Tom Welbourne

Tom Welbourne

Helping Small and Medium Businesses Achieve Their Full Marketing Potential | Digital Marketing Expert

Google Ads Vs Facebook Ads

Two advertising giants, Facebook and Google.

The total share of the digital advertising market?

Roughly 63%

You’re either using one or the other even if you use Youtube or Instagram, they belong to Google and Facebook.

And your customer is more than likely using both or at least one of the two. 

People often wonder which is the best one to use and we want to answer that for you rather than hang on the fence like the rest of these blog posts. 


Here are some of the main differences between the two platforms:

  • Keywords 

  • Purchase Intent

  • Targeting Capabilities

  • Choice of Campaigns Available


The main difference we find between the two ad platforms is the use of keywords.

Google Ads puts its focus on keywords when targeting people which makes sense as it’s a search engine rather than a social platform like Facebook.

The bulk of your time spent on building a campaign will be spent on researching and optimising keywords for your Google Ad.

Not only that, but you will have to think about the negative keywords related to your ad.

What are negative keywords?

To put it simply – any keyword you don’t want relating to your ad. 

For example, if you’re selling “pink size 10 shoes”, you don’t want people who type in ‘blue size 4 flip flops” to find your ad unless you want to waste your money.

Facebook doesn’t have the option to add keywords or add negative keywords which is a bit of a downside because you are quite likely to reach or not reach for that matter, people who are/aren’t interested in your product/service.

However, Facebook has a trick up its sleeve which leads up to our next point…


It would be fair to say that if you’re spending money on either Facebook or Google for advertising, you’re doing it with the intention to get a return on that investment.

Of course, you have brand awareness ads on Facebook that are there just to get your name out there, but once you get further down the funnel whether it’s Facebook or Google, you will want to get people to purchase from you.

Because Facebook is a social platform, the intent to purchase something isn’t as high as say someone who actively types in on Google, “Buy Foam Roller”.

But, but, but…this doesn’t mean that those people aren’t interested in your offering and want to purchase from you.

Using campaigns such as the conversion campaign optimise specifically for those people who are most likely to convert rather than people who are just going to visit your site and click off.


We think that Facebook has a better variety of options when it comes to the choice of campaign types available especially with the introduction of Instagram Ads

To be honest, though, they both have a great selection of campaign options and you can go really granular with the intent of your advertisement.  



Facebook provides people who use their platform three great options to help with specific targeting.

  1. Interests

  2. Custom Audiences

  3. Lookalike Audiences

Interests give you the option to target people by what they’ve actively liked on Facebook whether they’re a cat owner and have liked a specific cat food brand, you can target that person.

Now, we don’t know about you but if someone has gone out their way to like a brand of cat food, the chances are they’re going to own a cat…just saying!

Custom audiences allow you to make use of the data you already have or that you are collecting.

You can use website traffic data, email list and even people who just engage with your Facebook page. And the best thing about custom audiences is they’re super specific.

Lookalike Audiences is where you can really scale your ad because it allows you to target people who look like your current audience/customers. 

The reach that lookalike audiences give you are almost limitless and you can literally have an audience of a 1,000 people to millions by using these feature.


As mentioned earlier in the article, Google has its targeting focused on keywords which is an advantage in its own right for reasons such as purchase intent, but it also some of the features that Facebook offers such as:

  • Demographics

  • Similar Audiences (like Facebook’s lookalike audience)

  • In-Market (people searching for a product/service like yours)

You can also use demographics such as age, gender and location to target 



Both platforms rely heavily on the end-user – the customer.

Relevancy is the golden ticket here and it applies to both platforms because Facebook and Google want the customer experience to be number one and for the person to click on that ad to benefit from clicking on it.

What happens if you don’t advertise highly relevant ads?

Your costs go up and your ad gets shown less, if at all.


FYI you don’t have to use one and not the other, it’s not as black and white as that. 

You can actually combine the two for maximum benefit from both platforms. 


One easy example is to run a brand awareness campaign on Facebook and then once those people are familiar with your brand, you can run a campaign on Facebook that has the keywords targeting your brand name.

That way people are already aware of your brand and when they see your ad pop up on Google, they’re more likely to click-through and convert.


We said we didn’t want to sit on the fence and we’re not going to.

Put simply, we would choose Facebook over Google Ads for 80% of cases.


It’s what we’ve seen work best for our clients and seen the best results with.

That’s not to say we don’t use Google ads by the way and we definitely do recognise when it’s best to avoid Facebook Ads at all costs and go all in on Google Ads. 

For example, a plumber will likely benefit more from Google Ads than Facebook Ads as people looking for a plumber are probably going to be in a rush to get their problem solved.

But as we briefly mentioned earlier, why not use both?


Having a hard time figuring out what is best for your business? Then speak to one of our team for a FREE, no-obligation analysis for 30-minutes today by click HERE.

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