Comparison: Facebook Ads versus GoogleAds

A recent article on details the numbers currently spent on online advertising. About half of the world’s advertising dollars are now being spent on online marketing with Google and Facebook. Google’s ad take along with its only real competitor, Facebook, brings in $36.3 billion, and the two companies combined eat up 83% of all new worldwide ad dollars.

The reason so many advertising dollars are now being spent with Google and Facebook is because they dominate the online world and that is where consumers are spending more of their time. The number of Facebook users recently reached the 2 billion mark. Google is by far the number one search engine. Both Google Adwords and Facebook Ads could play a role in your online marketing strategy. To decide whether to use one or both channels, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each. Testing to see which one gives you the greater ROI may be the best approach for your business.

Google and Facebook users operate with different mindsets. Depending upon your advertising goals, you may want to use one or both of these channels to reach your targeted customers.

Facebook is still primarily a social networking site. It’s a place to share photos and see updates from your friends and family. The key thing to remember is that when users are on Facebook they are generally not looking for a product or service.

Google users have a completely different mindset. When people do a Google search, they are looking for specific information, products, or services. They are often looking for a solution to an immediate problem or need. When customers do a Google search for a product or service you provide, they are usually already in the buying process which is part of why Google Adwords can be so effective for increasing quality leads to your website.

So how does a business owner decide? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of each:

Google AdWords


  • A large potential audience
  • Targeting strengths – geography and keywords
  • Targets people who are ready to buy
  • An immediate increase in website traffic
  • You have complete control over your daily budget and maximum cost per click (CPC)
  • You can target people who already have an interest in your products and/or services
  • Option to display ads on a network of other sites
  • Google owns YouTube so you can run your ads on YouTube


  • Setup and management can be time consuming
  • Limited space within your ad (Three lines of text when you are using Search only)
  • Depending on your industry, the cost per click (CPC) can be substantial
  • Depending on your target market, the majority of the large potential audience can turn out to be irrelevant

Facebook Ads


  • Campaigns are easy to track
  • An immediate increase in website traffic
  • You have control over your daily budget and maximum CPC
  • You have more targeting options including: age, interests, income bracket, etc.
  • Easier to set up than Google AdWords
  • You can use images and videos to capture the interest of your target market
  • CPC is relatively cheap, depending on your industry
  • Brand awareness
  • Good for top of funnel


  • Depending on your target market, the majority of the large potential audience could be irrelevant
  • Best for those operating in B2C markets.
  • Reaching people too early in the buying cycle could potentially reduce your goal conversion rate

To summarize, you need to know where your target customers are likely to be in the buying cycle. Google is great when there is a strong intention to research or buy a product or service. Sometimes Google users have an immediate need and other times they are in the research and planning stage. Facebook is good for building lists of future customers and getting people into the sales funnel. Facebook is especially effective for lifestyle choices like food, health and beauty, and entertainment. Need help deciding which option is best for your business or how to create effective ad campaigns on Google or Facebook? Kalamazoo SEO for Growth can help you create an advertising campaign that works for your business.

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