the other hand, the CPC in Google was $2.32.

  1. Instagram

Another thing that differentiates Facebook Ads from Google Ads is that they come with an Instagram integration option. What this means in reality is that you can choose to have your Ads shown on the world’s foremost photo sharing site, which is great if you are looking to interact with a more engaged audience. Think we are exaggerating? Well, just consider the following facts about Instagram ads;

  • Instagram has over 800 million users
  • The platform has over 15 million registered businesses
  • Over a million advertisers are active on Instagram every month
  • Half of the people who are on Instagram follow at least one business.
  • The ad conversion rate on Instagram stands at 1.08%. Twitter, on the other hand, has a conversion rate of 0.77%, while Pinterest’s conversion rate stands at 0.54%.

How to Choose Between Facebook and Google Advertising

Having explored some of the differences that exist between Facebook and Google AdWords advertising, it is now easy to decide which platform is best when it comes to marketing for your business. Your decision, in most instances, comes down to a number of factors, including the following;

  • The size of your business
  • The nature of your business
  • Your target audience
  • Your budget
  • The competition
  1. Your Budget and the size of your business

Remember what we have already noted about the CPC being lower in Facebook Ads than in Google AdWords? Well, this tends to be the first major consideration that inform people who are looking to make a choice between the two advertising platforms.

If you are a small business whose advertising budget is still severely curtailed, then you may get better returns on your investment by using Facebook Advertising. That is not say, however, that small businesses cannot have a presence on Google.

  1. Ensure that your business can be easily found on Google

One thing that we need to note here is that Facebook and Google advertising are not mutually exclusive. The great thing about Google is that there are easy ways through which you can give your business a presence on the platform without having to spend even a single cent.

When someone types the keyword; “restaurant near me,” as an example, what you want to do as a business is ensure that yours business appears right at the top of Search results. And, how do you achieve this?

The best way of doing this is by claiming or listing your business in Google maps and Google My Business. The thing to remember here is that Google now puts emphasis on local results, which means that if you have listed it in Google My Business, it will get the views that will help drive people towards your physical location.

  1. The nature of your business

This is related to the above point, and is one of the considerations that should drive your choice between Facebook and Google Advertising. Service based businesses, retail based businesses and online ecommerce businesses all have different considerations when it comes to online marketing.

Retail based businesses

Retail based businesses should be visible on Facebook

Localized retail based businesses, such as cafes, bars and saloons need to have a presence on Google if they are to appear  in Search and attract the correct kind of local clientele. Getting listed in Google My Business and appearing in Google Maps is, therefore, important.

Another thing to note here is that SEO is no longer that important, when it comes to local search,  because Google has taken over ratings for “local shops near me,” “cafe near me”  and other local keywords.

Google AdWords may, however, not be the best of options for retail based businesses. Remember what we have already mentioned about the CPC being higher in AdWords than it is in Facebook Ads.

This is a major consideration for small businesses, whose budget is usually rather limited. When it comes to paid advertisements for small businesses, Facebook may be the best option.

  1. Your Target Audience

One thing that you need to do, before embarking on your online advertising adventure, is define your target audience. Who is it that you wish to reach with your online ads? Into which age range do they fall? What are their interests and demographics?

Based on all this, you can then begin to decide the best online advertising platform for your business.

If, as an example, your target audience is composed of 15 to 30 year old males and females, you will discover that this is the age group that’s most active on social media. This may mean, in any case, that your business would be better off advertising on Facebook, as opposed to Google.

  1. The competition

your competition determines where you should advertise

Businesses do not operate in isolation, which is why billions of dollars are spent on marketing across the globe each year. If you are in a highly competitive industry, you may find it better to advertise on Facebook rather than on Google. This, again, boils down to the issue of budget.

Depending on how much you are going to be willing and able to spend on your marketing drive, you may find that competition for your target keywords and audiences may make the venture quite expensive.

The great thing about Facebook Advertising is that it allows you to narrow down on your own particular niche audience, which gives you the ability to reach out to your target audience without breaking the bank.

  1. What are your advertising objectives?

This is another crucial question that should help you choose between Facebook and Google Advertising. If, as an example, you wish to create brand awareness, lead generation or drive traffic to your landing page, you will find that advertising on Facebook would be your best option.

However, if you wish to drive sales for your business, you will find that Google AdWords would be your best bet. That’s because when a person makes a search on Google, they usually have a good idea what they are looking for.

They are, therefore, much more likely to purchase something, when compared with Facebook, where the intent is usually very low.

Don’t limit yourself

One of the major mistakes that you can make when marketing your business is that of self limitation. The online world is vast and not just limited to Google and Facebook. Your business will usually benefit from having a presence in as wide a range of places as is possible. There is also really no reason for you to mutually exclude Facebook and Google Advertising.

What most businesses discover is that it is worth their while to have a presence on both platforms. Why not, as an example, advertise on Facebook to create brand awareness while, at the same time, having a presence on Google through Google my Business and through AdWords?

Francisco is the owner of Planet Marketing. He has many years of experience online marketing and web development. In his spare time he enjoys writing about internet marketing and web development. He loves coaching people and has a few students. Follow him on Google+ or on Twitter

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