Facebook Ads Vs Google Ads: What You Need To Know

Google Ads vs Facebook Ads on Smartphone as Icons

In the current digital advertising landscape, there’s no shortage of channels for connecting with customers and getting in front of their shopping decisions beyond organic strategies. Paid ads are designed to give you a leg up in ultra-competitive markets like Toronto, bringing you closer to more customers at the start of their shopping journey.

Two of these channels are Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Both ad platforms offer a vast audience, with customers known to make shopping decisions based on the personalized ads they interact with, accurately targeted to their needs. But, for many brands, the question is, with set marketing dollars, which ad platform should they choose?

Let’s find out.

Google Ads or Facebook Ads?

Having to make this choice is actually one of the biggest misconceptions in digital marketing. Simply, it shouldn’t be Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads, but Google Ads and Facebook Ads. The best approach is blended.

That is, your brand needs both Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Since Google and Facebook Ad campaigns are both highly recommended internet advertising platforms, the best digital advertising strategy, according to a number of customers, combines Facebook and Google Ads. With both search and social media two of the most common starting points of the customer journey, both paid social media advertising and paid search are essential to your bottom line. Local service ads can be a game-changer for small businesses, as they allow you to connect with prospective customers in your area more effectively. It’s worth exploring the advertising options available on both platforms to see which local service ads align better with your business goals.

You can consider these factors before making a choice:

  • If existing customers are familiar with the brand/product and know how to locate it, Google Ads are usually recommended as an initial platform for media expenditures, with Facebook initiatives such as mid-funnel advertising and retargeting ads layered on top. But things change if there isn’t enough brand recognition or search traffic to justify paid search queries.
  • On the contrary, if the market doesn’t have enough brand recognition to allow paid search queries, start with Facebook to build brand awareness prior to adding Google Ads.
  • If there is excessive competition in search and it becomes costly, you should prioritize other platforms, such as Facebook, and designate a portion of your budget for the most relevant keywords for Google Ads.

However, it is recommended to utilize the revenue from enhanced Google Ads to finance a Facebook expansion. And all of these platforms can be used for advertising, including Facebook, Google, Instagram, and YouTube. Leveraging Google Analytics data can help you gain a deeper understanding of how users interact with your ads and landing pages, empowering you to optimize your campaigns and achieve better ROI on both Facebook and Google.

Now that you have understood the basics of these online marketing methods, let’s look into the key differences between them.

Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads: A Brief Comparison

Google Ads and Facebook Ads are the undisputed kings of the digital advertising world. Each platform offers distinct advantages and caters to different marketing objectives, making the choice between Google and Facebook Ad campaigns a critical decision for any advertiser. In this article, we’ll delve into a comparative analysis of these advertising powerhouses, examining their features, advanced targeting options, and performance metrics to help you determine which platform aligns best with your marketing and campaign goal and maximizes your advertising success. Let’s dive right into the valuable insights regarding the key distinctions between Facebook ads and Google ads.

1. How They Function: Although Google Ads and Facebook Advertisements use a competitive bidding strategy and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, they function differently. Ads on Facebook can be seen by users across various social network platforms and its related apps (Instagram, Messenger, and the broader Audience Network). However, Google Ads are paid search ads that come alongside Google search results.

2. Audience Size: Facebook and Google both have great reach. Approximately 2.06 billion people use Facebook every day, compared to 8.5 billion searches performed on Google. Mobile advertising income accounts for about 90% of Facebook’s ad revenue. However, your target demographic is a mixed bag that lives on both platforms. As a result, making a decision solely based on the audience size is not recommended. To know how to utilize your ad campaigns on different channels, you have to first understand two concepts:

  • Product Orientation: You should know whether the product is more search terms- or social-oriented.
  • Activities of Target Audience: Look at the activities that your target audience participates in to choose where to focus your efforts.

Building an audience for a brand-new product is easier on Facebook.

3. Purchase Intention: Having an understanding of audience intent is important for creating customer loyalty, as it helps businesses to offer personalized experiences that align with the interest of their target customers. Regarding buyer intent, Google Search Ads outperform Facebook Ads. For example, if a person’s air conditioner stops working, they will start looking for a repair service right away. Search Ads would put your company in front of prospective customers at the precise moment they require your services using high purchase intent.

Moreover, Facebook Ads have lower conversion costs. Facebook does not prioritize shopping ads as the intention of the people who spend time using the app is just socialization. If you want immediate conversions, Google Ads should be your first port of call.

