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Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Which is Better?

By January 26, 2021November 20th, 2023No Comments

google ads vs facebook ads

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads?

It is a question that marketing experts hear often: which advertising platform is better, Facebook or Google ads? The reputation of these two advertising giants has created a false dichotomy. Many business owners presume they must opt for one or the other, as they would in arguments about Coke vs Pepsi, or Nike vs Adidas.

Yet, the debate concerning Google ads vs Facebook ads is not so reductive. These advertising platforms operate in tangibly different ways. One consists of paid-search advertising, and the other is paid-social.

Keep reading as we explore what sets these two marketing platforms apart. We’ll review if, or when, it is possible to make a choice between the two.

Ad Formats

Let’s start by examining how the two platforms offer a choice of ad formats. Whether selecting Google or Facebook marketing, both offer a wide variety of ad placement options. This allows businesses to broadcast their advertisements across different applications and services.

First, Facebook ads can be placed in multiple positions within the social media platform. For example, in the newsfeed, amongst messages, and within search results. Yet they can also appear on Instagram as videos between stories.

Facebook allows for adverts consisting of text, an image, a carousel of images, a video, and several other configuration options. Owing to this pragmatism of ad placements, Facebook lets businesses share creative and engaging advertisements that assist during all stages of the marketing funnel.

Meanwhile, Google also offers a wide range of advertising formats, albeit very different from Facebook’s offering.

Google accounts for more than 91% of the global market share. Thus, advertising with Google provides access to an unprecedented scope of audience.

When referring to Google ads, most business owners envision search result advertising—ads magically appearing when they are searching for something on Google. However, this is only one of their placement options. Other campaign options include display, shopping, and app campaigns. A largely untapped marketing opportunity resides on YouTube, the #1 video site as well as the 2nd most visited website overall, after Google.

By incorporating both Google and Facebook ad campaigns into a digital marketing strategy, businesses are able to target potential customers across their internet and application usage.


Next, we’ll consider how expenses and ROI vary between Google ads and Facebook ads. When analyzing the pros and cons of Facebook ads, Facebook’s pay-per-click (PPC) costs tend to be lower than their Google counterparts.

Different Facebook ad placements incur different costs according to their efficacy. Social media marketing platforms should be hand-picked according to a business’s audience profile.

As for the costs of Google ads, it is worth remembering that these are also pay-per-click campaigns. Businesses will only incur costs to their campaign when a potential customer clicks on their ad.

A standard ROI is difficult to calculate for Google ads because costs differ greatly between industries depending on usage and competition. Intelligent keyword strategies are crucial to keeping costs for a Google ad campaign low while maintaining a high conversion rate. This is one of many ways that the VujaDay team can help businesses establish an effective search engine advertising (SEA) campaign.

When set up in an effective manner, both Google and Facebook ad campaigns can offer highly profitable ROIs. A carefully managed and consistently reviewed marketing strategy can result in unparalleled lead generation and sales for businesses.

Audience Targeting

Business owners contemplating the use of Facebook ads are often surprised to learn that the users who view their advertisements can be significantly narrowed down. Thanks to different tools such as lookalike audiences and retargeting campaigns, Facebook ads let businesses put their marketing content in front of those most likely to make a conversion.

Facebook ads make use of both existing customer lists as well as a pixel on businesses’ websites. They locate users who are already interested in a brand, as well as finding the profiles of users who closely resemble existing customers.

On the other hand, Google utilizes a different model with its ad strategy. Google’s search ads will only be seen by users who have searched for a phrase or keyword(s) relating to the business’s products or services. In this way, all browsers who are presented with, and click, on a Google search ad are inherently customers who are intending to make a purchase.

These different audience targeting approaches offered by the two advertising leaders work hand in hand. For example, someone might be interested in buying a new handbag. They use Google to search for “red leather handbag Phoenix” and, upon seeing a Google advert, end up on a business’s website.

Facebook is then able to retarget that potential customer. The pixel will have captured their user data, and their interest in the handbag brand can be maintained, thanks to Facebook ads.

Marketing Objectives

This guide to the pros and cons of Google ads and Facebook ads will now explore how each platform helps achieve varying marketing objectives. Facebook ad campaigns can be directed towards a multitude of advertising objectives. From increasing brand recognition, to increasing interest, and finally encouraging loyalty from existing customers.

If business owners are wondering ‘should I advertise on Google?’, the simple answer is almost always ‘yes’. Google ad campaigns are particularly useful for the latter stages of sales or marketing funnels. This is when the potential customer is ready to make a purchase.

All businesses, moreover, should not neglect their SEO campaigns to boost their organic search rankings.

Facebook and Google ad campaign strategies complement each other. The creative ad content on Facebook helps to strengthen brand recall and interest. Meanwhile, the Google ad campaign is then effective as the potential customer is poised to complete a purchase.

How to Choose Between Google Ads vs Facebook Ads

Having considered the ways that the two platforms differ, it is clear that the question of Google ads vs Facebook ads is not straightforward. They target different audiences in different ways. A marketing strategy that encompasses these two campaigns will offer the most success.

For more information about how VujaDay can help optimize your digital marketing campaign, contact us here.