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Google Ads vs Facebook Ads

Are you looking to advertise your small business? Don’t know where to start? 

When you’re looking to undertake digital marketing, you’ll often come across the phrase ‘paid per click’ (PPC). As the name suggests, this is advertising where you pay every time someone clicks on your ad. Within the PPC space, the biggest platform is Google Ads.

However, this isn’t your only option for PPC advertising. If you don’t want to advertise on Google, you can instead look to social media, where you can run ads on Facebook and Instagram. 

For business owners, knowing which platform to advertise on can often be confusing or overwhelming. So what exactly is Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram ads, and what platform is right for your business? 

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads are paid advertisements which appear at the top of a search results page. When you type in a phrase on Google, you’ll notice the results will list companies whose websites most closely align to what you’re searching for. These results are known as organic results. 

However, above and below the organic results, you’ll see there are paid advertisements. These are where your Google Ads will appear. 

There are numerous options for what type of Google Ads you can run:

  • Search network: this is a text ad which will appear at the top of the search results. For example, when you type in ‘electrician’, you will see the first result is an ad:
  • Display network: this allows you to run your ad on a website which has content that is related to your keywords. This allows you to use visual options such as photographs or videos. 
  • Google Shopping: this is a great option if you have an e-commerce business. Google Shopping will show images of the product, with a link that goes straight to that specific product. If you search runners, you will see the first result is not a text ad, but rather a list of images and where you can purchase them from:
  • Video: this option allows you to advertise videos using platforms such as YouTube.
  • Retargeting: a customer didn’t end up purchasing your item? Don’t worry – you can use Google Ads Retargeting to specifically target these potential customers.

What are Facebook Ads?

Now you know what Google Ads are, you need to know what Facebook Ads are. 

When you see a Google Ad, it is triggered by a keyword that the customer has searched. Facebook Ads, however, will appear on the users’ news feed or stories. 

When you’re setting up a Facebook advertising campaign, there are numerous options for you to choose from. What one you select will vary depending on the goal of your business. 

Want more people to know about your business? You may wish to select a brand awareness or reach campaign. Need to increase sales? You may wish to select conversion instead. 

Rather than being a simple text ad, Facebook Ads are more visual and allow you to use images and videos. 

Facebook has four options for where your ads will be displayed – Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger. You can select for the one ad to be displayed across all four platforms, or you can manually select which options you want. 

Google Ads vs Facebook Ads  

Now you know what Google Ads and Facebook Ads are – what one should you use to advertise your business? What are the advantages of using one platform over the other?

Google Ads advantages 


The major advantage to Google Ads is the reach – the number of people who use the platform and who will potentially see your ads. 

Google records 3.5 billion searches per day or 40,000 searches per second. If you’re wanting to have the most people possible see your ad, Google is your best option. 


People are often hesitant to undertake a PPC campaign due to the cost involved. It is widely perceived that you need to have a large budget to run a Google Ads campaign. After all, whoever bids the most will be the number one result, right? 

Fortunately, this is not necessarily the case. Google also takes into account relevancy. Is the keyword that you searched relevant to the search the user made and is it relevant to the content on your website? If it is, you’ll notice you will achieve better results with your ads. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should disregard the cost of the ads. The cost associated with the ad campaign will vary depending on what industry your business is in. Some keywords cost more than others; so if you’re on a limited budget, you might want to establish how much your keywords cost. If your keywords are costing $40 per click but you have a budget of $10 per day, you may not achieve any results.  

Facebook ad advantages


Google has a large reach, but Facebook also has a large audience, boasting over 2.60 billion monthly active users

However, your ads aren’t shown to billions of people. Instead, Facebook allows you to narrow down specifically who you want to see the ad. You can choose the age group, geographic location, interests, gender, languages, and exclude people you don’t want to see the ad. 

One of the more helpful features is the lookalike audiences. This allows businesses to upload their own customer information; Facebook then filters this and matches users based on the uploaded information. 


While Google has some visual options, the ads are mostly text-based. Facebook and Instagram advertising, on the other hand, is predominantly visual. You can showcase your images and videos, or even make dynamic photos to catch the attention of your potential customers. You still have the opportunity to ad catchy content to your ads, however, the majority of the ad will be visual. 


Facebook ads are generally considered to be slightly cheaper than Google Ads. However, this will vary depending on the industry you are in, and which placement you choose. For example, ads on Instagram and video ads tend to be more expensive than ads on Facebook. 

Despite this, Facebook ads can prove to have a great return on investment. You can choose a daily budget or a campaign lifetime budget, making Facebook Ads an affordable option for small businesses. Facebook Ads are considered to be one of the best-value online advertising platforms. 

What should you choose – Google Ads or Facebook Ads?

Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer which will apply to everyone. Both platforms are a good choice.

Which platform you choose will ultimately depend on your budget and your goals. 

Are you looking to build brand awareness or increase engagement? You’ll want to advertise with Facebook. 

Do you have specific products that you’re wanting to directly sell? You may wish to choose Google Ads instead. 

Do you need more sales or leads? Both platforms are perfect for this. 

Consider if your budget allows for you to advertise on both platforms. The two platforms don’t have to be used in opposition. Instead, consider using the platforms cohesively – raise awareness on Facebook and close your sales on Google. 

Keep your goals and budget in mind, and you will be able to effectively use Google Ads or Facebook Ads to achieve the best ROI. 

Interested in PPC? Contact our specialists today to start your campaign.

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