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Google AdWords vs Facebook Ads

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads

Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are often compared and have some of the most robust advertising features available in digital marketing.  In this post we’ll take a look at some of the distinguishing features that make each platform unique and offer specific advantages over other forms of marketing. Knowing these strengths can help you better allocate your marketing budget and is essential in looking to generate the best ROI for your business.

Facebook ads

Audience Targeting

Perhaps one of the most exclusive features in Facebook Ads is the audience targeting. The marketing data that Facebook has accumulated is really impressive.  Facebook Ads allows you to drill down to a very precise audience to ensure your ads are getting in front of the right people. Google’s Display Network allows you to target by topics and keywords, but Facebook has interest, behavior, demographic and more as types of targeting that allows you to build very definitive segments to determine where your advertising dollars are best spent.

Social Engagement

Facebook Ads offers a modern form of what is essentially word of mouth marketing. The platform encourages sharing, interaction and engagement from potential customers and can help you get the word out for your products and services.

It would make sense that Facebook Ads would be much more effective at generating engagement from customers. There are many features to the ads that allow users to engage with the company’s Facebook page.  You can build entire campaigns around generating more page likes, post comments, post shares, etc.  This makes the platform much more effective for branding your company and interacting with current and potential customers.

Unique Ad Types

Ad types like Local Awareness and Lead Ads offer some unique marketing opportunities that are hard to replicate in Google AdWords.  Facebook is good about coming up with new ways to generate leads and sales through its diverse ad types and targeting options.



This will obviously vary but in general Facebook ads have a lower cost-per-click than Google AdWords.  Rarely do we see cost-per-clicks above $2 on Facebook whereas it is common to see CPCs in double digits on AdWords.

It is important here to factor in AdWords’ generally higher conversion rates, which offsets the higher CPCs, but if you can maintain decent conversion rates through Facebook, your overall cost-per-conversions can be very good on Facebook because the clicks are so much cheaper.

Instagram Ads

Instagram has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the last few years, and through Facebook Ads you can build ads to target customers specifically through this social media site.  High quality, professional creative and photography is needed to stand out on this platform and the site can provide interesting opportunities to reach potential customers.

Instagram Ads

Google AdWords

Keyword Targeting

This is where Google stands apart as Facebook does not have keyword targeting.  Google is the most powerful search engine in the world with the most users and allows you to target customers specifically looking for your product or service and have high buying intent.  You can build campaigns and adgroups centered around specific keywords with ads that are very relevant to their actual search queries.

Keyword targeting can be very effective and is what differentiates search advertising from paid social. While Facebook Advertising allows you to target a very niche audience/demographic, Google AdWords lets you put relevant ads in front of searchers who are interested in and seeking your product or service.

Display Network With Millions of Sites

Whereas Facebook Ads are seen only on Facebook and Instagram, Google’s Display network covers over 2 million websites and can be seen by over 90% of the people on the internet.  People can see your ads on the usual sites they visit, Gmail, YouTube, and in mobile apps. The network utilizes a variety of ad formats to fit into the various dimensions across the vast network on desktop, tablet, or mobile.

Google Display Network

Video Ads & Targeting

You can build video ads on Facebook but the distinguishing feature here for Google is YouTube. YouTube has more than 1 billion users and allows you build video campaigns that target by demographic, interests, specific placements, keywords based, or through remarketing.

Video ads are great for generating awareness but, like Facebook, Google’s video ads can also allow users to interact with the ad in various ways.  You can include various listings, overlays, and end screens in your videos to encourage engagement and get customers to take action.

Which advertising platform is right for your business?

It is hard to choose one platform over the other here because their offerings are unique and it depends on your advertising goals.  If you’re looking to brand your business and engage with your current or potential customers, Facebook’s highly tailored targeting options can allow you to get in front of a very specific audience and make it very easy to interact with your company’s social media.

If you’re looking to advertise on YouTube or have a wider reach across the web, Google’s Display Network is vast and can get you in front of customers as they browse across the web.  If you’d like to see immediate sales and target and get in front of people searching specific queries, the keyword targeting on Google would be tough to beat.

In conclusion

If you have questions on how to get started in either Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, contact us here.


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