4. Ad Format: Facebook ads and Google ads differ significantly in their ad formats, tailored to their respective platforms and user behaviours. In Facebook ads, advertisers can utilize various formats, such as image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and slideshow ads. These formats are designed to engage users within the Facebook and Instagram feeds, offering visually compelling content. Advertisers can also leverage Facebook’s dynamic ads, which display personalized products to users based on their previous interactions. This allows for a more personalized and relevant experience, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Google ads, on the other hand, operate predominantly on search networks and display networks and offer text-based advertisements to attract the audience’s attention. Google’s primary ad formats are search ads and text ads. Search ads appear alongside search results in response to user queries. These text-based adverts target consumers according to their search intentions, ensuring that the ads that are shown are pertinent. Additionally, Google Adwords offers display advertisements, which are banners with rich visuals that show on a variety of websites in the display network. Facebook Ads work on getting users to interact with your material visually, but Google advertising is more effective since they target those who are actively searching for the items or services you offer.

5. Targeting Alternative: Targeting (and retargeting) particular audiences is a feature available in both Google Ads and Facebook Ads. On both platforms, you can target prospects based on their gender, location, age, and income, among other factors. Maximizing mobile optimization for your ads is no longer an option but a necessity, considering the rising trend of mobile device usage. Both these platforms often perform mobile optimization, and thus help advertisers to reach their respective target audiences. Banner ads on Facebook offer a visually appealing way to showcase your products or services to the audience, while Google ads provide contextual targeting, ensuring your ads are displayed alongside relevant search results.

Facebook offers more advanced targeting options, than Google Ads. In addition to the previously mentioned targeting options, Facebook permits the creation of specific audiences based on a variety of behaviours and interests. You can be very exact with your advanced targeting options. For example, you can target vegetarian parents who are Canadians with kids ages 6 to 10 and an annual family income between $50,000 and $100,000. Therefore, if your target audience is extremely specialized, Facebook Ads will be an excellent method to boost your business’s performance.

To help you reach people on Facebook who are similar users to your current customers, Facebook provides a feature called “lookalike audiences.” Facebook makes use of the data it already possesses to match its consumers with other users who have similar interests and behaviours. This can be a very rewarding option for advertisers.

6. Campaign Objectives and Attributes: The major difference between Facebook Ads and Google Ads campaigns is how the target audiences are selected. Facebook ad targeting using keyword search intent allows advertisers to reach users based on the specific keywords they use in their Facebook searches, ensuring that the ads are relevant to their interests and intentions.

Google Ads users are actively searching for a certain good or service, despite the fact that there are fewer options for audience targeting. Beyond the intended consumers, each platform has a unique set of capabilities, such as Facebook’s Instagram Ads and Google’s Local Service Ads.

7. How easy it is to use: Facebook and Google advertisements can appear puzzling at first glance. While Facebook Ads’ user interface is more intuitive, Google Ads is more data-driven. Both Facebook and Google value user experience, and having well-designed landing pages that load quickly on mobile devices is essential. Mobile-optimized landing pages can significantly improve the performance of your ads on these platforms.

The majority of users find it easy to utilize Facebook’s fundamental features, but many struggle to comprehend its more complex functions. On the other hand, Google takes a little longer to get a grasp of than other platforms. However, once a user does, the platform as a whole is a user-friendly interface, and users may later expand into the Google display network and retarget advertisements for even greater visibility and revenue.

8. Pricing: One of the most debated aspects of advertising is the Google ads cost versus Facebook ads. Understanding the differences in pricing structures and ad formats is crucial to allocate your budget efficiently and achieve the best results. Regarding your advertising campaign, Cost-Per-Click is a crucial factor. The average Google Ads cost is $2.69. eCommerce companies should budget about $1.16 per click when using paid search. However, businesses in the legal sector often pay $6.75 for each click. In an extreme example, “insurance” has the highest CPC on Google Ads, at $54.91.

Facebook Ads are marginally less expensive than Google Ads. A company in the clothing sector might only have to pay $0.45 per Facebook click. Insurance and finance companies would incur the highest advertising costs on Facebook. Still, their average CPC is only $3.77. Google Ads, despite having a higher average CPC, may be the superior option for reaching consumers at the time of purchase decision.

As you can see, Google and Facebook advertising options offer vastly different, but complementary experiences. With a blended approach, you can reach customers on their two most visited online spaces—search engines and their social media feeds.

