Comparing Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads: Which Platform is Best?

Last updated on by Fahad Muhammad in Google Ads, Facebook Advertising

For business owners, it’s a common question: Is budget better spent on Facebook ads or Google ads?
The answer, however, isn’t as simple or straightforward as the question.

On one side, Google has made a name for itself as the internet’s go-to search engine. On the other, Facebook is where more than a fourth of the world stays in touch with friends. Both are valuable places to advertise — but for different reasons. For your next campaign, which you choose depends on several factors. First, let’s define both types of advertising.

What is Facebook advertising?

Facebook advertising is a paid system that allows businesses to serve branded messages to users of the world’s largest social network. Placements on Facebook include the newsfeed, the sidebar, and the audience network on mobile.

What is Google advertising?

Google advertising is a paid system that allows brands to amplify their messaging throughout the Google network. That includes over 2 million websites and the results pages of 3.5 billion daily searches.

Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads

Both Google and Facebook have a reach that extends to all corners of the internet. Google’s display network reaches 90% of people online, and searches in its proprietary engine have topped a trillion per year. Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 2.2 billion users.

Advertisers are no strangers to either network — Google and Facebook own 60% of digital advertising dollars worldwide. With Google dominating, there’s something for everyone on the network — but at what cost? Here are a few things you’ll want to consider before you choose one over the other.

How granular your targeting needs to be

Facebook keeps a mountain of data on its users. Even though it’s cut ties with third-party data collectors, the social network still allows advertisers access to a trove of audience information, which is primarily offered by users.

Google, on the other hand, serves ads contextually based on keywords and behavior. It has no storage of user information that can compare to Facebook’s. That makes Facebook the choice of advertisers whose product may center around a specific detail in someone’s life, like the birth of a child, for instance.

What you’re advertising

Google has reach and seniority on its side, but when it comes to ad creative, Facebook takes the cake. Formats like the immersive Canvas (now known as “Instant Experience”) can make a product showcase out of a user’s screen, 360 video can turn a mobile device into a window to the world, and lead ads can generate leads straight from the platform.

Facebook’s interactive ad types make the social network an ideal choice for businesses advertising sleek products, or fun offerings that lend themselves to visual demonstration.

In contrast, Google’s ad types are myriad, but they’re far less engaging. If you’re looking instead for flexibility in the way you advertise your product, you’ll want to go for Google. For engagement, opt for Facebook.

If your ad campaign has viral potential, the ability to like, comment, and share will only add to its reach. If it doesn’t, Google ads may provide a better audience.

Your industry

Ultimately, where you choose to allocate your budget may depend on the industry you’re in. Google Ads is known to draw high-value traffic in select business areas. And as more businesses in those spheres flock to the network, bidding highly on keywords relevant to you, they drive cost per click up.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use Google ads; you simply may find less competition on Facebook. And less competition translates to lower CPC. In your industry, it may make sense to start on Facebook.

The goal of your campaign

The goal of advertising, ultimately, is to attract buyers and keep them. But, not every ad goes for the sale. Like members of a team or business, each campaign plays a unique role in accomplishing that ultimate goal. Here are a few smaller goals you may be considering for your next ad group:

Top-funnel goals:

At the largest part of your funnel, the top, is where visitors begin to learn about your brand and its solution. They might follow and engage with your social media accounts, or maybe search for information on a particular problem. So, common ways of measuring awareness of your brand are:


Middle-funnel goals:

Where the funnel starts to shrink in size is where prospects begin to eliminate options within the same category of product or service. For example, if prospects have determined to outsource PPC management to an advertising agency instead of purchasing software to do it themselves, this stage is about finding the right agency. A business trying to measure success at the middle of the funnel could do so with:

Turn More Ad Clicks into Conversions

Try the world's first Post-Click Automation™ solution today. Start a trial or schedule a demo to learn more about the Enterprise plan.