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Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Navigating digital advertising

In this article, we’ll discuss Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads, and the intricacies of each platform, comparing their strengths and weaknesses.

Your prospects’ attention spans are fleeting and competition is fierce, therefore you have to strategically choose the right digital advertising platforms for your business. 

With numerous options available, two giants stand out: Google Ads and Facebook Ads. 

The battle between Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads for advertising supremacy has been ongoing, and businesses often find themselves at a crossroads due to budget and resource constraints — Google Ads or Facebook Ads? 

In this article, we’ll discuss the intricacies of each platform, comparing their strengths and weaknesses to help you make an informed decision, and how we, a digital marketing agency, can help you get the most out of your investment in them.

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Understanding Google Ads

Definition and purpose

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is Google’s advertising platform where businesses bid on keywords to display their clickable ads in the search results. 

The primary purpose is to drive traffic to websites, generating leads and conversions.

Pay-per-Click (PPC) model

At the core of Google Ads is the PPC model, where advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked. 

This cost-effective approach ensures that businesses only pay for actual engagement, making it a preferred choice for many advertisers.

Target audience and search queries

One of Google Ads’ strengths lies in its ability to target a specific audience based on search queries. 

Advertisers can reach users actively searching for products or services, increasing the likelihood of conversions.

Ad formats and quality score

Google Ads offers various ad formats, including text ads, display ads, and video ads. 

The quality score, determined by factors like relevance and click-through rate, influences ad placement and cost.

Therefore, don’t just consider your budget but also focus on creating targeted and compelling ad copy and landing pages to improve the quality score.

Utilising GDN for brand visibility

Google Display Network (GDN) allows businesses to showcase visual ads on a network of websites, increasing brand visibility beyond search results. 

Utilising GDN could complement your search campaigns.

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Unraveling Facebook Ads

Overview and key features

Facebook Ads operates within the world’s largest social media platform, allowing businesses to create targeted ads that appear in users’ feeds. 

With over 2.95 billion monthly active users, Facebook provides a vast audience for advertisers.

Ad placements and types

From sponsored posts to carousel ads, Facebook offers diverse ad formats and placements. 

Advertisers can strategically position their content to maximise visibility and engagement.

Targeting options and paid social strategies

Facebook’s robust targeting options enable advertisers to tailor their audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviours. 

Paid social strategies focus on building brand awareness and engagement.

Ad groups and conversion rates

Organising ads into specific groups enhances campaign management on Facebook. 

Analysing conversion rates helps advertisers measure the effectiveness of their campaigns and make data-driven decisions.

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads | laptop with website traffic analysis

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: A comparative analysis


So, Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads – While both platforms offer cost-effective advertising, Google Ads’ PPC model ensures that advertisers only pay when users express interest through clicks. 

Facebook Ads, on the other hand, operate on a cost-per-impression (CPM) or cost-per-click (CPC) basis.

Reach and ad placement

Google Ads dominates the search engine results page, capturing users actively looking for information.

In contrast, Facebook Ads excel in social contexts, reaching users based on their interests and behaviours within the closed environment of Facebook itself.

Audience targeting capabilities

Google Ads relies on keywords and search intent for targeting, while Facebook Ads leverages user data and preferences. 

The choice between the two depends on the depth of audience insight needed for a particular campaign.

Ad formats and copywriting

Google Ads’ text-based formats cater to users actively searching for information, while Facebook Ads’ visual formats aim to capture attention in a social feed. 

Crafting compelling ad copy and visuals is crucial for success on both platforms. More visual brands may do better advertising on social media than in the search results for example.

Analysing conversion rates on Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads’ success is measured by conversion rates, reflecting the percentage of users who take the desired action. 

You need to perform regular analysis and optimisation of ad content and targeting, in order to improved your conversion rates.

Small business considerations

For small businesses with limited budgets, Google Ads may offer quicker results with targeted search ads. 

Facebook Ads, however, provide an avenue for building brand awareness and engaging with a broader audience.

The three key questions to ask yourself are therefore:

  • What is your objective e.g. leads or brand awareness?
  • Is your product or service best represented in a visual and social environment?
  • How well do you know the profile of your audience?

Whichever option you go for, continuous optimisation is key to success on both platforms. 

Performance metrics, testing ad copy and adjusting targeting to improve overall campaign performance are all essential in the ongoing management for the best results and return on your investment.

Leveraging Google Ads and Facebook Ads together

Synergies in running parallel campaigns

Rather than viewing Google Ads and Facebook Ads as competitors, businesses can harness their combined power by running parallel campaigns. Each platform can fulfil different marketing objectives within an overall strategy, so it may not be right to consider it as an either or situation. 

We can create ads on both platforms and perform in-depth analysis to help reach their full potential. Read one of our case studies where we helped one of our clients utilise both Facebook and Google Ads.

Maximising reach through cross-platform strategies

Strategic integration of Google Ads and Facebook Ads allow you to maximise your reach. 

While Google captures intent-driven searches, Facebook excels in creating brand affinity and engagement.

Case Studies: Success stories with Google Ads and Facebook Ads

Google Ads success story – Worksmart

Worksmart’s strategy for Google Ads involved a systematic process of continuous improvement, analysis, and education before expanding their efforts.

In just two years, the average cost per click (CPC) has seen a remarkable 83% decrease. While cost reduction is crucial, the real success lies in the generation of high-quality inquiries and leads – a goal we have also achieved!

Comparing the same time frame in 2020 to 2022, there has been an extraordinary surge in conversions, exceeding 1,000%.

Read our case study here.

Facebook Ads success story – Hallmark Glazed Extensions

Our journey with Hallmark commenced by crafting customer avatars—a detailed profile of their target audience. This not only encompassed demographic data but went into their motivations, needs, concerns, questions, priorities, and potential moments to captivate them.

As a Facebook Ads agency well-versed in the nuanced targeting options available, we harnessed this knowledge effectively for Hallmark. The audience targeting in our Facebook Ad campaign is meticulously tailored to align with the customer avatars, employing a blend of demographic, age, location, and interest targeting.

After refining the Facebook Ads strategy for Hallmark over a few months, the results are nothing short of impressive. The campaign has yielded a stream of brand-new, highly qualified leads. In a single month, we generated 26 Facebook Ad leads, witnessing a consistent 30% month-on-month decline in the cost per lead. Notably, the Facebook Ads prompt users to complete a form seeking a site visit, positioning these leads favorably for making a purchasing decision promptly.

Read our case study here.

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads | Hallmark FB ad

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads – Growth by Design

In conclusion, the choice between Google Ads and Facebook Ads depends on your business goals, target audience, and your own budget / resource constraints. 

Both platforms offer unique advantages, and a comprehensive marketing strategy may involve leveraging the strengths of both. However, we know from experience that in amateur hands it is easy on both platforms to spend a lot of money without much return! Therefore it is worthwhile investing a little in getting professional marketers to run it for you, which gives you a much higher likelihood of generating a great return on your investment,

We will carefully analyse your objectives and tailor campaigns to make the most of each platform’s capabilities for your business.

Visit elsewhere on our website to find out more about our PPC or social media capabilities and results.

If you’d like some guidance on how to go from marketing average to marketing great, do book a complimentary marketing review with us

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