What are Google Ads good for?

Google Ads: A Quick Recap

Google Ads owns the unique honour of being the world’s largest and most popular PPC (pay-per-click) advertising platform. As its name suggests, Google’s PPC ads model is incredibly cost-effective, since you only pay for clicks, views, or other target actions.

The most popular form of Google Ads is paid search results. However, various ad formats have since enabled Google Ads to appear on Google’s Display Network, Play Store, Maps, and YouTube. With expert Google Ads management, you can easily target prospective customers in Toronto based on demographic information, location, topics, ad placement and other features.

Google Ads: The Verdict

With the size of Google’s Display Network and the longstanding, unbeatable popularity and ubiquity of its search engine, Google Ads are the perfect way to gain a competitive advantage in the most popular searches.

The best part is, Google Ads have been proven to generate leads that convert. This is because customers who click on paid ads are 50% more likely to convert than organic users—a clear indicator of intent to shop, as opposed to just shopping around.

Google Ads are also good for re-targeting through remarketing. This unique ad strategy allows you to cultivate relationships with interested customers while they browse around, ultimately leading back to your site to complete conversion pathways.

But, a quick caveat on cost: Google Ads. While they’re generally cost-effective, some ads might turn out more expensive than others, especially Facebook Ads, due to the highly competitive nature of the paid search, particularly in some industries. However, with Google Ads management, you can keep campaign costs low by targeting long-tail keywords and search terms. These generally have lower cost-per-click rates, making them less competitive, while still targeting specific buyer intent ultimately resulting in higher ROI.

What are Facebook Ads good for?

Facebook Ads are paid social media ads that appear on users’ feeds. These are typically marked “sponsored”, or can appear in Instagram Stories, depending on your desired format. These are displayed across the Facebook ecosystem, which also includes Messenger, Instagram, and the Audience Network, with placements in the News Feed, Marketplace, and Suggested Video. Instant Articles, Stories, and more.

Facebook Ads display seamlessly as users interact on the app, providing an overall productive experience by motivating shopping decisions. These are also highly visual, with formats including images, video, carousel, Instant Experience, and slideshow.

Facebook Ads: The Verdict

Facebook Ads allow you to reach customers where they’re constantly hanging out, exploring content, and are motivated to make shopping decisions. These Ads enable that, thanks to Facebook’s ultra-precise audience targeting based on location, demographic information, and connections. Most importantly, Facebook Ads are behavioural and interest-based, allowing your ads to appear in front of potential customers who are already interested in similar things your business offers.

This makes Facebook Ads a useful tool for brand awareness and new lead generation. And while not all Facebook ads are designed to convert, you can still cultivate potential customers through other conversion actions, such as following your page, generating traffic to your website, engaging with posts and attracting video views, and getting direct messages. All of these are conversion pathways, making Facebook Ads a great connection point.

Finally, Facebook ads are generally less expensive compared to Google Ads. The cost-per-click typically ranges from just a few cents to a few dollars, depending on your industry. This means, Facebook advertising may cost less overall, although it’s important to consider the impact of Facebook Ads and ROI goals.

Facebook and Google Ads Management: A Seamless Blended Approach

man pointing finger to google ads vs facebook ads performance metrics

So, should you advertise on Google or Facebook? As we’ve learned above, it’s a trick question. The answer is both. The best digital marketing strategy involves expertly leveraging both advertising channels to achieve optimal ROI.

It’s important to remember that Facebook advertising and Google Ads are complementary approaches. You need both channels to reach as many customers as possible, wherever their shopping journey begins—whether it’s on their social feed or search. Both platforms offer similar, but ultimately unique features and placements, for unique results. Keep in mind that you need to consistently target both brand awareness and conversion, so running both Facebook and Google Ads is your best bet for launching a successful campaign, and ultimately meeting revenue goals.

At Consultus Digital, we specialize in both Facebook and Google Ad management. Our team of advertising creatives and strategists offers a full-service approach to every campaign, from ideation and launch to constant optimization. With our Facebook and Google Ad agency, you’ll be able to leverage the strengths of each platform and run cost-effective and successful campaigns that are fully aligned with your marketing goals.
Are you deciding between Facebook advertising and Google Ads? Get both! Let’s launch your multi-channel campaign with dedicated Facebook and Google Ads management. Contact Consultus Digital in Toronto today.

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