Demystifying Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads

Demystifying Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads

29 Aug 2018, by Camilla Pettica


We’ve had a lot of people ask us the difference between Google Ads (previously Google AdWords) and Facebook Ads so we’re hoping to demystify some common misconceptions and help you decide which platform is right for your business.

Google Ads (previously AdWords): Paid Search

Paid Search With over 93% of all search experiences starting through Google – the search engine provides a unique and highly effective advertising opportunity to achieve the return on investment your business needs.

Google Ads lets you build marketing campaigns that suit your business need including text-based search ads, graphic display ads, YouTube video ads or in-app mobile ads. It is a great tool to capture customers that are in the market to ‘buy’ and have already identified their ‘need’ however, are unclear on exactly who to purchase from.

Text-based search ads appears next to search results on Google while Display ads show up across a network of over two million websites and apps where your customers are. It’s no question why our clients have experienced positive ROI when using it.

As an advertiser, there are many bid strategies available. These are tailored to different types of campaigns. Depending on which networks your campaign is targeting or whether you want to focus on getting clicks, impressions, conversions or views you can decide which strategy is best for you.

The cost-per-click can be expensive (depending on your industry and keywords). It’s important to make sure you determine the profitability of each lead (profit per customer vs the cost of acquisition) and ensure the tool is delivering a satisfactory return on investment for your business. From a functionality perspective, Google shows extensions when it calculates that the extensions will improve the advertiser’s campaign performance. Examples include location, price, sitelinks and callout.

Facebook Ads: Paid Social

With over 2 billion monthly active Facebook users and five new profiles created every second, statistically, Facebook is too big to ignore.

As a social media platform people share countless pieces of information with their ‘network’ whether it’s a milestone, celebration, commiseration or their next challenge. They search for connections, events and ways to show they are interested in hobbies, beliefs and causes that allows advertisers access to data that 20 years ago was inconceivable.

If you know your target market, you can choose the people you want to reach using Facebook Ads. Facebook lets you choose your audience based on demographics, behaviours, interests and locations.

Given the level of customisation, size of active user base and relatively low cost (compared to traditional advertising channels), the popularity of this advertising tool is no surprise.

Whether you want to use video, photo or text – or a combination of those elements – there's a Facebook ad format for every campaign. Facebook is also constantly adapting how its ads are presented. Currently augmented reality ads are being tested. Exciting times ahead!

Our Take

While often positioned as competing platforms, both advertising tools can be beneficial to your business. Many businesses are having success rolling out Facebook and Google Ads concurrently. Leveraging the strengths of each platform is a strategy that can drive increased sales, leads, maximum visibility and ultimately significant return on investment.

Most importantly, you should take a step back and look at your campaign objectives, set a strategy, profitability metrics and test the advertising platform you think will best fit your needs.