Facebook Ads vs Google Ads: Which One Should You Use?

In terms of digital advertising, there are 2 main players available. In the blue corner, there is Facebook Ads. And in the rainbow corner, there is good ol’ Google Ads.

Paid social vs paid search.

Depending on your business type, you might want to choose one or the other or maybe even a mix of both.

Both platforms are using the PPC model. But which one will work best for your business?

Image of chess game to show which platform works best: Facebook Ads or Google Ads.

Quick recap: Facebook Ads

With Facebook Ads, you can create audience lists that fit your customers.

Once these customers browse around Facebook (or Instagram – which is part of the Facebook Audience Network) you can have your ad shown up on their newsfeed.

With Facebook Ads you can target audiences on both Facebook and Instagram, as well as the Facebook Audience Network. Social advertising makes it easy to find the right people, capture their attention and get results.

You can:

  • Find people based demographics, behaviours or contact information.
  • Create eye-catching ads that capture your audience attention.
  • Get data to see how your ads are performing and increase ROI.
  • Extend your reach and get more followers of your brand.

Quick recap: Google Ads

By using Google Ads you can show your ad when someone uses the famous search engine. It works based on keywords, so you can create a large keyword list with relevant keywords. Every time a potential customer searches for this keyword, your ad could pop up.

Alternatively, you can also use Google Ads to show your ads on the Google Display Network. Using the GDN is more similar to Facebook, as you target an audience rather than specific keywords.

For this article, we’ll be mainly focusing on the search component of the platform.

With Google Ads you:

  • Only target people that are actively searching for your product or service.
  • Measure and optimise based on data to increase your return on investment.
  • Adjust your bids and make changes to your campaigns at any given time.
  • Only pay when people actually click on your ad and visit your website.

The big difference between Facebook Ads & Google Ads

The big difference between the two platforms is that with Facebook you are targeting a specific audience, while with Google you are targeting keywords.

Also, it’s important to point out that the cost-per-click for Google Ads has skyrocketed over the last few years. This, of course, points out the effectiveness of the platform. However, small businesses will need to spend each of their marketing dollars as effectively as possible. This means they might need to make a decision of where to spend that dollar.

So, the question remains: which platform should you use?

And the winner is…

The right answer is that you will need to test both platforms for yourself, as the results will differ for each business.

In general, Facebook Ads will have a lower cost-per-click. However, as you are targeting people that are not actively searching for a product or service, the conversion rate is often lower. 

Let’s split this out between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customers (B2C).

Image to show the winner for b2b and b2c businesses: Google Ads vs Facebook Ads.

B2C marketing

Because of the lower cost per click, Facebook Ads can perform better for businesses that sell low-cost items to customers (think about socks, t-shirts etc.).

Products that people need, but haven’t thought about buying until they see it. It’s more of an impulse buy, rather than a well-planned one. Facebook works great for that.

Remember, people are mainly on Facebook and Instagram for personal reasons so showing work related ads are simply less effective. Which brings us to B2B.

B2B marketing

Most often, the best platform to use for B2B is Google Ads. the keyword base option is by far the most effective for most business.

By being smart and focus on long tail keywords, you can still make this profitable for your B2B business and get a decent volume.

If you are focusing on lead generation, you might also want to try out Facebook Ads. Facebook’s lead ads are great for capturing leads.

Have a look at our tips for local businesses on how to make Google Ads work for you.

Now, there are of course exceptions. If you’re selling a product or service that is in an early stage, you might not get that much search volume via Google. In that case, you might want to use Facebook Ads instead.


Of course, it partly depends on the product or service you are selling. However, for most B2C businesses Facebook Ads is a really good option. For B2B businesses Google Ads is the go-to platform.

Ideally, you would test each of these options for your businesses to see what works. For example, you can allocate 10% of your total digital marketing budget to the other platform and track the performance. That way, you can find out if there’s an opportunity for you to spend more on the platform.

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By Jeroen

Having worked as a PPC freelancer for many years, Jeroen helps businesses to get more results out of their online advertising budgets.

He is the founder of Vazooky Digital, a Google Ads agency in Sydney, Australia.

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